Our offices will be closed Monday, May 27th, in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday.
You can submit email inquiries to customerservice@demmelearning.com.

How to set up & organize WriteShop Primary for a successful year of writing

by | Feb 8, 2021 | Organize a Writing Center, WriteShop Primary

You’re new to WriteShop Primary. Now what?

The first question moms ask is how to set up and organize the curriculum. Your materials are designed to make lesson planning effortless.

By following these tips, your WriteShop Primary curriculum will soon be organized and ready for a year of easy-peasy writing lessons.

Understand the Parts of Your WriteShop Primary Curriculum

WriteShop Primary features three levels: Books A, B, and C. Each level comes with a Teacher’s Guide and Activity Pack, which you can purchase as e-books or hardcopies. Although you can get the resources separately, purchasing a set means you’ll have everything you need for a successful year of writing!

1. Teacher’s Guide

Your Teacher’s Guide shows you how to introduce the writing process at the simplest level. You’ll appreciate the daily schedules, step-by-step instructions, writing samples, and easy-to-follow scripts.

Lessons include hands-on activities, crafts, and picture books that help children see how much fun learning to write can be! 

2. Activity Pack

Because the Teacher’s Guide contains all the instructions for teaching each activity, there is no student workbook. Instead, a slim, reproducible Activity Pack rounds out the program. The Activity Pack includes:

  • 10 worksheets that introduce and support skills taught in the lessons.
  • Grade-level lined pages for practicing handwriting, spelling, or other basic writing skills.
  • Evaluation charts for tracking progress.
Ways to set up & organize your WriteShop Primary materials for easy lesson planning and stress-free writing times.

Organize WriteShop Primary for a Successful Year of Writing

Using the Teacher’s Manual as a guide, explore these practical ways to organize both your WriteShop Primary curriculum and everyday writing supplies. When supplies are handy, everyone will feel motivated and ready for writing time!

1. Print Your Digital WriteShop Primary Materials 

If you purchased e-books instead of hardcopies, decide how to print them.

Activity Pack. On average, there are only 20 pages in the Primary Activity Pack. If you bought the digital version, it’s easy to print all the pages in advance. Don’t hole-punch these pages.

Teacher’s Guide. Depending which level you have, the Teacher’s Guide has between 185-240 pages to print. It can be time-saving and often cost-effective to use an office supply store or a homeschool printing service such as Family Nest Printing or The Homeschool Printing Company.

2. Gather Your Materials and Supplies

In WriteShop Primary, new skills are taught through activities that use everyday materials and supplies you probably already have on hand. Look for the gray “Advance Prep” boxes so you can gather or prep anything you need ahead of time.

Don’t stress over supplies! Start with the basics. You can always add more later. The Teacher’s Guide includes everyday and lesson-specific material lists that include:

  • Advance Prep supplies: You’ll appreciate a paper cutter, optional 2.5-inch circle punch like this one, and optional laminator.
  • Paper: Keep a supply of grade-level lined paper, such as picture + story pages for grades K-1, inexpensive tear-off tablets for grades 2-3, or visual handwriting worksheets for grades 1-3.
    Some children enjoy having their own story journals for beginning writers.
    A dry-erase lap board also makes a fun writing surface.
  • Writing tools: Young kids can get creative with pencils, colored pencils, crayons, and markers. 
  • Publishing supplies: Everyday supplies make it fun to publish stories! Include things like scissors, extra-strength glue sticks, file folders, and assorted cardstock or construction paper.
    Add in yarn scraps, party streamers, paper plates, and craft supplies you have on hand.
  • Other supplies: Round things off with sticky notes, assorted stickers, handheld hole punch, paper clips, and white or colored index cards.

3. Organize Your WriteShop Primary Materials in Folders

Each WriteShop Primary Activity Pack has 10 lessons. For your convenience, gather and prep 10 file folders.

  • Label each of the 10 folder tabs by lesson: Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and so forth.
  • Do any Advance Prep. Lesson plans might have you write words on index cards, make sentence strips, or cut out paper shapes. Stash small pieces in envelopes or baggies so they don’t get lost.
    Fill each folder with that lesson’s worksheet and anything else you’ve cut out or prepared.
  • Store each folder in its own compartment, which can be a hanging file or a pocket folder (more on both later).

It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare for each 3-week lesson.

4. Create a Writing Center

If you don’t already have a designated space for writing, put together a writing center for storing supplies. Whether portable or permanent, a writing station sets the stage for sparking creativity! You don’t need a lot of room, but it’s so worth it.


With materials stored in some sort of tote, your child’s writing center is easily pulled out for writing time and cleaned up quickly when finished. Portable writing centers can also travel with you if you homeschool on the go.

What container makes the best portable writing center?

A portable storage container corrals your WriteShop materials, writing tools, and publishing supplies. Try one of these:

  • Portable file box
  • Plastic tub with a lid
  • Canvas file tote with pockets

What should I keep in our portable writing center?

  • Hanging files and file folders to hold paper, Activity Set worksheets, and Advance Prep materials
  • Portable white board and dry-erase markers 
  • Writing supplies organized in pencil boxes or zip-top pouches
  • WriteShop Primary Teacher’s Guide

>> Also see How to Make a Writing Center in a Tote Bag


What storage works well in a permanent writing center?

If you have a homeschool area, consider a more permanent writing station with a table or desk for writing and publishing.

Decide where to stash paper and writing supplies. Ideas include:

  • Plastic shoe boxes with lids. Keep them nearby on a bookshelf or in a closet.
  • Bucket tool organizer. A cleaning supply caddy is perfect for storing writing tools right on your tabletop.
  • Stacking trays. Interlocking trays store an assortment of plain, ruled, colored, and patterned paper.
  • Pencil cans or jars. Arrange several small containers on the desk to hold writing implements.
  • Over-the-door shoe organizer. Hanging a clear vinyl pocket shoe organizer on the back of a door takes far less space than a bookshelf.

>> For more ideas, see Create a Homeschool Writing Center

How should I organize WriteShop materials in our permanent writing center?

A pocket-style organizer is great way to sort and store your WriteShop Primary worksheets and Advance Prep components. You’ll want at least 10 dividers so you can group everything by lesson. Options include:

  • Binder with pocket folders
  • Accordion-style pocket file organizer

The organizing system you set up for your WriteShop Primary curriculum can be used year after year and easily accommodate multiple children. It’s similar to preparing WriteShop Junior materials, so you won’t need to start over when your child is ready for the next level.

Make adjustments as needed and keep the overall goal in mind—to provide your child with a successful year of learning how to write. 

>> Also see Organize WriteShop Junior for a Year of Writing

Investing a little time to get organized at the start of your homeschool year goes a long way to reduce stress and inspire success. Instead of scrambling at the last minute, now you can focus on all the fun learning moments in WriteShop Primary!

We’d love to have you join our Facebook community, where you can glean more ideas, tips, and tricks from other WriteShop families.