(You can see a little bit of the rainbow word trail in this pic)
Thinking about sight words got me thinking about Beanie Babies. Do you remember the complete mayhem about Beanie Babies and how they would get completely sold out of stores? Good thing they are no longer as popular or I might have some trouble getting this idea to actually work. I figure my friends will be little and Beanie Babies are little, so they will be a perfect match. Little kids like to be "in charge" of things and also like to take care of things, so I am hoping to capitalize on both of those realities. My hope is that I can collect a whole slew of Beanie Babies (hopefully by either finding them cheap at garage sales or Goodwill (or maybe by donations from my lovely bloggy readers who have some beanie friends they no longer need!)) so that I can use them to help my friends learn sight words.
I will make address-label-sized, laminated sight word cards and somehow stick them to the front of the beanies. Maybe with safety pins (is that a bad idea for Kinders??). Each beanie will be named after the word on the front (Mr. (insert sight word) or Ms. (insert sight word)). On certain days/at certain times, each student will get to babysit a particular beanie and while the beanie is under his/her supervision, the student should be making sure to learn the beanie's name (the sight word!). At certain points during the day, I would check in with the student and have them tell me the beanie's name.
I am also pondering making the beanies part of the line walking routine. This would, of course, take some training and might be reserved for the second part of the school year when the kids have been exposed to more words. I am imagining a small round laundry basket which would be home to the beanie's until it was time to line up. As kids are called to join the line, they can take a beanie from the basket (you get what you get and you don't throw a fit) and carry that beanie to the next destination, putting it back in its home upon arrival as they shuffle into the music room or gym and tell me their word. This has the potential to be a total disaster, yet it also has the potential to be genius. If a child has to hold the beanie with two hands, those hands cannot be used for touching another child. If the child is not obeying the walking in the hall rules, it is simply not safe for the beanie and the beanie goes back to its home. My hope is that my kiddos will take this caretaker role seriously enough to behave with the bears. But if not, the consequence is that the beanie gets taken away.
There could also be potential for some fun games using the beanies and hopefully the kids would learn the words. I could even start the year with just letters on the cards instead of words and transition to words once we get our sight word vocabulary going throughout the year. Even if these beanies were incorporated just a few times a day, that is good practice for remembering letters, sounds, and ultimately words.
Stay tuned this summer for my pleads for beanie donations! hehe.
Do you have a favorite Beanie Baby?
What is the craziest story you know about someone trying to obtain a particular (or any) Beanie Baby?