So you’re officially ready to rock your writing block! You and your class have talked about the writing process, learned the writing process chant, and now it is time to put pencils to paper! But how do you keep everything organized, minimize student dependence on you, and ensure your young authors are successfully engaged in the writing process? Here are some tips on how to set up writing workshop materials and zones in your classroom!
Do the Best with What you Have!
Every school has different requirements with what has to be posted in each classroom, which can make wall space hard to come by, so get creative! Hang examples, anchor charts, or your success checks on the back of shelves, closet doors, magnetic whiteboards, wherever you can find the room! You know your class and what works best for you. We display the writing process- but wall space can be tricky. Again, do the best with what you have! Here are some examples:
Whatever the step are for your writing workshop- harness the power of color! In my class, I use success checks that correspond with the steps of the writing process. You can place the success criteria pages on colored paper that matches the words before laminating. Hang one copy, and have ready to grab stacks underneath. This will help students to easily see what step they are working on and where to return the success checks without having to ask you (hello, sweet independence!) Having multiple laminated copies of success checks allows students to take their own copy to their writing space and be able to reference it as needed.
Create a Teacher Versions of like… EVERYTHING
Be sure to write alongside your students. Make a teacher version of each step of the writing process IN FRONT of your students for each new unit of writing. Talk aloud through your thought process as you complete each step. When you are done, you can slip it in page protectors and have an example folder. You can refer to it when conferencing with a student or let them use it as a refresher when they get stuck on a step. This will allow your students to have a solid vision for what they are trying to create!
Writing Perks Work
Who doesn’t love getting to use a fun marker or special pencils? Set up your writing space with special pencils, markers, scissors, glue, and paper that are ONLY used in that area. Students will love to use writing workshop tools. Remember, you know your class best. If they aren’t ready for a free-for-all on supplies, gradually introduce the tools and review how to use them and how to clean up daily! These fun additions to your writing workshop will increase student engagement as well as their desire to write.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Take the time to walk students through your writing workshop expectations daily. Review where to find everything, how to use it, and who to ask for help. In no time, your students will be running the workshop on their own, leaving you free to confer with your eager young authors!
Are you looking to get started? Grab your free writing process kit below!