One of the most popular literacy centers in my classroom is the writing station. My students love going to their writing desk to practice skills needed to produce great writers. Read on as I share activities that will help make your writing center a more enticing place for your little learners.
My classroom writing center is a place where my students can develop a positive attitude toward writing. It is a place where students are allowed to write in a variety of forms, which include letters to friends and family, short stories, mini-books, cards, posters, and signs. These activities help me to see how each of my students is using left to right, return sweep, capitals and punctuation, letter sounds, sight words, and more. While visiting the writing center, my students often have the opportunity to choose which activity they want to do. Other times I give them an assignment to complete.
Rainbow Writing: My students love to practice writing their name, sight words, and more using rainbow writing. In rainbow writing, students write each word first with a pencil. Then they trace over each word three times with a colored pencil or marker. Each time they trace they must use a different color.
Post Office: Your students will get a kick out of writing and sharing notes with their friends, family, and you. Each of my students has a mailbox that is labeled with their name. To model what is expected, I write each of my students a letter and have them write back to me. Students who are not writing sentences are encouraged to draw a picture and label it.
Letter Formation: Kindergartners need to practice fine motor development and correct letter formation daily.
To practice letter formation, I use items that range from handwriting practice worksheets to Ziploc bags of finger paint.
Write the Room: Students are encouraged to write down words they find displayed around the classroom. I use clipboards, fun pens and pencils, and silly reading glasses to make this activity delightful. Sometimes I attach a ring to their clipboards containing several target words (words that start with a certain letter, names, sight words, etc.). I instruct students to locate these words around the room and write them on their recording sheet.
Let’s Go Shopping: During their pretend shopping spree, my students create a list of ten items they would like to buy from catalogs I created by cutting out pictures and labeling them. With the Christmas holiday approaching, my toy catalog has become a hot item.
Bookmaking: Students can write and illustrate their own books using premade, blank books or books they assemble themselves.
You’ll need to stock your writing center well for it to be successful. Make sure to equip your budding writers with the following items:
- pictures to use as writing prompts
- a variety of paper (lined/unlined, colored paper, and tablets)
- special pencils
- colored pencils
- appropriate dictionary
- short poems to copy
- word cards
- handwriting mats
- cancelled stamps
- wipe-off letter boards
- letter/word tracing activities
- stencils for letters
- model of correct letter formation
- Post-it notes
- old greeting cards
- ink pads and stamps
- Magna Doodle
In addition, students will need to have quick access to word walls.
I suggest creating portable word walls for your class. These can be created using simple file folders. You can also use Mrs. Meacham’s idea of mini offices .
And for some great printables for your classroom writing center, visit Mrs. Gilchrist’s class. These writing prompts and activities have really made a difference in my writing center. Thanks, Mrs. Gilchrist!
I hope your students will enjoy these activities. I would to love to hear about some of the activities you use in your classroom writing center.
Thanks for sharing your great ideas. It is clear that you understand the importance of having developmentally appropriate materials and options for our young writers.
We at WriteSteps believe that we also have achieved an excellent balance of best writing practices for our early learners, while making writing enjoyable.
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Suzanne Klein, Founder CEO
This is a great program. We have had Suzanne at our school working with our teachers and I can say as a teacher we love this program in Kindergarten especially. Our students used to write one sentence maybe two on topic. Now they are writing so much more that when they get to first grade we get to hear how well this program is working.