When your child makes an error that does not make sense does he or she stop reading? Self monitoring is noticing that something is wrong. If the child keeps on reading without seeming to acknowledge the error (e.g. stops, looks puzzled, looks at you as if wanting help), self monitoring is not happening.
Some children rely on others to tell them if they are doing a good job or not. Some skip over an error in the hope that the listener has not noticed because it will lead to more work (e.g. go back and try something else). My aim is for all of my students to monitor their own choices and to make their own decisions as they are reading.
As l take a running record the first strategy l check that the student is using is meaning, (i.e. I check if the student seems to realize when an error does not make sense). If the student is not using meaning he or she is likely to have poor comprehension (not understand) and will have much less chance of predicting and solving new words.
The following example is one I have used in an earlier post-
Student: The like cat is it the big tree.
This student is using the general look of the words without checking that it makes sense and sounds right.
To prompt for using meaning, allow you child to finish reading the sentence and then say something like, Did that make sense?, Did that sound right to you? Try that again and think about…. (the story) (the picture).