To build children’s writing skills, we now begin with a writer’s notebook, something unheard of when I was in school. In their notebooks, children brainstorm an array of topics in advance so that there is never any excuse that they don’t have something to write about. Many times the teacher models this process and every process thereafter. Modeling is essential for those visual learners. Once the children have their choice of topic they begin drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Usually, after they publish we have a publishing party where the children are able to share their pieces with the entire class. The children celebrate each other’s writings and critique pieces as well. As I recall, the only writing I did in my elementary years was note-taking or we were given a topic to write about. I don’t remember having much freedom of expression.