When setting up a classroom or homeschool writing center, there are FIVE things that I found useful for writing success. These items provide your students with the necessary tools to get ready to write effectively throughout the year. Below, I’ve put together 5 essential things every writing center needs!
First, you’ll want to make sure you have all of the supplies you’ll need to successfully teach your students how to WRITE. I suggest using a caddy to help keep the center neat and organized. Here is a list of supplies that I’ve found useful for my writing center:
- Colorful pens
2. Writing Process Posters
Writing process posters are a big part of staying organized with your writing. This should be close by and easy to see so students can refer to it. You can make this more engaging by writing students’ names on clothespins and having them move their clothespin down the writing steps as they are working. This will also help you see who might need help! You can grab these posters for FREE in my store.
3. Writing Prompts
Keep writing prompts available for assignments and early finishers. Once they are printed and ready, you won’t need to worry about it throughout the year. You will always have something to engage students in writing! Use photo boxes to keep the prompts organized. I suggest putting together a bulletin board with Monthly Writing Prompts. This is great for morning writing activities and homework, PLUS it will capture your students’ attention and give them the chance to be creative in their writing! If you need prompts, click HERE. You will find 180 Prompts- one for every day of the school year, Monthly Prompts perfect for holidays and monthly themes, and Prompts for Grades 3, 4, and 5.
Here’s another idea: choose a few prompts for students and let them pick one! You can get a card holder, place the prompts of your choice inside it, and turn it around so that the prompts are not showing. This works well for early finishers. Students can pick a prompt from the card holder and write in a journal or notebook after their center assignment. I’ve designed these prompts to help get your students’ creative juices flowing!
4. Student Resources
Print off graphic organizers and have them ready for student use. Let students get familiar with them and encourage them to use graphic organizers for all writing projects. This not only keeps their writing organized, but also keeps them on track with their creative thinking!
Writing Checklists and Peer Reflection Form
Print off writing checklists and peer reflection forms for students to use during writing. Writing checklists will help students remember what to include in their writing and what to edit and revise. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, writing checklists are free to members in the exclusive FREE VAULT, or click below to see the variety of checklists. You will find checklists for different types of writing, for primary and upper grades, and sizes including Post-Its. A peer reflection form is used when a peer reads another student’s paper and offers suggestions. Learn more about writing checklists HERE.
Thesaurus and Dictionary
Keep a thesaurus and dictionary available for the revising and editing stage. This will help your students find bigger and better words to help spice up their writing! I’ve also put together a Million Dollar Mini Thesaurus for you to share with your students. Using these Million Dollar Words will advance your students’ vocabulary and have you seeing money signs when grading papers!
Keep a spelling dictionary available to help students with frequently misspelled words. They can add words to the list too! You can find this one for FREE in my store.
Student Resource Guide
Provide students with grade-level skills necessary for writing. For grades 3-5, you can include things like:
- figurative language
- word choice ideas
- ways to create a strong lead or conclusion
- topic sentences and details
- rules for editing and revising
- ways to create a variety of sentences
- ideas for each step of the writing process
Place these ideas in a booklet. When you’re working on a particular skill or need a specific word list, make it into a poster and hang it in the center.
5. Writing Center Rules
Post the rules you would like for your writing center. Introduce the rules at the beginning of the year and revisit them throughout the year. It will remind students what they need to be doing while working in the center.
You can find items I used in my center on my Amazon lists! I hope you found some ideas that will be useful for your writing center!
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The items that I use are listed below. They are Amazon affiliate links. I use any proceeds to keep my blog running so I can provide you with lessons and ideas for your classroom!