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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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27 minutes ago, Lecka said:

But if there is more than one episode and it can be flexible, and both of us will be working 1:1, I think we will be able to just be flexible about what we want the episodes to be if they could be more than one way.  

Yes, you see that in some of MW's other stuff, where they go into chapter books, etc. and break down multiple episodes. I guess we'll see. Little House hasn't seemed to require that, but once in a while I'll comment on that with him.

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Okay, for my take.... if your son can honestly pass the phase 1 exit test, I would not hang around in phase 1, because phase 2 has some very good, practical things like using “because” and “so.”  I would move on to that level if phase 1 is passed, because I think that is very useful.  

And, I wouldn’t do “make up a story from a scene,” unless he does pass the phase 2 exit test, because that is one of the later skills in phase 3.  

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Well it sounds like I need to go read the rest of the manual. :biggrin: Like I said, I didn't because I try so hard to be patient and not rush, rush, rush. But I'll go look. I can outline and see where it's going. The later lessons may surprise me and be exactly what I was looking for, lol.

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I'm back but only briefly because I'm behind getting things done. Phase 1 of SKILL goes through the Complete Episode stage of MW/SGM. Phase 2 covers their PACs=plan/action/complication sequences, which correspond roughly to the Complex and possibly Interactive episodes in MW/SGM. Notice MW says this requires more advanced social thinking. Phase 2 also includes elaboration, as you pointed out, and it looks like that's roughly what I was doing. I've been using pictures, and their brief (but potent, really nice) lessons use pictures to target each grammatical structure. Very nice and I think it's timely for me to go ahead and bring these in. Very nice.

I only skimmed phase 3 as it wasn't calling to me. 

So I'm glad I looked through phase 2. It's what I was trying to do and I didn't realize it. Definitely I'm more interested in the later lessons than the earlier ones in the section, but I don't think it's so essential that they be done in a certain order. Also, that's the way Writing Tales, which I used with my dd years ago, rolls. You build the length and complexity of the narratives, targeting a new syntactical structure each time and holding them accountable for the growing pile as you move forward. So it's not wrong to do it differently from the way they set it up. Remember too that those kids were in school too, getting normal everyday instruction. SKILL was not their ONLY instruction. I'm balancing intervention with overall instruction. So it makes more sense for me to bring my intervention into an overall fluid, pleasant structure. If I were doing ONLY intervention, then doing isolated bits like they are would make sense, but I'm not. I'm actually teaching him, day in, day out, so it needs some cohesion and sense. My work with him needs to bring in other skills, like learning to use dictation, learning how to regulate all his body while he's doing this, etc. I have larger issues than only the discrete skills in SKILL. So I like it, but it's the right thing to blend it into what I'm doing.

Also, I think this requires some attention. If you think through grade 4 writing, a lot of it is pretty much at those first couple levels of SGM/MW analysis, things like descriptive essays or an action sequence. It is not rational for me to push forward hard right now on advanced narrative skills when there's a LOT TO BE GAINED by getting him functional in the expository writing he can do as a result of NAILING the skills at this early level. And the MW stuff does a great job of pointing this out. Well maybe not in the ASD kit, but you can find charts on their blog and store. They had a snazzy one showing the transfer from narrative to expository, and literally the goal is to nail the expository structures that correspond to what the dc is doing for narrative.

So again, I'm in no rush, because I have SO MUCH he can be doing right here. His peers in the ps are doing reports, and frankly most homeschoolers have their 10 yos writing some kind of little reports (narrations, paragraphs, biographies they present to a group, something). So I might be dawdling, but that's WHY I'm dawdling. We've been casting our net wider, outlining nonfiction and doing rewrites of those sources as well. I definitely want to bring in some of those phase 2 elaboration lessons, because I think they'd make what we're doing go better. I'm just shocked that they're actually doing what I had been thinking (targeting the syntax by narrating from pictures). It's just they're going tighter, hitting just the target. I was doing it with some fish I had from Super Duper, but the pictures from SKILL are more obvious. Now I realize what I need to find to make it work better.

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I think it’s good to target at least some instruction to the lowest level he is at in one of these programs.  In their (the authors’) opinions, these are foundational skills for moving on.  I don’t think that makes it a law, but I think whatever that thing is needs to be worked on at least a little.

I bet some social thinking things would fit in with things you are wanting, too.

Like for those books about being mad, it would fit in to say things like “he was mad, because....” and “he was angry and he did this, but I think he could have done this.”  

Being able to say “he thinks this, but....” is also very powerful for talking about why someone is angry.  

I think it’s really practical.  I think a lot of things are just the kind of constructions that really help in being able to talk about:  why someone is mad, how they are reacting to being mad, what they could do differently, saying “I think/he thinks” type of things to show two people thinking different things.

All of that seems like it would fit in somewhere — I’m not sure exactly where.  

But I think — maybe go for it on the social thinking connection, and if that is at an earlier level, that is fine.  And it doesn’t have to be something you expect to hit hard and master, it can be something you do a small amount of time on and expect it to be something that takes a fairly long time.  

If you are worried that the lowest level he places into within the programs, might not be productive, I think ask somebody who knows him.  If they think — he might not get it right away but it’s still good to work on, I think that would be good.  

 

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From the looking I’ve done the past few days, I feel like there are quite a few components that we have worked on and that are in a good place.

But then for what I really want (re-tells) — we haven’t actually worked on it in a good, supported way.  Looking at things I think my son does need to be at the “using a manipulative” level.  

But anyway — if it seems like it is hard to work on the social thinking part, I would encourage you to look for a way to tie it in at a good level.  

I am feeling like — the thing that has seemed too overwhelming, well, actually we just haven’t worked on it.  And without working on it, why am I surprised it’s a bit stuck?

I think we have done good on a lot of components really, but then just thing the re-tells will “just happen” by an accumulation of good components.....

Anyway — I think it is going to be a good way to actually work on it and not just be at:  not really like what he says, but not really have a good way to work on it in a more targeted way.  

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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

All of that seems like it would fit in somewhere — I’m not sure exactly where.

Hehe, just wait till you get your MW/ASD kit and start making the connections! :smile:  The Abbreviated episode is where we first expect feelings and a response to the setting event to occur. At that point we have a wrap-up as well. So no, in the levels 1-3 of narrative, no expectation that they include feelings, either in the middle as a response to the kickoff or at the end as a response to how it turned out. All that is later.

That fits with what I see what ds, which I think is why I like MW/Marilyn's stages. There are some other books this stuff has been published in, so it's really not proprietary to MW. I've probably got the pdf somewhere. There are names like Zipolli and some other dude, books on narrative language. People have posted them on other lists. I just saw they were basically the same and moved on, figuring it confirmed the utility of them. And they seem to fit ds.

So my goal is to keep his narrative development EVEN. I'm trying to bring in every piece. So like for a descriptive episode you want setting and character descriptions, so hello teach adjectives and noun elaboration. In an action sequence/episode you need verbs. It just all flows. So like right now we're working on level 3 narratives but introducing the feelings for level 4. So I'm preteaching that material, planting seeds with our reading alouds, bringing in books for emotional literacy, building proficiency with the syntax he needs to express it, so when I actually move on to wanting level 4 narratives he can get there, boom.

You'll see it and run with it when you get the charts. Did you download the appendix files yet and start looking at them? If you're itching, just call and ask them for the link, hehe. 

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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

If you are worried that the lowest level he places into within the programs, might not be productive, I think ask somebody who knows him.  If they think — he might not get it right away but it’s still good to work on, I think that would be good.  

Actually, this is a total, total rabbit trail, but what I think about a lot is what effect GENDER has on these narratives. That's what bugs me. Like if you go to a talk by Pudewa (IEW), he has this comment that boys are all about verbs and girls are all about description. And I've thought about that for years. It's unnatural to require a boy to sound like a girl or to push him out of his element. There's some balance where we've taught the syntax, we know he has it, but this is really just how boys tell a story. 

So I personally don't require tons of noun elaboration and to make him sound like Laura Ingalls (haha) when he's doing a stage 1/2 narrative. I want him to be able to and to go back and do elaboration of the type SKILL recommends (adding names, etc.), but I don't think it's necessary to make him crank out the kind of detailed narratives my dd did. There's that potential with MW where (an idiot like me) could think that.

36 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Looking at things I think my son does need to be at the “using a manipulative” level.

It's a good plan! My ds can hold it in his head and get the points but it's so challenging that he goes really fast, a one and done. So I think using that higher support is a good plan. It's not FUNCTIONAL if they can't slow it down, hold their thoughts, and use tech or a scribe to get it on paper. That's sort of the check for that level of impulsivity, whether you can scribe from it. My ds is going so fast I'm having to do a voice recorder and then scribe from that, pausing. We'll get it to slow down, but it's going to be some work. I imagine other kids could present totally differently, maybe like pulling teeth, making the mental picture, formulating the sentences, and it could be like watching a sloth turn. 

 

39 minutes ago, Lecka said:

the re-tells will “just happen” by an accumulation of good components.....

Yeah, lol, we already know that doesn't work, lol. The thing you were wanting is a Six Second Story and has a graphic organizer. You're gonna love it. Just give 'em a call and ask them for the link. It's in the front of your printed materials, but they could tell it to you now.

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For feelings and moving to the next level of narrative I'm actually pulling two strands at once. I have feelings work for narrative and feelings work for interoception, so I'm kind of trying to play with both, which may slow it down. Since I know that's happening, I'm going laterally, expanding our narrative skills to expository.

On the phase 2 SKILL elaboration stuff, the issue is always going from syntax instruction to usage. Obviously their brief lessons were not the whole sum on what could be done or how thorough intervention might need to be for noun elaboration. There could even be a cycling to it, because you have so many ways to elaborate on nouns, etc. 

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Ok, so I'll say this another way. I think there has to be a respect for the narrative he produces as well. But that's BECAUSE I'm the only one doing it. It isn't like one session is intervention and they rip you to shreds saying you forget this, add this, etc. and the other sessions are supportive and just accepting. Because I'm the whole gig, all day, I have to find a more natural balance. 

So whatever narrative he gives me I accept. I complement him for something he did well on it and I notice what was glitchy to tell myself to support that better in the next. But right now I'm trying to create a pretty positive atmosphere with narration, a vibe that it works, that your narrative is worthwhile, that people want to hear what you have to say. If I get THAT, then he'll be more resilient to handle more upgrades (elaborations, going back and doing a 2nd draft where we add more details, etc.). But right now he's not quite there. Right now whatever he gets is basically going to have to be good enough. It takes emotional resiliency to handling having your work torn up a bit or criticized, lol. 

In theory he has the syntax to do more with his current narratives, but he doesn't have the emotional maturity to do that yet. I'm trying to build experiences that get him there. I'm actually going for quantity at this point rather than worrying about moving forward, because I'm trying to build that experience and resiliency and comfort that could let him handle doing a rewrite, examining his own work and adding something. 

So it's just additional goals. I'm not sure SKILL talks about that. The have some fancy terms like co-write but I didn't read those sections too well. (rabbit on speed I am)

Another rabbit trail, but I'm find the materials aimed at his level (say gr 1-2) are written with structures that fall into those early narrative patterns. So right now we're using                                             Birds Do the Strangest Things                                       and it's easy to narrate a paragraph from there. For fiction we're using                                             Aesop's Fables for Children Publisher: Dover Publications; Pap/Com edition                                       again very easily fall into the level 3 narrative stage. Actually I'm saying that, but we're closer to abbreviated now. Usually the emotion is pretty clear after the kick-off, so he's able to bring that in. And the moral wraps up the consequence. 

So just typing that out, that tells me I could be stepping up the expository level, hmm, hadn't even thought about that! I hate having all these levels and names and lists. My head swizzles with them.

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I had used the other Spotlight on Reading books from Carson Dellosa but for some reason had skipped their Story Elements series. https://www.carsondellosa.com/104557-eb--story-elements-resource-book-grade-3-4-ebook-104557-eb/  I was going through my favorite sites, finding more things for him to do like this (he is good with workbooks, really good), and thought they might be a nice complement. They have a 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6. 

He has enough language skills now to do some of the upper level workbooks that are driven by open-ended questions and discussion (at least when you use a scribe there's discussion, lol), so that's exciting. https://www.evan-moor.com/p/2771/daily-science-grade-5

Edited by PeterPan
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Well I will definitely be starting with teaching the icons 😉

That is why I have waited, because he has done some things without the same wording.  

But I think it’s worth it to start with something where there are new terms to learn, because I think he needs the manipulative.  

 

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We had taken a break from worksheets (curriculum-type) to do language intervention stuff. Now he's had this growth spurt and I'm going back through my haunts finding great stuff. It's really sky as the limit, and he finally has enough skills to do them. He'll need a scribe, but it will be good. And it's kind of cover our butt and compliance. The teacher who did our portfolio review and saw our work like that LOVED what we had been doing. I think if I have a mix of stuff he has written and worksheets and life skills projects and him out in the community and doing well in therapies, they'll be happy. He's now doing full hour sessions of OT with projects that extend over 4 weeks including writing. He remembers the tasks and takes care of it, which is really interesting to me consider that would usually be considered an EF deficit.

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He is starting to do well with reading Level 2 readers, so — ultimately — I would like him to be able to do good story retells with them, where he can read something himself and then do a retell.  That’s kind-of where I am heading.  

He can answer every wh question relevant to a level 2 reader, and in a sentence.

He just is not going from that to a solid retell, and — I have waited to see if it would get there (and seeing progress) without getting Mindwings, and now, I am at the point I don’t think it’s going to come together without some greater support for him — which I think is exactly what the manipulative is meant for.

But he works with other people so I am going to need buy-in from other people for it, possibly.  But I think we will be fine without buy-in, too.  

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17 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Well I will definitely be starting with teaching the icons 😉

That is why I have waited, because he has done some things without the same wording.  

But I think it’s worth it to start with something where there are new terms to learn, because I think he needs the manipulative.  

 

Ok, what I do, and this is only because it fits him and it's how I know you would teach a 4th/5th grader, is I photocopy the text and have him analyze with highlighters. I didn't START there, but that's where we are now. It's a skill as they go through, to be able to cite their textual evidence and say this is why I'm saying this was the feeling or the kick-off or whatever. So I actually photocopy the fable out of the Milo Winter book and I create a page with the list of things we're looking for and each label highlighted on the paper. So one day we do nothing but read and then highlight the evidence for those elements. At that point I'm also looking to see if he's beginning to paraphrase and move away from the original text wording. It's a really big deal to be able to do that, and I'm building that awareness that when we take notes we want to try to get it into our own words.

I think you're right to start with the more concrete. We had already done narrative work that way, and he seems to be doing ok with this bit more abstraction. I'm attaching some pictures so you can see the fables marked. You see one I did and then one he highlighted. Obviously the chicken scratch scribing is mine. He's able to hold all this in his head and crank out a nice narrative some time later. So on the paper where the element is written and highlighted that shows what we discussed. Like we had a whole discussion about each element and now ok go find your evidence and highlight it. It's a goal they have for school stuff anyway, being able to cite evidence. Otherwise he's just gonna say something off the wall. We talk about whether it *said* the feeling or *showed* the feeling, etc. etc. 

I'm just sharing here. I think starting with manips and doing it with manips is totally totally appropriate. It's just pretty flexible methodology that can scale up. We're doing the same thing with expository, same gig. I photocopy the pages and then we analyze what type of paragraph it is and highlight and make lists until the structure is clear in his head. 

Btw, the black pen marks on the page are for the target syntax. So we're covering story elements and syntax, same exercise. It's basically what they do in WT1/2, but I'm bringing it down to his level.

 

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Edited by PeterPan
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13 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I would like him to be able to do good story retells with them,

That's an interesting thing to ponder, whether you want the whole book or something more brief. Like you can see I'm doing this with fables, preferably short fables. And they aren't going on and on. They're in, out, boom, rather obvious. So by the time you get to say a whole Paw Patrol book or a book about lizards or whatever he's engaging with, that could be kind of confusing. I don't think the narration has to be done with something he can *read* only what he can *understand*. If you're not having him highlight text and whatnot, then he only needs to be able to understand that. I would consider that a higher skill to read the text and then retell it. Less challenging to listen to something and retell it. 

So I would peel back the levels of difficulty so the ONLY factor when he's working on elements and retelling is whether he is recognizing the elements. It's much harder to hold those ideas in your head while reading. I'm not doing that to my ds even though he could definitely read anything in these books. I read it all too him, because I want him to put all his energy into recognizing that flow.

I know from teaching my dd all these years that asking them to read something long (something that takes them maybe 10-15 minutes, whatever) and retell is pretty challenging. There's just so much to get lost in. If you want that, you're probably going to need to interrupt by bringing in the manips. And again, if you do that, you're going to start by YOU doing it (you read aloud, you bring in the manips) and then transitioning to him doing it. 

You'll figure all that out, just saying that could happen. Narrating about a book she read was THE HARDEST thing for my dd. And I slogged for years with it, oh my. I'd give her all kinds of structures and checkpoints. With ds, I'm like screw that we're using short stuff. Take the calculus approach and let many shorts eventually become one long. 

A psych or someone did finally tell my dd that she probably should have been diagnosed with a writing SLD. It's so wicked hard for her to get things out. With ds, I don't know, I'm just always looking to keep it positive and successful and be horribly patient. Going to bigger tasks doesn't mean they get it or become proficient. It just means they slog at bigger tasks.

Fwiw look at WWE from SWB, same gig. They use really brief, brief stuff. And when people say they're narrating say history, they're reading something short like SOTW. And it's almost invariably, at least through gr 1-2, that the parent is reading and the kid is summarizing. See that's the thing to remember. When your source is long, you're transitioning from narrating (where they can go on and on and basically list everything they heard or thought was interesting and nail it) to SUMMARIZING which implies picking the most important parts, finding the cohesion and the whole.

So I think it's really important to ponder the difference. When I choose a text that basically only HAS the elements I want him to use (characters, setting, kickoff, feelings, action, consequence) and I ask him to narrate from that, he wins, boom. Every time, because it's right there. He didn't have to pick the most important things out from a huge sequence or string of episodes. I don't actually task him to *narrate* our Little House reading. Technically there he is beginning to summarize. I ask him what the 3 most important things were we learned in that chapter or what major things happened. That's summarizing. 

So the SGM is not a tool to jump right to summarizing, not in my opinion. It's why the SLPs are constantly looking for tighter texts, because they want the kid to be able to narrate and not have to filter through everything else. So you see SKILL with their super awesome instruction story picture books, and that's why. They're just making it tight.

So control that level of difficulty and limit what he's being asked to narrate to an EPISODE so he doesn't have to filter. Summarize with higher supports, only when he's ready. But to summarize a book, that's wicked hard. Maybe he can do it on the right book! It could happen, sure. But I would make sure he's set up to succeed on that, that he's not having to filter too much. Usually even something like Paw Patrol is going to have a lot of episodes and additional kickoffs and whatnot. 

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55 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, lol, we already know that doesn't work, lol. The thing you were wanting is a Six Second Story and has a graphic organizer. You're gonna love it. Just give 'em a call and ask them for the link. It's in the front of your printed materials, but they could tell it to you now.

Is the Six Second Story only in the Facilitating Relationships book? 

10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

'm just sharing here. I think starting with manips and doing it with manips is totally totally appropriate. It's just pretty flexible methodology that can scale up. We're doing the same thing with expository, same gig. I photocopy the pages and then we analyze what type of paragraph it is and highlight and make lists until the structure is clear in his head.

Are you using that Evan Moor science book for expository and using the Thememaker stuff to decide on the kind of paragraph? Other resources?

We keep finding that books meant for audiences that age have terrible, terrible expository writing--they don't stick to an organizing theme, a main point, etc., and then you really can't teach paragraph structure. I've had this problem forever, not just since trying SGM. I had this problem before I knew there were language issues headed my way and we were just trying to outline or take notes on simple things. 

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19 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Is the Six Second Story only in the Facilitating Relationships book? 

Good question. I don't remember. Nuts, if you google you can probably find it demonstrated on their blog. I think I already had. They have a cute little flip book they made with it and they have the picture on the blog.

19 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Are you using that Evan Moor science book for expository and using the Thememaker stuff to decide on the kind of paragraph? Other resources?

I'm using workbooks for compliance and reading practice. I don't own Thememaker. If you search for "There's an Owl in the Shower" on their blog, they have a pdf with the chart showing the steps of expository and how they transfer from narrative. So I just combined that with my other experiences and am plowing forward. I'd like to own Thememaker or Core of the Core (I'm so all over that one) but I don't. Did they run sales this Christmas? I don't remember any, but I may be a loon. 

19 minutes ago, kbutton said:

We keep finding that books meant for audiences that age have terrible, terrible expository writing--they don't stick to an organizing theme, a main point, etc., and then you really can't teach paragraph structure. I've had this problem forever, not just since trying SGM.

And now the Akhmatova in me comes out, hehe... There's this beautiful line in one of her poems where she goes "and NOW you understand..." 

So anyways, poetry aside, yes that's the whole issue. And we tiptoe around it and dance because we don't want to offend anyone. There's an argument to be made for explicit instruction. There's also an argument that people who don't know what they're doing (who don't know writing or literature or how excellent writers write) are going to cross over that line from teaching structure in a way that helps them GET it to teaching structure in a way that STUNTS them.

I personally don't think it's rocket science. You understand where it's going and what your student should be capable of eventually. You teach with simple models and move it up into contextualized, intellectually appropriate models as soon as possible. 

And this was something SWB taught us with WWS. It's not like I sat here making it up whole cloth, kwim? I just started pondering it years ago to have more of a sense on it and have had time to wrap my brain around it. 

So I'm getting ready to buy a gr 4 workbook on finding the main idea in paragraphs. https://www.teachercreated.com/products/main-idea-grade-4-8644  it's really adorable, tight instruction, very nice for exactly what it is. But am I going to STOP there? No. Obviously I'm going to take him into more complex material and have him wriggle his brain a bit and go WHOA WHY ISN'T THIS LIKE I WAS EXPECTING??? Then he catches on that concepts adapt and mature. We step it forward. But I can't skip that explicit instruction because he actually NEEDS it. My dd didn't need it, but this dc does. Helps him pick up the clue phone.

Mercifully, I don't have to teach someone else's dc. Already blows my mind just to teach mine. Like I wish I could say oh yeah do what I'm doing. Can't say that. I'm just saying how I got there in my problem solving thought process.

Have you seen this? Your oldest might be at a nice age for it. I have no clue.                                             Writing for 100 Days: A Student-Centered Approach to Composition and Creative Writing                                       If you're looking for your younger, hmm. He's so wicked smart and perceptive, I'll bet he's farther along in the stages of narrative than you realize. I don't know, just saying he might be. And then you could use the chart from the Owl in the Shower guide and convert it over to expository and intrigue him. For your younger articles from Muse magazine or sister publications might suit him. They're longer while still at that lower reading level. So there you get to outline a whole, coherent essay, which can be really eye-opening. As long as you keep it tight, only outlining for the structures he can do per where he's at developmentally and then having him retell, it ought to go well I would think. Ds isn't quite there to use Muse yet. Well maybe if I read it to him? Dunno.

Edited by PeterPan

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Good question. I don't remember. Nuts, if you google you can probably find it demonstrated on their blog. I think I already had. They have a cute little flip book they made with it and they have the picture on the blog.

I'm using workbooks for compliance and reading practice. I don't own Thememaker. If you search for "There's an Owl in the Shower" on their blog, they have a pdf with the chart showing the steps of expository and how they transfer from narrative. So I just combined that with my other experiences and am plowing forward. I'd like to own Thememaker or Core of the Core (I'm so all over that one) but I don't. Did they run sales this Christmas? I don't remember any, but I may be a loon. 

And now the Akhmatova in me comes out, hehe... There's this beautiful line in one of her poems where she goes "and NOW you understand..." 

So anyways, poetry aside, yes that's the whole issue. And we tiptoe around it and dance because we don't want to offend anyone. There's an argument to be made for explicit instruction. There's also an argument that people who don't know what they're doing (who don't know writing or literature or how excellent writers write) are going to cross over that line from teaching structure in a way that helps them GET it to teaching structure in a way that STUNTS them.

I personally don't think it's rocket science. You understand where it's going and what your student should be capable of eventually. You teach with simple models and move it up into contextualized, intellectually appropriate models as soon as possible. 

And this was something SWB taught us with WWS. It's not like I sat here making it up whole cloth, kwim? I just started pondering it years ago to have more of a sense on it and have had time to wrap my brain around it. 

So I'm getting ready to buy a gr 4 workbook on finding the main idea in paragraphs. https://www.teachercreated.com/products/main-idea-grade-4-8644  it's really adorable, tight instruction, very nice for exactly what it is. But am I going to STOP there? No. Obviously I'm going to take him into more complex material and have him wriggle his brain a bit and go WHOA WHY ISN'T THIS LIKE I WAS EXPECTING??? Then he catches on that concepts adapt and mature. We step it forward. But I can't skip that explicit instruction because he actually NEEDS it. My dd didn't need it, but this dc does. Helps him pick up the clue phone.

Mercifully, I don't have to teach someone else's dc. Already blows my mind just to teach mine. Like I wish I could say oh yeah do what I'm doing. Can't say that. I'm just saying how I got there in my problem solving thought process.

Have you seen this? Your oldest might be at a nice age for it. I have no clue.                                             Writing for 100 Days: A Student-Centered Approach to Composition and Creative Writing                                       If you're looking for your younger, hmm. He's so wicked smart and perceptive, I'll bet he's farther along in the stages of narrative than you realize. I don't know, just saying he might be. And then you could use the chart from the Owl in the Shower guide and convert it over to expository and intrigue him. For your younger articles from Muse magazine or sister publications might suit him. They're longer while still at that lower reading level. So there you get to outline a whole, coherent essay, which can be really eye-opening. As long as you keep it tight, only outlining for the structures he can do per where he's at developmentally and then having him retell, it ought to go well I would think. Ds isn't quite there to use Muse yet. Well maybe if I read it to him? Dunno.

I am wanting tightly written texts so that we can look at the expository writing and structure, not so we can do the writing.

Are you saying that it doesn't matter at the lower levels, because it most certainly drives us NUTS and is confusing to my son. It's been a major hurdle because we need quick and easy stuff to analyze, but it makes a total hash of trying to explicitly teach structure. He really needs it to be good writing, and it's just not. But longer/better passages are too much.

I am not stuck on outlining, per se, but I want to be able to analyze text structure for non-fiction, and I can't do it with those middle materials.

I guess I am wondering what to use if I can't use something pre-made, simple, etc. like everyone else. It really mucks it up for him, and then we swirl. 

I am looking at some TpT stores that have information text too, but it eventually gets both pricey and a lot to keep track of. A workbook would be easier to track.

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Is this for the younger ds or older? Cobblestone publishes many levels of periodicals and the articles will be well-written. After that I moved my dd to essay collections.

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

So anyways, poetry aside, yes that's the whole issue. And we tiptoe around it and dance because we don't want to offend anyone. There's an argument to be made for explicit instruction. There's also an argument that people who don't know what they're doing (who don't know writing or literature or how excellent writers write) are going to cross over that line from teaching structure in a way that helps them GET it to teaching structure in a way that STUNTS them.

I personally don't think it's rocket science. You understand where it's going and what your student should be capable of eventually. You teach with simple models and move it up into contextualized, intellectually appropriate models as soon as possible. 

And this was something SWB taught us with WWS. It's not like I sat here making it up whole cloth, kwim? I just started pondering it years ago to have more of a sense on it and have had time to wrap my brain around it. 

I am completely confused as to what you are driving at.

Edited by kbutton

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I am definitely wanting a solid retell, in order (in the order of the manipulative I assume), including things, etc.  

I would like him to have an organized way to think of it, get in the habit of thinking that way, and be able to get it very solid to where he will think that way on his own.  

I think it is going to hold him up on comprehension if he can’t do that.  

And I would also like that for personal narratives.  I would like his personal narratives to get a little longer and more complex.  I think he would like to say more.  

I don’t look at anything for non-fiction or expository.  

I have an impression that a lot of things for expository assume a foundation/base that my son doesn’t have yet. 

He also does not have a strength in vocabulary, and he doesn’t have a preference (some kids do have strong preferences), so there’s not a compelling reason to me at this point.  

Peter Pan — just because this is something we have worked on a lot..... for identifying a feeling, really it needs to get to a level of — without the feeling word stated.

If 4th grade texts said “the lion felt a flash of anger” it would not be so hard to identify a feeling.  It is written there.  But they are often, for 4th grade texts, not actually going to come out and say the feeling word.  So then the highlighting might be more like:  highlight the part that lets you know how the lion is feeling.  But then it won’t be saying “so-and-so felt x” most of the time.  

I think it’s worth putting up with off-the-wall answers to work on it, because then you can connect the dots and explain “I think blah blah because blah blah.”  

When it says it explicitly that is great, but just to say — I think it’s worth working on and the kind of thing that can come up and be surprising to people.  

Especially for social thinking type things I think it can be good to do.  

I do think my son has been exposed to some or most of the story grammar elements, but it won’t be with the same terminology.  So I think other than character and setting, he will have to learn new words/icons.  But I think it will be good to go over and just see how far he gets, and what he needs to work on more.  

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6 hours ago, kbutton said:

Are you using that Evan Moor science book for expository and using the Thememaker stuff to decide on the kind of paragraph? Other resources?

Okay, I am deleting my other comments, and asking this seriously...are you using this? Is it written well enough to use it for that?

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8 hours ago, Lecka said:

I would like him to have an organized way to think of it, get in the habit of thinking that way, and be able to get it very solid to where he will think that way on his own.

See that was my logic on taking the time to walk through the developmental stages, which is what I think MW/Marilyn is saying to do. To me, that just makes sense that it's going to give the most natural result. My thought was give it time to get really natural and generalized to a variety of settings, then bring in the next stage and get that generalized.

I just don't see the logic in rushing to the end and wanting the full end product. It's going to be something they can only "turn on" with effort, rather than something natural they've figured out and made their own. It's what SKILL seems to be proposing, and it's what the (very nice) SLP in our local ps is doing. And to me if the dc is dyslexic or something, without an actual DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY, then I really think they could have just not noticed and need that clue phone and you bring it in and all of a sudden they BLOSSOM. It really seemed like SKILL had a lot of data showing that. But conversely, if someone needs to go through the developmental steps, they need to go through them.

Nuts, if you think about the delays for our sons (pick a number, 2 years, 3, whatever), then my ds isn't even READY to do the narration that is appropriate to where he is developmentally. Are there ages on those charts? I haven't seen them. I'm just thinking I'd be shocked if the end product MW narrative, the interactive episode, is typical of a very young dc. Say that's more of an age 10-12 thing (I really don't know, maybe it's 8 or 9?) then it's literally not even an appropriate expectation. 

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9 hours ago, Lecka said:

I think it is going to hold him up on comprehension if he can’t do that.

I agree with you! 

9 hours ago, Lecka said:

I don’t look at anything for non-fiction or expository.  

Well you can look at the charts and see. Those level 1/2 narrations basically transfer over to descriptions and lists in expository. So that's like being able to list the steps in a recipe or describing a toy you want. The schools have such an obsession with report writing and some kids with ASD really enjoy non-fiction. I don't know if ds does or not. He doesn't seem to have a strong bent like that. If the book is nicely written, the text size approachable, and it has pictures to break it up and make it less intimidating, he'll read either.

9 hours ago, Lecka said:

then it won’t be saying “so-and-so felt x” most of the time.  

We've been pausing for this a lot with our Little House reading.

8 hours ago, kbutton said:

Okay, I am deleting my other comments, and asking this seriously...are you using this? Is it written well enough to use it for that?

I didn't realize what you meant. Now it makes sense. I really hadn't thought to use it that way. Here's the link to one of the things I bought https://www.evan-moor.com/p/2708/daily-science-grade-4  It comes through 6th grade, and there are extensive samples. I guess see what you think. You might look at the 6th, as the texts seem to get a bit longer but still have a really nice, cohesive flow between the paragraphs. I hadn't thought to do analysis of them, but it's definitely an interesting idea. 

You might also look at

https://www.teachercreated.com/products/nonfiction-reading-comprehension-for-the-common-core-grade-6-3827

https://www.teachercreated.com/products/nonfiction-reading-comprehension-science-grade-6-8037  

My favorite haunts are:

Teacher Created Resources

Teacher Created Materials

Evan Moor

Carson Dellosa 

and once in a blue moon I can find something on Scholastic.

Btw I have used a lower level of the non-fiction reading comprehension (science and social studies, not the common core set) a couple years ago and we really liked it. The writing doesn't seem as nice as the common core book, but I got it simply to get him reading something, which it did. The stories were interesting, which is part of the battle. That CC book looks interesting too. 

Edited by PeterPan

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We might be looking at different things, but the narration things I’m looking at seem like they go up to 2nd grade level.

I did some weak googling and found this with sample comprehension questions to go along with Fountas and Pinnell levels.  I would say my son would do decently on these questions through level J and then in level K there would be some he wouldn’t be able to answer.  I consider him to be an I/J/K level.  

http://tsdexternalreview.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/7/7/13774112/3.2_fountas_and___pinnell_comprehension_questions_a_through_m.pdf

So — I/J/K is late 1st grade/early 2nd grade on grade correlation charts.  

I get a strong impression or feeling, that people think this is very important to work on, and that people don’t see kids do well who can’t do these things.  

That could be specific to my son, it’s hard to tell sometimes, but I hear about having a solid 2nd grade level and they mean a certain level of comprehenion and language to be able to understand and speak wrt this kind of level.

Then it seems like once you have this level of language and comprehension, things open up more with having a foundation to do more.  

I feel like I’m not explaining this well, but basically this is a top priority and it is also presented to me as supportive of his social goals (which are his top priority goal based on — just what everyone agrees is the top priority goal for him).  

Nobody has ever told me that working on non-fiction would help his social goals, so I think it’s a distraction from his highest priority right now.  And then this is something I can do at home that will be a valuable contribution.  

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I think for me a lot of it is just — this is what I focus on at home.  

I do think Little House sounds good for character feelings 🙂

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So I looked through that chart, and my ds can easily have discussions at that M level, but to turn them independently into a narrative without the prompts of the questions, he wouldn't be doing that yet. But yeah, the comprehension questions ARE correlating to the narrative tasks, so it makes sense both that comprehension limits will hold back narrative and that working on the narrative tasks will improve comprehension.

Sounds like it's going to be good! 

1 hour ago, Lecka said:

Nobody has ever told me that working on non-fiction would help his social goals,

Yeah I was working on narrative to improve reading comprehension, build a leisure skill, improve self-advocating, and enable him to function better in academics. I'm kind of letting the ideas of Social Thinking percolate in my mind right now. In our case, the language was holding back so much that it became more important. 

 

Edited by PeterPan
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I think my son has peaked on being able to answer questions without also being able to "turn them into a narrative without the prompts of the questions."  And then -- it will be good to work on turning them into a narrative on so many levels!  I am hoping for it to increase his speech into being able to have longer trains of thought.  I would say right now he can say about two sentences at a time for the most part.  And they are good sentences!  But I think that is where we are at right now, with it being a good time to start Mindwings.  

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Oh -- and just an aside.... the questions get harder as the reading level goes up.  So -- M is Magic Tree House.  My son definitely can't listen to a Magic Tree House book and be able to follow along with character development over a book that long.  It is just much more to keep track of.  He can follow a plot (to some extent) with listening to a level M book, but I think that is about it, and he would be iffy on that.  

So the questions get harder and the books get longer/more complex at the same time......  and I think it's more complex just from being longer, because things are spread out over a longer time, so there is more need to realize what the important parts are, where with something shorter, it seems like it is easier to tell, because most of the story is an important part.  

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Maybe, maybe he could do some of those questions with an easier/shorter book, but probably not.  

But I do think he is solid for level I (with that level book and that level of questions), and level K is reasonable.  Except he can't do a story retell at that level.

I do think he can do a story retell at a simpler level, but I haven't checked to see.  I will when Mindwings comes, lol..... but I know he has done retells with sequencing pictures (and then without sequencing pictures), but that would be for something a lot easier, and then I know he can't do it for -- say -- level I.

But anyway -- maybe when he gets into MIndwings he will place lower, and I will place him according to what he can do as a re-tell (or personal narrative or made-up story).  

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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

I know he has done retells with sequencing pictures (and then without sequencing pictures), but that would be for something a lot easier, and then I know he can't do it for -- say -- level I.

Ok, this is just a thought but I would not have a problem with creating pictures for the book, saying what is happening in each picture, labeling them with the icons, and then sequencing and telling the narrative. It would be less abstract, and that's the whole reason you use picture books, to give that extra support. I bring in pictures with Little House for ds. Pictures are great! Either they're making a mental picture, or it has so many steps that holding it as a mental picture is too hard and you bring in the physical pictures. But I wouldn't hesitate to do that.

You could photocopy them or take snaps of the pictures from the book with your phone and throw the pics all pics into a file (6-8 pics on one page) and print. My drawing is lousy, so I'd just snap pics from the book rather than hand drawing, lol. 

1 hour ago, Lecka said:

maybe when he gets into MIndwings he will place lower, and I will place him according to what he can do as a re-tell (or personal narrative or made-up story).  

Well what I like is that the work is always FUNCTIONAL. It doesn't matter where he is relative to someone else. He actually has a functional use for this stuff and it's going to get put to use and be good.

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4 minutes ago, Lecka said:

https://mindwingconcepts.com/blogs/news/36160065-narrative-is-having-a-moment-in-research-circles

I like this blog post, I like the example towards the bottom where they have written some words to help transition to a nicer retell.

Maybe it will come in handy 😉

Yes, I've seen their organizers and retelling forms like that. I don't remember if some came with the set. You can check your downloadables, as that's where they'll be. if not, they'll have something like that on the blog. 

So now let's have a good chuckle, because the study they were citing was using SKILL. :biggrin:  I'm not saying you should buy SKILL, just that it gave me a laugh. The bingo game they were playing sounds sharp. I should dig into the phase 2 SKILL printables and see if it's in there. That dude's blog post was so convoluted I couldn't tell what he was saying HE had done in classrooms and what was being doing in the SKILL classrooms. But the idea seems good, because it's allow you to get it back into context after working on it with tighter texts. Could be interesting with a more complex read aloud, for instance.

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I thought it might be SKILL.  

So, do you think that means SKILL is 1st grade level, if this study is for classroom-wide use for 1st grade?  

Or maybe they just used phase 1?  

I am just guessing.

I am completely happy to say research on SKILL will basically apply to Mindwings.  It’s how things go.  

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I have an open tab with that SKILL study, it does say there’s “retelling with bingo cards” in phase 1.  

Are you liking the icons for SKILL or Mindwings better?

Edit:  bc I would use the Mindwings icons.... and it looks like they have games using their icons on their website.... 

Edited by Lecka

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3 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I thought it might be SKILL.

He cited exact terminology from SKILL and it was the Gillam's research.

3 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Or maybe they just used phase 1?

They mention elaboration, which as you know is phase 2.

3 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I am completely happy to say research on SKILL will basically apply to Mindwings.  It’s how things go.  

Yup, that's pretty much what they were implying. What SKILL does, by setting it up as trials and data for research, is to eliminate user variability. MW is so open-ended, that would be a lot harder to do research with. You'd need I don't know. They'd find a way, but it's pretty open-ended.

What I'm *skeptical* about is the people buying files off TPT and saying it's the same. But hey, they're there, just $10 and you can have all the icons etc., lol. And in the hands of an SLP who already knows to do elaboration, it's probably going to get somewhere. But that $10 file would push you more toward SKILL in presentation style I would think.

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Eh, I look at a lot of things that are not so scripted, and they can still have research.  I am not concerned about that.  

Okay -- I am going to ask -- what I am really looking for as helpful is:  using the icons/manipulatives for supported retells, and then moving from there (at some point lol) to doing retells without the support.

Are using any of these materials this way?  

If you are, do you use both sets of icons, or do you pick one and adjust the other curriculum to it?  

 

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2 minutes ago, Lecka said:

“retelling with bingo cards” in phase 1.  

Let me go look. It's right here. There were some gibberish lessons with funky words after the normal lessons, and I just skip gibberish till I'm ready for it. Told you I have bad habits. 

Ok, found it.

lesson 11-co-telling (the first jibberish, I began skipping/skimming at this point)

lesson 12-story element id in retelling--again, jibberish because I can't tell from that how it differentiates from all the other story id and retelling we've been doing, meaning I skip more. 

lesson 13-parallel story development with basic storyboard-and again I'm like stories aren't made parallel they're either told or not told so you're saying two stories? But the picture shows one set of icons so I'm flummoxed because to be parallel requires at least 2, more jibberish, more skipping

So the mention of bingo cards is at the bottom of lesson 12, where it says Bingo Cards, no picture. No picture, no notice, cuz I'm skimming. I'll go look at my appendixes files. I may have printed them. 

Ok, so I didn't print off probably every single page from the appendix, but I did find a page with bingo cards in my notebook pocket. So things like graphic organizers, etc. I had merged between the two programs using page protectors and the extra pages are in the pockets. So yes, one page with enough cards for 3 people to play. I printed it on cardstock, so apparently I saw it and forgot, lol. That is so totally like me. And I *think* when I saw it I just thought it was snazzy minis and just didn't quite catch on. They also had a page of medium-sized icons that I laminated. I'm not sure if my thought process was to glue them on popsicle sticks for response? Dunno.

What I DON'T see is a stupid blank bingo card. Might be why it didn't register in my pea brain it was bingo. I remember thinking there were minis and pondering what I could do with them, but I apparently didn't think of them as a bingo game.

And yes I'm always this way.

14 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Are you liking the icons for SKILL or Mindwings better?

Ok, so when I was first looking into this stuff, some guru (I forget who) had a slideshow/powerpoint thing and it was pretty clear they were digging at the overlap and differences in the icons. Personally I can't see enough differences or benefit in the differences to die on one hill or another. The style of the SKILL icons fits the style of the materials (brief, to the point). The style of the MW icons is charming and fits the more personal, custom presentation. I STRONGLY like that the MW icons are easy to transfer over to expository.

So I decided what was most important to me was that when we want to transfer them to expository he can be flexible on that. So if I don't use the SKILL icons too much, if it's more about the concept than which icon, if I use them interchangebly even, then it really won't matter. So like when we did characters and character descriptions, I used the SKILL icon but the MW/ASD star points organizer to drive elaboration. So whose icons am I using? LOL And you saw, I'm using the words and highlighters, again to de-emphasize them so that he'll have the concept language and be flexible to do it in expository.

So far it's working. When I said hey we're going to read this expository text and it's going to be like our character/setting descriptions with details, but this time details not in a story, he's like oh fine, whatever, no biggee. So it worked.

I'm not saying you should do it that way, because you've already identified your ds is concrete and needs the manipulative. My ds doesn't seem to need the manipulative that heavily, so I'm using them whatever way works in the moment to keep him flexible to get where I'm going. Right now, he's ok working from a mental list, so it's working for us. 

But yes, just in general, I'm in favor of cohesion. I own the cute MW magnets, stamps, etc. so I hate to go hard another direction and screw up the option to use that. Just right now, so far (and that's only so far), we're making do.

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I'm just being honest how I work, even though it looks floozy. I've already done the seeming equivalent of this program with another program and I watched videos, etc. from MW till I was blue in the face. I'm clearly just pulling in whatever suits me and doing things as I see it. I always admire people who have the character to pick up materials and use them properly. 

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Okay, that makes sense.  

Yes, I'm expecting to commit big with the icons and manipulative!  

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This is my guess:  co-telling sounds like one person starts a story, then another person tells part of it, then another person tells part of it.  

Parallel story telling sounds like you take turns telling a story with a certain story board, and just make some changes to the story.  In the thing I read they said an easy change would be to change the character.  

I have no idea on the other one.  Maybe it’s the first time they have a kid tell a whole story from the cards, because it is the first lesson after co-telling.  I don’t know, though.  

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I'm just being honest how I work, even though it looks floozy. I've already done the seeming equivalent of this program with another program and I watched videos, etc. from MW till I was blue in the face. I'm clearly just pulling in whatever suits me and doing things as I see it. I always admire people who have the character to pick up materials and use them properly. 

I've been enjoying the back and forth and just wanted to pop in for a second to say that while I do think that the author of materials mean for them to be used "properly", I think that there's exceptional value modifying materials to suit your student's needs. It's helpful to do so with both eyes open, to be sure you're not missing something important, but at the same time, modification is what makes homeschooling (or afterschooling, whatever) so effective, in my opinion. 

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2 hours ago, Lecka said:

This is my guess:  co-telling sounds like one person starts a story, then another person tells part of it, then another person tells part of it.  

Parallel story telling sounds like you take turns telling a story with a certain story board, and just make some changes to the story.  In the thing I read they said an easy change would be to change the character.  

I have no idea on the other one.  Maybe it’s the first time they have a kid tell a whole story from the cards, because it is the first lesson after co-telling.  I don’t know, though.  

Hahaha, so now you see why it was gibberish!! Our WTM/progymnasta bent would say to retell from a source, giving you the natural connectors, language, and flow. Nope, those lessons are all something about making up your own story from the prompts. I've seen the SLPs at a local center doing writing workshops where they do the same thing. I know it's a very ps thing to have kids writing original stuff and putting all the stock in being original, but that isn't really my inclination given my own experiences. 

So the lessons are writing stories from the given prompts and then attempting to tell each others stories using faded levels of the prompts.

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12 minutes ago, mamashark said:

I've been enjoying the back and forth and just wanted to pop in for a second to say that while I do think that the author of materials mean for them to be used "properly", I think that there's exceptional value modifying materials to suit your student's needs. It's helpful to do so with both eyes open, to be sure you're not missing something important, but at the same time, modification is what makes homeschooling (or afterschooling, whatever) so effective, in my opinion. 

Yes, this, exactly. 

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I think I am tied to an order more because of school.  I have some awareness of what his school goals are and they follow an order, so I also follow an order.  

I thought the co-whatever stories sounded fun.

But my son already has a thing where he wants to make up stories about me having 6 babies (or sometimes 2 babies, 2 toddlers, and 2 6-year-olds) and what would happen if we went camping or rode on a train or something.  So I know he would like it.  

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4 hours ago, Lecka said:

But my son already has a thing where he wants to make up stories about me having 6 babies (or sometimes 2 babies, 2 toddlers, and 2 6-year-olds) and what would happen if we went camping or rode on a train or something.  So I know he would like it.  

That's adorable!!

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I haven't *thought* of my ds has the creative writer type, but who knows. At some point we could play with it. It's pretty common around here to use story dice, etc. We just haven't done it.

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