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A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6–12, Revised Edition

Richard Kent

A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 612, Revised Edition is a how-to and, ultimately, a why-to book for middle school and high school educators as well as for English/language arts teacher candidates and their methods instructors. This revised and updated International Writing Centers Association 2006 Book of the Year shows writing centers as places where writers work with each other in an effort to develop ideas, discover a thesis, overcome procrastination, create an outline, or revise a draft. Ultimately, writing centers help students become more effective writers. Visit any college or university in the United States and chances are there is a writing center available to students, staff, and community members. Writing centers support students and busy teachers while emphasizing and supporting writing across the curriculum.


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Chapter 4: Operating a Writing Center


· 4 · operating a writing center Finding a Home My small classroom housed our writing center that first year. As enticements, we provided four computers, one daisy-wheel printer, an endless supply of paper, and a kind-hearted editor during selected periods. The next year we had our own room across the hallway. In our seventh year, we ended up in the media center/library, the perfect place in our school. But where will you house your writing center? You have many options to explore, including a table or two in the library/ media center, an underutilized book or storage room, a desk in a computer lab, space in one or more English classrooms, study halls, the learning assistance center, the cafeteria, a conference room next to the principal’s office, or a conference room next to the guidance area. You might like to explore housing options with your principal or department chair. You may be surprised what suggestions your school’s secretary or head custodian have. My best advice is not to worry about finding the perfect space. Be flexible and work with what’s available. If you use a table in your classroom with a sol- itary editor on duty, so be it. If you have a room and your English/language arts 84 a guide to creating student-staffed writing centers colleagues agree to monitor the space a few periods a day, get going. If you’re given a huge room replete with twenty-five laptop computers, an industrial printer, two or three teacher desks, sofas, tables, a...

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