In this blog post: Thinking about setting up a writing center in your classroom? Find the best Kindergarten writing center ideas and activities for here.
The writing center has long been one of my favorite literacy centers for Kindergarten. It’s easy to set up, easy(ish) to manage, and students absolutely LOVE going there!
If you aren’t yet convinced on the benefits of having a writing center in Kindergarten – or maybe you’re just looking for ideas to help it run more efficiently – this blog post is for you.
I’ll give you my best tips for setting up a writing center in Kindergarten, as well as ideas for differentiated writing center activities you students will love.
Kindergarten writing center set up
When choosing the best Kindergarten writing center set up for you, consider how much space you have and what will work best in that space.
Will you have a designated table for students to work at?
Or would drawers where students can choose an activity and sit anywhere work better?
When considering how to display your writing center vocabulary cards, there are a few ways you can do this.
1. Use a pocket chart
Using a pocket chart for your writing center vocabulary cards display is probably my favorite method. The vocabulary cards are easy to see, easily accessible to students, and easy for me to change out.
We’re ALL about making life easier around here!
Each month of my Ultimate Writing Center for Kindergarten has 4-7 themes included. You can display vocabulary from all of those themes at once in a large pocket chart, or only put out one theme at a time and swap them out more often.
2. Clothespins and a string
Another option for your writing center vocabulary words is to use string and clothespins to display them.
This is cute and still relatively easy to change out, although objectively more work that using a pocket chart.
3. Binder rings
For even less space, you can hole punch the vocabulary cards and place them on a binder ring for students to flip through.
Just throw them in a basket or hang on hooks for easy storage.
The downside to this method is that the vocabulary words are not as easily accessible to every student. If the ring is already being used, other students cannot look up the word they need. Students will also spend more time searching for the word that they need to write.
Organizing your writing center activities
Once you decide how to set up your vocabulary words, you will need to decide how to organize your Kindergarten writing center activities. This will impact how many writing center activities you can put out for students at one time.
Some writing center organization ideas include:
- Stackable paper trays – I love these because it’s easy to add more and easy to see what’s on each tray. The downside is that they aren’t as sturdy and can fall.
- Sterilite drawers – These are sturdier and easy to use, but they do take up more space. If you want to specify which writing center activities each group completes, these are easy to color code.
- 10 drawer cart – You can place this cart next to your writing center for easy access, and I love that it holds so many writing center activities.
- File folder pocket charts – This takes up some wall space, but saves you actual classroom space. It’s also easy to color code by groups if needed.
Writing center activities for Kindergarten
Now that you have the best organizational writing center ideas for Kindergarten, it’s time to think about what writing center activities you want to have.
My Ultimate Writing Center for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grade includes 15-16 differentiated writing center activities each month.
Let’s take a closer look at some of those activities to hopefully give you some ideas for you Kindergarten writing center.
Writing Beginning Sounds
If your students are not yet ready to write full words, one idea for your Kindergarten writing center is to have them label and write beginning sounds.
These I Can Write Beginning Sounds pages are differentiated, so you can decide if students will trace the beginning sound or write it on their own.
Stretch and Write Words
If your students are ready to write more than just the beginning sound, you can let them try stretching and writing words.
Of course, students have the vocabulary words as support, but if a student is relying on those, I like to encourage them to try stretching out the word and writing it on their own, and then checking their answer with the cards.
Writing a List
If your students are ready to write words with even LESS support, they can try creating a list.
For your students just getting started with writing, this might just be a list of their favorite words on the vocabulary wall. 😉 But eventually these can become themed lists around a topic.
Another Kindergarten writing center idea to practice writing words is labeling. For these labeling worksheets, students will either trace or write the vocabulary words.
Students can find and copy the words from the vocabulary wall, but you’ll probably find students stretching out and labeling the words on their own once they are used to doing that in their own writing.
I love that this writing center activity naturally differentiates itself!
Handwriting practice worksheets are a great writing center option for Kindergarteners who are not yet able to write full stories (and honestly, is probably also needed by those who can!).
You can change up this writing center activity by sometimes having students copy letters, spin and trace letters, spin and write letters, roll and trace letters, roll and write letters, and more.
You can also have reusable handwriting practice activities in dry erase pockets or laminated.
One of my favorite writing center ideas for Kindergarten is writing sentences. This is a little more scaffolded than just writing a story, but allows students to build those writing skills.
Of course, if your students need a little more support in writing sentences, you can use the trace and copy version. This allows students to trace a sentence and then copy it.
If your students need more support in what is needed to write a sentence, building sentences is a great writing center activity.
Students will choose a subject card and a verb card to make their sentence. Then, they will rewrite the sentence and illustrate it.
You can get some hilarious sentences through this, and it is always a hit with students! Download this writing center activity for free here:
Do you love free stuff?
Kindergarten Making Sentences Center
Your students will LOVE building and writing simple sentences with this free Kindergarten making sentences activity.
Finish the Sentence
In Kindergarten, we spend a lot of time on sentence work! If you need more writing center ideas that involve sentences, look no further than Finish the Sentence.
For this writing center activity, students will finish the sentence with either a vocabulary word card or any word that they can stretch and write.
This give students a little more freedom than the Writing Sentences activity, but is still supportive.
Creating Pattern Books
Pattern books may not be the best for reading, but they are wonderful for our beginning writers. Students love feeling successful in being able to create a whole book, and the simple sight word sentences makes it possible for them to read.
For these one page books, students will either write the matching vocabulary words or choose their own words to fill in each page.
Then, they can cut out and staple the pages to create their own mini books.
Do you have students who are ready to write, but they just struggle to get started? These writing center story starters are a great way to spark ideas in our little writers.
The story starter prompts are differentiated, so you can choose whether students are writing a sentence or a story. There is also the option to have an editing checklist at the bottom for students to edit and revise their writing.
Writing letters and cards
Nothing inspires students to write like being able to write letters and cards to their family and friends!
You can even extend this writing center activity more by having a classroom mailbox and making it a student job to deliver the mail each day or week.
Mix and Fix Sentences
This writing center activity works on sentence structure, writing sentences, and comprehension. Students will unscramble the words and glue them in order.
Then, they will rewrite the sentence and illustrate it.
If your students are ready for a decodable sentences version without pictures, you can find decodable sentences mix and fix worksheets here.
Kindergarten Writing Center for the Year
Now that you’re full of ideas for setting up your Kindergarten writing center, check out my Ultimate Writing Center for the Year!
This writing center includes all of the activities shown above, plus more. Every writing activity is easy to print and go, and includes options to make differentiation easy.
Looking for more blog posts on setting up your literacy centers in Kindergarten? Check these out: