Monday, March 12, 2012

Writing Center in a Bag

I love the idea of writing centers and having writing materials accessible at all times for children. I even created a bird-themed writing center recently and saw how much my children enjoyed it. I needed however, a portable option too. Once again, my Thirty-One organizing tote came to my rescue!

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I just have my portable writing center stocked with the basics so far, but I am thrilled that I still have room to add additional supplies when needed.

We have customized our portable writing center to work with our WriteShop writing curriculum.

One component of the WriteShop program (which can also be purchased separately) are grammar file-folders. There are 10 different grammar files that become reference guides when completed.

Once again, I added a clear, open file box which can be purchased either on Amazon or at The Container Store.

The clear file box provided the perfect place to store our grammar file-folders, colored paper, notebook paper and other specialty papers for writing.

StoryBuilders are writing prompts that get kids writing. There are four different downloadable themes available and can be used for multiple age-levels. StoryBuilder cards provide students with the basic elements of a story—character, character trait, setting, and plot. Each element card is a different color. I placed ours in an index-card size accordion file.

The accordion file fits perfectly in the front pocket. Now my kids can easily find and use the StoryBuilder cards.

All the pockets are on the outside of the tote. This makes it so easy to see and locate items! One pocket holds all the Post-It notes. Since this side mesh pocket stretches, it is easy to grab these little pads of paper.

The opposite side mesh pocket holds a pencil box filled with pencils, a pair of scissors, highlighters, a dry-erase marker and a glue stick.

I even have a couple empty pockets! One will house a mini-stapler once I buy it, and the others will probably get to hold new markers. This writing center also contains a small dry-erase board, a 3-hole punch, a thesaurus, a clipboard, a writer's reference book and 2 writing journals. I still need to find our small dictionary and add it to the bag.

I am loving that this writing center is easy to store and is portable. My kids work in various places in the house, so now they can easily move their writing center and have all the materials in one place. Once the weather gets nice, they can even do their writing outside.

I think I could use a couple more of these totes! You can see how I used one to organize our reading curriculum, and I love how Jolanthe uses it as her teaching tote. There is still time to win one for yourself! Check out the Thirty-One Giveaway post for details.

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Blogger Jen said...

Writing centers are wonderful. When I was an enrichment teacher, I would make centers for the classroom teachers similar to the one you posted. The kids loved it and all of the kids benefited from it!

March 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I LOVE this idea!!!! Hmmm....gave me a few of my own! Thanks!

March 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

This is such a great storage idea! I'm off to the store to snag some bins. Right now Container Store is having a sale and the bin is $5.39 and if you have the Teachers Discount (I went into the store a few weeks ago and they honored it with my homeschool Letter of Intent) it makes for a great deal.

March 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Kim @ In Our Write Minds said...

Your portable writing center is fabulous--my favorite one yet! Who wants to hunt around the house for missing highlighters or the thesaurus that grew legs? So much better for everyone to keep things all in one place.

March 12, 2012 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Jolanthe Erb said...

Great idea for a writing center. Um...I may need a few more organizing totes myself!! :)

March 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

Come to my house and make one for me!!! Great, great ideas!

March 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

I have one of these totes ath someone gave me with a knitting statement on the front. And it's no good as a knitting bag, but I didn't know what else to do with it. A while back ago a gal that I worked with at our yarn shop made a bag that did this very thing, for all the owner's business files and whatnot. I kept saying I needed to make one and now? PPPPSHHHT! No sewing required!!!! I love it! I am wondering how many of these guys you have.....I have 4 children, 3 who are of age to do something, so I am thinking that they have their own bag!

March 12, 2012 at 7:11 PM  

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