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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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May 19, 2017

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DIY Hands-On Activities For Narrative/Expository Text-Based Questions

The“Core” of The Core manual coverAs I was reviewing blogs written last year at this time in May, I came across one (Magnetic Spinner Activity for Narrative Expository Text Questions) that used the Narrative/Expository Text-Based Question Cards from MindWing’s The “Core” of the Core manual (pages 171-182). This manual is chock-full of ideas for classroom use, both whole group and small group instruction. These narrative and expository questions may be used for both fiction and nonfiction. All you have to do is print them, laminate, and cut… then choose the ones which reinforce your student goals. The questions are easily paired with your current reading selections and with SGM maps. You may also add your own questions, modified for your students, but the ones presented will certainly get you started!...

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September 30, 2016

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High Stakes Test Results: An Opportunity for Collaboration Using SGM

Teacher and Boy with SGM Braidy DollAfter receiving many positive comments regarding a recent post, Using Data Collection and Collaboration to Enhance Instruction, I wanted to share two other ideas that you may find helpful when first using the SGM® in your school. If you are not using the SGM® school-wide, then try working with a colleague as the SGM® is the perfect vehicle to establish collaboration and a common language around student comprehension questions and the thought processes involved in answering those questions...

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September 15, 2016

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Mini-Lesson Video for 8th Grade Science Topic with ThemeMaker for Expository Text

Lauren and Her Science ProjectYesterday, we had a great question on our Official Story Grammar Marker Professional Learning Community. This is a closed group on Facebook and it is virtual community of professionals who love SGM®! Members have the opportunity to share ideas, post photos, ask questions, tell success stories, get help with challenges and basically post anything that might inspire colleagues regarding the use of Story Grammar Marker® and related MindWing Concepts’ products. Join our Facebook group today. The question asked was regarding using Story Grammar Marker® methodology with 8th grade science. We shared a sample of a Science Experiment Map that was used by an 8th grader for the Science Fair project...

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September 07, 2016

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Series of Lessons with The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen BooksOne of my favorite series of lessons which I taught at the former Juniper Park School in Westfield, Massachusetts, involved the folktale The Little Red Hen. I used three versions of this folktale; one retold by Paul Galdone, one by Margot Zemach and the third by Alan Garner. The use of these books supports the six CCSS standards listed in this blog...

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September 01, 2016

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Using Data Collection and Collaboration to Enhance Instruction

Marker with DescriptionsThe icons and maps of the Story Grammar Marker®, Braidy®, and ThemeMaker® make abstract concepts of text structure visible and concrete for students. The use of the developmental stages of narrative development (shown below) enables you to differentiate instruction within your classroom. In schools I have worked, one such way we implemented SGM® methodology to support instruction was to establish grade level group writing conferencing sessions three formal times a year...

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July 07, 2016

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Summer School Explorations with Google Earth

Google Earth ImageSetting is a key area of instruction for students on the autism spectrum not only because they tend not to observe the “expected behaviors” or script for a given setting, but also because they often leave out details about Setting when Star Icon Imagetelling stories to others, thus resulting in loss of a point of reference and confusion on the part of their listener. Students in social thinking/skills groups or individual treatment would therefore benefit from building descriptive skills through the use of the Setting Map contained in It’s All About the Story and other SGM resources. Once again, as visual and kinesethetic learners, working with resources they can see and manipulate assists in building these skills...

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