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August 21, 2019

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When No One There Is Like You: Exploring Feelings & “Fitting In” with SGM

The Day You Begin cover imageThe Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, is a beautiful, nonlinear story to share with children, especially at the beginning of the school year. It encourages children to think about their feelings when entering new situations and creates an opportunity for teachers to provide a discussion with and to show support of children in such situations. Before sharing the selection, take a look at the following links for background information. This book is actually a story of a girl named Angelina, included with examples and guiding suggestions for fitting in, with which all of us can identify. Included below is also a link to the illustrator’s website, Rafael Lopez, discussing the development of the artwork for this book, which older students would find interesting...

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August 12, 2019

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Tech Tuesday/Summer Study Series: Narrative and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sun imageI am frequently asked to conduct evaluations encompassing social cognition and pragmatic language and always find it extremely valuable to include a detailed assessment of narrative language. However, in doing so, and having reviewed previous assessments of these students, I often find that I am like a newcomer to a desert landmark, standing there saying “Hey, look at this…?” Why haven’t the examiners before me documented and then suggested interventions around these inevitably present narrative language issues?...

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July 25, 2019

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Character Development, Six-Second-Stories™ and Jojo Siwa

Casey to camp imageThis past week my 5-year-old daughter Casey went to camp. On the first day, I suggested that she wear a T-shirt that depicts something she likes (LOL: Dolls, Unicorns, JoJo Siwa, Mermaids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) so that when she is meeting new friends, they can immediately know something she likes and ask her about it. She chose a T-shirt with a picture of “JoJo Siwa,” who is a young, popular performer. By wearing that, new friends will know a little about her as a “character” in a social setting. Upon arriving at camp, within 30 seconds, a Dad and daughter walked in and the Dad said, “You like Jojo Siwa? Avery and her mom saw Jojo Siwa in a concert this summer!”...

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December 07, 2018

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New Year Lesson: Recalling 2018 & Planning 2019 with Story Grammar Marker!

New Years Resolution Worksheet imageActivities that allow us to reflect on the past are helpful in establishing habits of reviewing what we have done well, what we enjoyed, and what we would like to change. We have included some suggested activities that use the SGM icons to add to your toolbox. Ask students to recall one day from 2018 that they especially remember. Give the students an SGM Writing form or a Student Marker to plan their story. Give students time to fill in notes on the sheet and/or practice with the student marker and then, students could orally share their stories with one another...

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October 24, 2018

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Room on the Broom! Halloween Book, Netflix Original & DIY Re-telling Wheel!

If you are looking for a lively read for Halloween, check out Room on the Broom, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler. This book is presented in delightful rhyme, making it an ideal book for the younger set (Pre-K—Gr 2). It is a perfect selection to map out two Complete Episodes emphasizing a new Kick-Off. Below is the story mapped out from the witch’s perspective. Use Braidy the StoryBraid® or the Story Grammar Marker® to retell it to the students. At the end of this blog, we have also included a downloadable “Retelling Wheel” to be used by students to retell the story to one another...

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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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July 31, 2017

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Do-It-Yourself Ringed Cards for Teaching Beginning, Middle, End & Story Development

Ringed Icon CardsRecently, I saw a clever sound blending idea on Pinterest using rings and small cards. It reminded me of our very popular blog using popsicle sticks to teach story elements using the Story Grammar Marker®. With these thoughts in mind, here are two ideas that are simple to make and easy to transport from one site to another making them ideal for teachers/interventionists/therapists who move from class to class...

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