Writing Strategies to Improve Student Writing

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Use the SRSD concept to choose writing strategies to enhance student writing.

Many teachers struggle with how to effectively teach specific skills. It is crucial that teachers are equipped with specific strategies that address specific skills.Being fully equipped with these teaching instructions can enhance student learning and help achieve important learning goals.

One common skill needed in the classroom is writing. As a student writes, they go through the process of planning, drafting and revising. Specific strategies can be taught to encourage students to improve these skills. Teaching specific writing strategies is referred to as Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD). SRSD is the concept of using writing strategies for individual students to better their writing skills. This concept requires self-regulation by the student to take an active part in recognizing and identifying the writing skills they need to improve. The following are 4 steps to helping students choose the right writing strategy for them:

1. Develop

Develop assessments that can help identify what skills students are able to display and which skills they need to improve. Have students perform different types of writing assignments to get a better idea of the range of their skills.

2. Discuss

 Students can be introduced to when, how and why to use the chosen strategy. Students may be asked to reflect on the writing process, their own writing skills and the areas they think they need to improve. With this collaboration, teachers can explain how SRSD can help them develop better writing skills. Goals can be set, in this stage or the next, based on individual skills. Students can also be encouraged to engage in self-monitoring as they work toward their individual goals.

3. Model

 Teachers should model the use of the strategy so students can understand each step. The teacher may use the ‘think aloud’ technique of modeling so that students are aware of how the strategy is being used during the process of writing as well as modeling self-regulation strategies. The teacher may model the use of mnemonics, graphic organizers and other aids that can act as supports to the students as they begin to use a strategy.

4. Support

 Students should be able to practice strategies with their teacher’s support and guidance. Scaffolds and feedback can be provided and the students can slowly become more independent as they become more comfortable with the strategy.

Carefully choosing specific writing strategies to enhance student writing can make a big difference in the classroom.

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