Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SGM Day Three: Story Grammar Marker and Autism

Ok-so did I mention that I love SGM?

Well, I loved it even more after I took the Autism Training! Children with Autism make up a large portion of my caseload. I am always looking for ways to expand their language use, vocabulary, and social skills. Lucky for me, Story Grammar Marker does all that and then some!

Have you ever noticed how all kids love to touch things? This is why I never wear white! When kids touch, it stimulates senses-and it helps them learn! With SGM, they can play with Braidy, change his or her face around to show different feelings, and incorporate movement and motions into learning to make it more fun, interesting, and therefore memorable! When I first introduced my students with Autism to Braidy, they loved him. They wanted to hug him, kiss him, take him apart, put him together, and make him mad! For some reason, they liked mad better than happy. So our Braidy is usually mad! What a great way to teach feelings, though! We talked about what a character is and how all characters have eyes, a face, and a head. We talked about how characters have thoughts and feelings, and how each of us are characters, too. We talked about how we feel and what makes us feel that way. Each student took a turn telling the group a feeling and making Braidy's face match their face. To put it mildly: They Loved It!

We then moved to talking about the setting, and then the kickoff. We read books, asked questions, had Braidy act out the story, used visuals to retell the story, used Braidy to retell the story, and velcroed visuals on Braidy to help them retell the story. They even started kicking their feet in the air for the "kick-off!" Not every student started on the same level, and not every student ended on the same level. But every student made progress. Each and every one.

The Autism kit comes with three different books: It's All About the Story, Making Connections, and Facilitating Relationships. Also included are icon stamps, a DVD, CDs, and the Story Grammar Marker Games.  According to Mindwing Concepts, the Autism Collection "helps children: tell their “story,” take perspective, develop Theory of Mind, become critical thinkers, build Central Coherence, solve problems, initiate & repair conversation to establish relationships, recognize feelings through verbal and nonverbal cues, infer, plan and write with cohesion."

The posters are also great for added visuals around our room. These are 8x11, and laminated for durability. 

The Autism Collection is a wonderful addition to Story Grammar Marker. Nothing excites me more than a student with Autism yelling at me from down the hall, "Hey Mrs. Whitney! Braidy is a character with eyes, face, and head!" Do you use SGM with students with Autism? If so, how?


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