What to Include in Your Writing Center to Keep it FRESH all Year!

The school supply isles are stocked. The carpets on your campus have been cleaned. It's time to prep for Back to School! 

I like to get as many routine items prepared before school starts as possible. Plus, if I'm going to actually make something from my crazy large stock-pile of school related Pinterest boards, now is the time. Once class is back in action, I'll be very happy that I prepared as much as possible in advance. 

One thing I'm preparing in advance is my monthly writing centers. First, I made a list of the types of things I will routinely include:
  • thematic picture dictionaries
  • color paper (a different color each month)
  • themed pencils and erasers
  • crayons
  • writing paper
  • special writing utensils (varied from month-to-month)
  • resources related to our current writing unit

Thematic Dictionaries

I created a selection of picture dictionaries with REAL-LIFE pictures like you might find in nonfiction texts. I also suggest the clip art picture dictionaries in the any of the writing centers created by Kerri B

At the beginning of the school year I plan to display these picture dictionaries: Summer, Summer Olympics, Back to School, and Vacation.  In September, I'll add Apples, Johnny Appleseed, Community Helpers, and Super Heroes. Here's a peek at some picture dictionaries with REAL pictures from my TpT store

Color Paper

I plan on adding half sheets of colored paper each month. Kiddos are attracted to color! Use your campus copy machine to copy handwriting lines onto the paper. 

August/September - Yellow
October - Orange
November - Brown
December - Red & Green
January - Blue
February - Pink and Red
March - Green
April - Pastel colors
May/June - Neon colors

Themed Pencils & Erasers

Two words. Dollar Tree. 

Special Writing Utensils

I'll start out the year with standard #2 yellow pencils. But, let's face it, new is intriguing. Intrigue promotes engagement. Here are some writing utensils you can add to your writing center to make writing feel extra special:
  • Colored pencils
  • Pens
  • Markers
  • Glitter pens
  • Book fair writing utensils
  • Pens with color ink (other than blue//black)
  • Pencils with themed toppers
TIP: Don't start the year off with these items. Add or trade out a type of writing instrument monthly. If the items are in the center all the time, they lose their "special."

Dollar Tree

Writing Unit Resources

Don't forget to include anchor charts and student work samples from your writing units!


Other items to consider adding to your writing center are:
  • Blank mini-books
  • Magazine cut-outs
  • Holiday cards (at Christmas and Valentine's Day)
  • Post cards
  • Post-it Notes
  • Interesting pictures for inspiration
  • ABC chart
  • Blends and digraphs chart
  • Sentence stems
These ideas will help keep your writing center FRESH all year!

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