Video segment about me, by the school district

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beanie Baby Directions

I'm sure many of you know the song "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear."  You know the one.  It goes "Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.  Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground."  Well, last year I was having one of those days when I just wanted something new and fresh to do with my kids.  I needed something to do for a pre-k small group for math.  I grabbed six of my daughter's teddy bear Beanie Babies and six washcloths.  What happened next was simply magical.  I sang the song with the kids and had them act it out using the Beanie Baby teddy bears.  Then I told them the bears were going to go on a picnic, and that they were going to use the washcloths as blankets.  We had our bears sit on their blanket, crawl under their blanket, go beside their blanket, jump up and down on their blanket, and put their blanket on their teddy bear's head.  Let me tell you, this activity went so well that even one of my kids who would usually crawl away from the group was completely engaged.  When I got home that night, I asked my daughter to gather up as many Beanie Babies as she could.  I found that over the years we had collected not only Beanie Baby bears, but tons of Beanie Baby cats, dogs, and bunnies.  I was in teacher heaven!

The next day, I used Jack Hartmann's song "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear."  I did it whole-group and gave each child in my class a teddy bear.  Can you believe I had 22 teddy bears?!  Today, I used Dr. Jean's song "Kitty Cat Position Scat" with a class set of cat Beanie Babies.  Here is a picture of the activity:

My class and I putting Beanie Baby cats on top of our heads
Since we have also been talking about same and different, we compared and contrasted our kitties in a class discussion.  At first, my students had trouble noticing how the cats were alike because they were focusing on the color, and all of the colors were different.  As soon as we started looking at body parts, my students got the idea.  They began to point out how they all had 2 ears, they all had a tail, they all had a nose, etc.  I'm going to use the Beanie Baby bunnies that we've collected over the years to teach my students left, right, up and back using the song "Bunny Hop (Rehearsal Version).". I found this song on iTunes, and the artist was listed as Karaoke.

I hope these ideas help you today, and I'd like to know what you do with stuffed animals in the classroom.

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