My students have become increasingly better writers as I make the expectations more clear to them. One tool that I find extremely helpful is this writing rubric that includes exemplars.
There are four different writing samples, showing work that ranges from "1 star" quality to "4 star" quality. There is a corresponding anchor chart with written and picture prompts that explain what you need to do to achieve the various levels of writing quality.
For example, 4 star writing means that:
*I start with an uppercase letter
*I end with punctuation
*I use finger spaces
*I spell sight words correctly
*I listen to the sounds and write what I hear
*I read my work. It makes sense
*I write more than one sentence
*I use describing words
There are 2 different pictures with writing examples - you can choose from a spring theme or an ocean theme. Both options are pictured in the thumbnails
When students are finished with their writing, they can use one of three differentiated writing checklists to evaluate their work. I use these checklists when conferencing with students about their writing. For each prompt, students can color a happy or a sad face to indicate whether they did that in their writing.
I hope that this will be a great teaching tool and helpful anchor chart for your students as they work on becoming better writers!