Everything You Need for an Amazing Writing Center

Writing Center IslandSetting up a successful writing center for your students is easy. All you need is a little prep work, and your students will be motivated to improve their writing skills. We created a writing island and added all the resources students would need to practice their writing skills.

Create an “Other Ways to Say” bulletin board in your writing center to help students improve their vocabulary and understand synonyms that can be used when writing. First, write words on Library Pockets. We wrote words like “happy, good, and bad”. For each word written on a library pocket, write two synonyms on a mini accent. In this photo we used Chalkboard Bright Mini Accents, and glued them to Plastic Craft Sticks. Keep the synonym craft sticks in a decorative box in the writing center. Students can start with a synonym activity by placing the synonym craft sticks in the corresponding library pocket. From there, ask students to use Smart Start Writing Paper to write a story. In their story they must include synonyms reviewed in the activity. You can also have students choose a topic to write about using Writing Prompts. Students can choose writing prompts in six different categories: Narrative, Expository, Persuasive, Descriptive, Poetry, and Journal Writing.

The Big List of Classroom Rules

List of Classroom RulesEstablishing a set of classroom rules on your first day back to school will set the tone for a productive new school year.  Pick 5-10 classroom rules from the big list below that would best fit your students.  Write down your main classroom rules on a chart and hang the rules in a highly visible area of the classroom. Put the rules on your main bulletin board as a reminder of classroom expectations.  See big list of classroom rules below:

Be ready to learn
Use kind words and actions
Listen when others are speaking
Always be honest
Share & take turns
Start each day with a smile
Do your best
Follow directions
Celebrate each other’s success
Listen when others are talking
Say please & thank you
Work quietly
Be positive
Keep hands and feet to yourself
Be respectful to yourself and others
Play safely
Raise your hand
Try new things
Work hard & have fun
Believe in yourself
Work together
Raise your hand before you speak
Help others
Treat others how you want to be treated
Be a caring friend
Learn from your mistakes
Keep your desk organized and clean
Complete your work on time
Be a Friend
Walk, don’t run
Dream big
Take responsibility for your actions
Be a team player
Never give up
Use your time wisely
Be Creative
Be polite, kind, and true
Wait your turn
Listen carefully

Ready-made Classroom Rules Charts are also available.

Craft Stick Activity: Learning Shapes

Craft Sticks Activity - Learning Shapes

Craft sticks are so versatile you can use them for nearly any learning activity. Today, we are using Plastic Craft Sticks and foam attributes to learn shapes.

  1. Choose a few shapes to use from the Foam Attribute Blocks Pack and set them aside. We started with square, triangle, and hexagon.
  2. Take Plastic Craft Sticks and separate them by color.
  3. For each set of craft sticks, write down the name of a shape and the number of sides it has on the stick with a marker. You can easily wipe off and rewrite on the craft sticks for other activities.
  4. Separate each set of plastic craft sticks by its shapes.
  5. Have students outline each shape using the correlating plastic craft sticks.

Have students choose a set of plastic craft sticks and have them count it. Once, they’ve counted the number of sides and learn what the shape is called, help them decide which foam shape it goes with.

4th of July Activities: Story Starter & More

4th of july activities

In this teacher-directed activity, all students work together to come up with a creative 4th of July story.  Here’s how:

  1. Bring a small American flag to class. It will be passed from one student to the next.
  2. Explain to the students that the American flag that they are holding is no ordinary flag. Tell them that it is magic because it symbolizes 4th of July and whoever holds the flag can tell great stories.
  3. Explain that no one is permitted to talk unless that student is holding the flag.
  4. Begin a story by making one up yourself that takes place on the 4th of July.
  5. When you are finished with your story starter, pass the flag to another student who will continue the story for a few more sentences.
  6. When that student has finished his or her part of the story, ask him or her to pass the flag to another student.
  7. Continue this way until there is one student left. That final student has to complete the Independence Day story. Alternatively, if you want the story to be completed, indicate to students in a prearranged way. Perhaps at the beginning you all agree on a sign that will mean “wrap it up”.

More 4th of July Activities:

Celebrate Independence day all week long with these 4th of July activities:

Bubble Fireworks
4th of July Facts & USA Brain Teasers
Patriotic Science
Baking 4th of July Cookies

This activity is from Celebrating Holidays: Reading, Writing & Hands-on Activities.