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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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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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April 12, 2016

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Additional Activities for “The River”

Hatchet / The River Book CoversFor those of you who own a copy of the ThemeMaker Teachers' Manual, you know that one of the novels featured is The River by Gary Paulsen. This novel is a sequel to Hatchet. The River is an excellent book for exploring character development. I recently came across my folder for The River and thought I would share a few additional activities with you before putting it away. One of our sixth grade teachers, Donna Mulligan and I collaborated to present this reading adventure to our students. Six students in her class were on educational plans for reading, two for decoding and comprehension, the others for comprehension skills only. Since all the students had knowledge of and had used the SGM® for several years, it provided the needed scaffolding to support students within the classroom. This also made it easier for flexible groupings of students as the SGM® was so familiar to all and a common language was already established among all participants...

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April 08, 2016

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Kindergarten and First Grade Setting: Bear Feels Scared

Bear Feels Scared Book CoverAnother story that I frequently used in kindergarten and first grade for development of the concept of the Setting was Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson. As always, read the book for enjoyment with the children. Then, choose any of the following ideas and modify them to meet the needs of your students. 1. Elicit words from the students to describe the setting of the woods. The text and illustrations will give plenty of ideas. Use the SGM Magnets as shown at right, creating an expository list map. 2. A simple project—easy for you to create—to further form this connection between the SGM icon and “Setting” term is shown below. Students may copy words from the list or you might want to have them written out for them, depending on the child(ren). The star icon is found on page 140 of the Braidy the StoryBraid manual...

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