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December 10, 2019

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Tech Tuesday: ASHA Convention Wrap-up, Part 1

Braidy doll imageThis year brought those of the speech-language pathologist ilk to Orlando, which I have come to think of as the land of simulated Character and Setting. Inside the more sedate but still stimulating conference halls, MindWing’s tools were shared by a number of presenters including me! In Developing Expressive Language In Preschoolers: Strategies to Increase Utterance Length and Complexity (Mentis, Howland, Graham), the authors described their integration of Braidy the StoryBraid® into a language and literacy program for preschoolers, providing graduate student clinicians with wonderful experience in targeting language in the context of stories and play. The presenters recommended a number of books used within their program, moving from emphasis on simple to more complex story grammar and microstructure...

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December 04, 2019

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Let It Snow! Winter-Themed Lessons with Story Grammar Marker®

Casey and Maryellen snow photoHere in Western Massachusetts, we just had a Thanksgiving weekend storm that dropped 2 FEET of snow in our backyards! It reminded us to share with you links to our past blog posts that contain winter-themed lessons and downloads. Also, we included a comprehensive list of favorite winter-themed books. At left is Maryellen and granddaughter Casey (aged 5) with their snowman.

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November 13, 2019

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Setting & Sequencing with “The Firefighters' Thanksgiving”

Firefighter’s ThanksgivingToday, I came across a book with a Thanksgiving theme that I would like to share with you. Also, at the end of this blog, you will find a list of additional resources for Thanksgiving that may be of interest to you. This book would be ideal to use with the setting icon as we follow the firefighters throughout their Thanksgiving Day. The book is presented in rhyme and the acrylic painting illustrations enhance the story of being thankful and joining together to show appreciation. After reading the selection, I reviewed the firefighters' day with my small group of students with my magnetic whiteboard and Story Grammar Marker Icon Magnets. I used the setting icon to emphasize that a setting is not only a place, but also time as well as the action icons for the sequence of events...

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October 30, 2019

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Tech Tuesday: More on Memes (Think Halloween!)

Meme 2 imageToday’s kids really like memes, digesting them from internet spaces we are too cool to inhabit! Therefore, they serve as a textual or language-infused genre that we can exploit for our students’ engagement. Often a meme suggests some element of a narrative that serves to facilitate a discussion or mapping of other elements. We can compare and contrast these narrative forms with exposition, or explaining ideas (see Thememaker®). When critiquing narrative works such as movies, it’s always felt to be a no-no to have too much exposition, or telling (not showing), such as when a character suddenly explains the mystery inherent to a plot...

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October 07, 2019

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Character, Settings and Sequencing with Braidy®: Themed Lessons Using “There was an Old Lady…” Series

There Was An Old Lady... book coverOur talented colleague Danielle Cooper, M.S. CCC-SLP, of Baltimore City Schools gave us permission to share this wonderful lesson using the “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A…” series. This series of books, written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee, shows a woman who swallows random items. Each story rhymes. At the end of each story, those objects are used to create a bigger product aligned with a particular theme. Some of the themes available for the books are Fall, Winter, Thanksgiving, Spring, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick's Day, Beach, Back to School, Birthdays, etc. Each book has the same format: introduction of the character with a sequence of events. These stories are useful for mini rhyming lessons and building thematic vocabulary. They are perfect for introducing the Braidy® Methodology and focusing on Character, Setting, and Sequence of Events (Action Sequence Stage of Narrative Development)...

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September 27, 2019

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“Maui” of Disney’s Moana: Using Story Grammar Marker® with Legends

Hawaii sunset imageIn this blog post, we share with you a children’s book called Maui Hooks the Islands with a narrative analysis, a legend written in 1700 AD, a Disney Moana song, and lesson ideas that we showed at our workshop participants in Hawai'i. The first couple of weeks of September marked the third time that Maryellen and I have traveled to Hawai’i to provide professional development for Speech-Language Pathologists, pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade teachers and special educators in the Hawai'i State Department of Education. Through these experiences, we have grown to love the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, water and sunsets, and especially, the people of Hawai'i. My 5-year-old daughter Casey has made each trip to Hawai’i with us, and the first time we came, she was enthralled with Disney’s Moana (hoping to meet her in person!). In order to kick off our workshops, we wanted to learn more about the Polynesian culture that this movie depicts...

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August 21, 2019

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When No One There Is Like You: Exploring Feelings & “Fitting In” with SGM

The Day You Begin cover imageThe Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, is a beautiful, nonlinear story to share with children, especially at the beginning of the school year. It encourages children to think about their feelings when entering new situations and creates an opportunity for teachers to provide a discussion with and to show support of children in such situations. Before sharing the selection, take a look at the following links for background information. This book is actually a story of a girl named Angelina, included with examples and guiding suggestions for fitting in, with which all of us can identify. Included below is also a link to the illustrator’s website, Rafael Lopez, discussing the development of the artwork for this book, which older students would find interesting...

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