We do in class writings (ICW) pretty often. I give 3-4 things to write about, one is always free write, and we write for 10 min or so. My rule was that they had to write for the entire time, even if it’s “I’ve nothing to write I can’t believe he’s making us write even if we have nothing to write about. . . ” When we first started this I would have to direct kids to keep writing, pantomiming writing across the room. As time has gone on a cry of dismay goes up when I call time, “A little bit longer” “I’m not done” “Waaaaaiiiit” The increase in activty extended to the sharing portion afterward. More and more students are willing to share what they’ve written. Last week an amazing thing happened: A student suggested that we take an entire class period to write, and then the next one to share, there were head nods and noises of agreement around the room – they WANT to write now, they look forward to the ICW’s, they ask “are we going to write in our journals today?” and are disapointed if the answer is no. This has been one of my proudest moments. I’ve modeled writing, I write alongside them, I validate and encourage their writing by providing the opportunity to share in an environment that we’ve created that is safe and supportive. I was floored by their desire to devote an entire class to writing and am in the process of working that into my plans. I’ll let you know how it works out!