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May 27, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Placing Expository Structures/Icons in Context

Topic icon imageMindWing’s icons for narrative and expository language can make conversation about any TOPIC a strategic and scaffolded one. Last month I recorded a free webinar with Maryellen (Technology Tools to Engage Children in Science & Social Studies During Distance Learning Sessions) on expository text structures (ThemeMaker®) and using MindWing’s icons in context with technology resources. In this post, I’ll be giving some examples of expository-embedded resources online that can be used in teletherapy sessions. By expository-embedded, I mean resources that don’t necessarily say one, another, also, or first, then next, but can be used to form conversations and reviews with structures like List and Sequence. Take for example, Google Earth. This now-web-based interactive globe allows you to simply search and navigate in order to provide tours, and what is a tour but a LIST (or SEQUENCE) of places within a main idea or overall location...

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May 06, 2020

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May 6, 2020: Thoughtful poetry for all times…

Brown Girl Dreaming book coverWoodson, J. (2014). Brown Girl Dreaming. NY: Putnam. This is a book of poetry centering on the author’s life experiences growing up in Ohio. She remembers life as a child and applies these memories to her future. There are two poems that I would like to cite: “every wish, one dream,” (pages 313–314) and “it’ll be scary sometimes,” (pages 13–14). The first selection is about Woodson’s dream of becoming a writer. As many writers have, she has read much and remembered the themes, lines of stories and poems, and their life lessons. As I read the passage to you, think about her expression of her life’s goal. The second poem is about a memory from early life stories about family experiences from past generations. Handout Available...

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May 05, 2020

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May 5, 2020: A book of short stories with serious messages through many voices

Seedfolks book cover

Fleischman, R. (2004). Seedfolks. NY: Harper Trophy. This is a collection of voices of people who, in one way or another, relate to a vacant lot in Cleveland, Ohio, during the 1930s. The vacant lot is full of smelly trash dumped there over a period of years. Gradually, people are drawn to the site to plant, see things grow and to socialize. All are people who have sustained great hardships in life. Each short chapter is a snippet of their experience, mostly as immigrants to our country. I’ve selected the character Leona as a focus for this lesson. Leona’s chapter begins with a memory of her grandmother. The memory centered on goldenrod tea with a nutmeg floating in it. Her grandmother drank it every day to ward off illness…and any doctor! There are several kick-offs that signal mini-episodes within this short story. Handout Available...

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May 01, 2020

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May 1, 2020: “And Then It Happened”—Books for Older Students

And Then It Happened book coverWade, M & L. (2006). And Then It Happened. Ontario, Canada: Books for Boys. This series of books was given to me when I was in Ontario, Canada, presenting about narrative development. I thought I would present one of these stories today since there is an opportunity to have a little fun with the content of these volumes. The short stories are written for boys (and girls) between grades 3 & 6. The website www.boysbookshelf.com provides a sample short story from each of the volumes as well as listings of all the Canadian school systems visited by Michael Wade, one of the authors. My favorite story is “The Giant Cupcakes.” I have used it as reader’s theater with props. It is lots of fun. There are several Kick-Offs throughout this short story. Handout Available...

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April 29, 2020

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April 29, 2020: Esperanza Rising’s Theme of Hope: A Book for Use with Older Students

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Today, I am continuing discussing the books that I recommended yesterday for students who are older and would like to read short stories, verse and novels. I cited eight titles and provided annotations for each. Each of the books focuses on the theme of resilience and with the ability to take perspective of self and others, students will be able to “see themselves through others’ experiences” and reflect on their lives in general. During the next several days, I will provide a glimpse into each book and refer to the Story Grammar Marker®. Today we will apply the Story Grammar Marker® to Esperanza Rising, chapter 1. I chose Esperanza Rising as the first in this series since Esperanza means “HOPE.” Hope is a vital character trait for us to focus on during these times. Through literature, students learn about themselves, through others’ experiences. They see resilience in action!

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April 28, 2020

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April 28, 2020: Book List for Older Students During COVID19, FB Live

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Today, we talk about a list of books for older children. These books are great for teaching components of narrative development using our Story Grammar Marker® icons. If you and your students understand these components and can use them to focus the discussion of the story itself, they will be better at listening and reading comprehension. Each of the following lend themselves to a read-aloud, although each may be read traditionally. Also, each of the stories have some form of information, knowledge, used by the various authors. For instance, dePaola’s book begins with a hurricane; Fleischman’s concerns a garden: planting, sunlight, vegetables, etc...

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April 24, 2020

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April 24, 2020: Final Lesson Ideas for Settings, FB Live

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Last of 3-Day Lesson Ideas for Settings: When choosing Big Red Barn as a follow-up to the “At the Farm” assigned passage, my purpose–as a parent at home–was to use the book to elaborate on the topic that was presented in the assigned passage, as a teacher may do in school. I wasn’t worried about lexiles. I wanted a book that would appeal to a child in kindergarten to read for fun and maybe to teach a few things. When looking through Big Red Barn I found many elaborations!

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