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6 evidence-based tips guaranteed to boost Writers Workshop

By June 23, 2017 No Comments

30 years of research proves that when Writers Workshop (process writing) is combined with Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) a dramatic, positive impact will occur with all levels of students (SRSD is the leading research-based method for teaching writing to learn).  Here are six evidence-based writing tips that will engage your young writers.

Tip #1
Students Won’t Master Writing By Writing Alone

Dr. Karen R. Harris is an SRSD creator, special educator and educational psychologist. Dr. Steven Graham is an SRSD researcher and advisor to the National Writing Project and What Works Clearinghouse. Both emphasize that the whole is greater than the parts. 30 years of research highlights that SRSD and Process Writing together are a far superior teaching method vs. using one or the other. It is this combination that is the key. Watch this video for more.

How to integrate SRSD with Writers Workshop

Tip #2
Modeling Moves Struggling Students to the Top

Dr. Erin Fitzpatrick, an SRSD researcher and Literacy and Language Fellow at Georgia State University, has conducted research that suggests the average U.S. classroom consists of 25-50% students who do not master writing genres. How do you combat that? Modeling.  More specifically, SRSD modeling. SRSD modeling is “far more explicit” and effective than teaching Writing Workshop instruction by itself.

Tip #3
Acting Like A Student Modeling Helps Your Class Understand Complex Writing

SRSD uses a unique, metacognitive approach to modeling that helps the student ‘think’ about their thinking.  The teacher actually acts like a grade-level student, vernacular and all, and talks out loud about her struggles with specific parts of the writing assignment.  After the teacher models “act like a student”, she then performs this act together with the student. Finally, the teacher observes her students performing these ‘think alouds’ on their own.

Tip #4
Use Positive Self-Talk Like Their Favorite Sport Stars

It is no secret that professional athletes use positive self-talk to psyche themselves up for an event with an opponent. What bigger opponent for a student than writing? By encouraging positive self-talk, teachers are not only helping their students write better paragraphs and essays, but they are preparing children for life.

Tip #5
Level the Writing Playing Field Using Explicit Instruction

Dr. Sandra Jones, an SRSD Curriculum Developer and trainer, has seen how Writers Workshop and Process Writing motivate kids to write. That’s great. But some kids need more to catch up to their peers. Explicit instruction, sometimes delivered by the advanced students, assures that all students succeed. SRSD delivers explicit instruction in mini-lessons that attack weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Tip #6
Master the Genre First, Then Add Process Writing

Dr. Fitzpatrick also believes that teachers should first take 4-6 weeks introducing the genres using SRSD so that all levels of students have the genre support to be successful. Then, and only then, should you continue with Writers Workshop and process writing as normal taught. By giving students the SRSD tools first, then teaching process writing, students will have a better writing experience.

Watch what the research proves with Dr. Steve Graham