As testing pressure mounts, many teachers have abandoned journal writing despite its manifold benefits. What’s so wonderful about journal writing? It allows students to express thoughts and ideas about things that matter to them without the pressure of following all the conventions of print. This freedom often fosters a positive attitude toward writing, yet at the same time, students in fact get extra practice in everything from increased skill at the physical act of printing letters, to matching sound and letters together (invented spelling) to organizing their thoughts and sequencing events, to developing voice. From a teacher’s point of view, journal entries are excellent for assessing students’ needs and planning relevant lessons.