Friday, September 11, 2009

Back To School Beanworld

This is a really fun post

When we last heard from Kristina Parmenter, it was to show her Mr. Spook pencil holder.

At the time she wrote:
"I just wanted to say how happy I am to see Beanworld back in print. I teach elementary school and have always wanted to put my Beanworld books in my classroom but I wasn't willing to risk my old and precious copies. This year, Beanworld will be on the shelf and I can't wait to see my students discover it!"

Then recently she wrote again:

"Is it all right with you if I put Beanworld characters around my classroom? I teach second and third grade this year, and I've been very excited to finally have Beanworld books in my classroom. I have also been getting a little bored with the standard "happy animal" decorations I get from teacher stores, and wanted to do something a little different. Beanworld characters seemed perfect.

I would like to make other Beanworld characters to enhance other areas in my room (I thought Proffy would be perfect for Science Center, Beanish for Art Center). I decided to use Mr. Spook to hold "Helper of the Day" names on his trusty fork. However, I wanted to be sure this was okay with you before I did any more."

Needless to say, I wrote back and let her know that it is quite alright with me:

I heartily endorse what you are up to!

I've long had a hunch that Beanworld can be a very helpful tool in educational situations. And your ideas about the various zones seem thoroughly appropriate too.

And then, this came!

Mr. Marder,

On the first day of school, one of my kids found the Beanworld books on the shelf and instantly made the connection to the Beanworld characters I'd put on the walls. She asked me about them, but I said that if she read the books, she'd figure out who they were and why I put them where I did. Suddenly it became a mystery to solve, and I had groups of kids fighting over the books trying to figure it out! Three days later and they've solved the mystery, although I had to admit that Mr. Spook doesn't have much to do with a calendar, but some students decided that Gran'Ma'Pa up at the top made sense, because the Beans have to look to Gran'Ma'Pa for what they will do each day, and that's what the calendar/schedule does. I thought that was some pretty good thinking, really. One student suggested that I make baby beans for Listening Center, because the baby beans are supposed to listen and learn, and another student said that I should put beans with (as he put it) "chow grabbers" on the Lunch Bucket.

My class has really taken to Beanworld!

Kristina Parmenter

Science Center

Art Center

Math Center

The Classroom Bookshelf
These are good neighbors for Beanworld on ANY bookshelf...
but a zillion times better in a third grade class room.

Well, pretty darn interesting don't you think?

What a thoroughly interesting experiment by a really cool teacher!
Now, I had great teachers when I was growing up, but, I was in the third grade in 1959, and needless to say, comic books and comic book characters were still at the peak of their noxious notoriety in the schools.

Sheesh, when I was in the third grade I was practically declared a future juvenile delinquent by the Highland Park school system because I drew a picture of Batman!

We all know better now.
The schools, the libraries, bookstores, and parents all now recognize that comics are a gateway into the pure joy of reading.

A hale and hearty Wahoolazuma! to Kristina Parmenter and her students.
And best of all?
They get to read Remember Here When You Are There! in this classroom during this school year!

I hope we can get additional reports throughout the year, Kristina!


Torsten Adair said...


Great selection of graphic novels!

What a cool teacher!

ZenMondo Wormser said...

This is a fantastic post, its really WAHOOLAZUMA. I love seeing children falling in love with Beanworld, and love seeing a school setting to grow that love. And they are participating in the story making their own suggestions. That's the great thing about Beanworld, we all share this world and participate in it with our imaginations and perceptions, yet for each of us our Beanworld is an individual thing.

Funnily enough my third grade classroom also had some comics in it that we could read. There was an issue of Marvel's Star Wars that I must have read 50 times.

I am sure Kristina's students will love these comics just as much.

Unknown said...

Coolest teacher ever!

Geo said...

this is great idea!