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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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November 20, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: ASHA Beantown Wrap-Up, Part 1

Boston Skyline photoThis past week featured the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s annual national convention in our home state (and my home city of Boston)! MindWing presented and exhibited at the convention and I was proud to be part of two presentations that incorporated MindWing’s tools with context-setting resources including both technology and picture books. I was thrilled to present another edition of an oral seminar describing the helpful pairing of picture books and apps for contextualized language intervention. As this year’s ASHA theme focused on evolution and innovation within the field of speech-language pathology, this presentation centered around pairings that aligned with social studies and science topics (Boston also is a “Hub” of both disciplines). Some of the background within this presentation centered on why SLPs and literacy interventionists might seek to incorporate social studies and science topics in our work...

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July 03, 2018

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Two Summer Books (and More) with Feelings!

Heart icon graphicAs a former teacher of 38 years, I know summer is a time for educators to catch some much-needed R&R with family and friends. It is also a time to reflect on the past school year; what we thought went well and what changes we can make in the upcoming school year to improve student learning. I am always on the lookout for new books/materials to add to my lessons and recently came across two books that may interest you...

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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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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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