Looking for a new way to engage students in writing and vocabulary during literacy centers?
Want an easy center that can be used year-round?
Then look no further… Write the Room is for you!
I am frequently asked how I run so many centers and spend time teaching each center? I have what I call “staple” centers. Write the Room is a staple center meaning that it’s used year-round. In the beginning of the year I spend ample time going over what is expected. During the year I change out themes/cards but the routine and expectations are the same. This is one center that every student will participate in. I walk around helping and giving praise for staying on task, working hard, and good behavior.
This is one of the easiest centers you can implement in your classroom and have the ability to differentiate!
Here is an example video of my students engaged in Write the Room This is the 2nd week of school! Look how excited my students are! They are all engaged and on task because of the structure I have put in place.
Each Write the Room takes about 15 mins to prep from printing, laminating, to cutting it out! I prefer to laminate the cards for extra durability and store them in zip-loc bags to reuse each year. I make copies of the recording sheets front/ back for easy accessibility. In the “Write the Room” bin I have smaller bins that divide each recording sheet. My students know which sheet they need to complete. As students progress academically, I change which recording sheets each child will complete.
Begin with teaching the words and their meanings. I did this during our Morning Meeting and included some of the words in the morning message. This gets the kids pumped about what they are going to do for the week while still hitting important skills.
Vocabulary is so essential and sometimes gets over looked in the younger grades!
After having taught the words and their meaning, the cards get placed around the room. ( I begin with placing them around but later on as students become more independent they take over that job!)
I choose to put up both sets (word and sentence cards) that way I can differentiate to meet all learning levels in the classroom. Read more about that below.
I used themed chip clips/ clothes pins to hold the cards in place. (These can be found at a dollar store or Amazon).
Check these out!
- Woodland Animals >> https://amzn.to/2Mb77mP
- Black cats >> https://amzn.to/2SSD8Th (Halloween)
- Spring Theme >> https://amzn.to/2AKpESs
- Unicorns https://amzn.to/2RTesNu
- Lady bugs https://amzn.to/2CkoWeS
After placing word/sentence cards around the classroom, students will walk around with a clipboard and their recording sheet. Students write the words or create sentences they find on your chosen recording sheet.
Here is a look at my center area. There are a variety of centers going on at once. The bins make it easy to swap out centers.
I purchased the black and white cubbies at Big Lots and containers at Target. I place recording sheets and all materials for centers in each bin. This allows me the ability to differentiate and students the ability to grab the basket and go.
The layout remains the same year-round. Each center is explicitly taught down to: Where do I go in the room? How many students in the center? What skill am i practicing? What do I do when I finish? What materials will I use? How do I clean up? What do I do if I need help? What does it look like when I am engaged or off task?
This is why write the room is my first go to when starting centers!
Included in all of my Write the Room products are “word cards” and “sentence cards.” The word cards include a picture and the vocabulary word. In the sentence cards, it’s sentence with the vocabulary and sight words. If your students are not ready for sentences, begin with just the word cards.
If your students are not ready for writing on their own yet and need additional support, I have tracing word recording sheets. The recording sheets are great for differentiating because you have sheets for tracing words, writing the words, tracing sentences, copying the sentences, and writing your own sentences! This allows higher achieving students to participate with struggling students because they are engaged in the same activity but with a different skill level to work on.
All words are themed for the month based on books we read and skills we are learning. I begin with the alphabet in August and school themed words. The 1st week in the month I teach the thematic vocabulary words. Those cards will stay up for the following 3 weeks. By the end of the month the students get to choose which Write the Room they would like to participate in.
I also like to include phonics skills with Write the Room too! If they find a silent e word they cross out the e. We underline all digraphs and circle all word families. I like to mention before we go to centers on Monday if they can find those skills in the words/sentences during Write the Room as a BONUS! They LOVE it!
Easy! Make it fun! As you can see in pictures, we are having a blast!
Students enjoy getting out of their seats and roaming the room. I like to add themed items to this center, such as glasses and clothing.
I purchase many glasses at the dollar store and Amazon. For example, October consists of ghost glasses for Halloween, bat glasses for Stellaluna/bat study, fire helmets for Fire Safety, and pumpkin glasses for Spookley and life cycle of pumpkins. If I can’t find the glasses, I will make them with felt and a little hot glue from the craft store! I like to change up the writing utensils too. We begin with using pencils to write, but throughout the year I change it up with smelly crayons and markers to keep them excited to write!
We also imitate different ways to get to each word; for example, during Winter they pretended to ski to each word, Room on the Broom week they pretended to fly on brooms, and Polar Express they acted like they were on a train!
My students live in Southwest Florida where it is HOT! Most have never experienced the cold weather. For January, I bought mittens, hats, and ski glasses. Students have the choice to wear which ever item they would like.
Are you excited to start implementing write the room?
No ready to get the bundle? Click on the pictures below to take a closer look at each set I offer! Continue to check back as I add more items to my store.
Thanks for reading and stopping by!
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