Writing during Centers

Centers time - its one of my favorite times of the day. . (Read about it HERE).

One of the things on the rotation slide is Journal. 

Sometimes it's a reading response to a "listening" station...



and sometimes it's a journal response to something we've been learning about or something that goes along with our theme for the week. 

(You can see it on the wheel in the background)


One thing I have my kids do EVERY day is WRITE.

Yes, we have a guided writing time, but I also want them to have a free-writing time... a time where they just WRITE, without me grading it and without them worrying about spelling and conventions, although a lot of students still love to use their Spelling Journals during this time, which I encourage them to do so if they want.

Ok, so I DO grade it, but just in the sense of "Did you do enough or your best effort??" I mean, you have to give effort, right?

When I taught First grade, I made our journals out of the storybook paper for each month.




But in Second grade, they don't need to start off writing so big, so I can use regular composition notebooks.  So instead of making covers for the front of the big journals I used in 1st grade, I made these composition notebook tabs for each month. 

Same concept... they color the cover and cut it out (with the tab attached still) and glue it on the page that starts the month.


You can see how the tabs are spaced out so you can see each month. 



You can grab this freebie in my TPT store!


And you can grab the Storybook Paper Journal covers HERE 

What do I have my kids write about???

Well, a lot of activities come from my Monthly Writing Activities.


There's a set for each season and a Fun and Nonfiction theme.

Here's what each set contains:






There are thematic writing papers included, but I also have my students write in their journals - these writing papers I use when we are going to be hanging them up and showcasing their work. 


In addition to our Spelling Journals, they also use their Word Bank folders that give them some ideas on what they could include in their writing.




I also love to use the "Label It and Write About It" packs:







And SOMETIMES I have them write their class book pages - gosh, how I love these books!












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