Friday, May 18, 2012

Language Arts Beanie Strategies

About two years ago I spent time searching for ways to include the Multiple Intelligences when teaching Reading and Writing.  I wanted my second graders to understand and interact with my Teaching Points or strategies.  While looking on the Internet, I found Comprehension and Decoding Beanie Baby Strategies for Reading. This was an original idea from April Schlib,  I thought this was a great idea.  Beanie animals with memorable names like Skippy the Frog (who skips the word and then comes back), or Chunky Monkey (who chunks the words into parts) help teach students how to decode words.  With teaching second grade, I spend the majority of the time on comprehension strategies.  I decided to modify this idea and match Beanie Babies to the Teaching Points covered in our reading curriculum.  I worked on catchy names like "What's the Matter?" Monkey for Problem and Solution, Manely Lion for Main Idea, and Purposeful Pig for Author's Purpose.  I next started collecting beanie babies.  This part was relatively simple.  Head over to your local flea market and do some bargaining.  You can usually find them for very cheap, and if you explain they are for your classroom people will often give you a break!  I then decided to take it a step further and create Writing Beanie Babies to match the strategies we teach in Writing through second grade.  My Writing Camp Creatures include Quackers, the Dialogue Duck and Hoot!  The Onomatopoeia Owl.  My students love to learn with the beanies, and the strategies really seem to be memorable for my students.  I put an "I am the heart" of the lesson heart on the beanie baby that I am focusing on each day, which matches the teaching point.  I hope to continue to inspire my students, and find ways to make my teaching stick!


  1. I love the beanie baby decoding strategies. There are some for the comprehension strategies too. I have seen the posters on several blogs. I love the idea of ones for writing. =)

    I love your blog and am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to come visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

    1. I have enjoyed visiting your site and am now following you too! I definitely found the beanie baby strategies online from many different people. I enjoyed modifying them to meet my curriculum needs.