This is a great way to quickly and informally assess students during small group or individual instruction -- students write a statement in response to what they have read, discussed, or learned, as well as a question. (use post it notes)
Always Write: A Writer's Notebook Lesson inspired by "Show, Don't Tell: Secrets of Writing.
Assessment: A detailed Writing Chart can be used as a rubric for informal assessments for journal entries or short story writing. Students can refer to a chart which provides them with prompts for a successful entry.