I have been struggling with creating a culture of excitement and a true love of writing within the standards that need to be met during writing. In Kindergarten we really focus on writing about ourselves so I have turned our journals into true "journals." There are no rules right now. Use what markers you want. Don't write on the lines if you don't want to. Write about whatever you are thinking, feeling, wondering, what you did, etc.... I am using Amelia's Notebook as a mentor text. I am using my personal journal as a model. We have just started this. My vision is that eventually they will use these journal the rest of the year to write in. They will also use them to look back for ideas for writing fiction stories, poetry ideas, etc. This is a real test for me because I love rules and routine. BUT..........I really want the kids to consider themselves authors and give them ownership of their writing while making them excited to write. Hopefully this will evolve the way I envision........I will keep you posted!!!