Conceptualizations Underlying Emergent Readers' Story Writing
Two series of case studies were carried out following a multiple base-line design across individuals. The first series of eight studies included 4- to 5-year-old Dutch kindergarten children, and the second series examined 5- to 6-year-olds. Each child wrote approximately 16 stories in the natural environment of their classroom over a two-month period. During the last month of the experiment the a teacher or researcher promoted invented spelling by modeling this strategy for the children prior to their second series of writing sessions. The 2 series of case studies tested how children harmonized knowledge and understandings, represented by early-developing forms of writing such as random letter strings or pseudo-cursive scribbles, with an emerging understanding that letters represent sounds. Even when children understood the alphabetic principle and adults promoted the use of letter-sound rules to represent their story, children were not inclined simply to drop early-developing forms such as pseudo-cursive scribble or random letter strings. They often produced combinations of early forms and invented spelling. Invented spelling gradually increased over earlier forms, but only among a group of older kindergartners.