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April 13, 2018

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Chameleons Are Cool! Listing, Describing & Art

Chameleons Are Cool! book coverWho doesn’t love chameleons? I remember when I saw this book in our school library many years ago! I couldn’t wait to use it with our second grade students featuring the SGM List Map and Descriptive Map. At the time, I travelled from class to class, K-2, and brought SGM Marker and Braidy the StoryBraid, narrative and expository elements, into the classrooms. This time around, I created an informational sheet for grade 2 from various sources to begin our lessons. Notice how the information could be easily entered on an SGM Descriptive Map using the categories Physical Appearance, Habitat, Food and Eating, Young, and Special Characteristics. We completed the project in three sessions...

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March 27, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: Plotagon’s Emotions Connect to the 6 Universal Feelings

Six Universal Feelings imageThe 6 Universal Feelings are a research-based model that runs throughout MindWing’s methodology and tools. Through psychological research, the emotions of “happy, sad, mad, scared, disgusted, surprised” have been identified as universally recognizable among human beings, and “hardwired”—so to speak—dating back to ancient efforts to survive in the wild. More sophisticated emotions can be seen to be combinations of these basic feelings, or qualified ones. For example, being “shocked” involves being surprised about an unpleasant event...

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March 12, 2018

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St. Patrick’s Day Books, Lessons & Resources!

Crafts for St Patricks Day coverLeprechaun Tales coverSt. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching! We have three terrific resources already on our website and here are two other titles to add to the fun of this upcoming special day. Leprechaun Tales is a delightful collection of six short leprechaun tales retold by Yvonne Carroll. It would be fun to start each day off next week reading one to your students. They lend themselves to retelling with the SGM. This book provides an easy way to review a complete episode. If you are looking for simple crafts for students to do, Crafts for St. Patrick’s Day is the book for you! There is a brief introduction about St. Patrick’s Day by the author and followed by twenty craft projects...

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March 09, 2018

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“Maniac Magee”: Exploring Character & Setting in Novels (with FREE Downloadables)

Maniac Magee CoverOne of the novels that we explored in sixth grade was Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Our focus varied, depending on our students, and my task was always to provide the scaffolding using the SGM® for classroom presentations—making the lessons accessible to all our students, including those with IEPs. Our elementary school used Braidy®/SGM® at all grade levels so that by the time students were in upper elementary, they were well-versed in using the icons for both narrative and expository texts. The beauty of the SGM®, however, is that the icons are easily learned and students can successfully participate in lessons in a few introductory sessions...

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February 28, 2018

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It’s Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, March 2nd

Dr Seuss Postage Stamp

After facing 27 heart breaking rejections, Dr. Seuss was heading back to his apartment to burn his first book. It was on his journey back that a chance encounter changed his future forever. As he was walking to his apartment along Madison Avenue he bumped into an old Dartmouth College friend, Mike McClintock. McClintock, by chance, had just started working that very morning at Vanguard Press children’s section as editor. A few hours later the two had signed a contract to publish Dr. Seuss’s first book, “And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” after it had been rejected 27 times...

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February 20, 2018

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Tech Tuesday: La La Land, Part 2

La La Land imageI previewed last month that this month’s post would discuss some of those exemplar pairings specifically. Before we crack some books and launch some apps, a word about analyzing contexts. For both books and apps, it can help if they have what I like to call a “Speechie” quality. You can read more about this along with the FIVES criteria (Fairly Priced, Interactive, Visual, Educationally Relevant, Speechie). Breaking down the Speechie part, we can ask ourselves if the book or app is a context for speech and language development: • Does it have a narrative structure that can be used for intervention, considering Story Grammar Marker® or Braidy the StoryBraid® as a tool (this includes apps that allow you to make your own choices such that a story unfolds)? • Does it provide or allow you to interact with informational language...

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February 12, 2018

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Clifford’s Valentine’s Day Character Activity

Clifford’s ValentinesClifford’s First Valentine‘s Day coverNorman Bridwell’s Clifford books are, of course, very popular with preschool and early elementary school-aged students. If you’re looking for a quick activity to reinforce the Character icon for Valentine’s Day for the younger set, pick up a copy of Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day or Clifford’s Valentines.

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