“I was intrigued when Maryellen first told me about the teaching tool she had developed. After talking and reading about the SGM®, I discovered its secret: kids love it and use it! What a simple and powerful tool to teach story narratives and comprehension. The SGM®'s hands-on, concrete structure makes it a great tool for all students: those who are at-risk, as well as the critical thinkers.
“Parents and teachers can open up books – and the world – by introducing this loveable critter to their children. It's a friendship that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”Jim Trelease, Author of The Read-Aloud Handbook
“MindWing’s Braidy the StoryBraid® is a valuable and extremely effective resource in helping children develop their language skills.” Margie Gillis, Project Director, Early Reading Success And Mastering Reading Instruction
Haskins Laboratories, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
“I teach all of my graduate students to use The Story Grammar Marker® in their Language Methods course. They LOVE it! It is an outstanding teaching strategy for both new and experienced professionals.”Judy K. Montgomery, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chapman University
I have a 6.5-year-old son who has high functioning Autism. His Test of Narrative Language is at 3% for both receptive and expressive components. I introduced the Story Grammar Marker® to him this week and we went over the book “Big Al” by Andrew Clements together a couple of times, as described in your new book “It’s All About the Story.”
I am thrilled to tell you that at dinner time a couple of days later, we were talking about our “ho-hum” day, and I mentioned to my husband that I got a headache in the morning. My son took over and said: “That was a kick-off!” I was shocked to see how quickly he grasped the tool that he calls “Grandma's Story Marker” :-). I then proceeded to ask him how I felt, he said “bad,” and that my plan was “to feel good.” I prompted him with a question: “What did I try to do to feel better?” He was able to list that I “took an Advil, drank some coffee,” and that “as a result,” my headache went away. I then asked him how I felt after that, and he said: “Better...and that's the little heart after the tie!” I cannot believe how powerful the Story Grammar Marker® is! My son was not able to retell an experience logically, partially due to my inability to prompt him properly. The tool helped us both. Thank you so very much!
Today, my son retold the story “Big Al” for the first time using his student SGM®, with prompting such as “who,” “one day,” etc. He had a smile on his face after he was done! I think for the very first time he truly got the “big picture” of a whole story.
I have watched your DVD and read both Autism books, “It’s All About the Story” & “Making Connections,” that I purchased in the kit at the Social Thinking Providers’ Conference. I feel that the Story Grammar Marker® can really help many kids like my son. I am motivated to keep on learning and spread the word! Thank you again and best regards. Sunny T., San Francisco, CA
“I have witnessed a dramatic improvement in the oral and written language skills of the speech/language impaired students and the English Language learners…Students appeared to have a better idea of “story” because of the framework and structure that is provided…” Regina Weiner, MA., CCC/SLP, Pd/SDA
Clinical Director of New York University Speech and Language Clinic
Former Supervisor of Speech New York City Department of Education, New York, New York
"I chose MindWing’s approach because it’s designed to help children master: reading comprehension, critical thinking, oral and written expression, listening comprehension…all certainly Hot Topics in education today. I have used MindWing's materials as a school-based service provider on a one-to-one, small group, and whole class basis, and also with graduate students here at ISU-Boise since January, 2003. Recent graduates, as well as veteran school-based SLPs all report significant, positive responses to this method. That's why I'm so enthusiastic about it!”Gwynne McElhinney, M.S., CCC-SLP
Idaho State University-Boise Center, Boise, Idaho
"I use The Story Grammar Marker® at home with my daughter and at school with my learning disabled students. They all truly love it because it makes sense to them. Since using The Story Grammar Marker® to teach the writing process, my students no longer complain of 'having nothing to write about.' I love that this tool turns kids into thinkers. The Story Grammar Marker® promotes thoughtful problem solving!" Terrie A. Henrich, M.Ed.
American International College, Springfield, MA
[An email sent to Regina Weiner from an SLP on her staff] — See a copy of the email
“I just wanted you to know that on Thursday a friend's nine-year old son was having a lot of difficulty with his homework, which was to write a response to a book he had read. There was a lot of pencil sharpening going on. When I asked to see his work, he had produced one short paragraph, with incomplete sentences and thoughts, spelling errors and obvious signs of frustration (dark print, smudges, wrinkles, etc).
“Verbally, he recalled many details from the story but was unable to put them in a logical order or make connections (text to self, text to text, text to world). I pulled out a piece of paper and a pencil and gave him a "short course" on Braidy®; drawing the icons and explaining their meaning. I then asked him to provide the information for each story element verbally. He then wrote a draft paper that was three times longer than his original and made much more sense. The print was legible. I asked him some additional questions to get him to add more detail to his writing, and explained about using cohesive ties to link ideas together. Because I had to leave, I was unable to see the finished product.
“Today, I got a follow-up to the story. It seemed that Alyn was so enthusiastic about the writing piece, he insisted on getting up early on Friday before school and revising it. His mother couldn't believe what he had produced (he generally does poorly in writing and has to be forced to read and write anything). She overheard him excitedly telling his friend about Braidy® and the meanings of the icons. I received flowers this afternoon from Alyn and his mom. His mom is begging me to continue to work with him.
“I just love Braidy®. I think we should throw him a party!
“P.S. Week before last I introduced a story to a group in preparation for teaching them about perspectives...When I picked up the children the next week, one of the students (2nd grade) looked at me and said, "You know, I was thinking that there was more than one plan in this story." I could have screamed…” Lisa Wright, Speech Language Pathologist,
New York City Board of Education, The Bronx, NY
“…An exceptional intervention tool that promotes learning throughout the early grades…It comes with my highest recommendation.” Donna D. Merritt, Ph.D., CCC
SERC Middletown, Connecticut
“Fun, highly motivating resources that will shape and sharpen student skills necessary for the organization and manipulation of curriculum language. I highly recommend.” Barbara Fee, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Communication Disorders Program Specialist
Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia
2005 Annie Glen Award Winner
"SGM® is a common sense approach to language facilitation. The simplicity of its design disguises the complexity of this brilliant tool. I have adopted SGM® in my therapy lessons, both individual and small groups lessons and also in the classroom ...children who had not demonstrated any ability to define individual character roles, all eagerly exploded with an 'I can do this!' attitude." Martha M. Sullivan
Speech Pathologist, Boston Public Schools, Boston, Massachusetts
"The Story Grammar Marker® is one of the key items in my clinical toolbox. Because of its great flexibility, I can use it in some form with literally every student I serve as a Resource Specialist." Keisha Henderson, MA Resource Specialist
Garden Grove, California
"The Story Grammar Marker® and East Meets West™ are wonderful tools for supervising graduate speech/language pathology students who are providing treatment to children with language impairments. These tools provide visuals, detailed story grammar information, and descriptions needed to enhance and facilitate the child's understanding and use of figurative language, literary language styles, and vocabulary. In East Meets West™, Judy Montgomery and Maryellen Moreau provide exploration of a child’s language and literacy skills, and ultimately detail language/literacy interventions using the “adventure” and “imagination” through children’s literature…East Meets West™ is an excellent intervention tool when providing treatment to children with language impairment. Not only does it save time when planning treatment, but it provides continuity and purpose to your language therapy.”" Michaela J. Ritter, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Baylor University, Waco, Texas
“What is exceptional is that our teachers now have a road map for the next steps in supporting their students’ language development in speaking, reading, and writing…" Debbie Faris-Cole, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Special Education Programs Division
San Diego Unified, San Diego, California
Braidy the StoryBraid® was on the cover of New York Teacher, being used by Jennifer Collier, a Speech Language Pathologist with Nassau County BOCES. The Nassau County BOCES SLPs were trained by MindWing. They have been using MindWing's framework and tools and their students love Braidy®!