Friday, April 20, 2018

Note to Followers (3)

Hello Fabulous Followers!

     I have been working really hard this past month updating many of my writing products that are in my TpT store!  Not only have I updated many of them, but I have also added a couple new writing products to my store!  I wanted to take a quick minute to share these new and updated writing products with you!

     If you have purchased anything from my TpT store make sure you check to see if it has a newly revised download available in your, "My Purchases" section of your TpT account.  As I've been updating my products I've either added more content, better graphics, more worksheets, responded to requests, etc.

     As always, I will continue to update you frequently and let you know which products I've updated!

     Thanks for all your support!
     Amanda Terhune

Check out these newly revised products...
















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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Writing Center Board with Tons of Activities for the Entire Year!

I've been working hard on updating my writing center the past couple of weeks.  It has turned out so cute that I thought I would share some pictures...actually a ton of pictures!  My writing center board is filled with so many different writing activities!  This center will be something that I can use for the entire school year!!!  It will be a low maintenance center for me that is filled with so many great writing activities for my students!

My classroom theme is black and white polka dot with a red accent color.  So I made my writing center match my classroom!  I found a black and white polka dot pencil border that was perfect to use on my writing center board!  I used red file folders for the pockets to bring in the red accent color that is in my classroom.  I laminated and hot glued everything to the board.  This writing center board is something you can easily make to match your own classroom!

I would have loved to make my writing center board on one of my classroom bulletin boards, but they are just way to high for my students to reach.  I needed something that they could interact with, get papers from, etc.  Therefore, I made my writing center board on a science fair project board.  It turned out perfect!  I can place it anywhere I need to in my classroom.  Currently it's at the round table which now acts as my writing center!

These are just some of the items my students will be writing at the writing center!

Click HERE to download my I Can Write Pencil Poster from my TpT store!



Board Setup



Here is a look at how I set up and assembled my writing center board.

To make the pockets I took a colored file folder and cut it down in size. I made sure it was small enough it would fit on the board but big enough to hold a stack of papers (long wise).

I taped the sides together using box tape.  Then, I laminated the file folders.  I taped the sides again for extra durability.  Finally, I sliced the top open using my scissors to create the pocket.

Each writing topic label is attached to the board using a Velcro dot.  I thought about just laminating the labels onto the file folder pockets.  However, I wanted to be able to slowly add the writing activities throughout the school year.  For example, once we learn and practice how to write an opinion piece during writer's workshop then I will add the activity to the writing center.

I have created writing prompt cards for the different types of writing activities.  These are great for the students to use if they are stuck thinking of a topic to write about!

The writing prompt cards are laminated, hole punched, and added to a book ring.

  The cards hang on a Command hook next to each writing topic folder.

I used the top of the science fair board to add this pencil banner.

Click HERE to download my Pencil Banner from my TpT store!

Sentence Writing Activities

Sentence writing is the first activity I add to my writing center. I start the school year off teaching my first graders how to write one complete sentence during writer's workshop.  They slowly build on adding more and more sentences to their writing.  I created different writing paper templates to place at this center throughout the year as the students build on their writing.

Here is an example of the different writing papers I use throughout the year.  The writing papers have either handwriting lines or solid lines, are vertical or horizontal, have a different amount of lines, and/or have a different size illustration box. 

For example, at the beginning of the school year I will place the writing paper that has the students write one complete sentence.  This writing paper only has a few lines and a big illustration box.  I also choose the writing paper that has the handwriting lines (instead of the solid black lines) at the beginning of the school year so they can work on their handwriting as they write as well.

Each writing paper also has a "Writer's Checklist."  This checklist acts as a friendly reminder for the students to double check their writing to make sure it has all the correct parts.  As they edit their writing they color in a star for each part that is complete.  If they forgot to do something, the checklist reminds them and gives them the opportunity to fix their mistake.

I place a different writing prompt calendar at the writing center each month.  Each calendar is filled with an assortment of writing topics. There are over 300 prompts in all!  These calendars really help those students that take forever to think of a topic to write about!

Click HERE to download my Writing Prompt Calendars from my TpT store!

At the center the students will just take a writing paper, find a topic to write about on the calendar, and begin writing!

Here is a look at how the student's writing changes throughout the year.
Here they only had to write one sentence.

Here the students are writing three sentences over a topic.

Finally, multiple sentences over a topic without handwriting lines.

Here is what the sentence writing pocket looks like on the writing center board.  It has the writing paper and writing prompt calendar in it.  It is super easy to switch out during the school year!  All I have to do is pick which paper I want my students to use and then place that month's writing prompt calendar in the pocket!


Click HERE to download my Writing Papers and Writing Prompts from my TpT store!

List Writing Activities

For the list writing activities at my writing center I have papers with different list writing topics the students can choose from.  The topics range from language arts, math, science, social studies, seasonal, and more!  I have over 130 different topics to choose from!
I also have a paper option where the students can choose their own topic to write about.

The students simply pick their topic and write their list.

I like for my students to add color to their list if they finish their center work early.

You can add a different list writing topic each week or have a variety of topics the students can choose from throughout the weeks.

Extension Activities for List Writing

As the school year progresses I like for my list writing activities to get a littler harder and more time consuming.

Here is a look at some different activities I place at my list writing center throughout the school year.

(Write and illustrate a list of 5 items.)

(Write and illustrate a list of 10 items.)

(Write and illustrate a list of 10 items.)

(Write a list and use a word from the list to write a sentence.)

(Write a list and use words from the list to write two sentences.)

(Write a list and use words from the list to write a story.)

(Write a list and a rhyming word for each word.)

(Write a list and put the words in ABC order.)


Click HERE to download my List Writing Prompts and Extension Activities from my TpT store!

Opinion Writing Activities

Included in the opinion writing center pocket is a writing template. The template helps the students see they need a topic sentence, three reasons, and a concluding sentence in their writing.


I sometimes like to have a writing prompt picked out for all the students to write about for the week.  I like to pick topics that go with what we are learning, the season/holiday, etc.

As the year progresses I have the students not only fill in their opinion writing template, but also use it to create a final draft of their writing on lined paper.

Here is what the opinion writing pocket looks like when I allow the students to choose their own topic to write about.

Here is what the pocket looks like when I have a topic I want everyone to write about.  I pick a topic from the prompt cards and attach it to the pink poster.  I place the poster inside of the pocket with the writing paper.

Click HERE to download my Opinion Writing Prompt Cards and Writing Template from my TpT store!

Step Writing Activities

Included in the step writing center pocket is a writing template and poster.  The template helps the students organize the steps in their writing.  The poster has transitional word examples they can use in their writing.

The ring of Step Writing Prompt Cards makes it so easy to pick a new writing topic for my students to write about each week!

Sometimes I have my students complete the writing template the first week and then complete the final draft the next week at the writing center.  I have 65 prompts to choose from!
  

I include the Transitional Word Example poster in the pocket as well.  This poster acts as a reference tool my students can use as they write. 

Click HERE to download my Step Writing Prompt Cards and Writing Template from my TpT store!

Personal Narrative Writing Activities

Included in the personal narrative writing center pocket is a writing template. The template helps the students see they need a topic sentence, details on what happened, and a concluding sentence in their writing.

Here I have a topic picked out for my students!

Adding the final draft step as the year progresses really helps make the writing center activity a little more challenging and time consuming.

Here is what the pocket looks like when I allow the students to choose their own topic to write about.

When the students see the green poster in the pocket they know I have a writing topic picked out for them!

Click HERE to download my Personal Narrative Writing Prompt Cards and Writing Template from my TpT store!

Fictional Narrative Writing Activities

I usually add the fictional narrative writing activities to my center towards the end of the school year.  I save it until the end of the school year because fictional narrative writing can be so hard for some first graders!


Included in the fictional narrative writing center pocket is a writing template.  The template helps the students remember to include the different story elements in their writing.

Here I have chosen a Who, Where, and What writing prompt card.  The students will use those three story elements to create their story.

Adding the final draft step is a must at this center!
  
All three writing prompt story element cards are on the hook for the students to use.

The student's writing can turn out to be so funny when they mix and match the different story element cards!

Click HERE to download my Fictional Narrative Writing Prompt Cards and Writing Template from my TpT store!

Informative Writing Activities

At the informative writing center I have many different options for my students.  My first option is another writing template page for the students to fill out.  The students use the template to write a topic sentence, three facts, and a concluding sentence.

As the school year progresses another activity I add to my informative writing center is an "All About" book activity.  The students research a topic and create an "All About" nonfiction book over that topic

No only do the students write about the facts they learned during their research, they also create many of the pages you would see in a nonfiction book.  For example, a title page, table of contents, glossary, index, etc. 
 I have created 25 nonfiction text feature posters for the students to refer to when making their nonfiction book.  I place the posters in the informative writing center pocket so they can use them as they make their book.  Each poster contains the term, its definition, as well as a supporting visual example.

Click HERE to download my Nonfiction Text Features Posters from my TpT store!

For this center I sometimes place one nonfiction book I would like for everyone to read and write about OR I place a basket full of nonfiction books that the students can read and choose what topic they would like to write about.  The nonfiction books I choose for this center are always at the appropriate reading level for my students.

This "All About" nonfiction book project is a great activity that the students can build on each week.  For example, the students can work on the fact writing part for the first week, the diagram page the next week, the glossary and index page the following week, and so on.


This center is easy to change out/build on each week.  I can simply place a different nonfiction book at the center, add a basket of nonfiction books, just have the students fill out the informative writing template, work on a page in their "All About" book, etc.

Here I have another helpful poster for the students to refer to as they write.  This poster helps them with fact ideas when they are writing about an animal.

Click HERE to download my Informative Writing Templates from my TpT store!

Poetry Writing Activities


I have found that the different templates I have my students use when they write improves their writing tremendously!  SO I created templates for my poetry writing center as well!

I have templates for 28 different poem types!  For each poem type I have a definition/example page in addition to the template.  The students can use the example page to help them when they are writing their own poem.

Each week I simply add a new poem type to my writing center!

I have some poem types that I like to place at my center during certain months/holidays.

The poems the students write each week can easily be saved and made into their own personal poetry journal!

These activities are also great to do during a poetry unit!


I have various reference posters I add to this center as well.  Depending on what type of poem my students are writing that week I will add a poster that can help them.

Click HERE to download my Poetry Unit from my TpT store!

Letter Writing Activities

The letter writing center is a top favorite of my students!
The letter writing template included at this center has the lines marked for the different parts of the letter.  This helps the students remember to add the date, greeting, closing, signature, etc.

The prompt cards (over 90 of them!) at this center gives the students multiple people to write to and various topics to write about!

I also let the students write letters to their classmates.  They love doing this!

When they are done writing the letter to their classmate, they fold it up and add it to the mailbox!  I have the students place their letters in the mailbox instead of handing it straight to that person.  This gives me the chance to read the letters to make sure they are appropriate before their classmate reads it.

I have multiple reference posters to help with letter writing that I add to this center pocket as well.

Click HERE to download my Letter Writing Prompt Cards and Writing Templates from my TpT store!

Postcard Writing Activities

The postcard writing center is very similar to the letter writing center.

Instead of a letter writing template, the students create their own postcard! 

Not only do they write, they draw and color a picture on the front of their postcard.

The letter writing prompt cards work for postcard writing as well!

The mailbox works too!

I found this mailbox at Hobby Lobby and just painted it. 


Click HERE to download my Postcard/Letter Writing Prompt Cards and Writing Templates from my TpT store!

Card Writing Activities

At the card writing center the students can choose the thank you card or the blank card.  The blank card allows the students to create any card they wish.
  
The students color, cut, and write their own card!

You can give the students a person to write to or you can have them choose any person they wish.


The mailbox is perfect for the letter, postcard, and card writing activities!

Writing Center Board Filled with Tons of Activities!

Here is what my writing center looks like with all the different writing activities!
This writing center is just one out of the eight centers I have my students go to during guided reading/literacy center rotations.  At the writing center I allow my students the option to choose what activity they want to do.

I never include any activities we haven't learned or practice writing together during class time.  Therefore at the beginning of the school year my students don't have all these writing activities to choose from.  As the school year progresses I add more and more activities to the writing center board.  This keeps my writing center evolving and changing throughout the year which in turn keeps my students engaged and motivated!



 

There are so many activities my students love at the writing center!  In addition to daily rotations, I am seriously considering opening up the writing center to my early finishers during the day!


Click HERE to download my Writing Center Board and Activities MEGA BUNDLE from my TpT Store!