Writing centers are used in the classroom to encourage students to write and practice skills related to writing. The 6+1 traits of conventions, ideas, voice, word choice, organization, fluency, and presentation can be taught through writing centers. Students can practice these skills with specific activities including worksheets as well as hands on activities. I believe that a writing center should be an important part of the classroom because writing is a key skill that people use on a daily basis. I think that students should be encouraged to participate in academic writing as well as free writing so they can be creative as well as work on skills.
This activity is called “Rainbow Name.” It is similar to an acrostic poem in which students write a poem using the letters of a single word (typically their names). For the “Rainbow Name” activity, students write their name on a cloud and use different strips of colored paper to write a word for each letter of their name. Each word should describe the person.
I would love to use this activity in my future classroom because I believe acrostics work well for increasing vocabulary and working on word choice, which is one of the 6+1 traits. I think students will enjoy this activity because it has creative and artistic elements. Students can share their “rainbow names” through a presentation in the front of the class, which could be a good way for students to introduce themselves and their characteristics.
In the “Sand Hands” activity, students are given a bin filled with sand and paper seashells. The seashells have sight words written on them and the students write out the sight word in the sand. The accountable task for this assignment would be for the students would then write the sight words on a worksheet and try to use them in a sentence.
I really like this activity because it is hands on and it allows students to practice using either new words or words that they need extra help with. The teacher can change out the sight words as students gain mastery or the teacher can use other words that students need extra practice with. I think the accountable task is a necessary element so students stay on task; however, the teacher can also monitor students if he or she has a group who need to work on the same words.
This activity has many great ways for students to work on writing conventions from the 6+1 traits. Students practice conventions by learning how to correctly spell words that they can integrate into their papers. The teacher can adjust this assignment so students write down synonyms of the seashell word, which would allow students to work on word choice. The seashells could also contain topics and the students could write a few key words in the sand to help them brainstorm ideas, which is another one of the 6+1 traits.
“I Can…” Writing Ideas Poster
This poster gives students ideas of what they can do in a writing center after they have finished their assignment. The students can “write the room,” which means that they can search for words around the room to use. The students can “write a card or note to a friend” in order to practice writing letters. The students can “write a list,” which can be used to inspire ideas. And finally, the students can “work on unfinished writing.”
I think this is a great poster to hang up in a writing center so students understand what to do once they have completed their assignment. Students can practice skills such as using their resources in the room by “writing the room.” They can also practice different forms of writing by working on letters or making a list. Students can use this poster to gain ideas for what to write for the 6+1 traits. When the students make their choice, they can also work on organization by following the ideas of the chart—practicing writing letters and lists will help students understand how to organize their ideas.
“Fix It Up!” Worksheet
This worksheet is called “Fix it Up” because students must rewrite the sentences with the correct punctuation and capitalization. The sentences are related to one another and can be read as a story, which the students can illustrate on the back of their papers if they finish early.
I really like this activity because students can practice using conventions and compare how a sentence looks with and without proper capitalization and punctuation. The teacher can adjust this assignment to include the 6+1 traits of voice, word choice, and ideas by having the students re-write the sentences on the back in their own words. The students can also add more detail into the sentences as an extra assignment to do when they are finished. I think this would be a great bell-work assignment for students and the teacher can work with a small group on a similar assignment if these students need extra help with conventions.
“Working on Writing: I can write a …” Writing Board
This is the board that I would decorate behind my writing center. This board contains examples of different types of writing including a book, story, list, letter, and a card. The board also has examples for the beginning of sentences including: “This is a …,” “I like …,” “I see a …,” and “It is a …”. The poster on the top left corner is the “I Can” writing poster listed above.
I think this is a great board to give students ideas for what to write and how to organize their writing. The examples of each piece of writing are really helpful because the students can see how to organize their own writing and what should be included in each piece. I think the starter sentences are great for students who have ideas but are not sure how to put their ideas on paper. I would refer to this board many times as a teacher but I would also encourage my students to use it by themselves to help inspire them. I really like that this poster has ideas of creative writing pieces so students can express themselves through their voice in a variety of methods.