Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Organized Writing Center!

I think I've actually figured out a system for organizing my writing workshop center. This is where all of the materials for writing workshop are kept. After years of trying it different ways, I figured out that the easiest way to organize all of the papers and materials is.... plastic drawers from Wal-Mart! These are relatively inexpensive (much less expensive than organizers you can purchase from teachers stores) and they are very durable. Here's how I use them in my classroom:

I placed these bins in an area that is easily accessible to students during writing workshop. My students get materials and paper from here daily so I wanted it to be in a place that they can get to easily.

In the large drawers, I put different organizers and paper such as:
  • Brainstorming maps and webs
  • Extra blank paper (in case students run out of this in their writing binders)
  • Envelopes and "stamps" (if students are writing letters)
  • Final copy paper for publishing

In the small drawers, I have materials such as:
  • Highlighters
  • Small staplers
  • Hole reinforcement stickers (in case a page comes out of a student's binder)
  • Colored pencils (we use these for editing)
  • Post-its (we use these when working on research projects)

To label each drawer, I used Avery address labels so that my students can easily find what they are looking for. They know how to use all of the materials in the drawers and can get them any time during writing workshop. This system has worked very well this year! I'm excited to have finally figured out an easy and simple way to organize this center!

If you would like more ideas about setting up and running writing workshop in your classroom, I've created a product called "Writing Workshop 101" that contains over 44 pages of ideas, pictures, charts/posters, minilesson ideas, student pages, teachers pages, and more! You can check it out by clicking on the picture below!

I hope you all have had a great week. Tomorrow is Friday... woo hoo! =)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Number of the Day Poster

So my students are starting to get bored of our calendar routine (we do this before math each day) and, to tell you the truth, so am I! I started thinking about how I could spice it up and make it a little more meaningful and then stumbled upon the idea of having a "number of the day." I created this poster to use every day before math to help get my students warmed up and ready to learn. Click on the picture below if you'd like the free document and directions on how to make the poster!

Enjoy! I hope you had a great Monday =)