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March 22, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Technology Brings Stories to “Give”

Teacher and Book imageThe “Give a Story to Get a Story” technique is one we all know makes sense. We’ve seen what often happens when we ask students to produce a narrative out of the blue. More often than not, we are rewarded with a blank stare! The use of the “Conversational Map,” the formal name for this technique, was first described by Peterson and McCabe (1983) and, in web-accessible articles, adapted by McCabe and Rollins (1994) and Hadley (1998). In my experience, these articles hit on principles applicable when working with preschool, through adult clients, who can all benefit from language scaffolding...

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February 23, 2021

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COVID19 Vaccine and ThemeMaker®

Coronavirus illustration
Medical vector created by pikisuperstar - www.freepik.com

I wanted to know exactly HOW the COVID19 Vaccine worked and WHY you should join our ThemeMaker® Master Class… Learn how to use ThemeMaker® for teaching your students informational text by giving them the strategies, modeling, visual supports, and guided, step-by-step practice to handle the cognitive load and deconstruct the information necessary for reading informational texts, answering complex questions, and forming arguments. Read below for an example of this learning process in my life. Imagine one of your students wanting to know this information and navigating this process. Would they have the tools they need to do it?...

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February 16, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: “Jam” with SGM®

Jamboard sample imageGet ready to Jam! This past year, Google introduced the interactive and collaborative tool Jamboard, which could not have come at a better time given the pandemic and our need to engage students via distance learning. Jamboard allows for quick and easy co-creation of visuals in a shared space via addition of images, sketches, text boxes and post-its. Therefore, it is a great venue for making interactive scenes, brainstorming, and generating language on graphic organizers. To access Jamboard, follow the steps you would to get started with any Google tool: go to the “waffle” in the upper right corner of a Google space such as Gmail or Drive, and select Jamboard...

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January 06, 2021

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A Hopeful Message for the New Year: “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld

The Rabbit Listened book coverIn celebration of the New Year, we want to focus on a message of “hope,” so we have chosen a selection of children's literature called The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld, for use with the Story Grammar Marker® or Braidy the StoryBraid® in school, for remote learning, or at home! In this Blog post, we will share an analysis of story elements and narrative structure using Story Grammar Marker® icons, a discussion of the message and metaphoric meaning, as well as activities with FREE downloads (found toward end of post)...

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December 22, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: “Woke” Stories, Using the Critical Thinking Triangle® with Current Events

News image 1This fall I have had the great pleasure of working with a student who is very engaged in teletherapy and has a special interest in topics related to social justice. His “woke” nature has served him in keeping informed about the pandemic and stories related to the Black Lives Matter movement, but like many of our students, he can miss important elements of these narrative events. ASHA outlines that incorporating Client Values into treatment is an important component of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). This is defined as “the unique set of personal and cultural circumstances, values, priorities, and expectations identified by your client and their caregivers.” This aspect, as well as the importance of engaging textual contexts and targeting narrative for students with ASD, led me to conduct a weekly current events activity through teletherapy for his sessions...

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December 21, 2020

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Building Comprehension and Expression with “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”

Christmas book imagesLike most of you, many of our holiday traditions this year have been altered or cancelled, but one we can still count on in our house is reading the poem ’Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. We have at our home some stunning versions of this famous poem in children’s picture book form. ’Twas The Night Before Christmas was first published with the title Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas almost 200 years ago, on December 23, 1823 in New York’s Troy Sentinel. It is this poem that gave rise to the image of Santa Claus we know and love in the United States and Canada; a jolly, round, old man with a white beard and red suit who drives a sleigh through the sky to bring gifts to children around the world on Christmas...

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November 24, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Gratitude is a Story

Gracias-Thanks book coverThe practice of gratitude is one that research suggests can be helpful psychologically all year round, so my hope is that this post will be useful to you in many days beyond Thanksgiving. However, when you think about it, gratitude is based in narrative, as a thought/emotion we have in response to life events. Culatta and Westby (2016), in a tutorial entitled “Telling Tales,” suggest that intervention to improve narrative language including emotional and theory of mind content should “focus on emotion and character traits that cross events.” For this and other reasons, particularly “in these difficult times,” we would do well to cultivate expressions of gratitude in interventions across the year and in varied contexts. Here are some resources to help you promote gratitude along with narrative and expository language...

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