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    Accentuate the Positive

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Writing too many negative sentences is a habit worth breaking. When this happens, our writing becomes boring and hard to read. Here's an example:

    Bob and Alice didn't get along very well. At a Giants game, Bob said, "Why didn't you wear an orange jacket instead of that blue one?" Alice answered, "You wouldn't notice if I did." Even though they never stopped arguing, when they left, Bob said, "Don't forget to buy tickets for next week's game."

    Did you notice that every sentence contains a negative word? After several paragraphs, we might be pretty tired of this pattern.  But look what happens when we eliminate the negatives:

    Bob and Alice had trouble getting along. At a Giants game, Bob said, "Why did you wear a blue jacket instead of an orange one?" Alice answered, "Would you notice if I did?" Even though they continued to argue, when they left, Bob said, "Remember to buy tickets for next week's game."

    Give your writing the "NOT test." Have you fallen into the too-many-negatives habit? Try rewriting your sentences and notice the difference!

    Never Give Up!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Ready to Play?

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Looking for some new ways to learn? Check out these two apps:

    AlphaBetty Saga
    Get ready to learn some new words with this challenging spelling game! AlphaBetty Saga lets you match letters backwards, forwards, and even diagonally to make words as short as three letters or as long as you can find. If you get stuck, you can shuffle the letters or even try some odd combinations to find words you’ve never seen or heard before. This free game can be downloaded on iPhone, iPad, and Android or played on Facebook.

    World's Worst Pet
    Painless vocabulary learning is at your fingertips with this well-organized, entertaining iPad app for grades 4-8. It features a "pet" named Snargg, whose antics lead you through 6 levels of word fun. To get this truly trouble-making pet under control, you'll have to answer questions, identify synonyms and antonyms, and complete sentences to learn words in context. Vocabulary includes more than 1000 Tier Two words--the "high-frequency" vocabulary that kids need in all of their classes.


    Happy Fourth of July! - Student Writing

    Last updated 3 years ago

    This is a letter one of our school program students (5th grade) wrote as a fictitious character from the Revolutionary War era. Happy Fourth of July from The Literacy & Language Center!

    dear jezabelle
    i mustn't tell you who i really am at the end of this letter because you know who i really am I won't need to tell you. i am still searching for a husband but i have my eyes set on the sarge of this army please do tell me what you think of him. i am an ametuer though.
    signed john ratcliffe.

    Find Your Way to Summer Reading Online

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Summer reading lists crop up like wildflowers this time of year. Instead of simply scanning a list, why not check out a website set up by an author to introduce you to his or her books? These sites let you find out more about the world of the story before you make your selections. Here are some websites to help you get started.

    Roald Dahl
    Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach - If you love any of the delightful Roald Dahl stories, "Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you" at the Roald Dahl website. Visit the Archive where you'll find the "stories behind the stories," read the entertaining blog, and download creative lesson plans you can use for reading activities at home.

    The Ramona Quimby books
    Interactive features let you explore the "neighborhoods" where Beverly Cleary's Ramona stories take place and play games like "Spelling Beezus." The "Meet the Characters" feature is a good model for showing kids how a character is developed.

    Read, Kiddo, Read
    James Paterson's Read, Kiddo, Read site actively and enthusiastically promotes reading for kids. It offers lists of books categorized by age group and topic, descriptions, reviews, and great blog articles.

    Middle Shelf
    Middle Shelf is a whole magazine about writing for middle grade readers. Read issues of the magazine online for interviews with young published authors, reviews and previews of new books, and recommendations from middle school readers. A great way to find a new read or inspiration for young writers.

    The staff at The Literacy and Language Center wish you a wonderful, reading-filled summer!

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