Wednesday, August 2, 2017

First Week of School: Five Finger Summary Glove

 I intentionally try to pick out fun books to read those first weeks of school. The launch of readers workshop is such an important time. I feel like it sets the tone for the entire year. I want my kids to LOVE spending time with books. We talk about how lucky we are to have reading time because when we read we get to leave our classroom and escape to other places and meet other people. We get to see what the characters in our books see and feel what they feel and go where they go.
 We can get lost in our books!

I really feel that as teachers we have the power to help instill that love of reading by the enthusiasm we bring ourselves when we read aloud to our kids.  I'm having fun scouring the library for new books and characters to introduce my kids to. 

Here's another great new one that I will be reading aloud on that first week of school.  This one will help me to initiate a conversation about rules and consequences. It's a funny read aloud with a ridiculous storyline that I know my new third graders will appreciate. 
It's called: If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON'T!

It's a super fast read but has enough of  a storyline so that you can review the elements of fiction, in this case fantasy. I'm thinking I will pull out my 5 Finger Story Summary Glove before the reading and we will review the structure of this genre of book. My third graders should have worked on elements of a fictional story somewhat in second grade but it's important for my readers to know what to anticipate when they pick up a particular kind of book. I like going over this again before we launch readers workshop.

My old story glove was pretty worn out so I'm making new ones this summer. 

I also made one with a hand clapper!

It is one of my most used items in my classroom.  
We refer to it before reading most fictional stories!

This book is perfect for reviewing story structure. It has very definite main characters and settings. The problem is straightforward, the events are easy to follow and the solution is clearly stated. I think all my students will be able to have success using the 5 Finger Story Summary Glove to discuss the important story elements of this book. 

Later in the week, I may pull out this Story Summary Street page and some small play cars. I'll have the students use this with another book I will read aloud.  This is a post reading partner activity that encourages kids to verbalize a summary of what they read. 
 The partners will move the car, stopping at each sign to take turns talking about who the characters were, where the story took place, what the problem of the story was, and what important events led to the solution. Discussions about books are SO important and help our readers develop important comprehension skills.  I like giving my readers lots of opportunities to talk about books before I expect them to write about them. I have found my kids are so much more successful when I allow them this time. 
Eventually, my kids will begin recording their thinking about books in writing.
I have several templates that I like to use because they correlate well with the story glove and summary street. 
This first one is a foldable. Students cut on the lines to create doors that open. They can write and draw pictures about each story element.

This one is a one page sheet that allows my students to write/draw about the book they read. 

I'll have my students add this note sheet on the 5 Finger Summary to their reading journals. 
I also like to send a copy home in a newsletter to parents so they can use it when their children read at home. 

I have added these resources to my Teacher Pay Teacher Store if you are interested in making and using these materials with your students. 
Just click the link below: 

I love using books as springboards for other activities in other subject areas. 
This book is also a great one to use when launching a discussion about why we have rules. 

I wrote a post about how I do this.  
You can read about it here: 

You can find resources to go along with it here: 

What are some of the books you plan on using this September? 
Would love to hear!  Email me at or comment below.

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  1. A retired teacher was a guest reader in my class last June, and she choose this exact book to read - it's such a fun story. She even donated it to our class! I made these story gloves in a reading class but we used foam hands. Nice post.

  2. Hi Susan!
    I love the idea of using a foam hand! I'm going to do that too! Hope you have a great first week back!

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