A writing center is an essential part of your classroom for first and second grade students. This is a place they can go during your center time where they get to focus on just writing without having to worry about if they’re “doing it right” and instead can focus on writing what they enjoy. It is a great spot for students to continue to work on writing skills and also just to enjoy writing!
You can read more about our writing centers in these blog posts:
- 5 Ways A Writing Center Can Benefit Your Students’ Writing
- Setting Up A Successful Writing Center
- How To Differentiate Writing Centers
Having fun tools in your writing center is another way to increase the engagement for your students. Here are some of our favorites to include in your center.
Tools For Your Writing Center
1. Story Cubes
Story Cubes are a fun addition to a writing center. Students roll the cubes and then create a story based on what they rolled. You can add these permanently to your writing center or just when it feels like your students need something fresh added. They create stories based on characters, places, and animals. This is a great way to encourage creativity.
I’ll never forget when I was student teaching and the teacher I student taught with pulled out spacemen for students to use for their spaces. They definitely aren’t necessary, but helpful if you have students who are struggling using “finger spaces”.
3. Fun Pencils
Students typically only get to use the same yellow #2 pencils that are on the school supply list at the beginning of the school year. Adding some different types of pencils to write with can encourage students, even the most reluctant, to write. I’ve noticed that my own son will write more if he is using a fun pencil. Giving students the opportunity to write with a different form of writing tool can help them want to write more or help their creativity.
I always used whisper phones for reading. Students kept them in their book tubs. However, they would be a great addition to a writing center as well. First, what is a whisper phone? A whisper phone is a tool shaped like a phone. Students can read in a whisper voice into it and hear themselves clearly. So, in your writing center, students can read their own writing into their whisper phone.
5. Writing Utensil Organizer
There are a few different organizers I like for a writing center. It depends on what you’re looking for exactly.
Acrylic Pen Holder: I like this one because of its size. I also love that it turns so that you can put it in the middle of the table (assuming you have kids sitting on both sides) and they will be able to turn it to get what they want.
Plastic Portable Organizer: This one isn’t as big as the previous one, but I like it because you can easily carry it. It has a handle, making it easier to move it if you need to. A kid could probably move it too, whereas the previous one they would have a more difficult time. It just depends on your needs of your classroom, but having a large organizer for pencils, markers, crayons, etc. is very important in the writing center.
6. Paper Organizer
Writing centers come with a lot of paper. To make this an organized space where students will feel comfortable writing, it’s important to have a designated area for papers. If you have the room, I love these ones that sit on the table and then students can pull the drawer out for the paper they need. In the past, I’ve used the rainbow cart because my writing center table didn’t have the space.
4-Tier Paper Tray Organizer with Drawers: I like the drawers on this one. The drawers would be a good place to store story starters and writing prompt cards if using our writing centers. The drawers would make these easily accessible for students and make them less likely to get lost or left on the floor.
Rainbow Cart: I love the rainbow cart because it can easily be moved around. The drawers are also the perfect size for papers and students can easily open and shut them. Mine has lasted years.
Want to check out our huge list of writing center tools?
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