Let Me Tell You a Secret: Kindergartners Can Write!


  • Amanda R. VanNess,

  • Timothy J. Murnen,

  • Cynthia D. Bertelsen


During her first two years of teaching, a kindergarten teacher (first author) developed a writing program grounded in five instructional strategies that repeatedly appear in emergent writing research—modeling, Scaffolded Writing, invented spelling, word walls, and reader response—and in the overarching principle of Gradual Release of Responsibility (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983). Using Gentry's Writing Scale (Gentry, 2005) as a frame for structuring her own observations and data collection, she illustrates how the writing program evolved and how it gets implemented in her classroom, and demonstrates the clear growth students made in one year using this approach.