I have used whole class writing journals in my classroom for several years now. They are super easy to prep and can be used in a variety of ways!
I use mine in my writing center. I place a handful of the writing books in the station. Students can choose which one they want to write in that day. I use it as an extra activity that students can complete after they have finished the writing task for that week. Because I place several in the station, they don't have to be switched out very often! I started off with this simple pack which soon became a best seller...
And then I created supplement packs with themes for throughout the school year. The journals can also be used for a whole class activity. Use one of the prompts on the front of the book and have the entire class write about it. Edit them, rewrite a "pretty" copy and you have a complete class book with a cute cover for open houses, young author events, or even to sit out for parents to read during conferences while they wait!
Prepping them is super easy no matter how you decide to do it! I print the covers on card stock, laminate them and then comb bind them with writing paper (that has a place for a picture). You can print them on regular paper and glue them to the front of a spiral bond notebook or print them two to a page and slap them on the front of a composition notebook.
These are a big hit with my kids... they love the idea that they are making a book with their classmates and that they get to take one home at the end of the year. You can grab up the original pack here...
The supplemental themed packets can be purchased individually or in a money saving bundle... the bundle is for sale for over 50% off this weekend!