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Eight Week Grocery Fast – Weeks 5 and 6

 

The grocery fast is going strong! Weeks 5 and 6 found me spending more money than I wanted to–but my food stores are going down! I even had room in my deep freeze for two gallons of my daughter’s breast milk in dozens of 4 ounce bags! I was so excited to say that I had extra room!

 

Financially, it definitely got harder in weeks 5 and 6 than the first four weeks! I finally decided that the grandbabies’ food, diapers, and wipes that I get here for when I keep them each Wednesday would not be included in my grocery fast budget. When I needed to purchase these, they came up to an entire week’s budget, so I didn’t include them in my totals. (I am including all of our food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, but not eating out, which we aren’t doing as much as I would like to for empty nesters because we have so much food to use here!)

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5 Tips for Major and Minor Works From Language Lady

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5 Tips for Major and Minor Works From Language Lady

#1

 

Teach That Capitalization Is the Same for Both of Them

There are no differences in the capitalization between the two types of works, so I like to start out teaching the commonalities–they are both capitalized the same way. Since Major Works and Minor Works are all TITLES, their capitalization is the same. 

Keep in mind when teaching capitalization of proper nouns in general that this is an extremely subjective usage area. Some protocols focus on word type (i.e. never capitalize a preposition within a title {not including the first and last words of a title, which are always capitalized}) while others focus on aesthetics (word length determines the capping or not capping). 

#2

 

Capitalization Is Subjective (Shocking, huh?)

I teach students a “this looks nice” approach (aesthetically-pleasing) to capitalization that is adopted by APA and other authorities. This is also called Title Case, and it is used for Major and Minor Works as well as many headers, footers, and more. I prefer this method over “no capping prepositions” that others may utilize because longer prepositions (throughout, during, within, etc.) are capped in this protocol–and this makes titles look much nicer. 

Aesthetically-approaching capitalization of Major and Minor Works will often result in these capitalization rules: (1) Always capitalize the first word and last word in any title; (2) Capitalize internal words of a title if the word-in-question is four letters or longer (regardless of word type); (3) Capitalize words that are three letters or fewer if they are important to the title (so not short prepositions,  coordinating conjunctions, or pronouns and not any articles {noun markers} but yes capitalize all adverbs, adjectives, nouns, verbs, and long prepositions). 

#3

 

Work Extensively With Samples When Teaching Capitalization of Major and Minor Works

I use a Teach-Practice-Apply method in all of my books. This means that I TEACH (using models and samples and students and I interacting with them with highlighters) then I have students PRACTICE with similar sentences and examples to those I taught with. Finally, they APPLY it. This is done primarily through the papers that students write for me each week. (My books have lessons built into the books for whatever skills they will need in order to write the writing assignment. Thus, I teach Major Works and Minor Works during research report weeks.)

Try to have all of the rules and exceptions in the samples you are using:
    ~”Home on the Range” (no capping on or the internally)
    ~The Intermittent Fasting Journal (cap all, including the at the beginning–all first and last words)
    ~Write On, Mowgli! (cap all, including ON since it is important to the title and is an adverb)
    ~The Write Right Quick Kit (cap all, including three letter words that are first and last words of a title)

#4

 

Start With Major Works–Titles of Books, Movies, Magazines, and More

I always start with what kids already know–they know that major is big and minor is small. However, be careful that they don’t think it means SIZE of the work (a cd is small but is a major work). I then tell them that they need to learn to differentiate between Major and Minor Works because of how they are punctuated–Major Works are italicized when keyed/typed and underlined when written by hand. Minor Works are in quotation marks. 

In starting with Major Works, I tell them that the size of the work doesn’t matter. It is MAJOR if it has something smaller within it. That makes it MAJOR:
    Book: Meaningful Composition  (has chapters in it)
    Encyclopedia: World Book (has essays in it)
    Magazines: Simplicity (has articles in it)
    Movies/Plays: Toy Story 3 (has scenes/acts in it) 
    CDs/Songbooks: American Songbook (has songs in it)
    Website or blog: Character Ink Blog (super subjective–some protocols say cap but no other emphasis)

#5

 

Then Move to Minor Works–Titles of Chapters, Scenes, Articles, Essays, and More

If they hear me say it once, they hear me say it a dozen times: Minor Works are minor because they are INSIDE Major Works. So if they wonder if something is Major, I have them ask themselves if it has anything smaller within it. If they wonder if something is Minor, I have them ask themselves if it is found inside something else. This is a fairly fool-proof test for distinguishing between the two. Another common problem with Minor Works is the “single quote” issue. Somehow it has become common thinking to consider using single quotes (‘  ‘) for “smaller uses”–sarcasm, special words, short quotes, and minor works. I nip this in the bud by reminding students that nobody does single “air quotes.” That is because single quotes are NEVER used by themselves. They are only used inside a double quoted sentence. Double quotes (”  “) are used 95% of the time. Don’t use single quotes for Minor Works. 

If the work is inside something, it is probably Minor: 
     Chapters of Books: “Comma Clues” (inside a book)
     Encyclopedia Essay: “APA Capitalization” (inside an encyclopedia)
     Magazine Article: “The Tidy School Room” (inside a magazine)
    Scenes in Play/Movie: “The Get-Away” (inside a play or movie)
    Songs: “America, the Beautiful” (inside a songbook or cd)
    Article at Blog: “Teaching Research Writing” (in a blog)

Thanks for Joining Donna to Learn About Grammar and Writing!

Check Out Other “5 Tips From Language Lady” slideshows!

5 Places to Find Language Lady/Donna Reish Teaching Grammar and Writing

Resources for this Slideshow:

(1) Teach That Capitalization Is the Same for Both of Them

(2) Capitalization Is Subjective (Shocking, huh?): http://characterinkblog.com/punctuation-puzzle-proper-nouns-quotations/

(3) Work Extensively With Samples When Teaching Capitalization of Major and Minor Works: http://characterinkblog.com/research-report-writing-video/

(4) Start With Major Works–Titles of Books, Movies, Magazines, and More: http://characterinkblog.com/major-works-and-minor-works-quiz-with-answers/

(5) Then Move to Minor Works–Titles of Chapters, Scenes, Articles, Essays, and More: http://characterinkstore.com/product/write-right-quick-kit/

Punctuation Puzzle – Introductory Material and Commas With Peter Pan

By Donna Reish & Zac Kieser

 

Amazing Punctuation Puzzle this week! And not just because it is about a favorite attraction of mine at Disney World. (Btw, 267 days til our next family Disney trip!) Zac does an amazing job explaining sentence openers and comma use……but here is a Teacher Tip that I have been facing a lot lately: Students will never get a good handle on sentence openers (also called introductory material or non-essential information at the beginning of a sentence) UNTIL they have a handle on what a sentence contains.

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5 Tips for There, Their, and They’re From Language Lady

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5 Tips for There, Their, and They're From Language Lady

#1

 

There, Their, and They’re Are Homophones

Homophones, homonyms, and homographs are commonly confused (as are the words that fall under each category!). When teaching new words to students, direct them to what they ALREADY know. I tell my students “You know more than you think you know!”

In the case of homophones, I remind students that HOMO means same and PHONE means hear (roughly). Thus, homophones are words that sound the same as each other (but are not spelled the same). With younger kids, I tell them that homoPHONES sound the same when you’re talking on the PHONE–that if you don’t see them written or hear them in a sentence, you don’t know what the speaker means. 

#2

 

Teach There in Two Ways

First of all, I have students highlight the word HERE within tHERE. I remind them that THERE is the word we use when we want to say HERE and THERE. That works for a while; however, it still focuses on position. That is just one of many uses for there. 

Secondly, I tell students that THERE is used when we want to say THERE IS and THERE ARE. This is important to note with older kids especially because these present many challenges, starting with “Do I use THEIR or THERE this time?” and continuing with “Do I use there IS or there ARE?” (In other words, there (and here) presents many subject-verb issues for older students!

#3

 

Their Has the Word HEIR in IT

In moving from there to THEIR, I do something similar in that I have students highlight the HEIR within the word THEIR. The word their is a possessive pronoun. An HEIR is someone who will take the reign. I remind students that someone will be HEIR to the THRONE. And just like a prince is the HEIR, THEIR shows possession. For younger kids, I tell them the HEIR owns the throne and THEIR shows that someone owns something. 

For older students, I remind them that their is a pronoun–and pronouns NEVER show ownership/possession with an apostrophe. (This is debatable for those who call words like other pronouns, but that doesn’t affect most pronouns.) In this regard, I tell them that you would never write their’s to show possession. 

#4

 

They’re Is a Contraction

Since I consistently teach that you do not show possession to a pronoun with an apostrophe, students are used to not using an apostrophe with pronouns. So they’re would never be used to show possession. When an apostrophe is used with a pronoun, it always means a contraction (he’s, she’ll, they’re). 

Contraction means squeezed. I tell students that a contraction is made when you squeeze two words together so hard that some of the letters pop out, and you must put an apostrophe in place of some of the letters. Then I teach something every other class session: Say contractions UNcontracted when you are about to write them. You will know for sure that you want that contraction if you always say the two words (in your head): THEY’RE here–they are here…yes!

#5

 

Bring Them All Together

When providing practice for these with young children, it is good to do the first two, then practice. Then add THEY’RE and practice. My favorite way to practice is to “choose the correct word” for youngers and have olders write the answers in the blank. Be sure the practice has the exact same types of uses as the lessons had. 

Homophone errors are common in writers from second grade through senior citizens! Thus, the real place to practice these words is in the students’ writing. Students need writing teachers who take the time to thoroughly edit their papers, so that the students can learn from their own errors. Rather than holding back on “correcting” their rough draft papers, I use these papers as opportunities to teach. Using proofreaders’ marks, I mark out the incorrect homophone and write the correct one above it. Use every encounter with students as an opportunity to teach!

Thanks for Joining Donna to Learn About Grammar and Writing!

Check Out Other “5 Tips From Language Lady” slideshows!

5 Places to Find Language Lady/Donna Reish Teaching Grammar and Writing

Eight Week Grocery Fast – Weeks 3 and 4

 

Well, I am at the three week mark in my grocery fast, and at the beginning of this week, I had only spent $35 (of the $50 I had budgeted for two weeks). (See Weeks 1 and 2 here.) I was encouraged about the dollar amount, but I was somewhat discouraged that it didn’t feel like any of our food stores were going down that quickly. That part didn’t really get any better during Weeks 3 and 4 as I went on a five day writing retreat and ate out each evening with my daughter (who was there for her master’s seminar) for my one meal a day. (Interested in OMAD–One Meal a Day??? Check out my Daily Intermittent Fasting videos, audios, slideshows, and posts here!). While I was gone writing, my husband did manage to use up veggies, broth, and tomato juice since he made himself vegetable soups every night! He didn’t use up any of the meat we had shredded and frozen the previous week, so our stores didn’t really get depleted. But…here is what we did use and do:

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Short Story Character With Limited Senses – Video & Free Download!

 

In my experience, students either love story writing or hate it. They either have ideas floating around in their heads, waiting for the next story writing unit–or they feel that they have no ideas and hope for a stomach bug that week! This is one reason I use the Directed Writing Approach in my books–so that each step of each type of paper is laid out incrementally.

 

One common problem that students have when story writing is telling “first this happened; then this happened; after this, that happened; later on, this happened” by students. What could be an exciting, action-packed story becomes a narrative/retelling–or worse yet, an essay. Have you ever wondered how to help students from the start with this rambling problem?

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Slide Show: 5 Tips for Coordinating Conjunctions

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5 Tips for Coordinating Conjunctions

#1

 

Teach the Seven Coordinating Conjunctions (cc)

With a Mnemonic    

The beginning of using any writing strategy or technique is to memorize words that fall in that category. (Of course, don’t stop with memorizing them! The best programs teach the parts of speech then practice them then apply them in students’ writing–Teach, Practice, Apply!). 

I use a simple mnemonic created by a wise grammar teacher to help students memorize cc’s: FANBOYS. For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.

#2

 

Coordinating Conjunctions Can Be Used to Combine

Two Sentences Into One

One of the first conciseness techniques that students can learn easily to expand their sentence writing is that of the compound sentence joined together with ,For/,And/,Nor/,But/,Or/,Yet/,So. The first step in this skill is for the writer to have a thorough understanding of what a sentence contains. That is, they must be able to discern easily that the group of words in question is a complete sentence (CAVES–Capital, All Makes Sense, Verb, End Mark, Subject). (When I edit papers to show complete sentences joined with coordinating conjunctions, I use CS for complete sentence and cc for coordinating conjunctions: CS, cc CS.)

To test for this, cover up each “half” of the sentence and ask yourself if each half could stand alone as a sentence. If they both can, then you can create a compound sentence with a comma-coordinating conjunction:

         I like writing with coordinating conjunctions, for they make my writing more interesting. (YES–,FANBOYS because each half is a complete sentence)

       I like writing with coordinating conjunctions and creating compound sentences. (NO– no comma needed because each half is not a complete sentence)

#3

 

Coordinating Conjunctions Can Also Be Used

for a List of Two or More

The most common coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS) used in lists of two or more are the cc’s OR and AND:

                  We are writing sentences or paragraphs today. 

                We are writing essays, stories, and reports this semester. 

Two important comma rules emerge from the “cc’s for lists” practices: (1) The Oxford Comma Rule–Place a comma between each item in the list with the final comma right before the cc. This is an “optional” or stylistic rule that many grammarians follow for clarity.  (2) Do not place a comma AFTER the cc. Young students seem to do this a lot. Emphasize to them that you’re not dividing the AND or OR, so no comma is needed after the coordinating conjunction. 

#4

 

Other “Coordinating” or “Conjunctive” Types of Words Are Not True Coordinating Conjunctions 

While other words do have conjunctive properties, they are not true coordinating conjunctions that work with a comma before them to combine two sentences into one. This is important to note for correct sentence combining–as they usually join PARTS of sentences but not complete sentences. (This is another reason to learn the true seven FANBOYS!)

For example, WELL is an interjection. THOUGH is a subordinator. THEREFORE is a conjunctive adverb. These all have places in creating interesting sentences but cannot be used with a comma before them to combine two sentences into one.

#5

 

Unfortunately, Some Coordinating Conjunctions

Act As Other Parts of Speech

Seven simple cc’s. A little trick to learn them. Combine two sentences into one sentence with a comma before a FANBOYS. Easy, huh? Well, true to English form, three cc’s CAN be other parts of speech. (So sorry, students!)

First of all, FOR is a cc AND a preposition (for Mom, for the trip, for my brother). AND….. SO and YET are sometimes adverbs (She is SO kind; Have we arrived YET). Exceptions like these make it even more important that we teach students how to TEST the word and rule they are using. When I am teaching compound sentences with cc’s, I have students cover up each half of the sentence and read it aloud. When they practice these for homework, I have them highlight each half of the sentence in a different color highlighter to check for each side’s “completeness.” 

Resources for This Slideshow

1) Teach the Seven Coordinating Conjunctions (cc) With a Mnemonic: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/character.ink-rdreish/Blog_Post_Downloads/TrickyTrick_Compound_Sentences_Coordinating_Conjunctions.pdf

2) Coordinating Conjunctions Can Be Used to Combine Two Sentences Into One: http://characterinkblog.com/comma-clues-1-creating-a-compound-sentence-with-a-comma-coordinating-conjunction-cc/

3) Coordinating Conjunctions Can Also Be Used for a List of Two or More: http://characterinkblog.com/the-oxford-comma-cute/

4) Other “Coordinating” or “Conjunctive” Types of Words Are Not True Coordinating Conjunctions: http://characterinkblog.com/punctuation-puzzle-led-lead-pique-peek-peak-compound-sentences/

5) Unfortunately, Some Coordinating Conjunctions Act As Other Parts of Speech: http://characterinkstore.com/product/think-fast-grammar-quizzes/

Thanks for Joining Donna to Learn About Grammar and Writing!

Check Out Other “5 Tips From Language Lady” slideshows!

5 Places to Find Language Lady/Donna Reish Teaching Grammar and Writing

Slideshow: Five Tips for To, Two, and Too From Language Lady

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Five Tips for To, Two, and Too From Language Lady

#1

 

Start By Teaching the Numeral Two. 

This seems simple enough, but I am amazed at the programs that teach homophones in large groups or even with all of a word’s “confusing counterparts” to first grade students. 

The beauty of starting with TWO is that children as young as kindergarten are writing their first five or ten numbers in word form in their math books, penmanship programs, and spelling curriculum. (Yikes! Spelling programs for young students with spelling words based on common meanings {i.e. number words, beach words, food words, etc.} are not optimal.) However, young students who are non-readers have seen the word TWO quite often by kindergarten or first grade. 

#2

 When You Teach TO, Start With It as a Preposition. 

Have students learn that the word TO often shows position and comes before a THING. (Don’t worry about the technical terms of prepositions and nouns yet unless student is familiar with them.) This way, they can practice TO with phrases and short sentences–to the store, to town, to Mom, etc.

When you put TWO and TO together, do not use phrases for students to practice. It is rarely a good idea to teach parts of speech with phrases or words only. Parts of speech show FUNCTIONS of words within sentences. Thus, having students circle all of the verbs in a list of words is a VERY bad idea (ring, text, bike, watch, play—nouns AND verbs!). So…with the TWO and TO practice, have students fill in the blank or circle TWO or TO in sentences for practice. 

#3

 

Teach Tricks for Too for Older Students.

The word TOO can mean in excess (too much, too many, etc.) or in addition to (also). You can tell students that TOO means in excess when it has TOO many O’s!

Older students may be helped with the trick that AlsO has two vowels–and tOO has two vowels. (Whenever using tricks or mnemonics, if that trick is more confusing or not helpful to the student, drop the trick rather than causing further confusion.)

#4

 

Teach TO as the Beginning of an Infinitive (Verb) as Soon as Possible. 

When I start to teach second and third grade students simple preposition lists, rhymes, mnemonics, jingles, songs, and check sentences, I teach TO as the beginning of an infinitive right away. The purpose of learning those lists of prepositions is to spot prepositional phrases. The purpose of spotting prepositional phrases is to determine what a sentence’s subject and verb are. (The main subject and main verb are seldom found in a prepositional phrase.) 

Students are tripped up immediately in spotting prepositional phrases because of infinitives (to+verb). If we teach that TO is a preposition when it has a thing following it but is a special verb called an infinitive when it has a verb following it (to run, to jump, to be, etc.), they will be less confused when they encounter these (even if it takes a while at first to get used to looking beyond the TO for a thing or a verb). 

#5

 

Divide Practice for These Into Two Steps. 

First of all, have students practice writing V for Verb or P for Preposition beside infinitives and prepositional phrases that are bold fonted in sentence. You want to do the chunking of these for them. (Don’t ask students to do too many skills all at the same time–start with just telling whether each one is a V or a P in sentences such as The girl went to the store and The boy wanted to jump longer. 

Once the numeral TWO, the adverb (usually) TOO, and both TO’s are mastered, bring them together for final practice within sentences. (When they are all three together, I just have students fill in the blanks with the correct TWO, TOO, or TO—not tell each one’s function or type).  However, I continue to practice TO as a preposition and TO as an infinitive on into junior high in my books. It can be very confusing and elaborate in lengthy sentences. 

Thanks for Joining Donna to Learn About Grammar and Writing!

Check Out Other “5 Tips From Language Lady” slideshows!

5 Places to Find Language Lady/Donna Reish Teaching Grammar and Writing

Resources for this Slide

1. Start By Teaching the Numeral Twohttp://characterinkblog.com/the-spelling-notebook/

2. When You Teach TO, Start With It as a Preposition: http://characterinkblog.com/teaching-prepositions-with-facebook-live-teaching-video/

3. Teach Tricks for Too for Older Students: Learn how to use all kinds of Tricky Tricks to teach—http://characterinkblog.com/tricky-tricks/

4. Teach TO as the Beginning of an Infinitive (Verb) as Soon as Possible: http://characterinkblog.com/3-verb-types-tricks-to-teach-them/

5. Divide Practice for These Into Two Steps: http://characterinkblog.com/video-use-preposition-practice-packet/

BIG Research Paper Introduction (Video and Download!)

 

I have the privilege of doing something this semester that I only get to do every once in a while–teach a private or small group of students who have taken many classes with us before how to write a BIG research paper. Most students who start out with us in elementary school of taking CQLA (Character Quality Language Arts) classes follow a protocol similar to this:

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