The 6 Stages of SRSD

SRSD is like a strategy to teach a strategy. It's going to walk you through a series of steps or stages to make sure that you really teach the strategy to the best of your ability and at the end what you get is a student who's self regulated, meaning they can take a strategy on their own to improve their own performance in an area like writing or reading.

Dr. Karen Harris developed six recursive learning stages of SRSD. Fidelity in each stage is critical for success.

What we want to learn in stage one is where are the students? What are their skills, so we're not just activating background knowledge? Now we're developing it. We want to get the students interested and excited about the genre. Do they have the vocabulary necessary to proceed? Then we briefly introduce self-regulation and goal setting strategies that we're going to be using throughout the stages to come.

The biggest thing about the discuss it stage is demystifying the complexity of writing, that it has components to it, that it has elements that there's a trick to writing about this genre that is going to make it easy for them, help them understand that this is a simpler task than they sometimes think it is.

A key premise in SRSD is that we want mastery of skills and we expect it. We use models and we use graphic organizers to help students determine the difference between an effective and ineffective essay. It's also critical at this stage to build collaborative partnerships and to get student commitment to the task model. It is important because it allows students to see into your thinking. Think-alouds, as silly as they feel, really do provide an important aspect of learning so when kids can see how your processing work, they can also process the same way and if they don't know how to process it, then they get away to do it. By watching you do a think aloud, we'd begin memorizing in stages one through three, but we take some time during the stage to verify that students have memorized the steps. Basically, we want students to internalize the strategy using the mnemonic and personalized self-statements. This stage is important, especially for struggling students. And if they don't have it internally when they're out in other classes or they're having their state test and they're asked to write a certain kind of essay, if they haven't memorized it, they're not going to be able to use it.

And I think what's really neat about the tricks that they learned is that not only does it tell them what the letters stand for, but it tells them why we're actually doing the things that the letters stand for. So for instance, R on TREE is reasons and they say three or more, so already they know they need three or more. Why do I believe this? Will my readers believe this? So it's a cue as they're memorizing it. So they actually know what purpose it's for. The goal of a supported stage is for teachers to practice with students so they can become proficient with the strategy.

So we're going to scaffold, we're going to practice, we're going to help students get to independence, but a continued collaborative writing experiences. We're going to support students strategy, use fading support when ready. We're going to support self-regulation and that includes self-taught goal setting, checking off steps in pneumonics, those kinds of things. Stage six the independent stage is what we're all working for. Generally. This stage continues the fading of scaffolds from stage five to complete independence work in this stage also ensures that transfer to other environments is implemented. What's a problem is if they see a student who isn't accomplishing it independently, now they have to think about going back and reteaching and do some more collaborative work with that student. So it's a little tricky in the sense that we need to keep our eye on this and kids need to be able to be independent. The research is really clear that in order for students to be successful in independent, we have to gradually release the responsibility of instruction to them. And we do this by introducing modeling and then the collaborative writing and planning, and then eventually they do it themselves.

That gradual release of control can be really tricky for some teachers, and I've learned to trust the teacher. Some teachers let go too quickly, but they realize it and they back up and they provide a little bit more support and the kids get to where they need to be. And what we're seeing is what you would expect with any instructional approach. As teachers have more experience with it, they're more fluent, they're more adaptive, and they're more able to make judgments for individual students and differentiate and individualized to the needs in their classroom.

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