ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Teaching with Ticia: Writing Centers

Monday, May 21, 2012

Teaching with Ticia: Writing Centers

A few months ago I wrote a post about the portable writing center I designed, and it was wildly popular.  I realized that I'm not the only Mom or teacher who wants ideas on how to encourage writing.  I started researching and looking into more ideas and wanted to share a few things I figured out from that.

Provide a variety of writing materials

Pink and Green Mama shared her portable center and it had many different pens, markers, crayons, pencils.  I've found that the more things available to write with, the more they will write.

Try different sensory experiences.  Try writing in paint, or my personal favorite shaving cream (it cleans the surface your writing on, I used this all the time while teaching).  Dry erase boards also make a great place to practice.

Set up a permanent space

If you have the ability and wall space (this is great in a classroom, it was my most visited center).

Lessons Learnt Journal shared how she set up her area, along with where she got everything.  I've found in my various experiments less is better, because it forces them to think it through more.

Provide many different things to write on

If you look at my picture up above you see all sorts of different cards in there.  Other great things to leave in there:  note pads with funny pictures, those little pads of paper given away as freebies, old stationary, construction paper, scrapbooking paper you're not going to use.

Fun things to add: stickers, magazines, pre-made books, writing prompts, examples of correct writing form

Writing Ideas board-some more ideas of activities, things to do

Do you have anything to add?  Did you write a post about writing or a writing station?  I'd love to add it to my writing board or come back later and add it to this post.


  1. I love your portable writing station! The other ideas are great too. Little J had a summer writing journal last year. I printed and taped a vacation picture in it each day for him to use as a writing prompt. He seemed to enjoy it and I think we'll try it again this summer. Thanks for these great ideas too!

  2. Thank you for encouraging writing exploration! I have a series on writing and how to get started with journal writing. Even toddlers and preschoolers can experiment with writing! My little ones started a journal at about age 2. First it is full of scribbles and then it slowly grows into a sweet keepsake of their favorite memories.

  3. One year in my classroom I had a writing cart instead of a writing center. That way kids could take the writing materials wherever they needed them. It encouraged them to use writing for a variety of purposes!

  4. I love the idea of giving them options - I've found that giving my students the choices (of setting, materials, etc.) gets them to be more engaged in the activity itself. I'm definitely going to do this in my writing centers!

  5. You listed some great ideas. It's so important to let kids choose what they will write about. Having a variety of writing tools is also a huge incentive. Last year, I posted lots of ideas on making books with kids on my blog. It can be found at Enjoy!

  6. We have a box of writing related materials, but one project we really enjoyed was making accordion books (4-5 year olds). I gave them story templates and they could choose which language to do the story in and what story they wanted to do. You can see how one of them came out and get the templates here-