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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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September 26, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Build a Story with LEGO, Part 2

Smart Apps for Kids Website ListIn last month’s Tech Tuesday post, we discussed the potential of LEGO® products in interventions for social cognition and language development. The post focused on the uses of real, hands-on LEGOs for building stories, specifically, using baseplates to collaboratively build a Setting with minifigure characters, with blocks setting the stage for discussion of Actions, Kick-Offs, and Reactions. At the same time, multifunction LEGO blocks provide students with opportunities to apply the Social Thinking® concepts of “sharing imagination” and “adding thoughts” as they build together. In this post, let’s look at some (mostly) tech-based opportunities to capitalize on students’ interest in LEGO....

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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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August 18, 2016

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Write a Response!

Whiteboard WritingWriting a question or statement on a whiteboard and having students respond during the school day is becoming increasingly popular. It can be used as way to check in with students about a current topic and initiate discussion. Shown is one way to bring in the SGM® icons. Put this board in view after lunch on the first day of school. You may also post the SGM® Feelings PosterAsk the students to write one word to describe how they were feeling before coming to school and one to describe how they currently are feeling...

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