Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Never give up; never surrender!

Happy National Punctuation Day, citizens!

In honor of this mighty occasion, we thought it would be appropriate to shine the super spotlight on a very deserving Super Symbols team member and tell you about her second superpower. This deserving Super Symbol is none other than the elegant and powerful Semicolon.

As most of you know, the Semicolon (;) has a first superpower.
As this super handy mini-poster states, the Semicolon has the power to join two or more independent clauses together. This means that if you have two or more complete sentences that are closely related, you can use a semicolon to properly join them together into one sentence.

For example, here are two complete sentences:

Never give up!
Never surrender!

These two sentences work fine all by themselves. But if we want to join them together to act as one sentence with a unified message, the best and easiest way to join them together is by using a semicolon, like this:

Never give up; never surrender!

Now, thanks to the power of the Semicolon, we have a single sentence with a unified message. And best of all, this sentence is correct.

For a full explanation of the Semicolon's first superpower (complete with super examples!), grab your trusty copy of Super Grammar and turn to the blue color-coded Super Symbols section of the book and review pages 136-138.

And now, citizens, before we move on to the Semicolon's second power, I'd like to remind you that there is a wrong way of connecting two complete sentences—and here it is—never try to join two complete sentences with just a single comma.

For example, if we try to join the same two complete sentences with just a single comma, like this, "Never give up, never surrender!" it would be incorrect.

Commas, all by themselves, simply to do not have the power to join together two complete sentences. So watch out for this common punctuation mistake. Because if you ever do try to join two complete sentences with just a single comma, it means that you've fallen victim to a very tricky member of the Sabotage Squad called the Comma Splice.

To learn more about the Comma Splice and her trickery, grab your faithful copy of Super Grammar and turn to the green color-coded Sabotage Squad section of the book and review pages 168-171.

And now, as promised, good citizens, it's time to learn about the Semicolon's second superpower, and here it is on this second mini-poster:
As this mini-poster states, the Semicolon's second superpower allows her to separate a list of items that occur in a series (just like the Comma's power to list a series. See pages 115-118 in Super Grammar). However, the Semicolon will usually only step in with this power when commas are already being used as a form of punctuation within the listed series. Here's an example: 

We caught these crooks: Mack, the brains; Stack, the muscle; and Slack, the flunky.

The example sentence above is listing a series of three captured crooks (Mack, Stack, and Slack), and each crook has a short description which has been added on with a comma ("the brains," "the muscle," and "the flunky"). 

Since commas are already being used as a form of punctuation within the items being listed, it would be confusing if commas were also used as the form of punctuation to separate the items in the list. So instead of adding more commas (and confusion), the correct way to separate the items in this series is to use semicolons, because semicolons can act as an additional form of punctuation which can clearly and distinctly separate the items of this list.

Excelsior! You now know the Semicolon's second superpower. And if you ever have a list of items in a series, and that list already includes commas, you'll know that you can use the power of the Semicolon to keep things super clear and super correct!

Thank you, good citizens, for joining us on this mighty and worthy day. We hope that you all have an amazing National Punctuation Day! And when it comes to fighting for your sentences and for proper punctuation, we hope that you'll always remember this:

Never give up; never surrender!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Super Symbols, Assemble!

Hey citizens,
Here are a couple of friendly neighborhood messages from the Super Symbols.



It's time to get ready. And don't forget to share the good news—National Punctuation Day is this coming Wednesday.

Cheers!
The Super Grammar Team

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Today We Fight.

Up and at 'em, citizens!

Pick yourselves up. Dust yourselves off. Shake away that weariness, and stand tall. Your sentences need you today!


Yes, I know; fighting for grammar is hard work. It's true. But today we stay strong. Yes, your grammar homework can be tricky. But today we do not give up. And, yes, staying vigilant against grammar mistakes is tiring. But today is March 4th, good citizens, and today we fight.

Sometimes doing the right thing may seem like a thankless job (just ask Superman, Batman, or Spider-man about that), but for those of us who believe in fighting for the greater good, there's no thanks necessary. It's just part of the job.

But if you do choose to join us today—if you do choose to fight for grammar—rest assured that the superheroes of Super Grammar and many, many others will be standing by your side, and we'll all be proud to be part of your team.

Are you ready?

Good. We are too. Let's do this. And, today, may all of our sentences be strong!

In super solidarity,
The Super Grammar Team

FIGHT FOR GRAMMAR GIVEAWAY!
In honor of fighting for grammar on National Grammar Day, we're giving away five (5) Super Grammar power packs! Each power pack includes this:

  • An autographed copy of Super Grammar
  • One (11"x17") National Grammar Day poster
  • A set of four (11"x17") Super Grammar Promo posters
  • A bookmark and stickers.
To enter the giveaway, please use the rafflecopter below. Since National Grammar Day is observed in the U.S., this giveaway is only open to readers with U.S. shipping addresses. (terms and conditions of the giveaway)

Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Have a Super Valentine's Day!

Here's a special Valentine's Day message for all of our Super Grammar-loving friends out there!


















And if by chance you're not the mushy type—here's this one instead:


















We hope you have a super sweet Valentine's Day, and may your sentences always be strong!

With powerful affection,
The Super Grammar Team

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Super Grammar Highlights of 2013!

Hi everyone,

With 2013 wrapping up, we can't help but take a look back at our first year as a published book. There are a few stand-out highlights, and we thought it would be fun to share them with you.

Our first highlight was a review by blogger Myles McDonnell on his blog: You know, for Kids. This review was especially cool because Mr. McDonnell wrote it based on the way his son, a second-grader (at the time), responded to Super Grammar. Before reading this review, we weren't quite sure whether Super Grammar's teaching format would be effective for a second-grader. But after reading it, we now have our answer! Have a look: http://youknowforkidsblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/new-books-super-grammar.html

Our second highlight is a two-parter. On her Mommy Maestra blog, Monica Olivera shares her valuable experiences and knowledge about homeschooling her two kids in a bilingual setting, and this is what made her review such a super stand-out for us—it was written from the homeschooler's perspective! Check out the fun and creative ways that this homeschooler put Super Grammar into action for her kids: http://www.mommymaestra.com/2013/03/celebrate-national-grammar-day-with.html.

Also, it turns out that, aside from blogging, Mrs. Olivera also writes articles and is a regular contributor to NBC Latino's website (among others), and this is where this turns into a two-part highlight for us. If you'd like a glimpse into why two artists decided to make a book about grammar, take a look at this interview: http://nbclatino.com/2013/01/30/illustrating-duo-creates-comic-book-to-help-students-master-grammar/.

Our last highlight is a big one for us! In their recently published article, Read like a Professor, Write like a Superhero, the School Library Journal calls out a specific list of books for being "models of good literature" and also for helping students meet with Common Core State Standards—and Super Grammar is at the top of the list! We are absolutely honored to be on this list, but what really makes it a special highlight for us is the fact that Super Grammar is now officially recognized for teaching English grammar in a way that meets with these specific Common Core State Standards:
CCSS L.3.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. 3.1a. Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.

CCSS L.3.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. 3.2c.Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue. 3.2d.Form and use possessives.
We're very grateful for this acknowledgement, and we're more than pleased to end our first year as a published grammar book on such a good note. Here's the article: http://www.slj.com/2013/09/standards/curriculum-connections/read-like-a-professor-write-like-a-superhero/.

We hope you all had a great year, too. And if you have a Super Grammar highlight for the year that you wouldn't mind sharing with us—please send it our way—or leave us a comment. We'd love to hear about it!

As always, thank you for your super support, and may your sentences always be strong!

All our best,
The Super Grammar Team

P.S.
I hope you don't mind, but I (Tony Preciado, Super Grammar's author) would like to add my own personal side note here about the Mommy Maestra blog. You see, I am a parent (I have a wonderful three-year-old daughter who is growing like a super weed), and as a first-generation Mexican-American, I am also bilingual: I speak both English and Spanish. Now, as you might have already guessed, having a strong and clear understanding of English grammar is super important to me. That said, I also very much love that I can speak, read, and write in Spanish (I think of it as one of my superpowers), and I very much want to pass this ability on to my daughter. Anyway, if you're a parent like me, or a homeschooler, or a teacher who is looking for fun, creative, and insightful ways to help your kids or students learn both English and Spanish, I would highly recommend stopping by Mommy Maestra. I have found it to be a wealth of information on the subject.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Have a Super Holiday!

Good citizens,


We hope your holidays are action packed and full of superhero goodness. Keep fighting the good fight, and may your sentences always be strong!

Best wishes,
The Super Grammar Team

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Punctuation Day! (and giveaway)

Happy Punctuation Day, everybody!

In honor of this years National Punctuation Day, we've created a second Super-Grammar-style illustration in the guise of a comic book cover, and here it is:


As you can see, this year's Punctuation Day comic book cover features the Dash, and it also spills the super-beans on how to create a true em dash by typing in a secret code with your computer keyboard. Nope, we're not kidding; you need a secret code to create a dash!

It's true. If you give your computer keyboard the once-over, you'll quickly notice that there is no one key, or even two keys, available for the purpose of creating a proper dash (—). But have no fear, for where there's a super will to use proper punctuation, there is also a super way. And in this case, the way to make a proper dash is by using these secret codes:
  • On a PC: Hold down the Alt key then type 0151
  • On a Mac: Hold down the Shift key and the Option key then type the minus key (-).
  • And in HTML coding: type —
It may seem like a lot of cloak-and-dagger activity for such a simple punctuation mark, but honestly, who doesn't love using super secret codes? (We certainly do.) But more to the point, even though you have to work for it—the dash is worth it!

We hope you enjoy our latest Punctuation Day comic book cover (here's the one from last year), and don't forget to celebrate this Punctuation Day by learning all about the other Super Symbols team members. Simply turn to the blue chapter of your Super Grammar book, or you can use the "LABELS" menu bar (on the right-hand side) to choose a Super Symbols character, or click here!

And... the celebrating isn't over yet. In honor of National Punctuation Day, we're having a giveaway!

Ten (10) lucky people will win a set of our four (11"x 17") Super Grammar Promo posters, including, of course, a Super Symbols poster which features all twelve punctuation team members.

Please use the rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway. (terms and conditions of the giveaway)

Good luck, everybody, and we hope you have a super Punctuation Day!

Sincerely,
The Super Grammar Team
a Rafflecopter giveaway