Sunday, August 19, 2012

Literacy Centers 101: Write the Room

I'm back!
We got back the other day from a great week-long trip with the kids to Jamaica.
I wanted to post earlier but I was trying to catch up with laundry, getting everyone back into routines and cooking
(it was so nice going up to the buffet each day and just choosing something to eat!).
I had wonderful guest bloggers in for me last week so if you missed their post, be sure to go back and read them.

I have just over 2 weeks left of summer vacation.
I'm hoping to pop into my classroom later on this week to attempt to get it ready.  I'm just hoping it's going to be cleaned by then!
This week I wanted to talk about my Write the Room Literacy Center.  I have had a lot of e-mails about how I do write the room and why it's different from how others may do it.

Well, first, I've tried the "typical" write the room....
the students get a clipboard, blank paper, pencil and are asked to "write" any words they know/see around the room.
Here's the problem I had - my students were so SILLY!
They did everything with those clipboards but write!
This center was so unstructured that I knew it was time to do something about it!

Here's my way of doing a Write the Room center.
The first thing I do is "hide" the picture word cards around my room. 
The picture above is actually of my Summertime Fun Write the Room center. 
I like to introduce theme words to my students every few weeks and we use these words for our Write the Room activity.  For instance, my Back to School Write the Room words include "bus" and "pencil", words that we will use and talk about in our classroom.
My kids think it's so much fun that they have to search all around for the words
(don't get me wrong, I hide them, but not in places even I would never guess.  I'm talking about taping the word cards to the side of a shelf, bottom of the blackboard, on the wall next to the washroom, etc.)
The students still get a clip board and pencil (tip: attach the pencil to the clip board with a piece of yarn or shoelace so that your students won't spend time looking for a pencil).
Instead of a blank paper with little to no direction, students are asked to complete various worksheets which I change every week.  They might be asked to find all of the words that start with a certain letter, clap and count syllables, match the word to the picture and record it, etc.
I always include a variety of worksheets so that I can meet the various needs of my students and show how differentiated instruction is used in my class.

There are time that I use this center with the whole class too.
Some worksheets ask that students choose a word or two and draw a picture/write a sentence using them.
I have a student choose a word and we come up with a sentence together.
This is a great way to introduce your journal writing topic also.
I have these resources available in my TpT store.  You can purchase each theme individually or all 25 activities for less than half price in my bundle!

Here's a preview of the Back to School Write the Room center.


I have had some teachers leave me feedback on these products at my TpT store and tell me that they print an extra set of the picture word cards and leave them at the Writing Center for students to use.  Great idea!

Hop on over to Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten today to see her post on her Centers for the Week and how she uses my Write the Room Complete Set in her classroom.
(Be sure to check out what she is using at her Playdough Station too....another fun activity that I made for my kiddies!!!)

Happy teaching!



7 comments:

  1. sounds great and cute!hope ya'll had a wonderful family vacay!

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  2. Replies
    1. Hey Leigh Ann!!! Thanks for leaving a comment. We had a GREAT time in Jamaica! I can't believe summer is nearly done - I have only 2 weeks left! Did you go back yet? Hope you are well!
      ~Alessia

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  3. I bought this set during the TPT sale! I love it and can't wait to use it in my classroom!!!

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  4. Hi Alessia!! It's Beth from Thinking of Teaching. I'm in Brampton...not too far away! I love that there are more and more Canadian bloggers out there.
    Beth
    Thinking of Teaching

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  5. I can't wait to use these in my classroom when I come back this September from my maternity leave!
    Ann-Marie

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  6. I just got this packet today! I am excited to use it too! Thank you for all your hard work!

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