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January 06, 2018

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An 8-Step Lesson for Critical Thinking Featuring “Llama Llama”

Four Llama Llama BooksLlama Llama Mad At Mama by Anna Dewdney is an early elementary favorite. The lesson below is geared to ending first grade/second, but of course, can be changed/modified to meet your student needs. The Critical Thinking Triangle® In Action! tool has been a huge success with students in K-8. The Critical Thinking Triangle® (CTT) is the crux of the Story Grammar Marker® methodology for students when working through their problems, comprehending stories presented in academic settings, or when formulating and expressing personal narratives...

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November 28, 2017

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An Eric Carle Book Lesson on Character & Setting

Do You Want to Be My Friend? booksIf you are looking for a quick lesson to review the Character and Setting icons with preschool and K students, check out the two versions of Do You Want To Be My Friend? by Eric Carle. In both versions, a mouse runs to many animals in search of a friend, asking, “Do you want to be my friend?” At the end of the story, he accomplishes his goal with an added surprise! For each animal the mouse asks, we are given a clue of seeing the animal’s tail and then the page turns to show the entire animal. The miniature version has text which follows the same format throughout…The mouse asks each animal, “Do you want to be my friend?”...

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October 24, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: Spooky Stories, Revisited with Kick-Offs!

Toontastic LogoThe Toontastic app has long been a good companion for interventions with Story Grammar Marker®. The original app, released in the early 2010s, was designed with scaffolding in mind, as a “patch,” so to speak, on the problem of decreased play time and increased expectations for students to “write stories” as they reached first grade. Toontastic has undergone some changes after being purchased by Google a few years ago, and is now available as a free “Toontastic 3D” version for both iPad and Android...

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August 15, 2017

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9 Books, 3 Activities & 4 FREE Downloads for Kicking-Off Back-to-School!

Sample Heart Question pictureIt’s amazing how quickly summer flies by! I have mentioned many times that throughout my 38 years of teaching, I always appreciated the fact that each school year brought about new opportunities to improve my teaching techniques. Not all occupations offer one a chance to reflect on what worked and what could be refined, both in materials and delivery, with the overall goal of building upon children’s strengths. From our group at MindWing, we wish you a successful school year and Kick-Off Iconhope you enjoy the following blog to help with ideas to “KICK-OFF” your school year!...

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July 31, 2017

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Do-It-Yourself Ringed Cards for Teaching Beginning, Middle, End & Story Development

Ringed Icon CardsRecently, I saw a clever sound blending idea on Pinterest using rings and small cards. It reminded me of our very popular blog using popsicle sticks to teach story elements using the Story Grammar Marker®. With these thoughts in mind, here are two ideas that are simple to make and easy to transport from one site to another making them ideal for teachers/interventionists/therapists who move from class to class...

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July 25, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: Beach Stories!

Father-Daughter at Beach photo

Kids love talking about the beach, and so many Kick-Offs can happen in a beach setting! While not everyone is close to a coastal beach, trips to beaches or pools with family are a hallmark of summer, and can be a great context for narrative work during summer sessions or upon return in the fall. Here are a number of technology resources that can serve as contexts and scaffolding for this summer topic. The Toca Life apps, featured here on the MindWing Blog previously, are excellent contexts for any level of narrative development. Toca Life: Vacation features a number of Settings from which you can develop descriptive elaboration: a beach (naturally), airport, and hotel. Toca Life: Town contains several homes...

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July 20, 2017

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How To Use “Narwhal Makes A Sandwich” to Teach Story Structure & Information Text

Narwhal Makes a Sandwich Book CoverMaryellen recently received a very special package at her MindWing office in Springfield, MA. Inside was a lovely note along with a recently published children’s book, Narwhal Makes a SandwichThis book is written by Laura Addington, a Speech Language Pathologist, and Aryn Franklin, an Occupational Therapist, and illustrated by Tara Put, also a Speech Language Pathologist. As written in the note, they used the Story Grammar Marker® to scaffold their story! We thought you would enjoy this selection outlined as a Complete Episode...

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