Sunday, December 1, 2013

TpT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale


TpT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale Starts Tomorrow!


TpT Cyber Sale

All of my materials will be on sale for 20% off. 
Use the code CYBER at checkout and you will save 28%.




Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler - TeachersPayTeachers.com



All the best,



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mema's Cornbread Dressing

Mema's Cornbread Dressing


Alice Bourland
Alice Bourland (1917-2008)
This was my beautiful mother’s famous recipe for cornbread dressing. We had it for Thanksgiving and for Christmas dinner. The turkey was not the focus of our meal; Mema’s Dressing was everybody’s favorite. We would pour gravy over it and eat it for days. After my youngest grandson was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I began making it with gluten free flour and gluten free corn meal. It is as good as ever!

CORNBREAD (Make at least one day early so it can dry out a little. If possible, make in on Sunday before Thanksgiving or three days before Christmas and then leave it out on the counter. Also, dry out a loaf of bread and use for breadcrumbs or buy a bag of breadcrumbs. Just be sure they are not seasoned because that will alter the taste.

Triple this cornbread recipe for a large amount of dressing to feed several people. (It’s better to mix it up and bake it in three batches.)

1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted shortening (or vegetable oil)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (Very important. Don't use sweet milk.)

Mix cornmeal, flour, soda, and salt. Beat egg and add to buttermilk. Then pour this mixture into the sifted dry ingredients, add 1 tablespoon melted shortening (or vegetable oil) and stir only until well mixed. Grease an 8X8 pan. (If you have one, bake the cornbread in an iron skillet.) Pour batter into hot, greased pan. Bake at 425 degrees about 30 to 35 minutes, or until brown.

DRESSING

large bunch of celery
1 large yellow onion
poultry seasoning (Very important. Don't use anything else.)
3 cans chicken broth
butter
dry cornbread (crumbled)
dry bread (Add enough to make the mixture stick together well)

Chop celery and onion and sauté in butter until soft and clear in color. Crumble cornbread and bread in a large bowl. Add celery and onion mixture. Add chicken broth a little at a time until you get the thick consistency of muffin dough. Add poultry seasoning a teaspoon at a time. This will make it salty and give it its unique flavor. Taste until it tastes like Mema's dressing. (For those who did not know and love Mema, just suit your own taste.) Grease one rectangular baking dish with oil. Bake at 350º until dressing is brown and crusty on top. (30 or 35 minutes.) If you want stuffing in the turkey, stuff it with raw dressing before you put it in the oven.

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. Here's a link to two FREE activities that the whole family could do for fun after dinner. 

While you are visiting the TeachersPayTeachers web site, be sure to fill your wish list with products and then go back on December 2nd and 3rd and SAVE MONEY with the CYBER MONDAY AND TUESDAY SALE!. Use the code CYBER when you checkout and you will save 28% on all of my books and lesson units.

Now is the time to buy amazing products from some talented teachers.



Monday, November 4, 2013

3 Tips to Strengthen Your Sentences

Tess' Tips Strengthen Your Sentences

Here are three tips to strengthen your sentences and make your writing stronger.
1.  Your writing will be more effective if you use strong verbs and nouns instead of trying to prop up weak ones with adjectives and adverbs.


Weak: The dentist intentionally spoke untruthfully about the diagnosis.


Strong: The dentist lied about the diagnosis.


Weak: The insurance agency maliciously took advantage of persons with limited income and limited knowledge.


Strong: The insurance agency deceived the poor and the ignorant.



2.  If you use adjectives and adverbs choose strong ones and avoid adding intensifiers.


violent  -- not-- rather violent


starved  -- not-- somewhat starved

histrionic  -- not-- slightly histrionic

3.  In contrast, do not try to prop up weak adjectives and adverbs with a string of intensifiers.


She was infuriated. (Not: She was very, very, very mad.)


The pain was excruciating. (Not: The pain was really, really bad.)


Be sure to get a copy of my book, Simple Steps to Sentence Sense, which includes 8 simple steps to help you become a better writer. 

Simple Steps to Sentence Sense






Friday, September 27, 2013

How to Choose Between Who's and Whose

How to Choose Between Who's and Whose



The words who's and whose are often confused and used incorrectly. Learning to use them correctly is pretty simple.

Who's is a contraction for the words who is or who has. The apostrophe is your clue that the word is a contraction. The apostrophe indicates that two words have been combined.
Example: Who's the leader of this group?
                     
Whose is the possessive form of the pronoun who and is used in questions to ask who owns something?
Example: Whose running shoes are on the porch?

An easy trick to always choose the right word is to say both words in the contraction when you read the sentence.

Read this sentence: Who's the leader of this group? as Who is the leader of this group? Because it makes sense to read it as who is, who's is the correct choice.

Read this sentence and choose the correct word:

(Who's, Whose) answers are correct? It would make no sense at all to choose the word who's, because if you read the sentence and included both words in the contraction it would read: Who is answers are correct? That is obviously wrong, wrong, wrong.

The correct choice would be: Whose answers are correct?

Click here for a FREE lesson and 20 question quiz on the use of Who's and Whose.


Visit my store for more helpful products.

All the best,

Books by Charlene Tess signature and photo


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nothing Succeeds Like Success

Nothing Succeeds Like Success Photo

I hope by now,  if you are using one of my Simple Steps to Sentence Sense books to teach grammar and usage, you have discovered that students can be successful and make good grades and even enjoy learning. As the English Proverb states: Nothing succeeds like success.

What a wonderful feeling it is to give students frequent chances to succeed and feel good about themselves!

The way to achieve this is really simple. When you grade students’ group and individual papers, break each lesson into several components. (I always let them trade and grade except on tests.) 

For example, when you do Step 3: Finding the Subject, don’t just check for the subjects that students find in each sentence. That would only give students 20 answers at 5 points apiece and make it easy for them to get a low score. 

Instead, count the prepositional phrase(s) in each sentence as one point, the verb phrase as one point, and the subject as one point. Voila! Now there are over 60 answers and students can miss several and still get a decent score. 

Of course, these tips work with any assignment you give your students whether or not it comes from one of my books. 

For each step, you can decide which parts of the sentence are the key parts. For example, when working on Step 4: Finding the Complements, the key is deciding if the verb is action or linking before looking for the complement. When grading each paper, be sure to count the verb and whether it is an action or a linking verb along with the complement as key elements in the score. 

Use the answer pages in the back of the book to count the number of elements you plan to score in each lesson and make your directions clear about which parts of the sentence students are to mark when scoring papers. This is another opportunity for the teacher to re-teach and emphasize that sentence analysis must be done in steps, and that the steps must be done in order. Skipping a step is a recipe for confusion and disaster. 

This method could get to be a bit too much of a hassle if the teacher had to do the math each time papers are graded and figure out the correct score for papers that have 63 answers, or 71 answers, etc. It could, but it won’t, if you download my Grading Scale Chart. (It's on sale for half price right now.)

You can print it on both sides of a sheet of paper, slip it into a plastic folder sleeve and take it with you anywhere. You can even give your students a copy if you so desire. 

I always just called out the answers out loud: minus 18 equals ? (or whatever). Then I asked the whole class to raise their hands as I called out the grades starting with 50 or below. When the student heard his/her grade, he/she was to put his/her hand down. At the end, the students with 99 or 100 still had their hands up and got a round of applause, but no one was embarrassed at having a low score. 
Simple Steps to Sentence Sense Logo photo


Simple Steps to Sentence Sense is an easy and enjoyable way to teach grammar. You will find the books HERE. You know you are successful when you hear students say, “This is fun.” Grammar? Fun? Well, all right! 




Please tell your friends and colleagues about my book. (Hint: Simple Steps to Sentence Sense is also a useful tool for foreign language teachers to use, and it is really successful with special education and ESL students.) 

Books by Charlene Tess Photo