A writing station is an area designated for writing resources like dictionaries, pens, pencils, and more. It can be on a bookshelf, table, desk, or any other area you designate only for writing. Read on to find out the important of a writing station and how to create one for your classroom!
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Why you need a writing station
Keep Resources and Supplies Organized
Keeping your writing resources in one place is a smart strategy. Organize the writing station so that you and your students have access to everything you need for writing. This may be supplies such as pens, pencils, and highlighters. It might also be handouts that you’ve used in prior lessons. With the right procedures, you won’t find yourself frantically digging through piles of papers looking for the one handout the students can’t find. I’ve totally been there.
Assigning a daily or weekly helper is a good way to keep everything organized and “stocked”. Your helper is responsible for checking all of the supplies at the end of the writing period and reporting back to you what needs to be replaced. They look for dwindling highlighters, handouts that are down to a few copies, and items that are missing completely.
Download the labels shown on the bin below for free here.
Pens, pencils, and highlighters are easy organized in a small plastic bin.
Students Help Students
You can also designate a helper [or a few] to help students find supplies at the writing station or to answer questions. For the daily supply helper mentioned above I rotate all of my students through that job so that everyone is responsible for the supplies. The student designated to help other students during writing time is usually a more permanent job. I choose students based off of organization skills and their level of interest in writing. It takes a special type of student to remember every handout and be able to locate resources for other students. I usually choose 5 students for this job and rotate them throughout the week so that they also have plenty of time for their own writing.
This is an important job in my classroom. The first year I had my writing station I was interrupted numerous times while conferring with other students. I want students to find the resource they need, but I also want uninterrupted 1-on-1 time with each student. It’s also a great way to utilize early finishers and give students a leadership role in your classroom.
Add novelty to writing
Add special pencils or pens to make your writing station fun. I like to buy pencils that match the season (fall leaves, snowflakes, beach umbrellas, etc.). I find lots of fun supplies at my local craft store! When I add new things, it keeps students excited and encourages them to use the writing station.
I also use my writing station to inspire my students. Place some inspirational quotes somewhere in your station and change them out every once and a while. It’s nice to see students stopping to read the quote and think about it.
| Download these quotes for free here |
Display Mentor Text
Do you use mentor text during your writing block? Mentor text is a great way to display examples of the skills students will be practicing during writing. Use your writing station to display the most recent mentor text (or 2 or 3) that you’ve used! You’ll be such a proud teacher when you see students flipping through looking for the figurative language examples you talked about yesterday.
Easy setup and upkeep
With a designated helper to check supplies and copies, your writing station will mostly run itself. Here’s how to start your writing station today:
- Make a list of the supplies and handouts your students will need in the writing station this month.
- Grab some bins from your local dollar store.
- Download these free editable labels, customize, and print
- Use laminator sheets or clear packing tape to tape the labels to your bins.
- Place items on a table in an area of your classroom with enough room for a few students to stand without bothering any nearby students.
Keep teacher notes and editing resources in a magazine holder.
What do you love most about your writing station? Share comments and photos @PerforminginEdu.
Easy Prep Writing Resources
Free Writing Resources