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Steps for Basic Research Report Writing (Free Lesson & Video Included!)

 

I have had a wonderful time this semester teaching my first official Live Online Class! We just wrapped up our first Research Report–and I thought I would share parts of those two class sessions with my readers. I hope it gives you some insights into how to teach the difficult task of research report writing! I am including the whole two-week lesson for free in a download AND two partial video classes (one live and one recorded since it is a holiday week). Work through this project with your upper level junior high students or high schoolers. I’ll think you’ll be amazed how simple report writing can be with my Overview Source Method and Color-Coded Research Method! And you will love their final product for sure!

 
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Christmas With College and Adult Kids: Family Unity at Christmas

 

Christmas with college and adult kids can easily turn into a fiasco if family members are not careful to put other people first. Selflessness is the key to family harmony at all ages—but especially with college and adult kids simply because when someone has a bad attitude or is selfish, parents really have no recourse with grown kids. (It’s not like you’re going to send a twenty-four year old to his room!)

 

 

My advice for this is not going to be the most helpful for families with grown kids THIS Christmas. But families with younger children really need to grasp the idea that whatever is happening in your home among siblings now is likely not going to magically go away when they are adults.

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Christmas With College and Adult Children: Mistletoe and Chap Stick

 

My husband loves to do clever things all the time—pranks on the kids, jokes, etc. He also likes to do special things for the kids—and let them know that he was thinking of them. (Not just that Mom thought of a special thing and had him “sign on” for it!) I love this about him, and it makes our kids feel so well-parented by BOTH parents.

 

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Punctuation Puzzle: Compound Possessive Nouns and Pronouns

 

By Zac Kieser & Donna Reish

 

Compound possessives! They are incredibly tricky! Zac does a great job teaching them in this week’s Punctuation Puzzle, but I am going to give you three “Tricky Tricks to Help It Stick” right up front about possessives (a little cheat sheet before the test!):

 

1) When two nouns possess the same thing, only the noun closest to the “possessed” object needs to show possession.

2) When a noun and pronoun both possess something, use a possessive pronoun and show possession to the noun (both).

 

But the most important tricky trick of all is one that is taught incorrectly in many sources and handbooks.

The placement of an apostrophe to show possession is based on whether the word ends in S or not—not whether the word is plural!

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40 Presentation Ideas for Cash or Gift Cards

40 Gift Ideas for Cash and Gift Cards

This fall we took a family vacation to Florida (all fourteen of us!), so we decided beforehand that due to finances and time to shop (we returned a few days before Thanksgiving), we would give our kids gift cards for Christmas rather than presents (except for our Christmas Eve Plastic Wrap Prize Ball and Grab Bags). As it turns out, my dad was very sick and in the hospital for two weeks, and I was completely tied up between him and working/writing/teaching that I didn’t have a chance to do any Christmas shopping until mid-December, so we were glad we had made that decision early on. (If you’ve read about our plastic wrap prizes and grab bags, you will know that those require some shopping and planning too!)

 

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3 Fun Family Card Games

 

“A vonderful goot game!” from the Dutch Blitz web site

 

It’s that time of year…that time when we start looking for great stocking stuffers, gift exchange gifts; and games for our kids for Christmas AND that time when we start gathering around the table in the dark evenings and weekends rather than playing outdoors. We are a huge game family! Love, love, love playing table games. We suffered through (okay, now I don’t think it is suffering as I miss my kids’ little days so much—but at the time, it got long!) many, many games of Chutes and Ladders, Clue Junior, and Go Fish. But it was worth it all as we now have seven kids (and some kids-in-love) to gather around the game table for fun “big kids” games, like the ones I am reviewing below!

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Punctuation Puzzle: Split Quotations

By Zac Kieser and Donna Reish

If you want to show off in your writing, use a quotation properly. If you want to REALLY show off in your writing, use a split quote properly. Okay, maybe only one to three percent of the people reading your writing will know that your split quote has been written correctly, but YOU will know (and I will know if I see it!), so that counts for something, right? In my books, I teach quotes in an incremental fashion. (This is super important. I just saw a copy work assignment for third graders that contained a split quote {done incorrectly, but still}! Copy work for a third grader should contain very few quotes—and preferably only simple quotes with beginning speech tags at first!)

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Christmas With College and Adult Children: Our Family Decorating Night

 

One thing that draws high school and college kids like nothing else is food. Seriously. Food. Especially boys.

As I’ve already mentioned, preparing and/or buying kids’ favorite foods and treats is a great way to their hearts. Smile (See Kids’ Faves worksheets available here for free!)

And, as I’ve already mentioned in our “Continue With Earlier Traditions,” we always invite all of the kids over for our decorating night Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are some tips from our decorating night:

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A Case for Christmas

 

 

Christmas story read aloud was truly one of the highlights of our year. I collected beautiful, amazing picture books that we read out of each afternoon during story time. Then as the kids got older, I began collecting story “collections” or “anthologies” to read short stories aloud at the dinner table, during unit studies, before bed, and while traveling by car. Still today we read aloud at least one Christmas story on family decorating night and one story on our family Christmas even—with all fifteen of us gathered around. We never tire of the same heart-warming stories year after year (though when the kids were younger and still at home, we did many, many different stories).

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