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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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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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