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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


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


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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April 05, 2016


Autism Awareness & SGM®: 31 FREE RESOURCES

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, we would like to share with you 31 Blog Posts, Free Lessons, Webinars and Videos that focus on social communication which can be used to help children along the Autism Spectrum. The themes in these blogs/lessons/videos/webinars are perspective-taking, social problem solving, critical Autism Kit Photothinking, social emotions, theory of mind, story-telling and more! In addition to these FREE resources, for the month of April our Autism/Social Communication Collection is $50 OFF! The sale price is $99.95 for the whole collection (normally $149.95)! We want to give you the chance to use this kit of materials with the population of students who can benefit from it most...

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February 29, 2016


Read Across America Day & Dr. Seuss Lesson!

Who was Dr. Seuss? coverAs always, I began writing my lesson by gathering my focus book and Story Grammar Marker® Mini-Posters. Since the children enjoyed our recent Rosa Parks read aloud Who was Rosa Parks? written by Yona Zeldis McDonough, this week I chose Who Was Dr. Seuss? written by Janet B. Pascal from the same series. I planned the lesson to coincide with Read Across America Day on March 2, which is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The lexile measure of this book is 820L. The following lesson suggestions were designed for grades 3 and 4. Lessons may be modified to meet your student’s needs. Many people ask how I go about creating lessons to use the SGM®. Really, it is the opposite thinking, as I always have asked myself: How can the SGM® be used to enhance the lessons I already do and target skills that I am trying to teach?...

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February 23, 2016


Understanding Novels / Chapter Books with SGM — Part 5

The Big Wave Book CoverThis next section of analysis of The Big Wave by Pearl Buck begins with personification of the sea and extends the overall themes of friendship, resilience, overcoming obstacles and gratitude leading to new beginnings. The Critical Thinking Triangle® and the Complete Episode maps of the Story Grammar Marker® assist students in qualitative analysis of the plot to form opinions and apply the themes to their own lives. Pages 15-22:Through personification, the sea is described as cruel and angry. These pages contain the steps leading up to the kick-off of the first major episode in the novel. The expandable Get Ready for the Kick-Off map from Talk to Write, Write to Learn manual would be useful here showing that there is evidence that something is happening...

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February 12, 2016


Blending Narrative and Expository Texts and Building Rigor

Black History Month Lesson 2

Books AmalgamA large focus for us this year is to share how to use Story Grammar Marker® methodology for both Narrative and Expository text selections. As a manner of best practice, Maryellen Moreau, creator of the Story Grammar Marker® has always paired narrative and expository texts together in her workshops. Camp (2000) introduced a concept called “twin texts” describing a way to pair books together. “Twin texts” are two books, one fiction and one non-fiction that are presented together in a lesson to get children excited about learning and activate prior knowledge. “Teachers can integrate language arts, science, social studies, and other content areas by using children’s literature as a bridge” (Camp, 2000, p. 400). This pairing of twin texts...

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