Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Announcing a Google Drive Interactive Notebook Edition of Simple Steps to Sentence

I have an exciting announcement for teachers who use my grammar curriculum.

So much has changed since my book Simple Steps to Sentence Sense was published in 1996, but the method I use to teach grammar still works. It’s easy and fun. Students and teachers still love it!

I started teaching grammar to my students using my own method many years before my book was published, and I thought other language arts teachers would appreciate knowing how easy it is to teach grammar by following 8 simple steps. I was right. Teachers and students responded with overwhelmingly positive reviews, so I decided to create a digital download and make it available on several teacher/store web sites. 

Now, twenty years later, I have updated Simple Steps to Sentence Sense to a Google Drive digital format. That’s right!  Simple steps to Sentence is now an interactive notebook, and you and your students can access the pages of my book in Google Drive. Students can read the lessons, and complete the assignments and tests while in Google Drive. No paper is needed. No more standing in line at the copy machine to run off copies of the pages of my book. Students can submit their work to you electronically however you wish. 

You can purchase the lessons one step at a time or purchase the entire book (all 8 steps) in a Bundle and Save 20 percent. And, of course, the original version of Simple Steps to Sentence Sense in pdf format will still be available. Now you have a choice. Often teachers like to use both formats for different reasons and at different times.

You will find the individual steps and the bundle in my store. Take a look at the previews and see what you think. I hope you will be as excited about this new format as I am.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Devil Makes the Rules Is My Latest Novel

I am excited to announce that my sister, Judi Thompson, and I have just published our fifth novel. We combined our two last names into the pen name, Tess Thompson, and we have been having an amazing adventure writing mystery and suspense novels together. Click here to learn more about Judi and me.

Our latest novel, The Devil Makes the Rules, is the third book in the Chance O'Brien Mystery Series that began in When an Angel Whispers

In this new book, Brett Adams has a secret. A secret that destroyed his marriage and carved the path he would take in life. Now Brett is missing, and his ex-wife Macy and her detective husband Chance O’Brien must find him.

They travel to Key West, Florida, and El Paso, Texas, and discover a trail of blood and lies that shock Macy to the core. Now she realizes she was married to a stranger. But it isn’t just Brett’s life in peril; an innocent young woman and her mother are also missing. Chance and Macy must unravel Brett’s deception to save his life and the life of the woman he loves. 

We had fun writing this one. Judi and I were born in El Paso, Texas, and I still live there. The places in the book are real, even though the events are entirely fiction. Jerry and I spent some fun, lazy days in the Bahamas and in Key West, Florida. It was enjoyable to revive those memories in this book.

Although this book works as a stand-alone story, it is even more enjoyable if you have read the other two books in the series: When an Angel Whispers and Student Body. They are only $2.99, so you can read the whole series without blowing your summer reading budget.

I hope you will give one of my books a try. You will find all of them here.


Thanks for reading,

Friday, May 20, 2016

Rules for Writing a Novel

During Somerset Maugham's long life, he showed a remarkable understanding of human nature. He wore many hats in his lifetime. He was a doctor, a playwright, a secret agent during WWI, and a writer of short stories and novels.

I was amazed to discover over 800 quotations attributed to him, and found most of them to be quite relevant to the life of anyone who loves to write.

His message in the quotation above is one with which I wholeheartedly agree. There are no rules when it comes to writing a novel or any other creative work. Each writer is unique, and the method s/he uses to complete a work in progress is absolutely the only one that is correct in that moment.

We can all learn new tricks and techniques, and we can all use help, but in the end, it is up to each writer to develop his or her distinctive voice and style.

If you are a writer, you will know exactly what I mean.

Write On!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Gratitude Booklet Makes a Special Gift

Here's a great idea for a heartfelt gift for for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or any occasion.

 This is a creative writing unit that requires students to research one of their family members or significant friends and create a gratitude booklet. They will enjoy learning more about the history of their family and experience the joy of giving a truly unique and special gift. Students will:

             write interview questions.

             interview family members.

             write a biographical sketch.

             write and edit anecdotes. 

             locate or take photos of the subject of their gratitude booklet.

             compile a gratitude booklet.

             present the completed booklet to their subject as a special gift.

 The booklet can include photos, drawings, a biographical sketch, and testimonial statements from the students and from others who know their subject well.

An example would be that a student interviews his or her mother and then writes a biographical sketch. If possible, they will include old photos and current photos. Then, they would interview their mother's friends and relatives and collect anecdotes and statements from them to include in their booklet. 

 After the booklet is complete, they would present it to their mother on Mother's Day as a priceless gift. I have included sample pages from a gratitude booklet in the product.
This is a free product that is available in my store. 

Click here below to visit my store and download this project.

Thanks for reading,