When to Add -es to Make It Plural

Making Plurals Easy

You can always help students remember when to add -es to a word to make it plural by having a visible chart in the room.

(Add -es to words ending in s,x,z,ch, and sh).

But what happens when they do not have a visible resource?

Try these two tips!

 1) Have the students clap the syllables in the base word. Then have them clap the syllables in the plural form of the word.

         a) Did the number of syllables stay the same?

              If so, add s.

         b) Did the number of syllables increase?

               If so, add es.


2) Have students stand. Clap out the syllables while saying the plural word aloud. If they hear /iz/ (es) at the end, they will bend their knees. Exaggerate the /iz/ sound so they will be sure to hear it.

Bottom line, you’ll need to practice to make them more aware of the sounds, but they should be able to hear the /iz/ sound at the end of the word and “feel” the extra syllable when they bend their knees.

b and d reversals and confusion

b / d reversals: 2 Tricks to Try!



1) For a couple of weeks, have a lower case “b” written in blue on the student’s desk and posted in the room. After written assignments, have the student go back and trace all of the “b”s (correct if needed) on the paper with a blue colored pencil. (And...blue begins with “b”.)

2) Drumstick begins with a “d”. When you write the lowercase “d”, first you draw the “drum”, and then you draw the “stick”.

Phonics trick for remembering ow sounds

Remembering the Two Sounds of “ow”

Idea contributed by: Debbie, Olive Branch, MS

Using your RIGHT hand to make an okay sign, you will see an “o” and a “w”.

(If you use the left hand, it will spell “Wo” (whoa!), so don’t use your left hand!)

A little drama is needed, but your students will remember the sounds.

-With your “Okay” sign, act as if you have hurt yourself and say, “Ow! I hurt my finger!”

-Then, in a sympathetic voice say, “Ow (oh), I’m SO sorry.”

Let them say both a few times and see how much drama can be created while practicing the two sounds.

Model to your students that when they come to unfamiliar word containing an “ow”, they will be able to recall the two sounds to try when trying to sound out the word (ex: grown, crowd, shower, etc.).

Compare and Contrast

Trick to Remember the Difference With Compare and Contrast

Say goodbye to confusion with compare and contrast!

Are your students confusing which word means what?


COMPARE: (SAME, ALIKE) – These words all end in a “magic e”.

CONTRAST: (DIFFERENT) -Both words end with a T!

Fact and Opinion

Fun With Fact and Opinion

The uh-uuh test…Looking for an easy way to help students better understand the difference between a fact and an opinion? Try this!

FACT– (TRUE and REAL) All three of these words have four letters!

Example: The nail is two inches long.

This is a fact because it is true and can be proven.

OPINION– An opinion is something about which someone can open their mouth to argue with you. If you draw the “O” in opinion as an open mouth that is ready to argue, it is a great way to remind your students what an opinion is.

Example: My mom makes the best cookies.

If someone can open their mouth to say, “Uh-uuh…MY mom makes the best cookies!”, then you have stated an opinion.

Give each sentence the “Uh-uuh Test!” When you open your mouth to argue or disagree, it is an opinion!

Doubling Consonants Before -ed/-ing

A Rhyme to Remember a Rule

When do you double your consonant before adding -ed and -ing?
A RHYME will do it every TIME!

(The rule is that if there is a vowel before the final consonant, then you double the final consonant. If there is a consonant before, then you just add the -ed and -ing.

    Teach your students this rhyme:

“If there’s a vowel before, then you DOUBLE it to score!”

Ex: WORK- working, worked (no vowel, so don’t double)
SLIP- slipping, slipped (There was a vowel, so you double the final consonant)
MASK- masking, masked (no vowel, so don’t double)

*Words ending with “e” are a little trickier. Check out the other post for the hint with that!:)

Drop or Keep the “e” Before a Suffix

Those Pesky Grumpy Vowels

Dropping or Keeping the “E” before adding a Suffix?

RULES: Keep the “e” if the suffix begins with a consonant. (-ly, ful, -less, -ment, -dom, etc.)
Drop the “e” if the suffix begins with a vowel. (-able, -en, -ion, er, -est, -ing, -ed, -al, etc.)

Teach your students to ALWAYS…


1) If it is a vowel, he is grumpy and says, “I’m already a vowel. We don’t need another one!”
So…you DROP the “e”.

2) If it is a consonant, he says, “We need a vowel, so come along!”
So…you KEEP the “e”.

Examples to try:
Care +less +ing +ful
argue +ment +ing
creative +ly
excite +able + ment
awake +en

Trick to teach cause and effect

Cause and Effect

Posting the Alphabet Can Still Come in Handy

Younger students still confused on which one comes first?
Simple! They’re in alphabetical order!

A B C D E F G H I…