The inside of their journals includes several tools for the writer. First, is their “Words to Learn” page. This was an idea that I got from my reading specialist. There are two pages stapled on the inside cover of each notebook. It has one box for each letter of the alphabet. When a student misspells a word in their letter, I mark it and it is their responsibility to write it on their chart. If it is a word that they will use often (such as character), they now have their own dictionary to refer to when spelling it in their future letters.
On the next page, is a sample letter from me. It is the same letter that we used in our mini-lesson. I include this as a point of reference for my students.
Next, I have included Thinking Stems for the students to use if they are having difficulty coming up with ideas on what to write in their journals. This idea came from Teaching My Friends. She has a link to the original document as well.