by Donna | Mar 28, 2018
Conjunctive Adverbs (CA’s) are one of the most confusing parts of speech to teach because they are not used that often. However, we need to teach students what they are and how to write with them because they carry so much meaning! They are amazing for transitions–and they show so many relationships between words and between parts of a sentence. (Check out the Tricky Trick student download in this post for the four places to use Conjunctive Adverbs in a Sentence!) They also have several punctuation options (depending on whether the CA is in between two sentences, at the beginning of a sentence, at the end of a sentence, or splitting on complete sentence).
by Donna | Mar 12, 2018
We’ve been studying prepositions a lot here at Character Ink Blog! I’m excited to teach parents and teachers how to teach prepositions in a way that allows students to be able to come up with 100 prepositions fairly quickly!
Prepositions must be reviewed over and over. They should be taught in a way that teaches their FUNCTION (not just in rhyme or song). Then we must practice them over and over and over again IN REAL SENTENCES. Below are three simple steps I follow….but before you read the steps, here are some other preposition helps for you!
by Donna | Mar 1, 2018
So I did a Major Works and Minor Works Slideshow. I did a lesson in a video class about them. I gave parents and teachers a quiz! I’m going to end this subject with a Tricky Trick Download for students!
I’ve been putting together Tricky Trick Downloads for a few months now, and I love how they take complicated information and make that info succinct and understandable. Print them off and put them on your bulletin board–or in your student’s language arts binder. They will come in handy regardless of the curriculum you are using!
by Donna | Jan 22, 2018
I love mnemonics–tricks, songs, jingles, rhymes….anything that helps students learn! I love them even more when they have something to do with the purpose for learning that topic or the topic itself. Like in the case of prepositions–songs can help you learn about three dozen of the over 200 prepositions–but Check Sentences can help you learn 150 or more because Check Sentence have to do with the function of prepositions. (Learn more here)
by Donna | Oct 20, 2017
The semicolon gets a bad rap. Either people despise it—saying that it is not needed in writing at all. (George Orwell was once quoted as saying “I had decided about this time that the semicolon is an unnecessary stop and that I would write my next book without one.”) OR….possibly even worse, people use it incorrectly over and over and over and over and over (you get the idea!). The worst misuse (in my humble opinion) is when people use it as a comma—joining two parts of a sentence, rather than two complete sentence. Just random semicolon insertion here and there—whenever they believe that one of the sentence parts is too lengthy to use a comma there. (Sigh…)
by Donna | Sep 21, 2017
“[A]lways get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start,” nineteenth-century writer P.G. Wodehouse commented. He is not alone among authors in emphasizing dialogue in writing, but teaching students how to use quotations can be so difficult.
So, I’d like to give you some tips on teaching basic quotation use and punctuation to your students. Also, check out the Tricky Tricks Sheet at the end of this post. It gives a concise summary of basic quotation rules. Additionally, Character Ink Press’s Meaningful Composition 5 I includes more info on using quotes, along with a number of other writing lessons.