Bring The Writing Centre to Life!

Setting up a writing centre in the classroom is a great idea. However, its a great idea that needs regular commitment and maintenance if its potential is to be realized. Writing centres often become museum pieces if young writers aren’t encouraged to use the allotted space. You know the scene – it looks great, it looks glitzy, but rarely do you see students actually occupying the space. What a waste of a great space! It’s a bit like Nana’s special dining set –constantly admired, rarely used. It may as well be covered in plastic to protect it from stains.

A writing centre set up with the requisite supports, such as computer, printer, camera, an assortment of pens, markers, papers, book making materials, writing reminders and ideas, photographs, books on writing, etc provides great stimulus to developing writers. To give this space added appeal young writers need to be shuffled through this special classroom space each day. You could either set up a sign in sheet, or a schedule, so that students could prepare themselves for writing time in the centre. We can set up the conditions that afford the writing centre a prominent place in the grand scheme of your writing program.

I know how I feel about my special writing space at home. I can sit, think and compose, surrounded by the books and artefacts that stimulate ideas for writing. I am comfortable in this space. My writing energies are easily released. Many young writers may not enjoy the luxury of such a space for writing at home. Maybe by creating a classroom space that is stimulating and inviting we can further encourage the writing development of our students.

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