Sunday, October 29, 2017

Teach it Your Way!

One of the most exciting things about education these days is that teachers have many choices. Just as our students have individual learning styles, so do teachers have unique teaching styles.



Some teachers prefer to use a projection device and others prefer the white board. Some teachers like to make copies and have students write their answers on the worksheets provided to them. Others make master copies and have the students write their answers on notebook paper.



Some teachers use textbooks and others leave the textbooks in the cabinet and create their own lessons and worksheets.

Now, because of the advances of technology, students can watch instructional videos, listen to audio recordings, or read and record their own answers.



And then there is the most innovative idea of all. Go Paperless. Create your own lessons in Google Drive and use in Google Classroom. Your students will work in the cloud and turn in their work to you via email or however you choose. No more paper shuffling. No more standing by the copy machine when preparing your lessons.

And even more exciting than that is the fact that experienced teachers h
ave created Google Drive Interactive Lessons, and you can buy them on TeachersPayTeachers.com. Just sign in to TpT and search for the hashtag #TpTDigital, or search for Google Drive Digital Resources.

I have 29 Google Drive resources for sale on TeachersPayTeachers.com, and I am working on more. I am pleased to say that my best seller, Simple Steps to Sentence Sense for High School, is now available both in the original print version and as a Google Drive Digital Resource. Take your pick and teach it your way!


Monday, August 28, 2017

Use the Active Voice

active voice, verbs, Tess's Tips, Writing tip, passive voice




When writing simple sentences, learn to use verbs in the active voice as much as possible.

Although there are occasions when the passive voice is necessary, using it usually slows the sentence down. (Verbs in the passive voice use a form of "to be" as a helping verb (is, am, are, was, were, be, been, or being) in front of the past participle.

Examples: Kim was hit by Kerry. (This sentence is in the passive voice.) Kerry hit Kim. (This sentence is in the active voice.) 

To eliminate the passive voice: 
1) Remove the helping verb (is, am, are, was, were, be, been, or being.) 
2) Remove the preposition "by," if the sentence has one.
3) Flip/flop the ends of the sentence. (What you are really doing is switching the subject and the direct object.)

Here is an example of how to change a sentence in the passive voice to a sentence in the active voice.

The man was given an award by the service club.

1) Remove the form of "to be" used as a helping verb.The man was given an award by the service club.
2) Remove the preposition "by" (If it appears in the sentence.)The man was given an award by the service club.3) Flip/flop the ends of the sentence

Passive Voice - The man was given an award by the service club.” Active Voice - “The service club gave the man an award.”

Note: Be sure that you do not change the tense of the verb when you change it from passive voice to active voice.Both "was given" and "gave" are in the past tense.

Here's a product your students will enjoy. All About Verbs will help your students understand how to recognize and use verbs effectively. This product has 25 pages of instruction and 13 exercises.

Verbs, active voice, passive voice, verb tense, to be verbs

Enjoy!

Charlene Tess, Simple Steps to Sentence Sense, Books by Charlene Tess


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

3 Ways to Strive for Sentence Conciseness


Sentence Conciseness Will Improve Your Writing


It is quality not quantity that counts in writing. Most good writing is not cluttered with superfluous words.

Here are three ways to improve your writing:

(1) Eliminate extra words and the unnecessary repetition of ideas. 
For example:
Wordy: The dog played with a small, little, round ball, which was made of rubber.
Better: The dog played with a little rubber ball.

(2) Reduce clauses to phrases and phrases to single words.
For example:
Wordy:  We decided that we would leave the meeting early.
Better: We decided to leave the meeting early.
Wordy: The illegal immigrants who had been captured were deported to Mexico.
Better: The captured illegal immigrants were deported to Mexico.

(3) Avoid trying to sound like Shakespeare. Write naturally. 
For example:
Wordy:  Illumination is required when the sun has sunk into the west and left the premises in darkness.
Better: Turn on the lights at dark.

What about you? Do you sometimes use more words that you really need? I know I do, so when I go back and proofread what I have written, I often find myself tapping the delete key.







Click here for a FREE exercise on reducing wordy sentences.




Thanks for reading,






Monday, February 20, 2017

Help With Confusing Words

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This funny GIF is a reminder that it is easy to confuse certain common words.


To avoid upsetting Ross like Rachel did, take a look below:


You're means you are. (This word is a contraction.)
Your means something belongs to you. (This word is a possessive pronoun.)


We're means we are. (This word is a contraction.)
Were is the plural of was. (This word is a verb.)


Who's means who is. (This word is a contraction.)
Whose is the possessive form of who.


They're means they are. (This word is a contraction.)
There refers to a place.
Their is the possessive form of they.

Click here for a free lesson on a different set of confusing words.


Thanks for reading,




Thursday, February 16, 2017

Word Choice Creative Writing Tip #5

Get Your Word's Worth and Say Exactly What You Mean

Word Choice Creative Writing Tip #5






The distinction between these two words is minimal, but the word essential is more often used when a stronger meaning is required.


If a doctor tells you that quitting smoking is necessary for your good health, you would probably take notice. 

If that same doctor tells you that quitting smoking is essential to your good health, I would hope you would throw your tobacco products away and take heed.


Having ripe tomatoes is necessary for making flavorful soups, but having ripe tomatoes is essential for making tomato soup.


I hope this post helps you choose the word that will express exactly what you wish to say.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Word Choice Creative Writing Tip #4

Get Your Word's Worth and Say Exactly What You Mean

Word Choice Creative Writing Tip #4






  • Ingenious is from the Latin ingenium meaning inborn talent or natural quality.
  • Ingenuous is from the Latin ingenuus meaning simple, honest, childlike, or trusting.
One way to remember the distinction between these two words is to note that the word ingenious sounds like the word genius while the word ingenuous sounds like the word genuine.


The inventor created an ingenious device to cut raw onions.
The party room was filled with laughing, ingenuous children.

I hope this post helps you choose the word that will express exactly what you wish to say.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentine's Day TpT Gift Card Contest




If you would like to enter a contest for a Valentine’s Day gift from Charlene Tess at Simple Steps to Sentence Sense and a $10 gift certificate you can use for anything in the TeachersPayTeachers store, follow these simple rules:

(Hurry! The contest ends at midnight on February 8th.)

Required:
Click here to enter your email address to receive my free newsletter and a free product.

Optional, for extra chances to win:

Click here to LIKE my page on Facebook and share the Valentine’s Day sale image you find there.
Follow me on Twitter at @CharleneTess1
Click here to follow me on Pinterest. 

Click here to follow me on Instagram.
I will have a drawing on the morning of February 10th and the winner will be announced on my Facebook Page. I will also email the winner.

Good Luck!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Word Choice Creative Writing Tip #3

Get Your Word's Worth and Say Exactly What You Mean

Word Choice Creative Writing Tip #3




Stationery is the word to use for notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, and other necessary writing materials.

Stationary is the word for standing still.

It is often difficult to remember how to spell these two words, but a teacher I had in elementary school gave me a trick that I still remember after all these years. 

The "e" in stationery stands for "envelope."


I wrote the letter on flowered stationery.
I am going to exercise on a stationary bicycle.

I hope this post helps you choose the word that will express exactly what you wish to say.

Thanks for reading,