Monday, August 3, 2020

Back to School on TpT

Chalkboard and school supplies.

Tomorrow, August 4th and Wednesday, August 5th everything in my TpT store will be 20% off including bundles. If you add the code BTS20 at checkout, TpT will give you an additional 5% off. 

I have many distance learning resources that you can use in Google Drive. They include lessons, exercises, and the answers. You will find them here.

Have you tried BOOM Cards? They are self-grading digital task cards that your students will love. I have created several decks. You will find them here. Play the previews to see what you think.

My big news is that now all three editions of Simple Steps to Sentence Sense are now in Google Drive and students will type their work into text boxes on GOOGLE Slides.

Simple Steps to Sentence Sense for Elementary and ESL

Simple Steps to Sentence Sense for Middle School

Simple Steps to Sentence Sense for High School

BUNDLES are always a bargain, but during a TpT sale, they become a SUPER BARGAIN. I have some new bundles in my store. Click here to see them.

Please stay well and safe. If I can help you, please send me an email at

All the best,


Friday, June 19, 2020

Sun, Sand, and Savings Week is Coming Soon

This summer, a group of teachers who write lessons for will participate in a sale that will offer fantastic savings. A special selection of products will be priced at $1 and $2.

The sales will continue from June 22nd to July 27th. It is the perfect time to stock up on resources that you can use for the new school year. Each week there will be a $1 sale on digital resources that may be especially useful in the fall. These will include BOOM cards, Google Drive Digital Lessons, and Interactive PDF lessons.

I am in the process of choosing which of my resources will be in the sale. I plan to include some of my best selling products and put them on sale for the amazing price of $1 and $2. Don't miss your chance to get these now, as the price will go back up on July 28th.

You will also have an opportunity to enter a contest each week for exciting Giveaway Prizes.

Visit and follow my Facebook Page for the latest information on the sale and frequent updates.

I hope your summer is going great, and that you are safe and well!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Teachers Helping Teachers with Distance Learning

In this stressful time, it is gratifying to know that many of the teacher-authors for are trying to do whatever they can to help teachers adjust to distance learning. Teachers who write for TpT are uploading quality resources daily that are helpful and easy to use. Many of the resources are FREE and most are low cost.

You will find resources that will make your job easier and make distance learning successful for your students. I am homeschooling my grandson, and I will be doing it while he is at his house, and I am at mine. It will be different, but we will make it work. He's a great kid!

We will be using Google Drive resources and BOOM cards. I am creating new ones whenever he needs to review a concept we have studied. He loves the instant feedback he gets from BOOM cards, and I love that they are self-grading.

You can use Boom Cards with an unlimited number of students by using the Fast Play option, which is available in all Boom memberships, including the free one. If you want/need to track the progress of more than 5 students, then you'd have to have a paid BOOM membership. Right now, BOOM is giving teachers their Ultimate membership free through June 2020 because of COVID. Here's the link:

Here are links to some of my resources that will work for distance learning. Whether you use these resources with your own children or the children in your virtual classroom, I hope you will find something useful.
Free resources on TpT

Free Simple Steps to Sentence Sense Videos on YouTube
Step 1: Prepositional Phrases
Step 2: The Verb
Step 3: the Subject
Step 4A: Action Verb Complements
Step 4L: Linking Verb Complements
Step 5: Modifiers (adjectives and adverbs)
Step 6: Phrases 
Step 7: Clauses
Step 8: Classifying Sentences
Resources under $5
Google Drive Digital Resources on TpT
Digital BOOM Cards
Link to My Store
I also send out a newsletter with tips and freebies.
If you would like to subscribe, click here and receive a free lesson.
Thanks for reading. I know we are experiencing frightening times, but I also know that we will make it through this and be stronger and wiser. If I can help you with any lessons, you can send me an email at
Best wishes,

Here are some helpful blog posts from some of my teacher friends.

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

How to Choose Between Affect and Effect

One of the most often asked grammar questions is when to use affect and when to use effect.

Affect is used as a verb, and effect is most often used as a noun. Since only nouns can be modified by the articles a, an and the, I can show you a simple trick to help you choose the correct word.

If you are not sure how to choose between affect or effect, see if one of the articles a, an, or the will work in front of it. If so, effect is probably the correct choice. If you try to place an article in front of a verb, it will not be correct.

·      Your behavior had a negative effect on me.
·      Polio affected his legs.

It may help you to know: 
  • Effect usually means the result, consequence, or outcome.
  • Affect usually means to influence, to impact, or to sway.
Now you try it:
1.     She wore a tiara on her head and the (affect, effect) was ridiculous.
2.     Watching a feel-good movie did not (affect, effect) his bad mood.
3.     Your behavior is having an (affect, effect) on everyone in the class.

1.     effect  The article the appears before the noun effect.
2.     affect  The articles a, an, and the would not make sense before the verb affect.
3.     effect  The article an appears before the noun effect.

It is possible, although not as common, for the word effect also to be used as a verb. It is most often used in formal situations. If so, it will mean to bring forth or give rise to. If you are not sure if the word in question is a verb, try substituting one of these synonyms: created, caused, produced, bring on, or generate.

Example: The new law effected a change in the way criminals are prosecuted.
Note that you could substitute a synonym such as created, caused, produced, brought on, or generated.

Most of the time, your choice will be between the noun effect and the verb affected.

With practice, it should become easier for you to choose the correct word.

Click here for a practice lesson that includes a self-grading Boom Card Deck to practice using affect and effect. You can try it out here.

Thanks for reading,

Here are some interesting and helpful blog posts from my friends from The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative:

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Say What You Mean and Avoid Redundancies

Good writers simply say what they mean and avoid excess verbiage.

Don’t say: “In my opinion, I think you are wrong.” Instead, just say: “I think you are wrong.” (Obviously, this is your opinion.)

Don't say: "At this point in time." Instead, just say, "now."

Don't say: "I thought to myself." Instead, just say, "I thought." (Obviously, your thoughts are directed to yourself. They are your thoughts, after all.)

Good writers avoid using redundant expressions.

Redundancy generally occurs when a word or phrase that already has specific meaning is further modified by words or phrases that mean the same thing. 

In your writing, you should always strive to find the most specific words to express your thoughts.

Then, when you find those words, you must also resist the temptation to embellish them. If you do the result often results in redundancy. 

The following examples are quite common. You may hear them most often on the news or read them online or in print. But, just because they are commonly used doesn't make them good writing.

Avoid redundant expressions to make your writing clear, concise, and clutter-free. Consider the following examples. The words in parentheses are not necessary.

blue (in color)
small/large (in size)
(first) discovered/introduced/began
combine/add/mix/link/weave (together)
Easter (Sunday)
a.m. (in the morning)
(free) gift
(added) bonus
drown/starve/strangle (to death)
(Jewish) synagogue
the winter/summer/spring/fall (months)
(fully) comprehensive
visible (to the eye)
(mental) telepathy
(old) relic
reason (why)
consensus (of opinion)
(previous/past) experience/history
(new) baby/invention/discovery
(remaining) vestige
spin (in circles)
thought(to himself)

These are just a few examples. There are many more. Be watchful and eliminate redundancies from your writing whenever possible.

Click here for an exercise you can use with your students to help them master this writing revision technique.

Thanks for reading!

Here are some interesting blog posts from my friends that I'm sure you will enjoy reading.

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

New Year’s Resolutions Again?

Yes, it’s that time of year. If I think about a new year as an opportunity to write some exciting and worthwhile pages in the book of my life, then I have a healthy attitude. It is never too late to try and make the year ahead of me even better than the one that came before. (Last year was a hard one, so this one should be better.)

If I choose attainable goals and avoid resolutions like winning the lottery, I will feel a sense of accomplishment each time I cross one off my list.

Here are just a few attainable goals that you might wish to consider:
  • Get more sleep whenever possible.
  • To avoid frantic mornings, prepare for the next day on the night before. 
  • The night before, prepare your lunch or decide where you will eat lunch.
  • Set out your keys, coat, shoes, briefcase or purse and a reminder note about your lunch.
  • Leave your desk at work organized and tidy. Write reminders on Post-it Notes.
  • Write a list of absolutely necessary To Do’s and cross them off as you complete them.
  • If you have way too many essays to grade, don’t take them all home at once. Complete them in increments depending on what you have going on in your private life at the time.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Have a plan, know your plan, work your plan.

Remember that you are human and not a robot. You can only do what you can do.  
Teachers have a really challenging job. Teachers are amazing. Teachers are changing the world one child at a time. 

I hope both your new year and your Valentine's Day are enjoyable.

Thanks for reading. 

Here are some great blog posts from my friends at TpT.

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Cherish the Holiday Memories

Holiday Table with Food

When I was a child, we had a large, extended family and everyone came to a big party at my parents' house on Christmas Eve to celebrate. We always gathered around the piano and sang Christmas Carols, ate delicious snacks and desserts, and then bundled up to drive to a neighborhood known for its beautiful decorations. We walked along together viewing the pretty lights. 

On Christmas morning, the children opened their gifts, and after church, we had a huge Christmas dinner that various members of the family had prepared. We even had fun while washing the mountains of dishes left behind. It was a joyous, boisterous, magical time for all of us. 

I think it would be safe to say that family holiday traditions evolve as families grow. After marriage, spouses bring the traditions from each of their families and blend them into new and special ones to share with each other and their children.
Now, our extended family has scattered to many distant locations due to their jobs. We are still very close in matters of the heart, but it is impossible for all of us to get together like we did in the past. Now, our tradition includes using the same recipes that our mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, and cousins used to create scrumptious meals for our own smaller families. 

We refer to the dishes by name: Mema's dressing, Vi's pumpkin torte, Ken's pecan pie, Aunt Kay's green jello salad, and Aunt Mimi's yeast rolls. Even our children know whom to credit for the delicious food on our table. And when our grandchildren are old enough, the recipes will pass to them to recreate and share with their future families.

I think our children and their children will remember holiday celebrations with their senses. What did they see that was magical? What did they hear that made them smile and sing along or made them tear up when the church choir sang Gloria. What will they remember touching like soft blankets or crisp ribbons on packages?

Gifts delight children and adults as well, but many of us will remember the fragrance of yeast rolls baking in the oven or the taste of pecan pie with whipped cream or some other favorite family dessert long after the memory of a present received has faded. 

I think it is important for students to cherish the memories they have of holiday traditions with their families. Click here for a free activity they can do before or after the Holidays.

I hope that your holiday season is beautiful in every way and that your wish upon a star comes true.

Thanks for reading,

Here are some links you might like to click: 

Christmas Sentence Patterns Practice Grades 9-12 

Subscribe to my Newsletter for more Freebie

FREE Christmas Crossword Puzzle Grades 7-12Visit my store: Charlene Tess

Here are some blog posts worth reading from my friends. Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Meaningful Activities to Do Before Winter Break

On the day or two before a winter holiday begins, students have often completely shut down their studious brains and fully engaged their frolicsome personalities. On such days, giving students free time is about as much fun for the teacher as having a root canal.

Some teachers need activities to keep students engaged during seemingly endless class periods, and others need good activities for students to work on after they finish semester exams or end of semester projects.

I always had a couple of holiday-themed exercises ready that would be fun for the students to do, but would also stimulate their higher order thinking skills. A little planning on my part made the hours leading up to the much-needed winter break a whole lot easier on everyone.

Please click here or on the photo below for two FREE exercises. I hope you and your students enjoy them!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thanks for reading,

Here are several more ideas from my teacher friends. Visit their blogs and find out all the helpful information they have to offer.

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