Monday, December 29, 2014

Super Secondary Halfway Sale on TpT

Super Secondary Halfway Sale on

Happy New Year 2015 Poster

It's hard to believe that the school year is nearly halfway over. The spring semester will be a very important one, and several of the secondary teacher/authors on have decided to hold a two-day sale. You can grab some awesome products on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Take a look below at all the stores that will be participating in the sale.

Click here to visit my store. All my Simple Steps to Sentence Sense books will be on sale.

Click here to be directed to a pdf of the poster below. After you download it, you can click on any of pictures in the circles and go straight to one these terrific stores. You do not need to enter a code at checkout this time.

Start your new year off right and stock up on great materials to use in the second half of the year. The sale is December 31st and January 1st only!

A huge thank you to Gina Wilson of All Things Algebra for organizing this sale 
and creating the poster above.

All the best,

photo and signature Charlene Tess

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Free Holiday Recipe eBook from the Secondary Teachers of TpT

A FREE Holiday Recipe eBook from 

the Secondary Teachers of TpT

Enjoy 46 Holiday Recipes! 

Holiday Recipe Book

Here is a colorful eBook filled with 46 recipes to help with your holiday meal planning. This book is a gift from the Super Secondary Teachers from 
Click here for your copy.

Since I am a Texan, I have always loved Mexican food. Check out my recipe on page 12 for Chicken Tortilla Soup. I hope your family enjoys this spicy soup as much as mine does!

Have a wonderful Christmas and be sure to check back with me in 2015. I will have several new and exciting products in my store. Also, my sister Judi and I are about halfway finished with our latest novel that will be out next year! Click here to see my novels.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Tradition of Warm Hearts and Full Tummies

A Tradition of Warm Hearts and Full Tummies

Santa, poinsettia, and wreath collage

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.

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.

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 hope that your Holiday Season is beautiful in every way and that your wishbone wish comes true.

Take a look at the Secondary Smorgasbord Bloghop below. You are sure to find something wonderful to use with your classes.
All the best,

Charlene Tess photo and signature

Secondary Smorgasbord Bloghop is hosted by 

ELA BuffetDesktop Learning Adventures

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blast-off to a Great School Year


Blast Off to a Great School  Year

ToT is having a great Back-to-School BOOST Sale.
It's today, August 20, 2014.

Click Here

Enter the code BOOST at checkout at receive up to 28% off on selected products.
All my Simple Steps to Sentence Sense books and products are 28% off.

While you are there, check out the great products for elememtary grades, too. Visit my good friend, at the Wise Owl Factory Store. Click here.

Make this year your very best yet!

All the best,

Thursday, August 7, 2014

6 Confusing Words to Master

Here are 6 confusing words to master when you write. Although they sound very much alike, they have different meanings.

Tess' Tips 6 Confusing Words to Master

Dying – means that a living being is no longer alive. Dying is the present participle of the verb die.
Examples: I am just dying to see your new car. The poor man is dying of a horrible disease.
Dyeing - means to change the color of something by using a dye.
Examples:  Mother is dyeing her hair brown to hide the gray hairs. Jane is dyeing her shoes to match her dress.

Weather – means changes in the atmospheric condition.
Examples: We need to check the weather before we set sail. The weather is warm and dry today.
Whether – is used to indicate possibilities or choices .
Example: He was not sure whether or not to eat the sushi.
Whether - also means if something is or was true.
Example: Will you find out whether or not they want to go with us to the movie?
HINT: When choosing between weather and whether, be sure to pronounce the “h” in whether. If you are talking about clouds, rain, etc, choose weather. There is no “h” sound in weather.

Advice – is a noun that means an opinion or suggestion that one gives to another.
Advise – is a verb that means to give an opinion or suggestion.
HINT: Try substituting the word feedback into the sentence. If it makes sense, choose the noun advice.
Example A: I need your (advice, advise) on how long my speech should be.
I need your (feedback) on how long my speech should be.
Since you could substitute the word feedback in this sentence, choose advice.
Example B:  You need to (advice, advise) me on how long my speech should be.
You need to (feedback) me on how long my speech should be.
Since you could not substitute the word feedback in this sentence, choose advise.

Click here for a free lesson and exercise on correctly using these 6 confusing words.

Be sure to visit my store for more free lessons and take a look at my Simple Steps to Sentence books. Help your students learn grammar and usage the easy way.

All the best,

photo and signature Charlene Tess

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to School Sale by Super Secondary Teachers

WOW! Here are the 37 members of the Super Secondary Teachers Group on as we looked in "back in the day" in our yearbooks. My photo was taken when I was a senior in high school. I won't tell you how long ago that really was. All of us have changed a bit, but some things haven't. We love teaching and we love to create products that secondary students will love. During the Back-to-School Sale, you can find amazing products from all of these teachers at up to 28% off. Just visit on August 4th and 5th and enter the Promo Code BTS14 at checkout. You could get up to a 28% discount.

Visit any or all of our stores and see the fantastic bargains on our best products.

Links to the other Super Secondary Teachers' store are listed below:

Addie Williams
21st Century Math Projects

The Career Ready Teacher Http://

A huge thank you to Danielle Weinburg Knight for the Yearbook Sales Graphic above.

Have a great beginning to your school year! Check back often. We add new products every day.

All the best,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beware of Creating Sweeping Generalizations

Beware of Creating Sweeping Generalizations

Tess' Tips Beware of Creating Sweeping Generalizations

This is the third post in a series about the comparison of adjectives and adverbs. If you missed the first two posts, click here and here.

When using the superlative degree, it is important to avoid creating sweeping generalizations.

A sweeping generalization creates a statement that is too broad. 

The superlative degree is created by adding est to some words, or adding the word most.
For example: happiest or most enjoyable

When you add est or use the word most, it is easy to create a sweeping statement that goes too far in its description.


Sweeping Generalization: Benjamin Franklin was the most brilliant of all inventors.
Better: Benjamin Franklin was one of the most brilliant of all inventors.

Sweeping Generalization: Terry Bradshaw was the greatest of all quarterbacks in football history.
Better: Terry Bradshaw is considered by many one of the greatest of all quarterbacks in football history.

It's important not to get carried away with the superlative degree and say way more than you intended to say. Use qualifying words to make the superlative degree more acceptable.

I hope you have a restful summer. Check back here most Thursdays for more tips on grammar and usage.

Visit my store for more helpful lessons on grammar and usage.

All the best,
Charlene Tess' photo and signature

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hang in There! Summer is Almost Here!

Hang in there. Summer is Almost Here.

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” —Carl Jung

As the end of the school year approaches, don’t give up on any of your students. Believe that you have made a difference in their lives. Use every remaining moment you spend with them, as an opportunity to make each child feel special and valued. You may never know how much they appreciate your warm attention, but they need it, and they will remember it all of their lives.  

Click here for a free activity that you may wish to use on test days when students finish early and have free time.

I hope you have a beautiful ending to your school year.