A few years ago, I noticed how well my students were picking up on their decoding skills. I had been utilizing the Beanie Baby Strategy I came upon while helping my neighbor girl with her homework one day. I looked them up online and I gave them a try. After 3 years, I could see a dramatic difference not only in the usage and understanding of decoding strategies, but the motivation they created. Simply placing the animals in the center of our reading table caused excitement!
I began to use the same Beanie Baby Strategies I found to introduce and reinforce the comprehension skills I was teaching as well. For some odd reason, they didn’t catch on. I chalked it up to comprehension being a much more difficult skill to attain. But one day, I stumbled upon a cute little book about a chicken and his father and the way I taught comprehension changed forever! (See older post “How a Children’s Book Changed the Way I Taught Comprehension“.
I began to feverishly search for books that held a comprehension strategy message. The catch was, I had to tie that message to an animal to keep the Beanie Baby momentum in motion. This was quite the search. My local librarian and the children’s department head at Barnes and Noble got to know me quite well. I read hundreds of books and have been able to create meaningful comprehension strategy lessons with a deep connection to the skill/animal.
This scope, although I’m still a newbie at Periscope, is my attempt to share my thoughts and a little information about the strategy and its development. (Please excuse the eye blinking…geesh…I guess I blink when I’m thinking.)
I hope this helps to explain my thinking and how I go about introducing our first visualization experience.
Until the next post…