I know I have been a little sporadic lately in the posting department. I’ve been playing around A LOT with my new Nook Color, and only some of that has been reading.

I don’t know if you’ve seen anywhere that the hacker community has really taken a hankerin’ to this groovy little device. They’ve made it pretty easy to stick in a micro-sd card and reboot, so that your Nook becomes an almost full-fledged touch-screen tablet. Whoa! So I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting and app hunting. More later.

Anyway…on to today’s pearls of wisdom.

We’re back from a three-day weekend, and I’m looking to start slowly, maybe give them a chance for some easy points, review something they should already have down cold.


I put a list of 10 words on the screen and said, “Make ’em plural.”

enemy, stereo, knife, wife’s, child, sheep, tray, box, volcano, Simpson

The fun begins immediately.

“Does spelling count?” (Seriously? Yes. All. Day. Long.)

“Only if you want to get it right.”

“That’s not fair.”


I give them about three or four minutes, and then we trade and correct.

And here it comes: the most misused piece of punctuation EVAR! The apostrophe.

I call on the first kid at random for number one.

“Umm. My person didn’t put anything for that one.”

“It’s the first one.”

“They only did… (counts)…five of them.”

“But surely you can help us out.”

“I don’t have my paper.”

“You can’t remember what you put? Two minutes ago? Or maybe you just might…KNOW IT?”

“E-N-E-M-Y apostrophe S.”

“Enemy’s what?”


I’m sure you’ve gone down that path many a time…

But most of them get that one. Then they do pretty well (surprisingly) on stereos and knives. Obviously for wives’ I get a lot of wives’s, but heading into a gimme with children, we’re looking good. After I get a volunteer who is usually wrong to give us that one correctly, I make a joke,

“Now I hope nobody has a paper where the person put childs. Haha.”

Laughter all around, but I spy one kid looking pretty sheepish. I am about to investigate further, when somebody else blurts out,

“I got one that put kids!”

They tried to get me to accept it, but no dice.

The there’s sheep, which I thought was another freebie; everyone would get that one right surely.

Don’t call me Shirley. I called on one kid and she started doing the old guessing game.


Furrowed brow from me.

“Wait,wait. E-S?”

Puzzled look.

“Wait, wait! I-E-S?”


That one brought down the house. But wait, there’s more.

For trays, we had one that put  t-r-a-i-e-s.

“What? They didn’t really put that did they?”


Then there are a couple more who admit that they almost put that, but it looked funny. No way? Really?

“You know how you’re supposed to change the y to i and…”

“I know, I know. But traies?”

We finally finish, total up things and return the notebooks. Then there’s the usual jabberings about results and handwriting and missed corrections. In one class there’s a bit of a commotion between grader and gradee.

“I spelled all these ones right, but he marked them wrong.”

“Well, Joe? The answers are still written up there, what’s the story?”

“I thooooooouuuuuught I marked them right.”

(me to the gradee) “Did you compare what’s on your paper to what’s up on the screen?”

Pregnant pause while he does. Sheepish look.

“You mean they don’t have those comma things?”

“You mean¬†apostrophes?”




Sure enough, he had put an apostrophe on almost every one.