Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest Blogger- Kindergarten Lifestyle

Hi ya'll! I'm Jeannie from Kindergarten Lifestyle and I am nearly giddy that Hadar is allowing me to guest blog for her today! Thank you Hadar -- You Rock! :0) While thinking of what to post about - I remembered a question I often get..... "What's in your writing center?"

I decided to take this opportunity to let you in and have a sneak peek into my writing center!
A writing center is hands down one of the best centers in a classroom. It also has the most academic potential of any literacy center. In a writing center, kids should be busy with "the work" - real writing for a real purpose and a real audience.

Several years ago, I was overwhelmed by the thought of a writing center. I thought about all the materials I needed to have in the center, how I would be able to organize them all (and better yet how I was going to teach the kids to keep it organized). I avoided having a writing center because I didn't believe kids would stay engaged enough.......Boy was I WRONG!

My embarrassment over my pitiful writing center motivated me one summer to get my act together! And I am so glad I did! So, I want to share some photos of my writing center with you and explain how the students and I keep it organized so my kids can "work on the work" when they are at the writing center.

This is my "I Can" chart for the writing center. I include photos of my students using the center (yes I change this each year ...actually several times per year....with my current students). I also include a photo of a clean writing center at the bottom so they can refer to it if they need help on how to clean it up. I have the "I Can" chart taped right to the writing center table.


One of the choices they have in writing center is to stamp word wall words, names, and sentences. My alphabet stamps are organized in this nail and screw organizer. Gosh I remember when I had all the stamps thrown together....Kids couldn't find the letters they needed. Now, all the stamps are right at their fingertips. Perfect!

Here you see one of the organizing drawer sets I have. This houses everything from colored pens (our newest additon) to Thank you cards, glue sticks, scissors, index cards, etc. On top you can see the ink pads and to the left (on top of the letter stamps) are picture stamps for stamping-a-story.

This is the other organizing drawer set I have. It holds pencils, colored pencils, markers (fat and thin), and crayons. 

You see here I have a couple of different lamps the kids can use to brighten their work space. They really enjoy using them!

When I introduce a new activity they can do in writing center I model....of course! I hang the piece I model with in the writing center so they can refer back to my example and remember exactly what they can do.

 Notice how close my word wall is to my writing center. Those words are THE MOST IMPORTANT words we have and are easily accessible while working at the writing center. My kids know that, although we stretch words and listen for sounds in most words, if it's a word wall word - IT MUST BE WRITTEN CORRECTLY - NO EXCEPTIONS! It's all about expectations.


Well, I hope you enjoyed a "sneak peek" into my writing center. It is absolutely my kids' favorite center and I am always amazed by the quality and quantity of the writing they do her - completely by choice. I believe variety in the spice of life and that holds true in the writing center. Give children lots of materials that are fun and motivate kids to write ....and they WILL surprise you!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to guest blog here at Miss Kindergarten! I'd love for you to come over and visit my blog and facebook page!


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12 comments:

  1. I really like how everything is organized SO NEATLY!!! I wish this could me me! I be the kids love using the lamps, I be it makes them feel like "real" writers! This can be one of my summer goals!

    Michelle
    Apples and ABC's

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  2. I love how organized and neat your writing center is, also. I am like you used to be, in that I am afraid of how "messy" everything would get. I love the idea of putting your stamps into the screw and nail drawers. Such a great idea. Glad I found your guest post!!!!

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  3. Great ideas! Your stamp storage is definitely on my Summer To Do List :)
    ☼Libby
    Dual Kinder Teacher

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  4. Seriously, how do you teach your kids to keep it so organized? I can barely get my kids to put unused paper back in the bin!

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  5. Thanks all of you!! I tell ya my fear of putting together a good writing center was all that held my kids' writing back.... They LOVE it and my rule for anything center is.....you use it like I show you how or you don't use it at all. I try to make things so fun - they really want to use it....

    I spend lots of time teaching how to keep it organized and give minilessons anything the least little thing is out of place - they learn quickly to get it right! :0)

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  6. I love how organized everything is! This is such a great writing center. The lamps! I love the lamps too! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  7. I am planning on completely redoing my room next year and this is so helpful! Thanks!!!


    Sarah
    Kindergarten Korner

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  8. Thanks for posting this! i have always been wary of the writing center too! Now I have a better idea of how to include it in my room, just have to figure where to fit it in!

    Carla
    bcc_carla@yahoo.com

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  9. I love how organized your writing center is!!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

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  10. Fantastic writing center. Thanks for sharing! I love your idea of word wall words needing to be written correctly. It's a good incentive to learn those words and it shows the kids that those words are important. Renee

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  11. Where did you find the screw & nail organizer? I am having trouble finding one like it!

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