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March 28, 2022

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Tech Tuesday: Make a Vocabulary “Story”

Words imageHello! You are here because stories are fun and engaging, right? Well, they also are strategic for teaching and learning. The National Council of Teachers of English(NCTE) states that story forms can aid in memory and recall across the curriculum: “Listeners encounter both familiar and new language patterns through story. They learn new words or new contexts for already familiar words.” It just makes sense! The context, engagement and emotional activation of a story can assist in any vocabulary related to that story. In this post, I’ll be detailing a number of tech- and non-tech resources for using vocabulary “stories.” Check out Beck, McKeowan, and Kucan’s Bringing Words to Life. This seminal vocabulary-teaching text discusses the concept of Tier 2 vocabulary words (robust words which link to concepts kids understand, such as the word final), and teaching them through context, kid-friendly definitions and word play.

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February 21, 2022

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Tech Tuesday: “Storyboard That!”

Storyboard That! logoAmong the tech resources that can be helpful in narrative intervention are those that let you make your own story. Content creation apps and websites, often called “digital storytelling” tools (search Pinterest for many examples in this genre), provide great contexts for speech, language and literacy skill development for their ability to visualize story elements in cartoons or images. Digital storytelling tools can be employed in parallel with Story Grammar Marker® manipulatives, icons, and maps in a variety of ways: You make it: Create a product that you can “unpack” the story elements of with students, with SGM® playing a key scaffolding role, of course. We make it: Co-create with students by allowing them to make choices to construct a story, with you handling parts or all of the actual tapping or clicking to move things along. They make it: Often facilitated with you providing a model...

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January 24, 2022

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Tech Tuesday: Jeopardelaboration!

Sean playing Jeopardy!We have previously discussed in this blog the importance of the “GIVE A STORY TO GET A STORY” technique. Described by Hadley (1998) in her wonderful article on naturalistic language sampling, and linked to other resources, conversational mapping involves providing a story about your own life which can help elicit the same from your students. This technique provides a great model and also a pragmatic context for narrative intervention, no matter the “size” of your story. Recently, I had a rather big story to share with my students. After many years of trying, I made it through the audition process to compete on Jeopardy!...

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December 20, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Choose Your Own Prob-Narra-Ventures

Test-Taking imageWe’ve spoken in this space before (blog link) about the links between narrative language and problem solving that can be scaffolded through the use of Story Grammar Marker® and its relevant icons, particularly the digital kit. Moveable icons are very useful in guiding thinking and discussion when bringing students back to a relevant detail (or story element) that they may not have been considering. See also the work of Westby and Noel (2014) on the connections between story and problem solving. Recently I have been working with several students on test-taking skills and strategies, a process in which it is helpful to address the thought processes, self-talk, as well as social cognition and self-regulation that underlie this situation...

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November 30, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Finding the “Story” in Cooperative Games

In a little deviation from what might be considered “high” tech this month, I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the role of play in language Play on Word presentation lead pageinterventions. Play is closely connected to narrative, as we often use story components to structure our play. I recently presented at ASHA Convention providing a “Play on Words” (click here for the handouts), and discussed a variety of playful contexts that can be used to target language (including narrative) and social learning. In particular, cooperative games with a shared goal and no real “winner”— except the group—can be used to target many communication skills...

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October 22, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: More Spooky Stories!

Halloween is always a holiday that can be leveraged for engagement (and stories!) with our students. We hope you will add these three resources to your list to “harvest” annually! Through the pandemic telepractice-fest and beyond, I have enjoyed capitalizing on the trend of escape rooms for intervention activities. They make a great collaborative activity and encourage students to “think with their eyes” (ala Social Thinking®) as they look for clues. Escape “rooms” from HoodaMath contain a brief “story” introduction--why you are trapped there, a Kick-Off, and what you need to plan to do to get out! And what is an escape activity but the exploration of a Setting? Use MindWing’s Setting Map to teach the language underpinnings of describing a setting. In particular, escape games are great for helping students to label the parts of a larger setting...

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September 27, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Flexible Icons!

Universal Digital Icons imageMindWing’s Digital Icons were first created in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency in order to offer access to tech-based material creation while many professionals were struggling to implement teletherapy as best we could. As you may know, the icon sets offer easy copying and pasting of the icons (including Story Grammar Marker®, Braidy the StoryBraid® and Thememaker®) into various “blank slate” resources. This allows us to use word processors (Google Docs/MS Word), presentation tools (Google Slides/PowerPoint) or whiteboard software (Smart Notebook) as powerful narrative and expository teaching tools.

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