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Teaching Methodology

Write Ahead uses a best-in-class writing instruction methodology that has demonstrated writing improvements across grade and writing levels in over 100 empirical studies.  Dr. Leslie Laud, Write Ahead’s co-founder, has researched, tested and continuously refined the methodology over the last 20 years. Her methodology is documented in her award winning book, Releasing Writers: Evidence Based Strategies for Writing Instruction (Pax Media, 2018).  It is a responsive and systematic approach designed to explicitly teach writing to align with how children naturally learn.


More information about the teaching methodology Write Ahead employs:


  • A proven and documented approach used in 11 countries, over 50,000 classrooms, in public and private schools, including some of the most elite schools such as Hunter Elementary for the Gifted and Talented (NYC).

  • Optimized instruction road-tested by thousands of teachers, with many refinements along the way, guided by data on student outcomes and teacher feedback

  • Evidence-based (Baker, 2009), endorsed by all major clearing houses (What Works, 2017), and validated by over 100 empirical studies (McKeown at al., 2016)

  • After adopting the methodology, standardized tests (both PARCC and MCAS) showed improvements in holistic writing quality in every empirical study that has been published

  • Helped catapult the Hopkinton, MA public school from ranking 145th (out of 900+) to 29th (out of 900+) (see Rankings tab), hitting their highest ever by far, after adopting this writing methodology across the district. 

  • Evaluated, tested, discussed and referenced in hundreds of peer reviewed, empirical studies. Just a few of the articles can be seen on our Research page. 

  • Recognized by many Departments of Education as a best practice writing teaching methodology, including MA DOE and the US DOE

The methodology is based on a set of Core Flexible Routines drawn from research, easy to implement and grounded in purposeful, meaning-centered writing.  These routines are paired with a 6 stage instruction process:

Releasing Writers Routines.png
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