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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 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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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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April 20, 2016

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Five Favorite Books and Downloadable for Earth Day

Five Books Montage Earth Day is Friday, April 22, 2016! We have chosen five of our favorite book titles for this day to share with you. Clicking on any of the titles will take you to a description found on Amazon.

Also, please enjoy this Free Downloadable for your students to use to reinforce the SGM® Setting icon and Earth Day!

Create a bulletin board of ideas entitled… The Setting, Our Earth is Ours to Care For!...

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April 19, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Tech Tie-Ins to Autism Awareness Month

Zones of Regulation: Exploring Emotions Screenshot

For this month’s Technology Tuesday, I wanted to spin off of the previous post and mention new resources relating to the themes of a few of these posts from the MindWing archives. So here is some commentary and additional tools relating to four of our back catalog of posts relating to language learning in the population of students with autism spectrum and related disorders. Aligning SGM® with The Zones of Regulation, and Tech-Tie-Ins! This post described the key connections between Story Grammar Marker® and Leah Kuypers’ wonderful and extremely useful Zones of Regulation curriculum. In the post, resources such as Pic Collage were mentioned for making visuals elaborating on emotional vocabulary associate with each Zone, and YouTube Kids for locating video scenes to assist students in identifying Zones and “Triggers” (essentially Kick-Offs) in others...

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