Monday, April 8, 2013

Beanie Baby Reading Strategies

Who doesn't love one of those adorable little Beanie Babies?

Well... at one point, we had so many at our house that I couldn't keep track of which one belonged to which kid or where they all went or why they were invading the kitchen and the bathroom and the fireplace and the dog's bed. Gads! My own kids loved them!

So you can imagine how much I loved the idea of using Beanie Babies to teach reading (decoding) strategies. I loved it! Really!

For a few years, I've been teaching first graders each strategy and showing off the darling little Beanie Babies that go with each lesson. I'm trying to build my collection of Beanies through frequent trips to the thrift store, but for now I have one of each Baby. I decided it was time to create strategy posters, book marks and strategy rings for my students. So one rainy day, I got to work!

I made colorful, letter-sized posters showing each animal and the reading strategy. I couldn't decide if I liked a polka dot background or a chevron background, so I made both... mix and match!

I also made some small cards. These quarter-page sheets are perfect for laminating and putting on binder rings. I have several sets in my classroom, and I encourage students to borrow a ring as needed to refer to while reading. This is especially useful for students who are reading in classroom areas where the posters are not visible, and for use outside or in another classroom. It could also be useful to make a set of ringed cards for each student to keep in his/her book box, or at home. The ring could have just one strategy at first, and they others could be added as they are taught. There are versions of these cards that are both colored and black and white.

And my students just love to use bookmarks lately, so I made some of those. I created tow versions: bookmarks with the animal name and the reading strategy, and bookmarks with just the animal name. I made colored and black and white versions of both, so that there would be options!

This set, with adorable graphics from Melonheadz, is available in my TpT Store.

I love my students, I really do. But I'm so happy to have  a few days to myself! Spring Break is finally here!


  1. I absolutely love these posters and the strategies that go with them. Thanks so much for your time in making these available to us.
    Learning Assistance teacher

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, Louanne! I love them, too! And even more important, my students love them and they really remember the strategies. They talk about the animals as if they were members of our class! Happy Reading!