• Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) POW + TREE

    Written Expression Intervention

    Instructional Focus

    Grade Level



    Additional Information

    Fidelity Checklist

    Planning and Writing Opinion Essays



    15-20 Minutes per session, 3-5 times per week

    Using Self-Regulated Strategy Development to Support Students Who Have “Trubol Giting Thangs into Werds”

    Self-Regulated Strategy Development Online Module

    The Iris Center: Case Study Unit


    NOTE: To teach the POW + TREE, utilize the steps outlined in Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) in the box below.

    POW + TREE

    This strategy helps students to write opinion essays. The POW is designed to help students pick their idea, organize and write the story.  The TREE helps students to organize their notes (the "O" in POW).

    Pick an idea for your story

    Organize your story

    Topic Sentence = Formulate a topic sentence expressing an opinion

    Reason = Provide rationale to support the topic sentence

    Explanation = Elaborate on rationale supporting the topic sentence

    Ending = Formulate a statement to summarize

    Write your story.  Use exciting words and remember to check to see whether the story makes sense.

    Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD)

    The SRSD instructional model includes six stages that allow for learning and application of a writing strategy.  These stages can be modified, repeated and reordered in response to student need.

    STAGE 1: Develop Background Knowledge

    The goal of this stage is for students to understand, learn and apply the strategy.  Teacher must identify what prerequisite skills are needed and ensure students possess these skills.  If not, reteaching should take place.

    STAGE 2: Discuss It

    The goal of this stage is to ensure students are motivated and willing to learn the new strategy.  This can be done by having students examine and discuss their own current writing performance and thoughts about the writing process.  By using this discussion as a foundation, the teacher then discusses the purpose and benefit of the strategy to be learned.

    Goal setting is also discussed with students at this point, having students identify one area of writing they would like to improve.  Examine current writing samples and graph current performance.

    At the end of this stage, the actual steps of the strategy are introduced.

    STAGE 3: Model It

    This stage allows students to see exactly how to use the new strategy.  Teacher uses a "think-aloud" approach to model the "why" and "how" of each strategy step.  The teacher also models positive self-statements to maintain motivation ("This is tough, but I can do it if I try!").  The teacher should expect to model the strategy multiple times.

    Teacher and student discuss the benefits and challenges of the strategy and how the student might begin to incorporate it into their writing.

    Teacher helps student to identify statements they will use to maintain a positive attitude.

    Teacher and student work together to identify a personal improvement goal, using the baseline performance data gathered in stage 2.

    STAGE 4: Memorize It

    The goal of this stage is for students to become so familiar with the strategy that they begin to use it with automaticity.  The teacher should strive to make this process fun and engaging. The student can paraphrase parts of the strategy, so long as the main idea is maintained.  If students have difficulty memorizing, prompts can be used (cue cards, checklists, etc.) so that they can move on to the next stage.

    STAGE 5: Support It

    This stage allows the student to gradually take on more responsibility for the new strategy.  Teacher should scaffold instruction, gradually removing the level of support provided. Scaffolds may include repeated modeling, frequence constructive feedback, positive reinforcement, etc.

    STAGE 6: Independent Performance

    In this stage, the goal is for the student to consistently use the strategy over time, in multiple settings and on multiple tasks.  This is achieved by helping students recognize how the strategy improves their writing and can be beneficial in multiple arenas.


    Resources: Santangelo, T., Harris, K.R., & Graham, S. (2008). Using Self-Regulated Strategy Development to Support Students Who Have "Trubol Giting Thangs Into Werds. Remedial and Special Education, 29 (2).

    Lienemann, T., Reid, R. & The Iris Center. (2009). Written expression: Grades 2-5.