Oh, how I dreaded it. Not because I didn't like to write, but because it just felt like an enormous pressure. It seemed that more often than not I had writer's block. And sometimes it just seemed like a slow form of torture.
Well of course it wasn't, and when the tables were turned and I was teaching English, I could see the value of having my students write every day. That short writing time helps them focus and settle between class transitions. And the practice of just daily writing proved the overall quality of their work. But I also recognized the often frustrating nature of this assignment.
One year, I was teaching writer's workshop and that's when I started using writing prompts. I had a jar of strips of paper with story starters and quotes. Some of my students pulled out a starter every day; others rarely touched the jar. And both were completely fine. The goal was not too test their creativity at 8am, but instead to just get them writing.
The next year I got more sophisticated. I still had my jar, but I began posting a slide at the beginning of class. Some slides had story starters or quotes and others had pictures - some beautiful, some silly, and some just strange. Students appreciated the mix of inspiration whether they used them or not. So while I don't teach language arts at the moment, I still collect pictures and quotes and ideas as I see them. If you would like to use them in your class (or for your own inspiration), you can download a free set here or a fall set here. Full year bundle will be online next week. You'll be amazed at how your students are inspired.