Paragraph Breaks With Train Analogy and Appositives (Live Video Lesson and Free Download!)

Paragraph Breaks With Train Analogy and Appositives (Live Video Lesson and Free Download!)

 

The only thing more common in student writing than a run-on sentence is probably the run-on paragraph. Yep…run and run and run and run. And it isn’t the sweet student’s fault! (I have spent twenty years trying to help amazing kids not to be stressed about grammar—I would never blame them! 🙂 ) Paragraph breaking is often not taught well. (I know I wasn’t taught it—I can remember eye-ball measuring my text to see when I should start a new paragraph when I was in school!) This is why we emphasize deciding on what each paragraph will contain ahead of time (and why when kids in our classes do not write their Topic of Paragraph on the outlining space provided for that, they get docked one LETTER grade per missing paragraph topic line; it’s that important!).

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Research Report Lesson (“Live” Video and Free PDF Lesson!)

Research Report Lesson (Live Video and Free PDF Lesson!)

 

Index cards. Hundreds of index cards. Stacks of sources. And hours of research and card making. Lots of confusion. And less understanding of how to synthesize the gathered information. Those are words and phrases that describe my high school composition class days. I finished my paper. I got an A–and then when I set out to write my books thirty years later, I knew I had to develop a better way. There had to be a method by which kids could research from multiple sources, organize that information, outline, and write—with less stress, headache, and bad memories (and hopefully WITH skills that they could carry on to college).

 

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Punctuation Puzzle: Subordinate Clause and Possessive Nouns

Punctuation Puzzle: Subordinate Clause and Possessive Nouns

Welcome to another exciting episode of Punctuation Puzzle! 🙂 I am having so much fun creating these with my writing assistant, Zac Kieser. Grammar and usage can be super confusing—and these puzzles are a great way to learn with the steps and reasons broken down for you. (Kind of like our Editor Duty assignments in Character Quality Language Arts!) Don’t forget to do them with your students—and feel free to forward to a friend who might need a little Language Lady in their life! 😉

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Punctuation Puzzle: Appositives and Subject-Verb Agreement

Punctuation Puzzle: Appositives and Subject-Verb Agreement

My writing assistant, Zachary Kieser, and I are having so much fun coming up with these Punctuation Puzzles! They are interesting ways to brush up on grammar and usage skills that you might be rusty on—and great for junior high and high school students to do with you since the answers are explained thoroughly. Add this to your school day for more learning fun with your kids!

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Proofreaders’ Marks: Comical Ones and Accurate Ones! (Printable Included!)

 

Proofreaders’ Marks Comical Ones and Accurate Ones! (Printable Included!)

With school just around the corner (don’t you love the smell of those new binders???), I thought I would offer some printables that can help you in your school prep. One of the things I have each of my writing students be sure they have in their binders is a copy of my Proofreaders’ Marks page. I edit their papers with these proofreaders’ marks, and I want them to have the “cheat sheet” to refer to and learn from right at their fingertips. Students as young as third grade can learn the first few/basic ones. They will learn more and more of them as they write and as you edit their papers using these simple marks.

 

Before I show you the basic proofreaders’ marks that I use in my books and classes (and give you the printable version to print off for your school), I want to share a funny version of proofreaders’ marks that are floating around the internet. It is attributed to Tom Weller in 1987. It is said to have hung in many print houses in the eighties and nineties—sometimes with certain parts circled and emphasized when editors had, had it with certain errors! It’s a comical look at proofreaders’ marks—and I’m super thankful that we don’t have such extensive lists for students today! 🙂

 

Proofreaders' Marks

 

No, our marks are much simpler. Here are the ones we use:

Proofreaders' Marks

 

 

And….here is the printable version of the Proofreaders’ Marks for you to use with your students, on your class bulletin board, your teacher binder, etc. Happy proofreading! 🙂

 

Love and hope,
Donna

P.S. What common errors do your students make that you would like help in teaching? Homophones? Commas? Paragraph breaks? I’d love to help you!

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