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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

5 Simple Kindergarten Writing Center Tips and Tricks!

Kindergarten Writing Center Tips and Tricks!

Our Kindergarten writing center has always been a big hit in my room. When I started this center back in 2011, I wanted to set this writing center activity to be set up for success. This was a fun way to hook my own classroom during center time.

Over the years, I have updated and expanded this set of writing activities, but the big idea remains the same.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the writing center in your kindergarten classroom.

#1 Kindergarten Writing Center Tip – Start Simple

We start out pretty simply at the beginning of the year. My writing center is set up in August and it looks the same throughout the school year. Each month I change out the vocabulary cards and the response pages. 

The first week at the writing center, I tell my kindergarten students that their job at that center is to stay and “write”. I also tell them that they may only use one page while they are there. (Learn from me… I have had a zealous student go through 20 pages in 10 minutes…ugh!) 

Kindergarten writing center activities and vocabulary for August
I added the vocabulary cards to a ribbon, but other teachers use a pocket chart to hold the cards.

Then each week I nudge them to do more. The mini lessons might sound something like this, 

“You know what I noticed at the writing center? When Cecelia was there, she wrote words on her paper! Isn’t that amazing? {This usually prompts a chorus of ohhs and ahhs.} So if I wanted to write the word backpack, where do you think I could find that word? {They all chime in as I have a student use the pointer to find it}. Friends, if you are going to the writing center today, you might want to be like Cecelia and add words to your writing.”

At this point, they are jumping out of their shoes and straining their necks to see if they will get to go to the writing center next.

A few weeks later, I might plant the seed about writing a simple sentence!

These little mini-lessons last about 3 minutes. If I am feeling like some of the work at the writing station falls short of their ability, I might take a minute to share the “awesome work” of one of their classmates. This is THE EASIEST center to keep going all year.

#2 Kindergarten Writing Center Tip – Keep it Predictable

Each month has 4 different themes, so I can swap out the vocabulary word wall cards whenever I want to. Sometimes, I leave the same themed word cards up for the whole month. 

5 Simple Kindergarten Writing Center Tips and Tricks! 1
Keep word lists and sight word lists handy at the center!

At the beginning of each month, I copy a few of each of the page options. I don’t make enough of every option so every student can do the labeling page and every student can make a card. Once those resources are gone, then the students have to select something else.  This nudges them to try different types of writing.  So students will also experience letter writing or making a list.

Just like you, I use my center time to pull my small groups. So I do not have time to reteach the writing center week after week. Therefore, I try to develop tasks that are engaging and appropriate without reinventing the wheel week after week.

#3 Kindergarten Writing Center Tip – Keep Writing Tools Handy

I love to have freshly sharpened colored pencils at the writing center. I really love the Crayola erasable pencils. They sharpen straight (which makes my OCD happy) and they last the whole year. Your kindergarten writers will also appreciate the different writing tools you place at your small table. Some tools you will have out for the entire year while other writing utensils are rotated in.

kindergarten writing center tools and ideas

I also want to keep other tools handy like sight word lists your young children might want to reference when they are at the writing center.

Additionally, the “I Can” cards provide a model for students so they know how to use each writing center response paper.

5 Simple Kindergarten Writing Center Tips and Tricks! 6
Family words students may want to use at the writing center.

#4 Kindergarten Writing Center Tip – Accept Approximations

I always like to remind myself that drawing is a form of writing and students will respond in different ways. I start this writing center in August, where most of my young writers do not know their letters or sounds. I often notice random letters, but I do not worry about it one bit. I am confident that they will grow as a writer. I know I have a solid writers workshop program and dictation practices that students will learn how to form proper sentences and paragraphs as they progress. During the writing center, I accept approximations. The writing center is about bringing a sense of joy and success to my kindergarten students.

I love that the writing center is automatically differentiated.  Meaning, your kindergarten students will only write what they are ready to write.

5 Simple Kindergarten Writing Center Tips and Tricks! 8
This writing page is placed in a place in a page protector and dry erase markers are used.
5 Simple Kindergarten Writing Center Tips and Tricks! 9
These are examples from a first grade classroom

#5 Kindergarten Writing Center Tip – Keep it FRESH!

When students get bored of a center, trouble is on the horizon. Therefore, I want to keep the novelty of the center fresh. I frequently swap out the vocabulary cards to reflect the themes that are in my classroom.

Kindergarten Writing Centers

You can find the monthly files by clicking:

Kindergarten Writing Center Cover Free File

Each of the writing center months come  with a full page of vocabulary words.  I had a wonderful teacher ask if I would make a cover for these vocabulary words so they could be displayed all year on her bulletin board.

You may also want to use this as a cover for a student’s writing folder.  It is totally up to you.  I hope you like it!

Simply add your name and email to the box below.

Free Kindergarten Writing Center Cover
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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

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10 Responses

  1. I love all the space you have for a writing center! My classroom is so tiny and very limited wall space. I have a difficult time getting the kids to write. They spend so much time drawing pictures! I had one little guy spend the whole time in the writing center writing his name over and over. He is quite capable of writing a wonderful story, but he never does. I'm not sure what else I could do to encourage them to write. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi there!
      Simply add your name and email address to the box at the bottom of the post and the free file will be sent to your inbox.

  2. I’m new to kindergarten. Can you give me a summary of what to have out for the first month of school? As in which worksheets are better. I guess I’m worried about them not being able to do it.

    1. Hi there! In reference to the writing center, I would recommend the label it and the blank writing pages so students can draw a picture and write down any sounds they may know OR copy the words from the writing wall. Be sure to model these tasks before sending students to work independently.

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