Sunday, August 25, 2013

My First Week of Fifth Grade (and some freebies!)

I have had the BEST first week! It was jam packed and the days went by in the blink of an eye. I've been use to have 18 kids for the whole day in first grade. Since I'm just teaching reading, I have three different classes and 72 kids! That is definitely going to take some getting use to! It seems like as soon as we get into class and get sat down, it's time to change classes! Time is going to be a challenge this year. We aren't starting the reading series until next week, so we took this week to get to know each other and have some fun with reading, while also completing the baseline test. The very first day, I gave the kids a "Student Interest Survey that contained questions about what they liked or didn't like, their favorite books, favorite subjects, and what they liked to do in their free time. I loved doing this because it really helped me learned not only about each one of the students, but also their reading habits. You can pick up a copy of my student interest survey here
We also dove into a really neat lesson on Harris Burdick. Do you know the mystery of Harris Burdick? If not, you have to check it out! You can read about it here. If you google the pictures, you can find all 14. I printed these out and displayed them (along with the title and caption) around the room after we discussed each one.
Then we got into groups and completed a graphic organizer, which you can find here. I quickly discovered that everyone needed a refresher course on inferring, so we stop and work on this mini lesson

After spending about 5 minutes at each picture, we rotated to the next. We covered 8 pictures in two days (we discussed the other 6, but did not do the activity with them due to time).

After completing the comprehension sheet, we divided into different groups and each group member shared what they had discussed with their previous group.

Back in whole group, we brainstormed some questions that we still still had about Harris Burdick and added them to our chart.

This lesson was a HUGE hit and my kids are obsessed with this real life mystery. I ordered the book, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick and I can't wait to share it with my students this week.  You can see how many tweeted about it!
**I've had several emails asking about how I use the twitter board in our classroom. I post a question *most* days (some days we just won't have time) and I pick a few students to "tweet" their answer. The sentence strips are laminated, so the tweeter just wipes away the previous tweet and writes their tweet with a dry erase marker. They LOVE it!! I also taught them that their username is their name with an @ symbol in front of it and it goes before their tweet so that people will know who said what. For example, my username would be @msleslieann. 

In the midst of all our Harris Burdick learning, we also completed a self portrait/all about me activity that went on our door. You can grab a copy here

It was a jam packed, busy week, but it was GREAT!!! :) I'm loving 5th grade!


  1. Wow, you have completely settled in to fifth grade so quickly!! This is awesome! I just switched you to my upper-grade blog roll...I'm delighted to be in the same grade level with you Leslie! :) :)

  2. I just switched from second to fifth and I love reading your blog! I was looking for some activities to do for the beginning of the school year and this is perfect! Chris Van Allsburg is my favorite author and I already have this book (signed by him!). Thanks for the great ideas!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  3. Thanks for the awesome freebies! I love your twitter board heading on paper plates! It looks fantastic! I'm a new follower :)
    Doodling Around in 6th Grade

  4. Love these ideas! Looking forward to following you and seeing what else you come up with. :-) Welcome to 5th grade!

    Mrs. Lyon's Blog - Teaching: The Art of Possibility

  5. Love this activity!! Thank you for sharing it...

  6. I love the Twitter board! It's a great interactive board for upper elementary students. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I LOVE your "Mysteries of Harris Burdick" lesson! Couple questions--how many days does this take you? How long do you discuss each mystery before they do the activity/organizer? Are the kids inferring why that illustration goes with that mystery, or are they inferring something else? Thanks so much!