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It has recently come to my attention that newer readers are not aware of the dozens of free audios and videos that I have at the Character Ink blog! One reader recently told me that she cleaned her entire basement for a weekend while listening to podcasts and videos after she discovered them! So I thought I would re-introduce some of them in the coming months—along with other related posts and products. So let’s start with Story Time—one of my favorite times of the day for twenty-five years! If you have always longed to do a story time in your school day, but you haven’t figured out how to work it with several children, different ages and tastes, busy schedules, etc., this post is the one for you!
When I post a live video of one of my writing classes on Facebook, I always get those same questions: When will you offer classes for people who don’t live near you? Are you going to be having online classes soon? And I keep saying “soon”! Well, soon is now here. We are officially having our very first LIVE online writing class (remedial writing, of sorts). I will enumerate the details below.
Parallelism. Some days I can’t even spell it, much less explain it really well. Some grammar concepts are like that. They seem out of reach…until you get a really great example read more…
Feeling like you need a little help with your homeschooling this fall? Wishing someone could help you out with science labs, writing instruction, Spanish, or others? Do you live in the Fort Wayne or Bluffton area? Then you’re in luck! If you live elsewhere and wish someone could help you with writing, your wish is being granted (on Thursday mornings at 9:00!).
Check out the openings we still have for this fall. Note that we do have other classes that we might be able to squeeze someone into, but these are the ones that have two or more available spots. Feel free to pass this along to friends and family!
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This famous quote is used to describe why it is important to teach skills to people –not just give them money for what they need. It is used in missions, soup kitchens, home provisions for the poor, and many other benevolent scenarios. read more…
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!).
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).
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! 😉
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!
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! 🙂
No, our marks are much simpler. Here are the ones we use:
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,
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!