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


December 17, 2013

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StoryBird

What Does the Fox REALLY Say? CoverStoryBird is very helpful for using technology to develop story telling and story writing skills. However, while providing artwork and a very simple platform for adding text, it does not provide the narrative structure necessary for writing the actual text of the story. Using Story Grammar Marker, students can have the structure to know what parts go into the story. The Common Core State Standards call for the blending of narrative and expository text in lessons as well as integrating technology and multimedia. The following lesson demonstrates it...

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December 18, 2012

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A Gift to a Character!

‘Tis the season! No matter what one’s religious beliefs are, the holiday season involves giving, and this is a context that is ripe for critical thinking, description, perspective-taking, and social scripts.  It can be quite difficult to engineer learning situations in which children are giving each other actual gifts, what with the need for stores, money, and the fine-motor aspects of wrapping.  However, technology can cut through some of that sticky tape for us and provide us with a virtual-gift-giving activity!

I first learned of the Gift Wrap App (FREE for iPad)...

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December 07, 2012

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Put the Story on Stage with Puppet Pals!

The Van That Dad Cleaned Book Cover

There are a great many easy-to-use apps for iPad that fall into the category of digital storytelling. This may sound like a daunting concept, but digital storytelling is just using technological tools such as digital pictures, video, audio, animation, or drawing in order to convey a story or information. Apps that combine these tools use the intuitive interface of the iPad to bring together different kinds of content in an engaging process of creation — all with your fingertips. Even better, these apps provide a great context to utilize Mindwing Tools such as Braidy, the StoryBraid, Story Grammar Marker, ThemeMaker and their accompanying story or expository planning maps...

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August 24, 2012

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Taking Paper Out of the Story

The arrival of the iPad has presented us with all kinds of opportunities to boost the engagement factor for our students. In many cases, students will be more engaged in what we would consider “paper and pencil” tasks when we “app-itize” them utilizing some of the tools available as free or cheap apps. For example, in recent posts on my blog SpeechTechie, I discussed how the iBooks app could be used to excite students about printed materials and also present PDF files that are often provided with published intervention materials (you don’t need to read those posts to understand this one, but they provide some related information)...

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April 03, 2012

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Using SGM and Thememaker for Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a recent trend in educational design, and involves presenting students with real-world contextual tasks that relate to curriculum areas. PBL is a great approach for Speech-Language Pathologists and Special Educators to employ as our students benefit from having their learning relate to personally relevant and functional content. To learn more about PBL, watch this great video from Common Craft. One tool that has been integrated as a kind of PBL is the “Webquest,” a set of web pages that outline a task and provide web-based resources for its completion. Webquests are not new, and teachers have been developing them for some time. There is a particular Webquest that I wanted to share with you in this post, particularly because it is one you could use in classroom, small group, or even individual language therapy while integrating Story Grammar Marker® and Thememaker® tools in the process...

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February 13, 2012

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This Vacation Week, Take the Kids to a New Setting: Disneyland!

Disneyland AppIn the Northeast at least, February means school vacation week, and who doesn’t like Disney? Disney’s parks are based on its countless characters and, of course, narratives, and the company recently released a FREE iPad app that allows children to explore Disneyland. Disneyland Explorer (iPad only) provides a touch-navigable visual environment allowing kids to visit a huge variety of themed settings (Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and so on, and that’s only in Disneyland proper) as they tap to reveal additional photos, videos and music. The app is naturally designed to lure tourists to Disney’s parks, but in the process it provides a primer in the element of Setting, providing a context for clinicians to develop students ability to describe locations, themes, and even genres...

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January 20, 2012

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Simple Comics for More Advanced Language

At the elementary school level, we all can attest to seeing students who, narratively, get stuck at what we might call the “andthenandthenandthen” stage. The official name for this stage is the Action Sequence, and it is comprised of Characters, Settings, and a series of Actions with little variation in conjunction use. These students benefit from structures and contexts to move them into using to more complex story elements and cohesive ties such as when, because, and so. Mindwing’s narrative maps, particularly the Reactive Sequence and Abbreviated Episode Maps can provide that structure: (*Maps can be found in the Story Grammar Marker® Teachers’ Manual and the Talk to Write, Write to Learn™ Teachers’ Manual )...

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