Monday, April 5, 2021

Two Day Sale on TpT April 6 & 7

Are you ready to grab some amazing products from the teacher/authors on and SAVE BIG?

This site-wide two-day sale (April 6th and 7th) is a huge bonus for teachers who want no-prep materials to help them finish out the 2021 spring semester. 

Whether you teach remotely, in the classroom, or a hybrid version of both, you will find lessons and resources that will make your job easier. 

At the same time, you can save up to 25% if you enter the code FORYOU21 at checkout.

If you use any version of my Simple Steps to Sentence Sense program, you will find some new BOOM Card™ decks that will allow your students to practice each step and receive immediate feedback. 

It's a win-win for you. You could even use it as a quiz before giving students the final test in each step. Why not wish-list the ones you need now and buy them for 25% off tomorrow.

Here are links to the BOOM Card™ decks on TpT

            (Simple, Compound, Complex, Compound/Complex)

If you're not using the Simple Steps to Sentence Sense program, but you've heard how easy it is to use and how much your students are going to love it, now is the perfect time to save 25%. 

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 21, 2021

3 Tips on Using Apostrophes Correctly

Knowing when and how to use apostrophes can be really confusing at times. The key to using apostrophes correctly is to know when they are needed and for what purpose they are used. 

Here are three reasons to use an apostrophe: 

1.  Use an apostrophe to show that a letter or letters have been left out of a word or that numbers have been left out. 

For example, can’t and ’80. 

Be sure to place the apostrophe in the exact location of the missing letters or numbers. (can’t = can not) (‘80=1980)

2.  Use an apostrophe to show ownership or possession of nouns and indefinite pronouns.

  (Cathy’s car.) (someone’s fault)


The rules to form possessive nouns are simple. 

First, determine if the word you are making possessive in form is singular or plural. 

If the word is singular, add an apostrophe and then an s. (cat’s meow) 

Note: In words of more than one syllable that end in an s-sound, you are permitted to add only the apostrophe to avoid too many s-sounds. (Moses’ tablets) 

If the word is plural, you must first check the spelling of the word before making it possessive. 

If the plural word ends in an ‘s,’ just add the apostrophe. Flowers = flowers’ fragrance 

If the plural word does not end in an ‘s,’ you would add an apostrophe and then an ‘s.’ 

men = men’s wardrobe 

Never add an ‘s’ and then an apostrophe. (s’) 

(Doing so would have made the word plural and possessive.) 


3. Use an apostrophe to make individual letters and numbers plural. For example, there are four s’s and four i’s in Mississippi. There are three 0’s in my phone number. Mind your p's and q's.

You do not use an apostrophe to make a word plural.  

For example, one boy= three boys


Sometimes you need to make a word plural first and then make it possessive. 

Here's an example.


A family named Wilson is having a party. Because there are several members of the family who are having the party, you would make the name plural and then possessive. On the invitation it should read: You are invited to the Wilsons’ Christmas party. 

However, the Wilson family would sign their Christmas cards: The Wilsons. (Note: There is no apostrophe because “Wilsons” is a plural noun but not a possessive noun.) 


Indefinite pronouns refer to something that is not specified.

Singular indefinite pronouns do not end in an “s”. To make an indefinite pronoun possessive, you would add an apostrophe and an ‘s.’ 

anybody = anybody’s guess 

anyone = anyone’s idea

everybody = everybody’s right

somebody = somebody’s idea

nobody = nobody’s business

no one = no one’s business

someone = someone’s house


If you follow these rules, the use of apostrophes becomes easier to understand. I have several resources that address the use of apostrophes and may be helpful for your students.

Practice with Apostrophes BOOM Cards Deck 1 $3.75

Practice with Apostrophes BOOM Cards Deck 2  $3.75

Avoid the Misuse of the Greengrocer's Apostrophe  $3.15

Using Apostrophes Correctly Grammar Worksheets FREE

We have something to look forward to since it's almost spring. Here in the Rockies, we just had 28 inches of snow at my house. I'm ready to skip spring and go straight to summer.

Stay safe and well. Thanks for reading.


Some of my teacher friends have written some interesting blog posts. Take a look below.

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

5 Capitalization Hints

A pineapple on yellow background

Capitalization is often a complex issue, and one's best friend is a good dictionary when trying to be correct. The five hints that follow are examples of frequent errors in capitalization. Learning them will make it easier to write correctly.

5 Capitalization Hints to Remember

1.  Don't capitalize seasons: summer, fall, autumn, winter, or spring

2.  Don't capitalize school subjects unless they are followed by a number or if they are a language.
        Correct:  biology, Biology II, French, history, math, Algebra I, algebra 

3.  Capitalize directions if they name a region of the country, but not when they indicate a direction of the compass. 
        Correct:  I love the food in the South.
                         Go two blocks north and then turn west and the stop sign.

4.  Do not capitalize earth, sun, or moon unless they appear in a list of other capitalized celestial bodies.
        Correct: I love the smell of the earth after a rain.
                        Today, we studied Earth, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus.

5.  Do not capitalize web, web page, or website but do capitalize World Wide Web and         Internet.
        Correct:  I am going to use the Internet today to create a new web page.
                         I cannot imagine how many websites exist on the World Wide Web.

I offer a FREE exercise to practice these five hints to anyone who subscribes to my newsletter. My newsletter will keep you informed about new lessons that I create and frequently includes FREE lessons and grammar tips and tricks. If you would like to subscribe click here.

Thanks for reading,


Here are some interesting blog posts from my teacher friends:

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

How to Reduce Wordy Sentences

Email, text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, Zoom, and other forms of internet communities are the way people interact with each other.

Am I against using these new ways to communicate? Absolutely not. I use them, too, and find it quite enjoyable to interact with friends both old and new.

Am I tempted to shorten my messages and tweets with letters and numerals such as, "I want 2 C U 2 day?" Not really.

Because I am a writer and a grammar teacher, I try to condense my words into succinct phrases, clauses, and sentences that convey my exact meaning while using fewer words.

With practice, anyone can become a better writer. One of the best ways to improve one’s writing is to cut extraneous words from essays, emails, texts, or manuscripts.

It takes work to say what you mean, but anyone can do it well with practice.

Learn to:
  • repeat a word or phrase only when necessary.
  • avoid a careless or needless repetition of a thought in different words.
  • avoid clumsy, roundabout expressions.
  • eliminate needless words and choppy sentences.
  • avoid the double negative.
  • use adverbs sparingly.
  • choose the precise word to convey your meaning.
  • avoid clich├ęs.


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.

Twitter is a great place for people to learn to practice reducing long, convoluted, rambling sentences into 280 characters.

Click here to download a FREE exercise to practice reducing longer sentences into shorter, concise statements.

Here are some related resources in my store that you might find useful for your students.

“It ain't whatcha write, it's the way atcha write it.”

                                                ------- Jack Kerouac

Thanks for reading,

Here are some interesting blog posts from my teacher friends in The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative. Enjoy!

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