Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Portable Writing Center and some FREEBIES to Start Yours

So, my students absolute favorite literacy center of all times is the writing center (no matter what school year I am talking about!).  I don't do anything out of the ordinary to make my Writing Center particularly extraordinary, but it is always, by far, the most coveted location during Literacy Centers.  Last year, I had to tell children repeatedly that they could still write (writing at their table spot is ALWAYS a choice) even if their group didn't have "Writing Center" as a choice.  It was often a hard concept for them to understand that (and an even harder concept for me to understand why they didn't understand??!!).  Either way, I have been thinking of ways to overcome this "dilemna" and I think I have finally come up with what I can do:
 Portable Writing Centers! 
Now, you and I know that this is no different than what I had before (get writing tools, take them back to your seat and write!).  The difference is that it will be a choice on the work board for non-Writing Center and it will have a NAME.  Do you agree that children love it when things are named?  Instead of me saying, "Now you know that reading or writing is always a choice.  Just take some writing tools and paper to your seat and write!"  (If anyone can tell me why it is so much more special to write at the Writing Center, please do inform!), I can say, "Oh, look, you have the Portable Writing Center choice today!  Grab some tools and find a spot to write!" 
Okay, so maybe it will be a bit different.  My plan is to use this 10 cent wine rack as a Portable Writing Tool Holder.  Each cup will hold a different set of fancy pens or markers.  The child can grab a cup of writing tools and a basket of paper/already made books, etc. and maybe they can pretend they are writing at the writing center.  I will be making the tools different in the Writing Center and in the PWCs.
This is where I got the idea from, but my wine rack only has four "holes" which I think is much more manageable for this purpose.  I'll post pics of mine once I take them in my classroom!

I love these drawers.  They are perfect for putting paper in and the wine rack on.
 Of course, the drawers should be labelled with some really fun labels, right?  I have uploaded them to Google Docs in case you want them for either a PWC or just for your regular writing center.  I use them for both.
These cute little borders came from
cute, huh?
 And, everything in my room needs a sign, so here is one in case you are eager to have your own PWCs in your classroom!  I put it in a panoramic clear acrylic frame (that I got for a quarter at a yard sale) to ensure the special"ness" of the PWC!  I printed it on shiny photo paper to make it look super special and you think they'll buy into it? 
I wish the labels matched the sign, but that is a project for another day! 
 Let me know if you think you might try the Portable Writing Center! 


  1. I will definitely be looking at garage sales for cheap wine racks! Thanks for the great idea!!! Are those just plastic cups that you put the pens in?

  2. Oops, I reread your post and realize that is not your wine rack. haha I'll wait and check out your picture. :)

  3. TErrific idea. Thanks for sharing!
    Lory's Page

  4. Wow! This is a very interesting idea. I would do a few such things so that I could use one at work and leave the other at home. I think my students and my own children will be delighted. My children are old enough and more often use the help of edubirdie than writing essays themselves, but my daughter is delighted with all sorts of hand made stuff. It seems to me that such a center can even be done with children. Or each child can create their own small center.


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