Sunday, September 6, 2015

7 Tips to Organize Writing Resources

I recently received a question from Katie in California: How do you organize your writing resources, so students can easily access them? 

Katie, this is a great question and asked quite regularly. 

# 1 Class Synonym Word Wall
I select eight words my students use on a consistent basis. I boldface the word I no longer want students to use and I write five or six synonyms below that term.  I’ll post kind, nice, boring, funny, great, sad, thankful, and walked.  Students are not allowed to use the bolded word. I want to raise the bar and challenge them to expand their vocabulary.  Sheets are posted at the front of the class.

# 2 Double Pocket Writing Folders
Students are given a four pocket writing folder.  The folder stores important documents and students reference this information routinely throughout the year. Folders are created by attaching two double pocket-writing folders together.  Turn one folder inside out and attach it to the brads of the other folder.  See pictures below for details.  Click the links below for free labels for the double pocket writing folder.

Author at work- Cover label
My writing ideas label
Work in progress label
Ready for the author's chair label

# 3 Commonly Misspelled Words
I place an enlarged poster of commonly misspelled words at the front of the room. 

# 4 Reference Materials on Desks
 Students have a dictionary, atlas, and thesaurus on their desks at all times.  Each desk seats two students.  They work together by sharing these valuable resources and researching information collaboratively.

# 5 Mini-Offices
I display main writing concepts, which will enhance student writing, on folders, in a color-coded manner. Students will have instant access to figurative language, compare and contrast words, transitional phrases, descriptive terms, show me examples, parts of speech, writing time rules, and exemplary writing samples. Students open their mini-offices during writing time and have an abundance of references to view within an arm’s reach.

# 6 Writing Notebooks
Every student should keep his/her writing in one notebook.  Rough drafts, brainstorms, and quick writes are all stored in the notebook. This will reduce missing papers along their writing journey. Final copies are completed on white lined paper.

# 7 Books
Books are one of the most amazing mentor texts available.  Students must have at least one chapter/reading book at their seat at all times. They benefit from the ability to read when assignments are completed.  Students choose which book(s) they want at their desks.

Unlocking imaginations one lesson at a time!

Please send any questions or concerns my way.  I’d love to hear from you.


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