Are you hoping to get better writing in the classroom from your students? I’ll show you the ONE change I made in my classroom to improve student writing skills.Personally, I’m not a big fan of writing. Unfortunately, I think I was passing that dislike on to my students. I realized that I didn’t dedicate much of our day to writing, and when we did, it was always a formal lesson.
I tried to make the lessons fun, but is it really fun to do “how-to” writing for 2 weeks in a row? Or only non-fiction writing for a month? The students didn’t seem to ever WANT to write, and their writing was poor. Something had to change, so I created a writing center.
Writing Center Set-Up | Writing in the Classroom
I had literacy and math centers where students got to play fun activities and have some choice in the matter. Why didn’t I have this for writing? First, my goal for the writing center was to give students CHOICE! I chose to put out a variety of things each month at the writing station, and THEY got to choose what to do.
Yes I would put our focus writing topic at the center, but students could also practice a few other things as well. Sometimes it was card making, poems, how-to writing, books, recipes, or a simple monthly writing prompt.All of the things that were in the writing center were skills we’ve worked on. I told students they could use our focus skill (non-fiction, small moments, etc), but they got to choose how to show me that writing. After they worked on the focus skill, they could do ANYTHING they wanted at the writing center.
You’d be surprised at how students want to do all kinds of writing. I thought they would always want make books because that was easy, but they didn’t! This girl practiced a friendly letter about how excited she was to be at the writing center. 🙂
My new writing center encouraged kids to:
1. be more motivated to get the work done
2. let students be more creative and excited about writing because they had CHOICES
3. use a variety of types of writingSlowly, I would change out what was in the center. I also added these reference posters to remind students to check their writing and give them some ideas on what to write about. Sometimes the most challenging thing for students is choosing a topic, so this poster came in handy.Besides giving students choice for writing in the classroom, I also gave them choices in their writing tools. This is probably their favorite part of the writing center! Talk about the excitement level to go to the writing center now, WOW!
As teachers, we have a ton of pens, markers, highlighters, etc., so why not provide our students with some fun things to write with as well? In my Amazon store, I have some of my favorite writing tools. Worried about space? My friend Lauren, loved the idea of a writing center, but didn’t have a lot of open wall space. She got creative and used her blinds to hang posters. I’ve also seen teachers use a tri-fold project poster board to make a portable writing center.
Writing Center Resource Examples
I taught Kindergarten, but this writing center can be used in 1st and 2nd grade as well. Your low and higher students will have a variety of resources to use. This write the room sheet could easily be differentiated for sight words, vocabulary words, etc. depending on the grade level. Here’s a peek at the story mapping worksheet that a student chose to do with a book he recently read. Younger students can draw pictures or write simple sentences, or your higher students can do all writing.
Once again, you don’t have to have a full writing center set up. Students can simply grab a clipboard and work somewhere in the room. This adds some flexibility and choice for writing in the classroom, which students enjoy. This child chose to write a postcard to her Uncle. There are examples for each resource for students to refer to.You can read more a little more about how I set up the writing center and see a few more sneak peeks of what’s included in my post: A Classroom Writing Center Students will LOVE. Creating a writing center with CHOICE, really did help motivate my students to write more. They would BEG to go to the writing station!
We can try our best to help kids become better writers, but in the end they must enjoy writing. When they enjoy what they’re doing, they’ll be the ones wanting to practice. Grab my primary writing center now to improve writing in the classroom!
You can also find my writing center in my TPT store.
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