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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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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 20, 2020

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April 20, 2020: COVID19 Uncertain Times, FB Live

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The “Who Would Win…” books are interesting in themselves since they present lots of information on the two animals presented when competing with each other. The outcome is an evaluation of evidence—some descriptive, some cause/effect, some problem/solution—that helps the reader to form an opinion as to: Who would win, it the two were opposing each other in the wild. Even though the information could be presented in a science text book, the presentation of facts is consolidated by pictures, embedded boxes such as Fun Facts and Did You Know? Structurally, the pages referring to contrasts between the animals are opposite each other, allowing the reader, or listener, to view both animals as descriptive...

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October 30, 2019

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Tech Tuesday: More on Memes (Think Halloween!)

Meme 2 imageToday’s kids really like memes, digesting them from internet spaces we are too cool to inhabit! Therefore, they serve as a textual or language-infused genre that we can exploit for our students’ engagement. Often a meme suggests some element of a narrative that serves to facilitate a discussion or mapping of other elements. We can compare and contrast these narrative forms with exposition, or explaining ideas (see Thememaker®). When critiquing narrative works such as movies, it’s always felt to be a no-no to have too much exposition, or telling (not showing), such as when a character suddenly explains the mystery inherent to a plot...

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August 31, 2018

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Blending Narrative and Expository Text with “Alaska’s Three Bears”

Alaska's Three Bears book coverMaryellen recommended this book at a workshop I attended many years ago, and I found so many uses for it when our second, third, fourth, and fifth graders began to explore narrative and expository text structures. Using the picture book Alaska’s Three Bears shows the flexibility of the SGM® for both narrative and expository texts. She shared lessons and activities for use with grades K-5 and noted that this book could be used with a variety of grade levels (2-5) as it helped to support a number of her goals and objectives as a Language Arts Teacher. There is both a story and expository information presented. The book is one that can be used with a variety of goals/objectives in mind, during whole-group and/or small-group instruction, and with a wide span of grade levels...

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April 13, 2018

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Chameleons Are Cool! Listing, Describing & Art

Chameleons Are Cool! book coverWho doesn’t love chameleons? I remember when I saw this book in our school library many years ago! I couldn’t wait to use it with our second grade students featuring the SGM List Map and Descriptive Map. At the time, I travelled from class to class, K-2, and brought SGM Marker and Braidy the StoryBraid, narrative and expository elements, into the classrooms. This time around, I created an informational sheet for grade 2 from various sources to begin our lessons. Notice how the information could be easily entered on an SGM Descriptive Map using the categories Physical Appearance, Habitat, Food and Eating, Young, and Special Characteristics. We completed the project in three sessions...

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March 09, 2018

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“Maniac Magee”: Exploring Character & Setting in Novels (with FREE Downloadables)

Maniac Magee CoverOne of the novels that we explored in sixth grade was Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Our focus varied, depending on our students, and my task was always to provide the scaffolding using the SGM® for classroom presentations—making the lessons accessible to all our students, including those with IEPs. Our elementary school used Braidy®/SGM® at all grade levels so that by the time students were in upper elementary, they were well-versed in using the icons for both narrative and expository texts. The beauty of the SGM®, however, is that the icons are easily learned and students can successfully participate in lessons in a few introductory sessions...

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