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“Set it and FORGET IT” Writing Station

A teacher’s dream is to “set it and forget it”… and now you can! 

This blog post includes the two writing resources I use in my own classroom ALL YEAR LONG that require very little thought and planning but offer countless opportunities for my writers to grow in independence, creativity and author’s craft. 

The consistency that these two sets of writing activities will offer you in planning and prepping and your students in their daily routines is truly exceptional. 

Sound too good to be true? 

Let me explain…

Writing Station Idea: Monthly Journals

I use my monthly themed writing journals for ONE WHOLE MONTH. I print out all of the activities, including the monthly cover page. I staple the activities together and this serves as my WRITING STATION during Guided Reading. 

Students work at their own pace. They go back and edit/revise what they were working on the day or week before. And most importantly, it teaches them to be: 

  •     Independent workers
  •     Creative thinkers
  •     Proficient writers

How? Inside the monthly writing activities there are five different formats that all serve a purpose: 

  1.     Free Write: Students are given a title and an image to spark their creativity. Students write “freely” about the topic.
  2.     Look and Draw: Students are given a picture to look at. Students must draw the picture and write about it. This activity enhances their ability to look and copy, which is a struggle for some students.
  3.     Procedural Writing: Students will write about a topic of sequence a set of directions using the transitional words First, Next, Then and Last. Sequencing is a skill that students must practice often in order to master it in first grade.
  4.     Draw and Write: Students are given three objects to create a picture with. Students will write one sentence about each of the objects. Students are given a bonus challenge to write about to enhance their writing skills.
  5.     Doodle Drawings: Students are given part of an object. Students must draw the other half of the object and write about it. Some first grade students lack the special reasoning needed to draw the second half of the picture and this is great practice for them!

Writing Station Idea: Sentence Writing

I create WEEKLY packets of sentence writing for our weekly spelling pattern or word family. This packet goes in my students’ work folder and must be completed by the end of the week, but I check in on them every few days and provide support when needed 

For this writing activity, students must: 

  •     Use their phonics skills (and picture support) to read the word
  •     Trace the word
  •     Write a sentence using the word
  •     Draw/illustrate their sentence

 These writing activities give students the ability to write their own sentences, but also provide some structure about what to write about with visual picture supports.

 This writing activity can be easily differentiated based on the expectations you set for each student. You might require some students to write a descriptive sentence or two sentences, while other students you may have write the word three times or use a series of sentence stems to write a simple sentence. 

*Because this product includes ALL phonics skills and spelling patterns taught in first grade, you will be able to print one booklet for each week of the school year.

What’s the benefit of writing sentences with word families:

  • Students read and write with their focused phonics skill or spelling pattern
  • Students are given the structure and support for independent writing
  • Meets the needs of ALL students in your classroom based on the expectations you set for their sentence writing
  • Supports English Language Learners
  • Consistency! Every spelling pattern taught in first grade is included in this product so you can follow the same routine every week of the school year!

"Set it and FORGET IT" Writing Station

Both of the resources in this blog post are bundled together in my “Set it and FORGET IT” Writing Station. 

This bundle will set you up for the ENTIRE school year! 

You can find it here:

More First Grade Writing Favorites

Set it and Forget it Writing Blog Post

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Kristen Sullins

Kristen Sullins

I am a current Elementary Librarian and
Enrichment Teacher, mother of two, follower of Christ and Texas native. In my own classroom, I love to save time by finding unique ways to integrate writing, social studies and science into all parts of my day. I also love all things organization!