To help beginning writers see their progression, save samples of their writing periodically. A good way to do this is to use a letter-size manila folder for each student's writing. Every week or so, take a sample of their writing and staple it inside the folder and add new ones right on top of the previous one. Let students look at their folders on a regular basis to let them see how far they have come from Day One. Make sure to date each entry. This is also a good thing to show parents, and of course it will help you with your own tracking of student advancement.