I am excited to share a new resource called the Writing Station Suitcase. This is an all-in-one writing center for the year! I think it is safe to say this resource has been 22 years in the making. Since year one, I have been working on how to make writing the best it can be in the elementary classroom!
For decades I have had a writing center in my guided reading block. Year after year, I would revamp this area of my classroom. Each time I put effort into the writing area, I saw excitement and engagement in my students. But writing is a tricky thing. Many times we write what we are currently thinking about or what interests us. It’s like a brain dump! But in the classroom, we are exposing students to mini-lessons throughout the week and wanting to see that transfer in their efforts at the writing center.
The Writing Station Suitcase
The Writing Station Suitcase includes everything needed to run a successful writing station for the year! Prep, set expectations, and slowly release the materials to students. There’s a variety of levels of learners in every classroom. For this reason, this resource has been differentiated to support emerging to advanced writers in grades K-2.
The Topic Cards allow students to explore not only their interests but also seasonal and standards-based concepts throughout the year. There are 20 sets of Topic Cards with a visual and the written word. These topic cards can be pulled out and displayed weekly or students can choose based on interest. I show how to store them in photo boxes, but this can be done on a ring, in an index card box, or on a display, pocket chart, or bulletin board.
There are two different sets and types of teaching posters in this resource. The first is to teach the labels of the types of writing. The second shows the example of student work with that type of writing. You can see both below. There are 10 posters of each type included. From draw and label to a persuasive writing piece, you are covered!
Everything that is created in the writing station does not get graded, however, accountability does keep the quality of work high. For this reason, I have included three types of writing rubrics. The first is a deep dive into the 6 traits of writing. These rubrics have made me a better writing teacher. I know what to look for but more importantly, I know how to teach students to make changes to create excellent writing. The second type of rubric is a more general rubric for everyday use. The third type of rubric is for students to use to self evaluate. Simple yet very helpful!
Finally, a HUGE variety of writing papers keeps their interest and excitement, while also meeting the needs of different levels of writers within the same classroom. You’ll find every type of line and style you can imagine for your students as they embark on their elementary writing careers. I like to put out a few options and change them out every couple of weeks. This keeps things fresh without overwhelming students. A slow-release is always a good method when keeping something going for a long time. Best of luck on embarking on a year of Writing Station fun!
Now that you’ve got writing station time handled, here’s a post on the time of day to teach those mini-lessons about writing traits! Although the post begins with September, I have writing mini-lessons for the entire year grades K-2.