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July 07, 2016

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Summer School Explorations with Google Earth

Google Earth ImageSetting is a key area of instruction for students on the autism spectrum not only because they tend not to observe the “expected behaviors” or script for a given setting, but also because they often leave out details about Setting when Star Icon Imagetelling stories to others, thus resulting in loss of a point of reference and confusion on the part of their listener. Students in social thinking/skills groups or individual treatment would therefore benefit from building descriptive skills through the use of the Setting Map contained in It’s All About the Story and other SGM resources. Once again, as visual and kinesethetic learners, working with resources they can see and manipulate assists in building these skills...

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June 27, 2016

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Elephants Get the Hiccups?! Fun Lesson Teaching Kick-Offs and Compare/Contrast

Clifford's Hiccups Book CoverHiccups for Elephant Book Cover

Recently, I came across two books at my local library that both had the same Kick-Off: Hiccups for Elephant by James Preller and Clifford’s Hiccups adapted by Suzanne Weyn. In each, the main Character in the story has the hiccups. Maryellen Moreau has completed a workshop activity using the Preller book shown below. In the Hiccups for Elephant book, the hiccups that the elephant has is an Initiating Event (Kick-Off) for the animals in the forest who do not like being awakened by the hiccups, and each have a remedy to offer. The elephant, himself, is not seeking a remedy...

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June 21, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Using the Pic Collage App with Complete Episode Narratives

For this month’s Tech Tuesday, I will be discussing the use of a phenomenal and versatile app, Pic Collage, which can be used to make storyboards for books that can be analyzed as Complete Episode Narratives with use of Story Grammar Marker®. Pic Collage has long been a favorite of mine, and I have written about it previously and presented with MindWing Concepts on its uses.  It seems that every time I sit down with a student, I find a new way to use this app! Pic Collage is a free app that is available for both iPad and Android devices...

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June 10, 2016

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Organizing Your SGM Materials for the New School Year

Poster Board OrganizationAs another school year winds down, I am reminded of what I always loved about teaching: There was always another year to plan to engage children, change approaches, learn new techniques, and grow as a professional!

As you pack up supplies and begin a few weeks of rest, file this idea away with your materials to consider implementing next year. This picture is an idea that Natalia Kofman, a colleague of mine in Westfield, MA, used to organize her SGM® materials in her fourth grade classroom...

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June 07, 2016

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Recognizing Feelings: Recycle Your Iced Tea Containers for a Cool Summer Activity

Final Board and Green CanAs you sip your iced tea on a hot summer day over the next couple of months, think about saving your iced tea containers for this very cool lesson and activity. It focuses on explicitly teaching how to recognize feelings and emotions in literature and in life. The explicit teaching of recognizing feelings in literature and in our interactions with others is imperative in our schools and in life. The above standards and quotes emphasize the importance of our need to help students identify feelings, recognize them in others, and make the connection to critical thinking and inference via the Critical Thinking Triangle. The SGM iconic structure is a concrete way to develop this necessity...

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June 02, 2016

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Activity for a Field Trip: Big Red Barn

Big Red Barn Book CoverThis time of the school year always reminds me of the many field trips I chaperoned while teaching kindergarten. The Zoo in Forest Park, Springfield, MA, was always a favorite, with a train ride around the park as our closing activity. We were fortunate to also have a beautiful park close by to our school, Stanley Park in Westfield, MA; a popular mini-trip within walking distance. The activity I am sharing today is one of 70 mini-lessons presented in the Braidy the StoryBraid® manual that we used when preparing for a farm trip to The Gran-Val Scoop in Granville, MA. As the name implies, the children were able to have a special treat of dairy-farm-made ice cream! Also included is a follow-up activity that we did on our return and a suggested extension activity...

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May 31, 2016

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Maryellen’s Analysis of 5th-Grade Writing Sample

Ray's Writing SampleThis next written retell of Too Many Tamales is by Ray, a student in Grade 5. We’ve included a typed version of his writing, an analysis and a conference suggestion for use during the Writing Process. The descriptive details in Emma’s writing (see May 13 blog) and the use of story grammar components indicating advancing structure and content are evident—but to a lesser degree—in Ray’s sample.

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