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Monday, November 11, 2013

SRSD: Writing Skill

We've adopted SRSD: Self-Regulated Strategy Development as part of our writing program. Essentially, I see SRSD as a "coach yourself" model of learning, performance, and production which includes an awareness of what's expected and the steps necessary to get there.

So far students have embraced this model by memorizing mnemonics, practicing/learning the steps to good writing, and realizing the ways to edit and analyze writing to inform edits and revision.

The more I learn about this model, the more I like it because it emphasizes the role that students play in their own work and learning thus maximizing their ability to regulate their strategies and effort.

Like any good teaching strategy, it takes time to figure out how to employ SRSD with effect in your classroom, synthesizing the approach with other successful strategies. This week my students will take the final assessment related to the SRSD approach with persuasive writing. Prior to the final assessment I'll give the children a chance to think and write about the mnemonic, process, edits, and revision.  Then the students will have about an hour to "show off" their best persuasive writing skills.

In a sense, the final assessment is similar to the end of a session swim test.  You practice and learn the strokes during the entire session, and then at the end you take the test to see if you've moved up to the next group. Similarly my students will take the test, and I'll be able to see who learned the approach and genre well, and who still needs further coaching.  I'll also be able to determine the strength of my teaching--where did I hit the mark, and where can I improve during the next writing unit focused on narrative.

Do you use SRSD in your writing program? If so, what have you found most helpful about the approach?  How do you plan a unit with SRSD in mind?  What are the steps, and how much time do you devote to each step?

SRSD is one more tool for the teacher's toolkit, an important tool because it serves to develop students' academic independence and success.