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NarrativeExpository Peer InteractionReadingWritingPre-SchoolEarly ElementaryUpper ElementaryMiddle/High SchoolTechnologyParent and Professional Information


September 25, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: Back to School Part 3—Considering Narrative Language Applications of Google Tools

Google Suite iconsLet’s consider some uses of one of the most commonly applied EdTech Tools: Google’s Apps or “G Suite.” G Suite has become a go-to within schools for a number of reasons, including its price (free), versatility and ease of use of productivity tools such as Docs and Slides, word processing and presentation creators, respectively. Additionally, G Suite is easily used on inexpensive Chromebook computers, which allow schools to put technology in a wide range of hands across the day. Chromebooks are easy to manage and essentially only run a Chrome web browser, making them a good match for use with the web-based G Suite. SLPs and literacy interventionists may see G Suite as too basic to consider for storytelling and narrative language opportunities. However, the opportunities to use images, drawings, and other visual supports are varied, easy to use, and worth considering—particularly when seeking to implement MindWing’s methodologies such as Story Grammar Marker® and ThemeMaker® within classroom settings, G Suite features will make it easy for students to apply what they are learning about narrative and expository language!...

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August 31, 2018

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Blending Narrative and Expository Text with “Alaska’s Three Bears”

Alaska's Three Bears book coverMaryellen recommended this book at a workshop I attended many years ago, and I found so many uses for it when our second, third, fourth, and fifth graders began to explore narrative and expository text structures. Using the picture book Alaska’s Three Bears shows the flexibility of the SGM® for both narrative and expository texts. She shared lessons and activities for use with grades K-5 and noted that this book could be used with a variety of grade levels (2-5) as it helped to support a number of her goals and objectives as a Language Arts Teacher. There is both a story and expository information presented. The book is one that can be used with a variety of goals/objectives in mind, during whole-group and/or small-group instruction, and with a wide span of grade levels...

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August 21, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: Back to School Part 2—Five Great Resources for Demonstrating Narrative and Informational Expression

Logos for ExcerptUsing interactive apps and websites, we can help students deconstruct discourse and see its essential parts. However, technology can also provide a space—a blank slate, so to speak—that we can use to help students use narrative and expository elements and icons to build language through engaging mini-projects using apps for creation. The realm of “digital storytelling” has expanded, and at the same time became more simplified with the arrival of easy-to-use apps. iPad and Android “creation” apps (oft referred to as apps that allow students to “show what they know”) can be used to make picture collages, books, animations or videos that tell a story or give information...

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August 07, 2018

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Spiders! 5 Books, Resources and Activities

Large Spider imageAs so often happens when I see a certain book or project, it reminds me of particular lessons that I taught while teaching at the former Juniper Park School in Westfield, MA. A recent display of books on spiders at our local library did just that. Below are some ideas on spider-related books that you may want to try this summer or tuck them away in your files for future use. In addition to other resources, several of the selections below are Anansi trickster tales which were first told by the Ashanti people in Ghana. We begin our lesson suggestions with one of the Anansi stories adapted and retold by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Janet Stevens. These were always popular with second and third graders. I liked to use them to reinforce the SGM® complete and interactive episodes and character traits...

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July 24, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: Back to School Part 1: 5 Great Resources for Deconstructing Narratives and Information

Logos for ArticleTechnology resources provide context through visuals and text, and these can be an extremely engaging way to introduce narrative and expository language structures to build comprehension. We can, along with our students, analyze the content of apps and websites in a process of co-engagement: What do you see? What do I see? MindWing’s narrative language icons and maps (Story Grammar Marker®) and corresponding expository language structures (ThemeMaker®) will lend a strategic and specific focus toward building the comprehension of discourse as you explore these resources! EPIC! Books for Kids is a clearinghouse of digital texts that are free for educators (sign up for the Educator Account). This resource is accessible on the web, iPad or even Apple TV, and contains 25,000 books, providing an experience similar to walking through a Scholastic Book Fair. The books are searchable by topic...

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July 03, 2018

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Two Summer Books (and More) with Feelings!

Heart icon graphicAs a former teacher of 38 years, I know summer is a time for educators to catch some much-needed R&R with family and friends. It is also a time to reflect on the past school year; what we thought went well and what changes we can make in the upcoming school year to improve student learning. I am always on the lookout for new books/materials to add to my lessons and recently came across two books that may interest you...

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June 26, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: Contextualizing Narrative and Social Interventions (Minecrafting)

Minecraft Education logoMaybe you’ve heard of Minecraft. In the past several years, this gaming universe has become particularly popular with the elementary set, and also has sparked efforts to incorporate its visually engaging and spatially useful interface into educational contexts. This post was sparked by some questions from a reader of this blog who wrote me to inquire whether I use Minecraft in my work and as a language development context, so I thought I might elaborate on that here. Complicated, right? My philosophy on technology integration in speech and language work has always been that tech is a tool to establish context, engagement, foster interaction and provide visual supports. It’s for this reason that complex, extended activities with technology such as Minecraft are not something I gravitate towards, though they are certainly possible if well planned. After all, we tend to have a limited amount of time for intervention with our students, and every minute is important...

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