Back to School Basics: Writing Center Groups

Once I have my class separated into 4 color groups, I use these groups to sort them during writing centers. When I was a boot (aka new teacher), I didn't implement writing centers. I sent kids to read their book bags or draw a picture etc. Big mistake! Writing centers are brain friendly and it will pay off in the long run. Needless to say, I'm very Gung Ho for writing centers.

Since my color groups are based on the carpet seating chart and my seating chart is based on students' behavior they are heterogeneous (not by academic ability). Here is the chart I created to assign students to their writing centers.
When I begin the school year, I only use the page shown on the right side: computer (www.starfall.com), chalkboard, magnet letters, and magna doodles. I add the second page with 3 more writing centers after January (pocket chart sentences, letter stamping, book bags). 
Magnet Letters


Magna Doodle
The rule for each writing center is that students cannot scribble or draw. They must write. They are allowed to write the room, write student names, capital letters, lowercase letters, sight words, color words, number words, sentences, etc. I send my students to their writing center after they complete their writing assignment in their journals. As they are still learning their color groups, I post student names on the color cards instead of just writing "red team" or "orange team," etc. 
Color Groups