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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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April 25, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: More on Social Detective work from Social Thinking® and Social Skill Builder

Autism Awareness RibbonIn April, Autism Awareness and Acceptance month, we have a specific focus on the population of students with autism spectrum disorders, awareness of their strengths and challenges, as well as strategies to help them be successful. This diagnosis often accompanies difficulties in social attention and situational awareness, as well as the ability to use narrative language to describe situations. And what is a situation? Essentially it comprises people (Characters) in a place and time (Setting) when events typical to the situation or unexpected for the situation (Kick-Off) occur. Besides the clear tie-in with Story Grammar Marker® in this regard, also see the work of SLPs Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen on the Space, Time, Objects, and People (STOP and Think) model of situational awareness...

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September 07, 2016

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Series of Lessons with The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen BooksOne of my favorite series of lessons which I taught at the former Juniper Park School in Westfield, Massachusetts, involved the folktale The Little Red Hen. I used three versions of this folktale; one retold by Paul Galdone, one by Margot Zemach and the third by Alan Garner. The use of these books supports the six CCSS standards listed in this blog...

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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 16, 2016

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Back to School Idea: Summer Memories

Activity BoardGetting students back in the swing of a new school year can be a challenge. Here is an idea to help make this transition easier. Ask the students what their favorite summer memory is… Have them think about where they were (Setting) and what they did there. To help facilitate the sharing of these ideas students may use the SGM® resources as shown below. Invite students to orally share these memories with the group. I used a removable adhesive tape so that I could display student work on the poster board as they orally shared memories. This lends itself especially well to teachers/interventionists/therapists who travel from class to class and who work with multiple grade levels...

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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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