This year I started a writing center in my classroom and my students can't get enough of it. The writing center is a small circle table near the word wall. I placed the writing center near the word wall so the students can find words on it to use. On one of the first days of school, I had the students gather near the word wall and I shut all the lights off. I had been given a laser pointer and I used it to show the students how the word wall could be used. Now when the students are at the writing center they can use the word wall as an additional resource.
I organized a shelf near the table that is filled with greeting cards, envelopes, stationary, writing paper, blank paper, stickers, clip boards, stencils, and a mailbox. I had everyone I know saving the supplies over the summer. I spent many hours in the beginning of the school year organizing this shelf. I have picture labeled baskets so the student know where everything belongs with it comes time to clean up. On the table I have a Lazy Susan that contains crayons, markers, pencils and colored pencils. I also have a small white board where I write words the students could use or hang up picture dictionary pages that go along with our theme.
During our afternoon centers, the students have a choice to visit the writing table. At first I told the students no more than four students at the center, but once the writing center became popular I allowed more students there. Some days I have eight students crowded around the table. It never becomes out of control because the students are so focused on their pictures or letters.When the students are visiting the writing center I always push for them to use their imagination. I encourage them to color the entire paper and add as much detail as possible. As the students finish their work, they put their work in an envelope and put it in our mailbox. I made the mailbox out of a shoe box and decorated it. I cut a hole on top of the shoe box for the students to slide their mail into the mail box.
Before the students go home at the end of the day I deliver the mail. The students sit on the carpet as I hand out the mail. The students sometimes bring the letters home to their parents or they give their friends gifts. The students enjoy time spent at the writing center. Lately, I have been having students bringing letters from home to put in our school mailbox!