During the past year we have worked closely with MindWing Concepts USA to bring Braidy the SGM® to NZ, and develop a Kiwi version.
About the Creators of MindWing Concepts
MindWing Concepts, Inc. provides highly interactive professional development workshops and multi-sensory instructional and intervention materials for public school districts, organizations, agencies, private schools, early childhood settings, and parents/families. Our research-based methodology is rooted in the discourse level of language to target narrative, expository text, and conversation. Our goal is to give every child—regardless of age, ability or culture—the skills to think, communicate & learn effectively in order to achieve academic and social success.
During our Professional Development workshops and consultations, the presenter will share (through modeling, small and large group activities, guided practice, videos, lectures, and demonstration) our researched-based methodology and patented, child-friendly multisensory materials that target the language, thinking and social skills for the classroom as well as in therapy.
MindWing Concepts, Inc. was founded in 1994 by speech and language pathologist, Maryellen Rooney Moreau, to further her passion: giving children the skills to be successful in school and in life. Our methodology is rooted in language development, specifically the discourse level of language to include conversation, narration (stories) and exposition (information text). Problems at the discourse level are evident when students experience difficulties using language to think, communicate and learn. Our methodology effectively targets language, thinking, and social communication skills-simultaneously!
In addition to improving literacy skills, this enables children to learn to “tell their story,” recognize the emotions and motivations of others, take perspective, build empathy and resolve conflicts in life. These are the skills that are essential for positive, contributing members of society both in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships with family and friends. Educators and parents implement our methodology often with the goal of assisting children with the fundamental areas of literacy: speaking, writing and comprehension. However, in addition to academic achievement, they realize that the social impact of MindWing’s methodology is extraordinary.
What is The SGM®
The SGM® is an acronym for The Story Grammar Marker® (Teacher Marker pictured above). “Story Grammar” is the technical term for the parts of a story (narrative). Schools in many countries, including the United States, use the “goal-directed” style of a narrative. The Story Grammar Marker® is a hands-on, kinesthetic tool designed with patented icons that represent the parts of a story. Children (and adults) can use the icons to “mark”—and keep track of—the situation unfolding in a story in an organized way for themselves, and for others to understand. The SGM® is used to help children, adolescents and adults think, communicate and learn through stories.
How and Why Was The Story Grammar Marker® Created?
Maryellen Rooney Moreau was Curriculum Director and co-taught at the Curtis Blake Day School in Springfield, MA. One day, while co-teaching a writing lesson with third-grade children, an eight-year-old boy approached Moreau with his conventional “beginning, middle and end” graphic organizer. He had tears in his eyes and said, “I don’t know what to put in my boxes—I never know what to do with my boxes!” Inspired by this interaction and cognizant of research and experience in language development and early literacy, Moreau designed a hands-on, multi-sensory tool to assist this boy to tell his story. With colleagues Carolyn West, Ph.D., and Holly Fidrych, M.S., CCC-SLP, Moreau field-tested the tool at the day school and other local public schools. Moreau and Fidrych authored the How To Use The Story Grammar Marker®, A Guide for Improving Speaking, Reading and Writing Skills Within Your Existing Program to help educators and specialists to learn to use the Story Grammar Marker® tool. In 1991, Moreau patented the SGM® and founded MindWing Concepts, Inc., three years later to share this methodology with educators and children.