Since I can’t get into my classroom for another two weeks, and I know many of you are already in yours getting different areas set up, I thought I’d show you how I plan on setting up my Writer’s Workshop station this year. This desk will act as our “Writing Zone” (that’s what we like to call it in our classroom). All of the writing supplies and materials my students will need when we have our Writer’s Workshop or when we’re at “Work on Writing” during Daily 5 will be here. I found this desk at Ikea (teacher heaven!). My favorite component is the magnetic shelf and the drawers for holding extra supplies. The magnetic backing makes it super easy to switch out anchor charts, writing samples, etc. The desk comes in other colors, but I love the color yellow. It makes the classroom bright and cheery!
Here’s what you’ll find at our Writer’s Workshop Station: – anchor charts/visuals from Writer’s Workshop packet
– paper and graphic organizers to write poetry, lists, recipes, stories, letters, and cards from Writer’s Workshop packet
– picture cards (with real pictures and clip art) for writing from Writer’s Workshop packet
– Stages of Writing pencil from Writer’s Workshop packet
– Ping Pong Writing Balls (see explanation below)
– classroom journals (free labels can be found here)
– Rory’s Story Cubes (found here)
– stickers (for students to create “sticker stories”)
– a variety of writing tools (fancy pencils, crayons, markers)
– fancy paper for our “feature presentations”
– a stapler
– lots of tape (my kids like to tape projects together, ha!) And, close by, I have my Writer’s Workshop Resource Binder, which holds all of the rest of the materials my students may need. The materials for this resource binder are also found in my Writer’s Workshop packet. The paper sorter (on the shelf) was found at The Container Store. This is where I will hold our “fancy writing paper” for when we go to write our “Feature Presentations.” The best part is that the paper sorter is adjustable!
I make the connection that a writer’s workshop is similar to a builder’s workshop. Just like builders, we use our creativity to sketch out our plan, make adjustments along the way, and use our special tools to help us. When I’m introducing Writer’s Workshop, I like to have Mr. and Mrs. Fix-It, the most skilled writers in town, by my side. I wrote a little story all about them in my Writer’s Workshop packet and refer back to them all year long. You’ll read more about them later on in this post.
Something new that I am adding to my Writer’s Workshop this year are class journals. My students will use these during Daily 5. I found these adorable Lil’ Composition Notebooks at Walmart for $1.97. I made fun labels for the front that you can download here for free. I made two sizes, just in case you’d rather use regular sized composition notebooks).
Something else that is new to our Writer’s Workshop this year is Ping Pong Writing. I found these awesome ping pongs at the Target Dollar Spot. On each ball, I wrote a different writing topic (happy times, movies, books, TV shows, etc.). Students can quickly pick a ping pong and get to writing! I know my kids will love this!
I will also have these picture cards available to inspire writing. These picture cards are a mix of real photographs and clip art. Students will pick a card and write all about it. My kids especially LOVED the real photographs last year. This was a favorite of theirs! These picture cards are found in my Writer’s Workshop packet.
Here is the Writer’s Workshop Story (all about Mr. and Mrs. Fix It) that I mentioned earlier. We revisit this story many times throughout the year.
This is one of the pages from the story. This page focuses on word choice. As the year gets rolling, I encourage my kiddos to begin adding more “colorful” words to their writing. We spend a lot of time thinking about “the perfect words.” Can’t you tell I love to teach writing? I really do!
I have students who sometimes struggle getting started (especially at the beginning of the year). A lot of times they are students who want everything, including spelling, to be perfect! I always encourage my kids to use inventive spelling and “use the classroom as a writing tool” to help them. This little sign helps remind them to do just that!
After reading the story about Mr. and Mrs. Fix It, I hang these posters for my students to refer back to all year long!
When I’m teaching my students how to write a letter, I always bring out The Letter Helper. This guy is always a big help! I have my students stand and show me the different parts of a letter using their own body. It’s a fun way to get moving! I am still searching for a cute classroom mailbox. My plan is to have my kids write each other letters and cards and place them in our classroom mailbox. Then, each week I will give a different student the job of being the “mail boy” or “mail girl” by passing out the mail to the class. I can’t wait!
These are some other posters (I included one for Who, What, Where, When, and Why) that I will display around the “Writing Zone.” My kids sometimes struggle with The Five W’s so these always come in handy!
This is another poster that will help them decide what to write about! This is a great reference, especially for those
students who have trouble getting started.
These Writing Checklist bookmarks were a huge help last year. This year I plan on putting these in each student’s book bin.
One of the hardest things for me is staying organized. I know I’ve told you all that before! I always encourage my kids to stay organized, but I need to be practicing what I preach! This year, I put a hard copy of all of the writing materials in this Writer’s Workshop Resource Binder. You can download the cover for free here.
Inside the binder, I included suggestions on how to set up your Writer’s Workshop. This is something you can easily refer back to. Last year, I kept all of these resources on my computer, and I found myself sifting through the huge file. This year, I am much more prepared! All of these resources can be found in my Writer’s Workshop packet.
I also provided you with lots of great ideas for teaching the different traits of writing. A lot of my writing lessons stemmed from these ideas!
These are the hard copies I will keep in my binder so that I can quickly make copies, if I need to! Some of the pages will stay in my students’ writing folders so that they can refer back to them.
This “Fix Up Your Spelling” booklet was a big help last year! I copied one for each student and they added words as they learned them. They’ll put these in their book bins this year.
Here are lots more organizers, writing templates, and writing reference sheets.
These are the goal sheets I use for each student when I conference with them. I love meeting with each student individually. It allows each student to know what they have to say is important!
I also have my students self and peer evaluate writing pieces. These are simple evaluation sheets that they can complete. This helps them monitor their own progress and keeps them accountable!
You can find all of these resources in my Writer’s Workshop Mega Pack!