Kindergarten – no longer an environment of Readiness but rather Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic – and the Primary grades have higher academic expectations because of the emphasis on state and national standards.
Writing Standards in the Primary grades revolve around the writing process, listening and speaking, and language conventions. In surveying the states, Davidson found no single standard for exemplary writing. The assessment rubrics ranged from 4 to 6 points, only sometimes including conventions. Thus Kay developed her Simple 6™ design based upon the numerous standards and standardized assessments from the states across the country. The Simple 6™ is a student-friendly, simple, analytic rubric for becoming a successful writer. The high 2006 state writing scores of students in schools using The Simple 6™ prove the program works.
For Primary students the program first involves the integration of picture books from which writing ideas come and which model great writing components. The Simple 6™ are found in all picture books, and simply by designing questions based on the 6 components of The Simple 6™ students come to understand the program. Students then include The Simple 6™ components in drawings from ideas based on read alouds. This naturally leads to including The Simple 6™ in writing pieces. Each component of The Simple 6™ builds on the next, allowing students to master skills as they cumulatively review and work together to take control of their own writing.
Davidson presents prompts with assessed anchor papers as well as prompts for student writing experiences.
Teachers find scoring student writing easy with The Simple 6™ because students and teachers understand it. The language is clear, the order is developmentally progressive, and the scoring is relatively uncomplicated.