I finally got a writing mini-office set up for Josh and Megan to begin using after we resume school in January. They aren’t quite ready for the writing center that I created for Brianna a couple of years ago, but I do want to start encouraging them to write more.
My goal for them is to use the writing offices two or three times a week to begin to practice getting their thoughts down on paper. I’m not a big fan of invented spelling, simply due to the fact that, if Josh gets it in his head the wrong way, that’s the way it’s going to stay. I’m not as worried about that with Megan and she has been starting to write things on her own, which is very encouraging! She’s the only one of my three kids who has done that one her own. She loves to write notes, poems and songs.
Trying to keep away from invented spelling is the main goal of the writing mini-offices right now. On the left-hand side, the kids will find the days of the week, the months of the year and color words. On the center is a “word wall” with many of the commonly used words listed.
The right-hand is the part I’m most excited about. Because I know how hard it can be for kids to think of what to write (I mean, just thinking of how to spell the words to get them down on paper is enough to think about), I left a big blank space (not pictured). That big, blank space will be filled with one of these:
…any one of a few dozen pictures that I clipped from magazines this weekend. I cut out anything that looked interesting, showed someone doing something that could provide a story starter or showed a picture of something that could be described.
These pictures will be clipped into place with a “today’s topic” clip:
The clips were simple. I cut a 3X5 index card in half, wrote “today’s topic” on it and “laminated” it with packing tape. I then hot glued the card to a clothes pin.
I did re-do it after taking this picture. The card was low enough to cover up some of the really small pictures, so I moved it to the top of the clip. There is also a “5 W’s” hand to remind the kids of the questions that their writing can answer.