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Implementing Digital Media Writing to Engage Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Implementing D igital M edia W riting to Engage Students with EBD B e y o n d B e h a v io r Using a graphic organizer, teachers can model how to write a story pitch (see Figure 2) based on personal experiences, literature from the classroom, or situations or events that have occurred at school. When modeling the story pitch to the class the teacher should: (a) demonstrate how to give constructive feedback as respectful collaborators, (b) encourage brainstorming, (c) offer examples of questioning and prompting techniques (e.g., "I like the way you "I am confused by , or "It would be exciting if and (d) make revisions to the story pitch based on the student's feedback. Many students find it difficult to provide positive feedback. For that reason, consider spending a lesson teaching feedback strategies. Another professional (e.g., paraprofessional, social worker) could be enlisted to share feedback with the class about the teachers' story pitches to demonstrate effective strategies. After hearing feedback on the model pitches, students can vote for the one they believe will develop into the most intriguing narrative. Also, students can be encouraged to pitch story ideas to peers who will, in turn, offer feedback through clarifying questions and prompts. For students with EBD, it might be beneficial to work in small groups or pairs, particularly if they have a history of inappropriate interactions with peers. Meet with these students prior to the activity to discuss personal goals, structure a reinforcement schedule, and provide visual prompts (e.g., an index card with feedback prompts). The story spine. Playwright Ken Adams (2007) proposed the idea of a story spine as a structure for improvisational storytelling. The story spine aligns with the creation of digital narrative by succinctly incorporating elements of a good story, such as the platform, catalyst, consequences, climax, and resolution (Butler et al., 2013). The story spine helps students organize their ideas, begin their writing, and generate details (see Table 2). It offers a visual model of elements to include in an engaging story and sample starters for thinking through each part of the narrative. The teacher can adapt the story spine to the student, for example, providing a digital or paper template of preselected starters. This adaptation might alleviate anxiety or frustration some students may have when provided with too many options. While the teacher is planning this activity she or he should anticipate possible triggers of challenging behavior or tasks that might cause frustration for students with EBD. The storyboard. The final design activity in Step 2 is to develop a storyboard (see Figure 2). The storyboard is a series of pages that serve planning purposes of (a) writing the "script" for narrating the story and (b) sketching out ideas for graphics or images (e.g., drawings, pictures, personal photographs, Internet images). The goal of using a storyboard is to provide a visual for creating and organizing the story, ultimately making final production less complicated. The storyboard can be adapted to meet students' needs. For example, the number of pages a storyboard contains may vary. One student may need six pages to write about the resolution while another needs only two. Also, the sequence in which students compose the pages on the storyboard does not matter. Each page should include narrative and illustrations. Ms. Reynolds models three different story pitches: “I love my dog," "My best friends in second grade,” and "My funny brother." She reads her story pitches aloud and models how to write pitch ideas on the graphic organizer (see Figure 1). The students ask clarifying questions and give feedback about her ideas. One of her goals for soliciting feedback is to model for Jack the following behaviors: (a) giving constructive feedback while also being respectful to collaborators, (b) encouraging his peers to engage in brainstorming and questioning, and (c) using feedback to revise the story pitch (e.g., thinking through details of the story). Students then are paired to talk through their own story pitches. Because of Jack's history of inappropriate interactions she meets with him prior to the activity to provide additional information about the schedule and activities and to review appropriate questioning and feedback strategies. She gives him a specific card with question prompts that he can use during peer interaction. Ms. Reynolds then works with Jack and his peer as they transcribe ideas for their story pitches. Ms. Reynolds has provided all student pairs with multiple examples of prompts they can use to give each other feedback (e.g., "2 like the way you ...", "I am confused by ...", or "It would be exciting i f ..."). These examples help the students understand how to use positive feedback and clarifying questions in constructive ways. Step 3: Create Media Once storyboards are developed with tentative sketches, the students begin to create or "capture" media that most effectively tells their story. Media elements could include digital photographs, scanned artwork, personal photographs, musical soundtracks, voice-over narration, sound effects, animation, and video (Ohler, 2008). One student may select images and sounds effects from the Internet, while another may choose to illustrate the images and scan them into the story. A third student, who is musically inclined, may decide to create his own soundtrack to accompany the story. Using programs like GarageBand (Apple, Cupertino, CA), students can record their own music or sound effects (e.g., a baby crying or a door slamming) to accompany their story. Additional resources for capturing and creating media can be found in Table 3; some resources even provide specific materials designed for educators for ready implementation in the classroom. Once Jack finishes his storyboard, he works with a partner to brainstorm possible ideas for media that would make his story more captivating or interesting Vo l.24, Iss. 3, 2015 17

Implementing D igital M edia W riting to Engage Students with EBD F ig u re 1 An Example of a Story P itch Title: Characters: Problem: Transformation: 1love my dog Me (Ms. Reynolds) Sheila Sandy Brendan Marty Whenever 1put my food on the kitchen table, it seemed to magically disappear! 1can't trust my dog Sandy. My funny brother My Best Friends in Second Grade Brendan Me (Ms. Reynolds) Mom Me (Ms. Reynolds), My friends Kelley and Molly My mom was taking a nap. My brother Brendan and 1were supposed to be taking a nap too, but we decided that we wanted to play in the basement with our new toy horse Rawhide. We were camping and we went on a hike. Kelley, Molly and 1were telling jokes and laughing. All of the sudden, we realized that the group was nowhere to be found! Sometimes it is better to do what is right, rather than listen to my brother. OR 1should speak up when 1know something isn't right. What's right isn't always the cool thing to do. 1can trust my friends to make me laugh in any situation! to the listener. Since Jack has begun illustrating his story on the storyboard, he tells Ms. Reynolds that he would like to use his time thinking about sound effects and coloring his illustrations. Jack works with his partner to discuss different places in his story in which music or sound effects seem to fit. Step 4: Draft and Revise Story After selecting the images and media, students draft the story on the storyboard, adding content and 18 Beyond Behavior

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