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October 24, 2017

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Tech Tuesday: Spooky Stories, Revisited with Kick-Offs!

Toontastic LogoThe Toontastic app has long been a good companion for interventions with Story Grammar Marker®. The original app, released in the early 2010s, was designed with scaffolding in mind, as a “patch,” so to speak, on the problem of decreased play time and increased expectations for students to “write stories” as they reached first grade. Toontastic has undergone some changes after being purchased by Google a few years ago, and is now available as a free “Toontastic 3D” version for both iPad and Android...

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September 15, 2016

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Mini-Lesson Video for 8th Grade Science Topic with ThemeMaker for Expository Text

Lauren and Her Science ProjectYesterday, we had a great question on our Official Story Grammar Marker Professional Learning Community. This is a closed group on Facebook and it is virtual community of professionals who love SGM®! Members have the opportunity to share ideas, post photos, ask questions, tell success stories, get help with challenges and basically post anything that might inspire colleagues regarding the use of Story Grammar Marker® and related MindWing Concepts’ products. Join our Facebook group today. The question asked was regarding using Story Grammar Marker® methodology with 8th grade science. We shared a sample of a Science Experiment Map that was used by an 8th grader for the Science Fair project...

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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 21, 2016

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Tech Tuesday: Using the Pic Collage App with Complete Episode Narratives

For this month’s Tech Tuesday, I will be discussing the use of a phenomenal and versatile app, Pic Collage, which can be used to make storyboards for books that can be analyzed as Complete Episode Narratives with use of Story Grammar Marker®. Pic Collage has long been a favorite of mine, and I have written about it previously and presented with MindWing Concepts on its uses.  It seems that every time I sit down with a student, I find a new way to use this app! Pic Collage is a free app that is available for both iPad and Android devices...

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June 10, 2016

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Organizing Your SGM Materials for the New School Year

Poster Board OrganizationAs another school year winds down, I am reminded of what I always loved about teaching: There was always another year to plan to engage children, change approaches, learn new techniques, and grow as a professional!

As you pack up supplies and begin a few weeks of rest, file this idea away with your materials to consider implementing next year. This picture is an idea that Natalia Kofman, a colleague of mine in Westfield, MA, used to organize her SGM® materials in her fourth grade classroom...

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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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