I introduced a new assignment to my classes (middle school) today and I got such an awesome response that I just have to share it with others. As I've posted in other posts, I began teaching in Jan and starting mid-year has been a challenge because any change I make I always get, "Mrs. -- didn't do that." So, I expected the same response today when I introduced this new assignment. I have spent two weeks gathering paper and putting together journals for all of my students. I made a heading with the the year and grade level and "This journal belongs to..." It has been a lot of work, but I strongly believe in journaling. So today I pull out the completed journals and introduce them to my classes. The response overwhelmed me!!! I got so many, "This is the best assignment ever!" "This is awesome!" "You mean we really get to write whatever we want?" I told my students that they will be graded on their journals. The beginning of each day we'll spend 10 minutes to journal. They will be graded on their journal, but the grade is purely on their constructive use of the journal time. I will not read them, unless they ask me to, and they will not leave the classroom (because I know that if I let them bring them home then the journals will not make it back to school). I have a filing cabinet that I always keep locked that I'm keeping them in. Yes, I know that this is kinda like "Freedom Writers" journals. But it's also kinda like my junior high teacher's journal assignment too. But hey, there's nothing wrong with taking and modifying someone's idea, right? Still, my students loved the idea! I was just floored. I even had one student stay after school today because she had a rough day and wanted to write about it in her journal!!