Spilling Ink: Writing Journal Agreements outlines this in more detail.
I try to make each prompt visible on a single slide, and we work on the same prompt for the week.
We have written about all sorts of things, from shapeshifters to thunderstorms, garlic gum to invisibility potion.
Learners are always given the option to choose the prompt, or write about something they need to write about. They can fold over any writing that they wish to keep private.
They are also encouraged to go back and rework previous writing, revising to make it better, or making into something new. I ask them to focus particularly on areas we have looked at in lessons, such as narrative perspective, sentence clarity, adjectives or noun phrases etc.
I have been amazed by the work that has been produced and am SURE that I have at least one potential best-seller among my fantastic writers.
I have been astounded by the insights I have into the learners from their writing; their thinking, hopes and beliefs; their unboundless imagination and limitless creativity. It is also quite moving in terms of some of the things that have been shared with me; some learners will reach out to me in their writing, opening a doorway for me to find them help and support.
Some learners have written in their journals about how much they enjoy the freedom to express themselves and play with words. They say that they appreciate being able to choose what to write and to not be tied down by assessments or deadlines.
For our final week of the semester, I am going to provide them with the chance to create a wish list. It is to be in the form of a letter poem and must use as much alliteration as possible.
Mazer, A. and Potter, E. Spilling ink: A young writer's handbook, 2012, Macmillan. Print.