Reading Success with Beanie Baby Reading Buddies

Have you heard about the Beanie Baby Reading Strategies? They have been around for several years and I absolutely love using them in my classroom. In fact, these strategies are one of the reasons I miss teaching language arts. I love the stories and the read alouds and the fun strategies. 

I have the whole collection of beanie babies to go with these strategies in a box somewhere. When lice was no longer a reason for students to have to stay home, they went into a box and have never come out. 

While I loved having the posters and the animals, I really needed more to support me and my students in the classroom. I hunted high and low for a product that would do it for me and then ended up creating my own. 

Introducing my reading strategies kit! I am slightly biased but I absolutely love this product!

Posters -  I have included 8.5 x 11 sized posters. I hung these over the top of my whiteboard when I taught reading so that they were always in front of my students. 

Small Group Supports - We spend several weeks at the beginning of the year learning each specific strategy and then practicing it. I have a set of laminated mini posters that I keep in my small group kit. These I can lay on the table in front of the student to help them with the specific strategy we are working on. 

In addition, I have a laminated reading buddies mat. This is a mat of just the animals with no clues about what each strategy is. As we progress through the year, I use this more often. Students can use an expo marker to cross off the strategies they have tried or can point at the strategy they are choosing to use to assist them. 

Center Activities - To aid in learning our strategies, I have a created a matching game. Students first play alone to practice the strategies. Then we use it like the Memory game and race a friend to see who can collect the most matches. Lastly, I make a second set and we play Go Fish. 

I also have a worksheet that looks a lot like my reading buddies mat. Here my students can either take notes about what each animal represents, can name the animals, or I can project and assist them with it. I have used this page as an assessment and an interactive notebook page. Just depends upon the age of my students and their capabilities and my needs. 

Student Activities - One of my biggest struggles was preparing my students for Dibels NEXT closed statements. Using the posters and strategies they know so well, I introduced my students to how to solve cloze statements using poster-sized worksheets. Students could then create their own posters and learn this valuable skill!

In addition I created a double-sided bookmark. On one side is our reading buddies all hanging out together excited to read and on the back are reminders on what each animal reminds us to do. I keep a laminated set in my room and then laminated a second one for each student to have as their own. 

Remember, you can get your own copy of this valuable resource in my store. I am also going to be giving away one free copy to a randomly selected person who comments below. 

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