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NarrativeExpository Peer InteractionReadingWritingPre-SchoolEarly ElementaryUpper ElementaryMiddle/High SchoolTechnologyParent and Professional Information


June 27, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: This summer, play “Duck Duck Moose” to consider narrative and expository language-building opportunities

Duck Duck Moose LogoOne helpful strategy in locating apps useful in language intervention is to know and follow (via their Facebook page, Twitter or Website) the developers. We have previously mentioned developers such as Sago Mini, Toca Boca, Social Skill Builder, and LEGO®KHAN ACADEMY, the Edtech force known most for distribution of expository video related to curriculum, recently bought the development company Duck Duck Moose, and their terrific apps continue to be offered free of charge. In this post I’ll talk about a few of them, along with great opportunities to use them as a context or context-builder alongside MindWing’s tools for narrative and expository language development...

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May 23, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: 4 (and More) Ways To Tell the Story Digitally

Laptop picture iPad picture Google Docs icons

Last month I visited the MindWing Concepts offices to lead a small group workshop on integrating tech tools with Story Grammar Marker® and Thememaker®. One of the biggest topics of interest involved ways to use MindWing’s story and expository maps on laptops, iPads and even within Google Apps, and we spent a chunk of time exploring these possibilities. We thought that this topic could use an update on the blog, so here we go! First of all, some rationale. Why might you want to work with these tools digitally (meaning the files—PDFs—provided with your purchase of any MindWing manual, either via CD-ROM in previous years, or more recently, via a free download code within the manual)? A few reasons:...

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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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February 21, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: Snow Stories

Picture of Woodland SnowfallJust about any topic can be a context to develop narrative and expository language with Story Grammar Marker®, Braidy the StoryBraid®, and Thememaker®’s narrative and informational language icons and maps.

Right about now, snow is big on everyone’s mind in the Northeast, having just endured a blizzard and with another snowy week on the way. So, though I don’t love it, snow can provide a good example of working within a theme and identifying and pairing activities to build narrative and other language skills while immersing students in a context...

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September 26, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Build a Story with LEGO, Part 2

Smart Apps for Kids Website ListIn last month’s Tech Tuesday post, we discussed the potential of LEGO® products in interventions for social cognition and language development. The post focused on the uses of real, hands-on LEGOs for building stories, specifically, using baseplates to collaboratively build a Setting with minifigure characters, with blocks setting the stage for discussion of Actions, Kick-Offs, and Reactions. At the same time, multifunction LEGO blocks provide students with opportunities to apply the Social Thinking® concepts of “sharing imagination” and “adding thoughts” as they build together. In this post, let’s look at some (mostly) tech-based opportunities to capitalize on students’ interest in LEGO....

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August 23, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Build a Story with LEGO

LEGO Baseplate

For many years, I had viewed my students’ interest in LEGO® products as having some potential for instruction in social skills and language development. I mean, anything that spurs that much engagement from children can be leveraged for learning, right? However, I struggled around how to structure the use of actual LEGO blocks to create a situation where students were practicing language and social interaction together rather than just doing their own thing. The solution came with a realization that LEGO can be used to have students build and interact around one scene or story, and the essential piece, literally and figuratively, is as simple as a baseplate...

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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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