Does your writing center need spiced up?!
I use writing centers in my classroom during our Daily 5 time for Work on Writing. My kids have the option of working on whatever writing piece they would like during this time. I also keep a "writing activity" in our Writing Center basket for those kiddos who have a hard time coming up with something to write about. The rule during "Work on Writing" is simple in my room: Write the whole time. :)
To constantly keep things exciting and fresh, I switch out the writing activity within our Writing Center basket every 2-3 weeks. Last month, I shared our Story Puzzles Writing Center with you. My kids had SO much fun with that writing center! Now, however, it is time to freshen up our basket once again and switch it up! My kids are currently working on my newest open-ended writing center: Writing Rings
This little writing center is packed with SO many possibilities and options. It will truly keep your writers engaged and busy for weeks and weeks on end! The pack focuses on informational and opinion writing pieces, but you could also use it for narrative writing, too! Let's take a look inside. :)
The pack comes with 32 real, color photographs that cover a variety of general topics. Lots of school topics, sports, food, people, and various places are all included for writing cards. I like to print the writing cards out and put them onto binder rings. You could also put the cards into a bucket. Your students can pull out a writing topic card to use and write about! Posters are included to guide students through the process of writing a topic sentence, details or reasons, and a conclusion sentence.
After students pick out a card on the ring to write about, they can decide (or you can decide!) whether to write an informational writing piece or an opinion writing piece about the topic. This is what makes this center SO versatile - The students can use the cards over and over again, each time writing about the topic from a new and different angle! :) Put all 32 cards on the binder ring, or, separate the cards into different categories and swap the rings out for endless weeks of writing fun!
The photograph above shows an opinion piece about the beach. The triangle visually signals to students that they need to write a topic sentence. The circles stand for the details and reasons, and the square visually represents the conclusion statement. The beauty is that this process is consistent on both posters, so it really helps struggling writers who need to see "where to go" next in their paper.
Here is an example of an informative writing piece using the ice cream writing card! :) The student can choose to grab a new card during his or her next Work on Writing time, or use the ice cream card again and write an opinion/persuasive paper about the best flavor of ice cream.
There are LOTS of differentiated writing templates included in this pack. The pack contains various sizes of writing lines. It also contains templates that have multiple writing lines for each section of the paper. Choose the writing template that works best for your group of students to print off and place into your writing center basket.
Do you have students who are still struggling with writing open-ended papers? The pack also comes with 10 pre-made "Fill It In" templates. There are both informational and opinion pieces int his section. It is a great section to use for handwriting reinforcement. Students can trace or copy the sentence starts and fill in the blanks with their own thoughts and ideas. Tip & Trick: Copy the 10 "Fill It In" pages on colored card stock. Then, place the pages in sheet protectors and add a dry erase marker. Voila! You have an instant, EXTRA writing center for your classroom! These pages would be great to use at the beginning of the year for first and second grade, or with advanced kindergarteners at the end of the year. You could also choose to use them as examples, writing models, practice printables, and/or homework.
I hope you love this new writing center as much as my kiddos are!! :)
To check it out in my store, click HERE or click on the picture below!
Want more Open-Ended Writing Centers for your classroom? You might be interested in my Story Puzzles Writing Center! Endless narrative writing fun for your students!