Teaching Contractions Resources and Ideas

Pray tell, just what is a contraction?

If you want to go straight to the resource press here 🙂

As anyone who knows a little about science will know ( and all the parents out there of course) to contract means to make some thing smaller be it words or muscles. If you are a teacher i would miss out the other description of course! In this instance it means to make a word smaller, reducing its size and the time taken to say it and helping with connected speech.

They are used mostly as an informal way of writing and a quicker and therefore also informal way of speaking. so we would say ”don’t pick your nose” instead of ”Do not pick your nose” They are often misused or added in the wrong place, and yes even by teachers. See if you can see how the following examples might be funny.

your rubbish

you’re rubbish

Also for reasons i wont go into here ( it’s supposed to be a short post!) it is a rule of thumb not to use a contraction at the end of a sentence. Try it and you will see it sounds strange. If you really want to know why then check this out.

A few ways to teach contractions to younger learners.

It can be a challenge to teach this to younger learners, but it you do head down that road the following tips and hints might make it easier for both teacher and student.

  1. Use your fingers, or a rubber band to show you are making something smaller, but still the same meaning and appearance. you can say the word as you do it and even let the students do the same.
  2. Explain that if you miss a letter from a word to make the contraction that the apostrophe – ‘ -must take its place, not anywhere else!
  3. Show how important these little apostrophes are by removing them and seeing how the word sounds.
  4. we have also made a flip-book, which i will share on Facebook as well but the link is below to the resource page. You can make it in class or ask your students to make them as homework or self directed learning. Where they can make the flip-book and then practice the words.

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How to disable Word Ads on your WordPress site.

I had such high hopes, start my teaching website, get some advertisements on there to maybe buy me a coffee or a soda a day and enjoy seeing that happens while i concentrate on writing and sharing some of the teaching resources and strategies i have learn over the to many to count years i have been teaching. It has been 9 months…

I will let you see how many of these cups of coffee i have managed to earn in that time with the graph above.

So I little wiser, but most certainly not a little richer i have decided to turn off the WordAds on my website and move to something much better, which i will mention in the next post however, i couldn’t for the life of me remember how to turn the ads off so i got in touch with the help staff at WordPress and asked,

This is how to turn off Word Ads, and the images here should demonstrate why you need to keep an eye on those income generating stats.


  1. Log in to WordPress and bring up the side menu and find tools.

2) Scroll down to marketing

3) Click it and move to the traffic tab. When you click it it show the option showing ads on the home page and at the end of every post if you slide this to off it will disable the ads, and your ( if yours is like mine) ability to earn 52 cents a year is all gone.

Word Ads pays out at 100 dollars so it would take me just under 200 years to actually get a payment from them at this rate. I may not have one foot in the grave but i have a feeling in 199 years from now 100 dollars wont be worth that much to my Great Great Great Great grandchildren

I am already with Adsense and have just started with Media.net and both of these, pay serious amounts more. Adsense is actually performing better but iI have only been with Media.net for 3 days so i have a lot of work to optimize it but so far it looks like a very useful addition to the site. ( if i manage to keep them as my traffic is pretty global and they like English speaking rich countries as a rule of thumb.

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Teaching Y as a Vowel!

This is a tricky one, of all the phonics rules the ones surrounding the letter and sounds of ”y” are difficult to find out. Especially after our students have gone through learning The names of the letters and then the sounds they can make, and maybe even that some of those letters have more than one sound, and then we show them ”y

The letter ”y” can be both a consonant and a vowel. There are some rules we can teach our students to help them grasp the concept. Of course, this being English these rules are mostly true and there are exceptions to this as well.

As mentioned ”y” can be a consonant and a vowel. The ”y” usually makes the consonant sound when it is a the beginning of the word. Examples are words like yellow, yacht, yes, or you.

Just to be extra confusing the letter ”y’‘ has more than one vowel sound as well as the consonant sound at the beginning. There are some rules you can use to explain to your students. If the ”y” is at the end of the word, and it is a one syllable word (I will put syllable lessons for young learners on my site as well) like dry, try, buy, why then the ”y” will make the sound of a long i.

If the word has the ”y” at the end but it has two or more syllables then the sound of ”y” is the long e sound. Word examples include candy, actually, fundamentally, tiny, wavy and many many more.

To teach this i have some worksheets and word sorting activities you can check out and i will link to them at the bottom, but also if you need stories and some online games or activities I have found some on the StarFall website. This is a Y as Long e game you can check out.

The worksheets and sorting activities can help form part of a full phonics lesson if you want to teach this. They can be downloaded at the bottom, and if you want to add or edit it i will leave the PowerPoint version too.

To the resources page if you want to check out more

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Classroom Activities for Younger and ESL Students.

Work gets in the way so it is just a quick update today, I put onto Facebook an Animal Domino’s activity and it took off! 10000 people downloaded it in just one day, so that gave me a big smile all day. I hope it was useful for you if you downloaded it.

I do these things for free, well mostly of course!, so i will put some others up that are similar over the next few days. but thought i would give a head-start to those of you that read the blog side of my website. There are two of these games on at the moment, though there are more coming. I have linked my resources page at the bottom

However, i have put a good amount of activities for younger learners in the teaching resources section of the website that all you teachers out there might like to take a look at. There are science, phonics, games, worksheets, single student and whole class activities.

I am specialised in reading and reading skills so as an ongoing project, mainly for me but hopefully useful to others of you, i am starting to record activities for guided reading as well. I think i have three full lessons on there but in my files i have hundreds so that will be improving very soon.

The link to the teaching resources is here if you did want to check it out. Please let me know what you think if you do use any of them. Thats all i ask.

The best way is to sign up on the email form and i will be giving those on the email lists access before i put on the main website.

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