HI Matt,Thanks for sharing this. I was really interested in the 'timer' as promoting time management, and also the affordance of reading one another's writing. Great to see that both of these are supporting the focus.With sentences, I like to think about 'ebb and flow' like tides, or music. For example, the flow might help the reader feel lulled into restfulness. Then, Bam! Pay attention! Rather than creating a strict recipe, is it possible to mix it up, depending on purpose? If you analyse the sentence length and types in journals or stories, you will see an emerging pattern of ebb and flow, rather than a strict recipe of sentence type. One trick or tip I like to employ is 'sentence combining'. There is a literature on this as an effective approach to grammar instruction as well.
Right! I see what you're saying. The recipe idea is usually just to get them started. I only really do it for the first paragraph or two, and make up the "recipe" for that paragraph each time on the spot (I definitely don't give them a recipe book style resource haha). It's been more about forcing them to mix up the their sentences. Sometimes I simply say for this paragraph you must have at least Two of 'this' sentence type, and two of 'this sentence type' etcI like the sound of thinking about 'ebb and flow', and analysing journals is a great idea! Thanks for the ideas Rebecca!