A Walk Through Our Writer’s Workshop

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!            image

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!

image

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.

image

image

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).

image

image

  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!

image

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.

image

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.

image

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!

image

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!

image

After reading the story about Mr. and Mrs. Fix It, I hang these posters for my students to refer back to all year long!

image

image

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!

image

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!

image

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.

image

These Writing Checklist bookmarks were a huge help last year. This year I plan on putting these in each student’s book bin. image

Towards the middle of the year, we begin polishing our work by adding more details and making self-corrections. This Fix It Up poster is a great reference tool. image

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.

image

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.

image

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!

image

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.

image

image

image

image

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.

image

image

Here are lots more organizers, writing templates, and writing reference sheets.

image

image

image

image

image

image

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!

image

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!

image

image

You can find all of these resources in my Writer’s Workshop Mega Pack! It is on sale today and tomorrow only! Go check it out. Click on the button below to grab it on sale at my TPT shop!

TeachersPayTeachers

Spread the word
  • 1
  •  
  • 6

Leave a Comment

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Mikaela July 31, 2013, 1:33 pm

    This is amazing! Love your little desk area and how you've set it all up. Thanks for the journal labels. I'm gonna run to Walmart today and see if they still have a few of those cute little books.

  • Teacher and Life Long Learner July 31, 2013, 1:42 pm

    You definitely are inspiring your young ones to become authors 🙂

  • Kristen Smith July 31, 2013, 1:51 pm

    This looks amazing!!! I can't wait to use it in my classroom!

    Kristen
    A Day in First Grade

  • Amy July 31, 2013, 2:22 pm

    I love this pack! I bought it last year and I am really wanting to implement it this year. How long do I stay on each trait? A week? Do I introduce them in a specific order? Do I put the stations out at the same time as we are learning about it in class? Thank you for answering my questions. I really am excited to use this!

  • Kristina Helman July 31, 2013, 4:00 pm

    This pack is exactly what I was looking for! I cannot wait to use it in my classroom. I will be the only 1st grade teacher at my school even trying to implement a writing workshop and this will help me be organized and prepared. Thank you for the journal freebie too! I have been learning how to create my own using frames and graphics but yours are so much cuter!

  • Natalies Nook July 31, 2013, 4:32 pm

    I loved this post Lyndsey! You have a very distinctive style now so I was thrilled to see that you had updated this pack and added MelonHeadz graphics (my favourite!). I re-downloaded the unit (since I bought it last year) and am excited to implement it this year! Thank you for sharing all your hard work and giving us a peek into your classroom!
    ~Natalie
    Natalies Nook

  • Miss Kindergarten July 31, 2013, 6:02 pm

    I am OFFICIALLY OBSESSED with you!!!!!

  • Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It July 31, 2013, 6:06 pm

    What a fun writing center for your class. I've pinned it onto our Writing Pinterest Board and sharing on Luvocracy for you! Hope your unit inspires many more to create so many great writing opportunities for their students and even children at home! http://pinterest.com/educatorsspinon/writing-activities/

  • Debbie Teise July 31, 2013, 6:25 pm

    Wow! Love your Writing area and ideas. I just went to TPT and put your packet in my shopping cart. Thank you. I am also your newest follower.

    Debbie 🙂

  • Kate July 31, 2013, 6:49 pm

    Oh wow!!! So many great ideas! Thanks for the detailed post! Just wishlisted your pack! 🙂

    PS: Where did you get that amazing chevron rug?!

    Kate
    EduKate and Inspire

  • Mrs Cupcake July 31, 2013, 8:34 pm

    Lyndsey… you ROCK!!! I can't wait to use this!!!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  • Veronica Porche July 31, 2013, 10:29 pm

    This just might be what is going to get me to like to teach writing… Teaching with Giggles

  • First Grade Buddies July 31, 2013, 11:10 pm

    LOVE the ping pongs for writing ideas!! How fun! Also, thanks for the class journal labels! We want to do those in our rooms this year and were going to make some cute labels, but now we're all set with yours!

    🙂 Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  • primary practice July 31, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Start to finish perfection! Love everything about this Writer's Workshop post. Did you make the chalkboard sign too?

  • Marsha McGuire August 1, 2013, 12:15 am

    You are SO SO smart!!!! I love this. I'm pinning everything.
    Marsha
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  • Rita August 1, 2013, 1:23 am

    Thanks for the journal labels and idea to use them during Work on Writing!

    Rita

  • Bobbi August 1, 2013, 8:45 am

    I just pinned so many ideas from this post! Wow.

    I was just looking at the ping pong balls at Target today, thinking what could I do with these…now, I have an idea. Back to Target!

    Thank you for such an awesome post!

    Bobbi
    Bitty Bilinguals

  • A Sunny Day in First Grade August 1, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Love love the ping pong balls….and everything about this post!!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah
    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  • Katie August 1, 2013, 11:22 pm

    I love your notebooks, are the covers of them chevron, or did you make those too? I am definately going to hit Walmart and see if I can find some of those, they are so cute. I put the writers workshop on my wishlist, I need to figure out if it will fit into our writing program that we are currently using. I love love love it, so I'll probably buy it anyways and figure out a way to use it. 🙂

    Katie
    kryan428@gmail.com

  • no princess August 2, 2013, 12:47 am

    Lyndsey,

    This is so amazing! Love, love LOVE it! Thanks for the freebie included too. You rock!

  • Nicole Calderbank August 2, 2013, 2:01 am

    Great post! Thank you for sharing your great ideas. I have added your writing bundle to my wish/hope-to-buy-it-soon list. 🙂

  • Daniella Mazerlev August 2, 2013, 3:20 am

    These are great! Is it possible to get JUST the parts of a letter sign? I taught my 2nd graders that way, but you have the cute sign to go with the actions.

  • Amanda August 2, 2013, 7:42 pm

    I LOVE everything about this. Thanks for your work in creating this and all the pictures! The packet is on my wishlist!

  • Keri Keeler August 4, 2013, 8:27 pm

    How/Where did the giant pencil with the writing process come from? I really love that idea! Thanks!

  • Joomla-developers August 6, 2013, 6:25 am

    I love you writing skills. Its really appriciate one.

    Web Design Bangalore

  • Angela Poe August 6, 2013, 8:15 pm

    I love your writing table! I will be purchasing your WW packet, I can't wait to use it in my class. Thanks for the journal freebies too!
    Angie

  • Rachel Lamb August 13, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I am not sure if I've ever told you this, but you are amazing! I think I love you! I *almost* bought this desk, but ended up buying the smaller version! I never even saw that backing! Now another trip to IKEA I guess!! This file is in my cart waiting for back to school sale!!
    Rachel

  • Marie River August 18, 2013, 1:35 pm

    Wow. You really love teaching and care for your students. They are all very fortunate to have a teacher like you. This is what the education system needs. Thank you so much for sharing.

    I'm a young adult writer and this has inspired even me, to make my own grown-up writing workshop to motivate me and provide a place for me to focus.

    Thank you so much.

  • Andrea August 21, 2013, 7:17 pm

    Love the chalkboard art, did you make it?

  • Julia August 21, 2013, 9:55 pm

    What brand are the little composition books? I'd love to try to find them online since I don't shop at Walmart.

  • Meredith February 26, 2014, 8:25 pm

    HI, I am wondering about that chalkboard print…can't see if you responded to where you found it..
    thanks

  • Meredith February 26, 2014, 8:25 pm

    HI, I am wondering about that chalkboard print…can't see if you responded to where you found it..
    thanks

  • Angela Alexander May 11, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Dannnng girl! This is AWESOME!!! This will be my first year of teaching and I am beyond excited. This is an ammmmmaaaazing packet, lol! Although I will be teaching kindergarten, I will DEFINITELY be purchasing this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 🙂

  • Jessica Hargrave July 15, 2014, 11:51 pm

    I just found your site from pinterest. I LOVE your labels for the composition notebooks. is there anyway that I could get the year changed to 2014-2015?

  • Ashley S March 15, 2015, 5:15 pm

    I'm working on my dream writer workshop final project for my education writing class and I loved a lot of your ides. Thanks for sharing your writer workshop ideas.

  • Shawna July 6, 2015, 10:06 pm

    Tell me more about the class notebooks. Will all the students get to write in the same book?

  • Yvonne De Aguiar July 10, 2015, 1:43 am

    Awesome ideas. I love the ping pong balls.

  • Christen120 July 10, 2015, 3:34 pm

    I love this file! Do you let your kids pick what thry want to write (ei: list, narrative,expository, or letter). Or do you assign what they are going to do?

  • Crystal Edwards March 3, 2018, 5:33 pm

    What are the book bins that you mentioned a few times in this post? Do you have a picture somewhere?