OIS Teacher Feature: Friends Make Reading Fun!
Reading is a focus at Odenville Intermediate School. With so many wonderful teachers and students, you can always find something exciting going on as you walk through the halls, seeking out readers. Take for example, Mrs. Wonert's Class. Mrs. Wonert teaches reading to both a fabulous group of third graders AND to a beloved group of Beanie Baby Friends. During independent reading time, you will see a room full of engaged student readers...why are they so engaged? Well, because they're reading to their "friends"...a Beanie Baby animal friend of their choice. The Beanie Babies seem to enjoy being read TO almost as much as the students enjoy reading! When asked about her flock of readers, this is what Mrs. Wonert had to say:
I "borrowed" this idea from another teacher at Steele Junior High School. However, she allowed students to read to any stuffed animal. I collected beanie babies when I was a child and I came across them again when I was moving houses. I hated seeing them boxed up and put away so..... I thought they would come in handy for silent reading in my classroom. Brilliant idea! I have never seen children get so excited about reading!! Reading with the beanie babies is a reward. Sometimes if my class (as a whole) has been good for the day, I let them read with a beanie baby. I also let them read with them on test days once they have finished taking their test. Seeing my students silently read to them is precious. Some of them put the beanie babies on their shoulders and read; while others have them in front of them reading and showing the book as if they were a teacher! Priceless!
Keep up the great work, Mrs. Wonert. You ARE making a difference...creating life-long lovers of reading!