In “The Art of Teaching Writing, author Lucy McCormick Calkins, discusses a technique for using a Writer’s Notebook as a tool for rehearsal. Often, children are given a topic on which to write and thus the battle begins. As adults we choose our own topics when we write, why not give the same freedom to children. We teach children to brainstorm, to map their ideas, experimenting with different ways to start writing yet Calkins writes, “… most writers say that rehearsal for writing is not a string of exercises that warms up a writer just prior to the process of drafting but a way of life.” (The Art of Teaching Writing, Lucy McCormick Calkins, Heinemann, 1994, page 24) Have your children simply jot down something they see, questions they may have, something funny or an aroma that makes them want some food item. Write what they notice, some memory that comes to mind, ideas, favorite words. Write down something they noticed in a movie or heard in a story that got their attention. They may even write about the transformer they just made or the computer game they just designed. Any sort of notebook will work. Let your children decorate it and simply jot down little bits of information. These are not long journal entries but simple, brief thoughts. These bits and pieces may or may not become a major piece of writing but simply a collection of little ideas and thoughts. It is a lot more fun than simply browsing through a list of topics or writing on a topic in a textbook.