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February 27, 2019

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Feelings Activities with Dr. Seuss “Cat in The Hat” and “Marco Comes Late”

Dr Seuss photoAs you know, March 2nd is the birthday of Dr. Seuss. He was born right around the corner from our MIndWing office here in Springfield, MA. Yesterday, I visited the Springfield Library to get a copy of The Cat and The Hat so I could share a lesson suggestion related to feelings. Along with that book, I found a copy of Horton and the Kwuggerbugs and Other Lost Stories. These stories were originally published in Redbook magazine between 1950-1955. Charles Cohen, a collector of all things Seuss, put together four of these selections in this book. Following The Cat and The Hat activity is an SGM analysis of one of those stories: “Marco Comes Late”...

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January 11, 2019

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Teaching Aesop’s Fables and The Often Elusive “Lesson Learned” Using Story Grammar Marker

Aesop bust imageColleagues often ask how I would use the Story Grammar Marker® or Braidy the StoryBraid® with Aesop’s Fables. Fables are stories that teach a lesson and, because of that feature, are often part of academic curricula from grade 1 on. I decided to write a little bit about fables today because the lessons learned often relate to New Year’s Resolutions we all make! Most often fables involve animals as the characters but relate to human nature. Perspective taking, Theory of Mind and Lessons Learned are required to understand a fable. All of these are difficult for many students. The following shows the use of our Story Grammar Marker® icons to map “The Ants & The Grasshopper” fable for purposes of comprehension and expression. These icons—and our entire SGM® approach—will be 28 years old in 2019!...

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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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