One of my favorite parts of my class is always my writing lab!  I love having spaces or centers for kids to go work and this one is that no matter what school I am at I have ready to go on day 1 because it really is so versatile!

So here it is… my writing lab.  Practical, easy to set up, and loaded with instant activities for kids that won’t cost you an arm and a leg or require loads of prep!

Let me take you on a little picture tour of how I use these items!  I will try to explain everything!

I try to keep lots of focus on the alphabet!  You can see the yellow bins are where I keep all my alphabet books.  I have dictionaries as well as flashcards that are mostly alphabet too!  I use these as story starters… students can flip through them and find a picture or an idea while practicing the most important skill in kindergarten!
I also try to find lots of alphabet options so the students can practice making words in fun ways! I got these foam letters many years ago from Oriental Trading!  I am down to just what you see now but they have lasted forever!  (Students are only allowed to make one word per story and then they must use that word to write a sentence.
Another option is different fonts.  Kids love, love, love these!  Just printed from my computer.. I preloaded the whole alphabet (did a couple of the more common letters a few times), printed, then changed the font, printed, then changed the font, etc.  Took a bit of time but there are SO many as well they have lasted forever!  One word only and then write a sentence.  These are also great to have the kids make circle maps for… they find all the same letter and glue them down!  Great way to have them focus in!
Another big hit is the magazine pictures!  I will cut out pictures I know the kids will love, they will pick ONE PICTURE and write a story.  One picture is a big deal.. just warning you!  High engagement though for sure!
I get my pictures from magazines I collect for FREE of course!  I will keep them in the writing center as well just so they are all in the same place, but I don’t let my students cut out pictures until the VERY end of the year because that’s when they seem capable of doing so (and some not so much!)
And it’s just a place to store all the different items we may need in order to be great writers!  Extra marker boards fit perfectly, dry erase sleeves for students to use, and a huge variety of writing pages for students to have access to!
 Skin color crayons that must stay at the writing lab because they are SO important and expensive!
Need a red crayon… there’s probably extra in the writing lab!  Find a crayon.. go put it in the writing lab!
And my new markers!  I officially labeled my marker draw Scentos Markers because they are SO COOL and the kids LOVE them!
Which brings me to the next part of my post… look what Scentos sent our class!!!  We were so excited to get mail let alone a whole big box full of smelly writing stuff!
In just the short time we have had them, they have increased our excitement for writing!
Students who have to have have extra practice with their letter formation with the Alphabet Writing Poems on certain letters are excited to work with me again because they get to use a blueberry marker!
A new student feels extra special when getting to use a yummy smelly orange marker to put her name on her Free Kindergarten Writing Journals!
And they are super excited to got those Tricky Sound Sorts back because they have a new smelly Scentos stamp on them!
As a teacher… oh… they are so smelly… they just brighten a mood!  Admit it… it’s fun!
Great markers help me stay organized and focused on what kids need to work on.  Here I have highlighted students who are complete and am highlighting specific letters students are missing!  It’s crunch time and I those Checklist Assessments are so important to be using!
Got my DIBELS scores… and of course we have no color printed available to teachers!  So what’s a teacher to do… Scentos marker them!  It’s so much easier to quickly review your results when they are color coded!
And lesson planning was fun to start!  I used a chisel tip marker and scented rainbow pen to do next weeks shell!  I will mark them up even more, of course, as I pull my copies and collect my activities for each lesson!  (Yes I do old school lesson plans… I find it easier when I am trying to get to know a curriculum.  Once I understand the curriculum I can more to electronic plans.)
These things are just so much fun and I am so excited to share some of them with you!
Scentos sent my class 3 set’s of their favorite products:  their traditional wide markers, a rainbow scented pen, self inking stamps, and their not-yet-released chisel-tipped markers!  These are coming out at back-to-school 2014!  Be sure to enter to win below!
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