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September 27, 2019

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“Maui” of Disney’s Moana: Using Story Grammar Marker® with Legends

Hawaii sunset imageIn this blog post, we share with you a children’s book called Maui Hooks the Islands with a narrative analysis, a legend written in 1700 AD, a Disney Moana song, and lesson ideas that we showed at our workshop participants in Hawai'i. The first couple of weeks of September marked the third time that Maryellen and I have traveled to Hawai’i to provide professional development for Speech-Language Pathologists, pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade teachers and special educators in the Hawai'i State Department of Education. Through these experiences, we have grown to love the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, water and sunsets, and especially, the people of Hawai'i. My 5-year-old daughter Casey has made each trip to Hawai’i with us, and the first time we came, she was enthralled with Disney’s Moana (hoping to meet her in person!). In order to kick off our workshops, we wanted to learn more about the Polynesian culture that this movie depicts...

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March 19, 2019

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Tech Tuesday: The Story of an Argument and Perspective

No Argument imageNo need to break out the popcorn, we’re not talking about the argumentative kind of argument! I have been working with a high school student over the course of the past year who has particular difficulties in comprehension and discourse formulation. His school has quite a challenging program, and each session brings to the table a contextual assignment in which organizational strategies can be identified for him to apply. Fortunately, he is very engaged in the process and can always identify a task for which he needs help. This past week, he was working on constructing an outline for a debate argument, and I immediately thought of the Persuade organizer from MindWing’s Thememaker® tool for understanding and organizing expository language...

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May 29, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: Problem-Solving Approach Using Story Grammar Marker® Icons

Boy Being Bullied pictureOf late, I’ve unfortunately had a number of students who are needing to deal with getting teased or bullied. This is a tough area to intervene in because it is so sad and frustrating to see a young student being victimized, particularly when their social learning and communicative challenges likely are the reason why. It’s also difficult because we can’t really just provide one way to respond. “Ignore it,” being realistic, oftentimes does not work. Over the past few years, I have worked in these situations around problem-solving approaches, Story Grammar Marker® providing a great tool in the process. Problem-solving can be considered to be a forked format, with SGM®’s icons providing a guide to consider the who, where and when the problem involves, the nature of the problem itself, feelings and internal states/thoughts resulting, and the plan (in the case of teasing, to end it)...

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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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August 28, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: Summer Study and Event Narratives

Copyright: anthonycz / 123RF Stock PhotoI know some of you are already in school, so forgive the “Summer Study” aspect of this post, as I am holding on to the last days of summer (which goes until September, anyway). I have been impressed of late with ASHA’s publication of “tutorial” style articles that offer a synthesis of research and practical ideas and techniques for intervention. One of these recent articles is particularly relevant to the topic of this blog and to MindWing’s tools for narrative intervention: Telling Tales: Personal Event Narratives and Life Stories (Westby and Culatta, 2016). In this post I will discuss this article along with tech tools particularly related to the intervention suggestions around eliciting and scaffolding event narratives. Westby and Culatta set out to emphasize the importance of personal event narratives...

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February 14, 2017

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Working Around the Clock: 12 Lessons to Begin Using the Story Grammar Marker®

Blog Article CircleBecause collaborators come from different points of view in terms of their view of the students’ needs, the contents of this listing may be something to use as a discussion tool fostering collaboration among general education teachers, special education teachers, speech/language pathologists, school adjustment counselors and those focusing on social communication growth!...

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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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