My favorite tool! The Baby Name book - any one will do. I introduce this when I teach students about narrative writing. Students often get stuck on picking names for their characters and this is the perfect little tool. They love it! I would suggest that you have 2 or 3. I asked the parents of my students and often they have one. (I used my own at first but it was so well used it had to eventually be recycled. As you can see, this one is also well used!) Note: there is a novelty factor here. Allow students to look up their own names and share where their name came from.
The recipe book holder is another great thing to use in your writing center. It can hold a 1 page picture and information card about your author of the week or a favorite book that you have read to them that you would like to display. I also use it for student authors. Here is a book that was written as a whole class together and published through +Mixbook . (Parents can even purchase a copy on line if they wish!)
I love my lazy susan. I got it from +IKEA USA for about $12. I use it on my desk but it is also perfect for the writing center. You can fill it will all kinds of supplies that kids may use when writing and illustrating a story or journal. It promotes cooperation and prevents those nasty tattles! I love it! Don't forget to add the dollar store mechanical pencils. They are a hit too with my messy printers who are now neater printers!
Who says writing has to be on rectangular, straight-lined paper? Grab some fancy scissors and let them cut and design!
Of course I also like to use my task cards, story element trading cards and interactive notebooks as tools because they are super fun. For the avid writer, they are a spring board to more writing. To the reluctant writer, they are a small snip it of writing that allows them to feel successful and enables the teacher to see a writing sample without the struggles of writing a lot. Perfect!
You have to love these simple writing hacks to get those students writing! Do you use any other these? Do you have any more to share?