In light of our upcoming July 17th workshop in Natick, MA called The “Core” of the Core: Using Story Grammar Marker® to Support Learning Challenged & “At Risk” Students in Meeting Grade-Level Common Core State Standards, we wanted to share with you a response sent to Maryellen by a colleague who is a Reading/Language Arts Specialist K-8 in a school district in Connecticut. She explains why she thinks that MindWing’s materials and methodology are the only ones that are truly “CCSS-aligned!” This message shows the concrete and practical way that our methodology supports the CCSS, which is actually the basis for the workshop on July 17th in Natick.
So nice to hear from you! I am doing very well and I have to tell you, I think of you every day! Your resources have proven to be invaluable to us as we have tried to dig deeper to instruct students in language, comprehension, and writing. But now as we are trying to unwrap those Common Core State Standards, OMG - we are all so grateful that we have Braidy®!! Key words for specific types of text, cohesive ties, "story sparkle" - not to mention a deep understanding of macrostructure - it is all there!!
In Kindergarten we have started a daily center specifically devoted to those 70 mini-lessons of yours in the Braidy® manual. We have experimented with an assessment that we hope to implement next year: the teacher reads "Mrs. Wishy-Washy" by Joy Cowley to a child, then uses your rubric as s/he retells the story back. We will implement this in the winter and spring.
In first grade, we have been experimenting more with your graphic organizers for expository text from the Talk to Write, Write to Learn®. For next year, we will adapt them a bit to make them more "first grade friendly (bigger lines for writing). Also next year, our new goal is to get students to show their understanding of the complete episode through an oral retelling of a story by the end of the year. Just yesterday, I finished creating an assessment on iMovie using "The Bear's Toothache" - the book you introduced to us. In the fall, winter, and spring, students will watch this movie and record their retelling into the computer. Then all of us first grade teachers will meet to listen to the recordings, rate them together on your rubric, and discuss next steps for instruction. The recordings will go into the students' electronic portfolios and may even be sent home to parents to show growth from fall to spring!
In second grade, we have assessments that require students to read a story with a complete episode and write a retelling. As the year progresses from fall to spring, the Braidy® scaffold with which they are provided gets less and less.
In third grade, we have divided the year into several "genre" units. We start with fables to review episodic structure as well as the genre. Then we move into fairy tales, folk tales, mythology, and novels. How else could we help students to understand character complexity, motivation, and moral if not for Braidy®??? Next year, we will begin to integrate more of your graphic organizers for expository writing from Talk to Write, Write to Learn® and ThemeMaker® for main idea/details, sequence, cause/effect, compare/contrast... and then finally working in your persuasive maps for those opinion pieces (not sure now if they will work for grade three at this point in time, or if we will have to move them to grade 4 and 5).
At every Common Core workshop I attend, I tell people about MindWing’s materials. They are a Godsend!
And with everyone marketing their materials as "CCSS-aligned" – you ((MindWing) are the only one who can truly say it!!!
Thank you so much for all you do.
All my best,
For more information about our workshop on July 17th in Natick, please click here.
To inquire about us coming to your school district to provide this workshop, please click here and fill out the form.