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May 17, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Chapter Books and Stickwriting, a Complementary Visual Strategy

The SOS File Book CoverUsing chapter books, which provide richer and yet more difficult narratives older students must tackle, has been a focus of the MindWing Blog this school year. In several of my posts, I have discussed tech-related avenues to getting the context of chapter books your students may be reading in class (to serve as topics for narrative intervention activities with SGM®), as well as apps that can visually represent the Critical Thinking Triangle®, a great support to review the narrative gist of chapters within a book. In this post, we are going to take a look at a great chapter book to use along with SGM®, The SOS File by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffy, and Laurie Myers, along with a strategy that aligns with narrative intervention, Stickwriting, or representing narrative elements through quick sketches...

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May 13, 2016

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Maryellen’s Analysis of Emma’s Sample

The following is an analysis of Emma’s written expression of Too Many Tamales. (See previous blog, Analyze A Narrative Written Sample.) Emma’s third grade teacher considered her to be among the top writers in the class and we agree! We’ve included a typed version of her writing, an analysis and a conference suggestion for use during the Writing Process. In our conferencing points, we included mapping using samples of the Story Grammar Marker® iconic maps. If you are not familiar with our Data Collection tools, we have a wide variety to accommodate student needs and your intervention goals. There are also student tools that will assist students in assessing their own work. Below is a sampling of how I would approach conferencing with Emma...

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May 10, 2016

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Analyze A Narrative Writing Sample

Too Many Tamales Book CoverIn a recent blog for Cinco de Mayo, we posted the analysis of the book, Too Many Tamales. (Previous blog.)

Too Many Tamales is quite complex in terms of its content. The reader needs to be attentive to the illustrations as well as the text itself. Complexity of a text poses challenges to students and instructors alike. There are several measures of complexity of text.  They are: Lexile Measures, Qualitative Complexity and Knowledge of the competence of the student as reader/listener in order to match him/her to text and task. (Please see references below for further study.) As instructors and interventionists, we are constantly attentive to these measures...

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May 06, 2016

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Collaboration in the Classroom with Story Grammar Marker® & Big Al

Big Al CoverBig Al and Shrimpy CoverBig Al, written by Andrew Clements and illustrated by Yoshi, was always one of my key books when working collaboratively with teachers as we implemented the SGM in classroom settings. There was so much to do with this picture book including mapping the story out as a Complete Episode using the SGM® map, retelling the story with partners, doing a written retelling using the completed map, working on character description using the SGM® Character Map, sequencing of events in the story, and using sequence words for story cohesion. Students and teachers alike were delighted to learn that Clements and Yoshi had teamed up in 2002 for another book featuring Big Al…Big Al and Shrimpy. Both stories begin with the same wording which created a natural segue to compare/contrast activities...

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May 03, 2016

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Story Analysis: “Too Many Tamales”

Cinco de Mayo artThursday is the celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a day commemorating a military victory between Mexican and French forces in 1862, but is now a celebration of Mexican culture, food, and music. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, which celebrates the contributions of speech/language pathologists world-wide striving to enhance the communication abilities of children and adults of all ages. In keeping with both of these celebrations, we decided to feature the picture book entitled, Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto and Illustrated by Ed Martinez, because of the festive nature of the book as well as the fact that it is a picture book written at the highest level of narrative development...

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April 28, 2016

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Hands-On Activities for Beginning, Middle and End of a Story

Laminated Icon SticksAsking students to tell or write a story with a beginning, middle, and end is a daunting task for most. Teaching the narrative structure in a developmental fashion using the SGM methodology is a powerful tool to instruct students in language, comprehension, and writing. The SGM® is an iconic-based tool that (developmentally) represents the necessary elements of story grammar and story organization. We have received a great deal of positive feedback on our post from March 29, 2016, Fun Activity to Reinforce the “Kick-Off” using the Kick-Off icon and the book The Doorbell Rang...

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April 25, 2016

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Lessons & Activities for Feelings and Reactions

If You’re Happy... Book Cover“If you’re happy and you know, clap your hands!” How many of us remember and still occasionally sing this old camp song? There are many versions of this song on YouTube that you could access as a jumping off point for a similar activity to the one described below or you may use books of your choosing if you cannot find the two books below in your local library. Read or sing If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Caberra to your students for enjoyment. Make a list of all the actions/activities mentioned in the book on the white board...

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