We have talked a LOT about "bumping it up" in school this year. When I get my students started on an activity we go over the basic expectations, and then we always talk about how we could "bump it up". They are slowly learning that it feels good to challenge yourself even though it is of course more work.
We have done lots of practice with writing and "dwriting" (mixing words and pictures to build sentences) but this is the first time we've cracked open our journals. We have been practicing sentences orally for living and non living things. They had a few days of practice with the simple sentence "____________ est vivant". Then I wrote the sentence structure on the board and they filled the sentences in using our fall word wall. It was a great way to also practice the fall vocabulary! Some of them forgot the word "est" in their sentences, so it was another opportunity to practice that word of the week.
As this was the first time, we decided together that 2 sentences was a good amount to start with. Then slowly students started to say "I'm going to do 3!", "I'm going to do 5!", and of course... "I'm going to do 1,000!" :)
Here are some of my best examples: