TIDE Writing Strategies Resources

TIDE Writing Strategies

The following text is from: https://schoolvirtually.org/educators/teaching-writing-online-using-srsd/

Teaching Writing Online: Using SRSD

By Cary Torres

We’ve all had students who stare at a blank page, not sure how to begin a writing task.  For many students, figuring out how to get started with a writing assignment can be overwhelming.  They may feel lost because they are not sure how to generate ideas, how to organize ideas, or how to approach the task.  This can lead to a feeling of helplessness and a dislike of writing in general.  To help students overcome these challenges, we can provide a structured approach to writing that breaks down the many complex tasks in writing.  Guiding students to approach this task one step at a time, can be crucial to addressing their barriers to writing.

When we write, we do many things in the background that we may not even realize. We generate and organize ideas, make decisions about what to include, and use various skills (vocabulary, grammar) to put our thoughts down on paper clearly. To chunk these processes and make them explicit to students as they develop writing skills, we can use  Self Regulated Strategy Development.

What is  Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) for Writing?

Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) for Writing is a framework for teaching writing that was developed by Karen Harris and Steve Graham.  It has been identified as an evidence-based practice for students with learning disabilities.  Research has demonstrated that SRSD can also benefit English language learners and other struggling writers.  

SRSD combines specific strategy instructiongenre-based instruction, and self-regulation.  The goal is to explicitly teach students the expectations of academic writing in different genres (informative, opinion/ argumentative, & narrative).  In addition, it addresses two very important factors: motivation and persistence with self-regulation strategies To do this, students set goals, graph results, learn to use self-statements that reinforce what to do throughout the writing process, and identify and acknowledge their own mastery of concepts

Below is a breakdown of the different parts of SRSD with explanations and 7 lessons that you can teach with examples of how it can be delivered through distance and online methods.

SRSD prepares students for success by following the gradual release of responsibility model, which begins with direct instruction and modeling.  Direct instruction and modeling is essential for writing, especially for struggling writers, including students with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse students, who may be used to different communication and writing styles.  Students benefit from seeing clear models of both the process and the product in addition to explicit instruction on what to do and how to do it.  

Lesson 1: Teach POW + genre-based mnemonic  

Explicit strategy instruction begins by teaching mnemonics for the writing process and the specific genre that you are teaching (focus on and teach one genre at a time).  As they learn a structured process for how to write, students analyze exemplar texts to develop a clear understanding of what the expectations of the genre that they are writing. 

  • POW is the process for any type of writing.
    • (P) Pull apart the prompt
    • (O) Organize my notes
    • (W) Write and say more.  
  • Genre-based mnemonics are for the specific genre that you are teaching.
    • Informative – TIDE (T)Topic, (I)Important (D)Details, (E)Ending
    • Opinion – TREE (T)Topic, (R)Reasons – 3, (E)Ending, (E)Examine the parts
    • Narrative – WWW What + How (W)Who, (W)When, (W)Where, (What)What Happened, (How) How did the character feel

Lesson 2: Model identifying genre elements in an exemplar

Identifying genre elements in an exemplar helps students to understand the expectations of academic writing.  Complete a genre-specific graphic organizer with the elements to model for students how notes and an outline are connected to writing.  This is the reverse of what they will do when they write, but it helps them prepare by modeling what it looks like.  Repeat this lesson as needed.

Lesson 3: Review mnemonics & model identifying genre elements in a poor example 

Reinforce students’ understanding by analyzing a poor example. Model the identification of the genre elements in an exemplar until students really understand. Then, repeat the process and involve the students with a poor example and guide the students so that they begin to see what is missing or incorrect.  This is a structured way for them to see what checking and revising their work looks like and reinforces their understanding of the genre elements and writing structure.

    • How to review mnemonics and identify genre elements online?
      • Video of hand motions for each mnemonic (see Lesson #1 above)
      • Screencast of highlighting genre elements & completing online graphic organizer (see Lesson #2 above)

Lesson 4: Model the entire writing process from start to finish (yes, the whole thing!).

Students need to see and hear what happens from identifying key information in a text, making notes, writing, and then checking and revising their writing.  This is often skipped, but it is one of the most critical aspects of writing instruction.  This is especially critical in a distance or online environment where the teacher is not always there watching and seeing when students are confused or stuck.  

Think aloud while modeling.  This allows students to understand what they are supposed to be thinking about and what questions they can ask themselves during the writing process.  These think alouds should also include teachers modeling self-statements of what they do when they make a mistake or get stuck so that students can learn to internalize these to support their persistence through writing tasks.  Students should follow along with the teacher and complete all of the same tasks (analyzing the topic, taking notes, etc.) so that they are already comfortable with the process as the teacher begins to release some of the responsibility to them.  

Lesson 4 procedures:

  • Review the mnemonics (see Lesson #1)
  • Model taking notes from a source text on a visual or paper graphic organizer
  • Turning notes into sentences and a complete essay
  • Check work to see if all the genre elements are included
  • Model using self-statements to support persistence & success
  • Model graphing progress based on self-check

Repeat, Review, Reteach as needed!

It is important to note that these stages are iterative, and at any point in the time if students struggle, teachers can go back to previous lessons and re-model, re-teach, or review to ensure student understanding.  Teachers often note that they teach several lessons with SRSD before students even begin writing, and yes, this is how it should be!  If students have a very clear idea of what the expectations are and how to get there before they start, they are much more likely to be successful!

After modeling the whole process from start to finish, teachers can then guide students through the process by leading it but encouraging the students to supply the information.  As students are able to go through the process with guidance, teachers can move them to collaborative practice and then independent practice when students generalize the strategy and begin using it across other contexts.

Guided Practice

Lesson 5: Guide students to write collaboratively

Prompt the students through each stage of the writing process, but support the students to supply the information.  In person, you can lead the class in guided practice while they provide information and you scribe while the class follows along. In an online environment, you can do this in a synchronous class.  If you cannot meet synchronously, you can provide the prompts and have students collaborate in small groups to provide the information. 

Lead the writing process (all of the steps from Lesson #4) with the students helping to supply the information throughout.  Also, review self-statements to support persistence & success and encourage students to create their own, and remind them to graph their essay.  If students completed a writing prior to instruction, they can now graph that and see how much better they did by using the strategies.

Collaborative Practice 

Lesson 6: Support students to write collaboratively with more independence

Lead the students in the steps of the writing process (all of the steps from Lesson #4).  Monitor & support students to work collaboratively to:

  • Take notes from the source
  • Turn the notes into sentences
  • Check their own writing and graph 
  • Support each other to use self-statements

Independent Practice

Lesson 7 and Beyond: Support independent writing if students are ready

Support students to generalize and use the strategies in other subject areas and to write independently.

For more information on digital tools to support writing, visit the Digital Tools for Action and Expression page.

Citation: Torres, C. (2020). Teaching writing online: Using SRSD. https://schoolvirtually.org