Sunday, November 3

3 Steps to Setting Up a Successful Writing Station


Do you have a writing station in your classroom? A one stop shop for students to find writing resources and tools? Your writing bulletin board can be such a valuable tool! Read more to find out how you can take three easy steps to set your students up for writing success!

Show it off

Expectations shouldn’t be a mystery. Think about it, are your classroom expectations posted, oh course they are! So, why shouldn’t your writing expectations be posted too? How can students reach the bar you are setting if they are not really sure what the bar even is or looks like? Each unit, I post an example story of where I want my students to be by the end of the unit. I tell my students that this is an example of a great writer (I tell them that this is a story from a student in a nearby state that I blew up for use in our room). We start the Historical Fiction unit in November, so the first chunk of the unit focuses on creating a character who journeyed upon the Mayflower! Students journal each day as this character and we make feathered pencils to write with. It is a lot of fun! The second section of the unit focuses on writing full length Historical Fiction stories.

I also label different sections of the story. I highlight components such as dialogue, indents, the climax, conclusion, and more. We dissect writing a lot through my units and it truly makes a difference in my students abilities to use these components when they can recognize them in other works of writing. When students are exposed to good writing, they can see it and work toward creating great writing too.


Another way I make my expectations clear is by posting our writing rubric and matching scored examples (the students and I create the examples together). When my students see where I have set the bar, they now have a fair chance to strive for it. Clarity is the key to helping your students grow as writers.


Give them Options

You get a writing option, and you get a writing option, everybody gets a writing option! Think about it folks, when you go to write your lessons, does anyone hand you a specific planner and a number two pencil and say, “write”? No! We spend oodles of time picking just the right planner for us, and buy all the Flair pens to fill it with. Here’s my question, why should we not offer the same opportunities to our writers? I say give them all the options! If your students prefer to draft on plain paper or a graphic organizer, let them! Allow them to have these options at their fingertips. Getting set up to share your ideas is not a one size fits all model. Give your students the freedom to use whatever paper helps them get their amazing ideas down.

Looking for the graphic organizers pictured above? 
Click HERE to check out the graphic organizers I use when teaching Historical Fiction writing.


Easy Access to Tools

Don’t hoard the pencils! Teachers, trust me I get it! I use to hide pencils away because I always knew we would hit that halfway mark in the year and our classroom would look like a barren waste land for writing utensils. Not a pencil to be found. However, I have found that reluctant writers are more likely to jump in and write if they feel they are getting to use a special tool. So, grab some washi tape and label all the special writing pencils, pens, and what nots. Allow them to use these tools any time writing class is in session. See what happens, honestly just try it!



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