I think these were introduced in first grade. There was a box of cards, each with an article to read and questions about the article. Students had newsprint booklets to record their answers. Within the box, cards were divided into sections labeled with basic colors. It was clear that the cards in the front of the box were written for lower reading levels than those at the back; you were supposed to work your way to the back of the box. I loved SRA cards!
In second grade we discovered that there was a second box of cards and the colors were more exciting. Instead of red, blue, and green we had olive, turquoise, and silver. The SRA cards reappeared in third grade and I raced to the back of the box, in hopes of finding color names even more exotic in the next set. Unfortunately, there were only two boxes. I told my fourth grade teacher I'd completed the second box and she found something else for me to do.
No SRA cards in fifth grade, but the next year there they were. This was the seventies. My sixth grade was three classrooms combined with no walls and three teachers. Team teachers, they called themselves. I told everyone on the team that I had done all the SRA cards but they told me I had to complete some number (20?) of them for my reading grade. I half-heartedly did a couple of cards and then farted around until the end of the grading period and earned myself a D in reading.
I remember the horrible feeling I had looking at that report card. I remember protesting to one teacher that the grade did not reflect my reading ability at all and I remember her explaining that the grade did reflect the reading work I had done. I did a much better job of jumping through hoops after that but I've never cared much about grades since then. So all in all it was a well-timed lesson.