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January 18, 2017

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SLPs: Be Empowered to Collaborate!

Maryellen in the 1970sIn the early 1970s, I began my work as a Speech/Language Pathologist in the Hartford, Connecticut Public Schools. The department head, Margaret Kennedy, an Iowa native, was trying to entice someone to teach a “Language Disabilities Class” at Dwight School in the South End. Language Disability was the new term in our field at that time. I had just gotten my Master’s Degree at Penn State and had an enlightening summer course in “language disabilities” under my belt. We used Helmer Myklebust’s text entitled Differential Diagnosis of Language Impairments, as our basic text and studied intervention methodologies such as the Association Method, developed at Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, the ITPA, Auditory Discrimination in Depth (now known as Lindamood/Lindamood)...

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January 11, 2017

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Penguins: The COOL Topic For Narrative and Expository Text!

Whitney Post PhotoA recent posting shared on MindWing’s Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/pierrewhitneyslp) showed a fantastic SGM® lesson by Whitney Chitty Smith of “Let’s Talk with WhitneySLP,” related to the book, Pierre the Penguin, A True Story, written by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Laura Regan. After viewing this terrific post (Thank You, Whitney!), I immediately went to the top drawer of my desk and pulled out the book. I had started a blog entry for this book back in November and had never completed it!...

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December 20, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Toca Life: Farm and other Sandbox apps provide fertile ground for storytelling!

Toca Boca IconSandbox apps, like the real-life playspace they are named after, allow you to play pretty much however you want within their boundaries. Sandboxes themselves are constrained by the walls of the box, the toys you have and the amount of sand; sandbox apps tend to be bound by a context. Toca Boca has created a series of sandbox apps containing different real-world contexts, the latest being Toca Life: Farm ($2.99 for iPad and other platforms). Toca Life: Farm allows you to play and tell stories within a farm scene, farmhouse, barn and farm store, and the possibilities for Kick-Offs, Plans and Actions are limited only by your imagination...

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December 16, 2016

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FREE “Frosty the Snowman” Lesson

Casey and Braidy the StoryBraid DollMy 2-year-old daughter (and Maryellen’s granddaughter), Casey, loves to watch an old VHS tape of Frosty the Snowman at her grandparents’ house. She gets frustrated when the tape has to be rewound, since she was born into the “magic” of the YouTube and OnDemand era!! She recently got the Golden Book of Frosty and says, “Mommy, can we read Charlie the Snowman?” (I think she gets the name confused with “A Charlie Brown Christmas”!) Reading it with her and singing the Frosty song, which tells the story, reminded me of a lesson that we had posted 10 years ago...

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December 09, 2016

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Brrr...Winter is here!

Winter Lessons GraphicWith snow predicted in many locations and some areas already under a blanket of snow, check out our very popular blog post from last year: Reading Lessons and Blogs About the Winter Season.

Stay warm!

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November 28, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Recommending “YouCue Feelings” by Dr. Anna Vagin

YouCue Feelings Book CoverStory Grammar Marker® intersects in powerful ways with social learning tools and methodologies such as Social Thinking®, The Incredible Five Point Scale, and The Zones of Regulation®. Many of these approaches emphasize situational awareness and understanding of social contexts. Also emphasized in these approaches is the process of “getting” others’ perspectives and the “Landscape of Consciousness” illuminated by discussing Reactions (using an SGM® Reaction Sequence map) and advancing to target description of Feelings and Plans. Dr. Anna Vagin has carved a niche for exploring the utility of videos in addressing these aspects of narrative language and social cognition, detailed in her books Movie Time Social Learning and YouCue Feelings, which will be discussed in this post...

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November 22, 2016

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“Featuring” Expression of Feelings Using Feeling-Frames

Character and Feeling-Thought FramesDuring Maryellen’s last two webinars, Story Grammar Marker: 2 Key Things That Set It Apart and 5 Elements of the Critical Thinking Triangle in Action!, she used a feeling-frame with the boys who participated in the lesson to highlight how characters were feeling and what they were thinking in the story, Those Shoes by Maribeth Boltz. The frames have been particularly motivating with students. They can be easily made using tongue depressors and popsicle sticks. Craft stores carry colorful ones in various sizes. We have found the easiest way to hold them together is with glue dots, also available in craft stores. These activities would go nicely with our new product, The Critical Thinking Triangle in Action! and are very adaptable to students and materials!

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