Punctuation Puzzle – Prepositional Phrases and Commas With Dumbo

By Donna Reish & Zac Kieser

 

Comma rules are super subjective. As a matter of fact, I tell my upper high schoolers that commas following sentence openers will generally not be the errors in SAT/ACT/PSAT testing sentences. These rules are that subjective! I hear and recognize all of the commas in Zac’s examples in this week’s Punctuation Puzzle. So even though these rules are subjective, we have to have some guidelines to follow, or students will not learn to put commas in anywhere!

 

I follow an important sequence in teaching prepositions to students (one that anyone can use whether you use my materials or not):

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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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Punctuation Puzzle – Capitalization & Items in a Series With Alice in Wonderland

By Donna Reish & Zac Kieser

 

This week’s Punctuation Puzzle has to do with capitalizing references to people and commas with a series of three or more. The latter causes much confusion (and is covered, in part, in a recent LL slideshow, “5 Tips for Coordinating Conjunctions”). Moreover, the series of three or more is further confused with the great Oxford Comma debate.

 

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Punctuation Puzzle: Homophones and Parentheses

 

by Zac Kieser & Donna Reish

“Homophones. Homophones. Homophones. Homophones!” Did you sing along with the old Veggie Tales song? I have never seen a Veggie Tale video, and I can even sing that! (Along with “Where Is My Hair Brush?”) The song is catchy, but the homophones are often not! They can be downright tricky at times! And then there’s parentheses (unrelated to homophones…well, not really…read on!), but tricky nonetheless.

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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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