Fern's Writing Centers and a Freebie for You!

 Photo of Fern Smith's Pout-Pout Writing Workshop Center
Setting Up a Writing Center in a Small Space
This works well with 2nd and 3rd graders who can get their supplies and then stretch out on the floor with clipboards. I also buy a colorful tablecloth at the Dollar Store to make the center more inviting/seasonal.
1. My writing center has the vocabulary words on the wall, either in a pocket chart or just stapled to the wall.
2. The books that relate to the center are on display so they can reread a certain passage or use the pictures for illustration ideas.
3. The long white box is for a variety of writing paper, assignment paper, colored paper and just plain white copy paper so the advance students that like to draw may illustrate more of their story.
4. The small white box has pens, crayons, markers, stapler, paper clips, etc.
5. Pencils and erasers are in the cup.
6. The stuffed animals are to make it more inviting. These animals were only $5 each at Kohl's when they had the books for sale for $5 as well!
Behavior Management
When you have extra books, stuffed animals and fun at your writing center, not only is it inviting, it can be distracting. One of the best things I like to do when someone is misbehaving is say, "Sit next to me." While I'm doing small group, if someone can't handle the extra fun that comes with certain centers, I make them bring their clipboard and sit either next to me at the table or on the floor. They may pout, but it is all in the technique of being sympathetic and kind. 
Later in the day I will talk with them and say, "I could have moved your clip, I could have yelled at you, I could have written in your agenda, but I chose to have you come sit with me and focus on your writing. Do you think tomorrow will be a better day at the writing center?" Even the hard-core behavior problems will say yes to go back to a center with their friends the next day!
It gives them a chance to learn from their mistakes and develop some maturity.
This is one of my many writing centers.
Photo of Fern Smith's Pout-Pout Fish Great Big Giveaway!
If you don't have the book, you can go to my blog and let other teachers read it to your class with my YouTube videos.
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  1. Hi there! I'm Heather and I was hoping you could answer my question about your blog! Please email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

  2. Hi Fern
    How long would you have the writing centre as an activity or rotation?
    I think it's a fabulous learning activity, thanks.
    Cheers Leigh Kaye

  3. Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your awesome blog posts.
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