/Tag: Grammar
10 05, 2019

Improve Students’ Writing with These Grammar Ideas for Primary

By |2019-08-14T21:25:51-04:00May 10th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

Grammar teaches us to look closer at the construction of a sentence. By understanding the frame of a sentence, we become more enabled to construct better sentences. It is like building a house. If someone handed you a hammer, some nails, and wood, you probably could build something, even if you were never taught how. It might be a leaky house with gaps in the walls that wobbles when you cough, but you probably could build something. Now, if someone showed you how to build a house and mentored you, you would be able to build an even better house. To really hone those carpentry skills, additional practice of what you were shown would let you master the art of building houses. The same goes with writing. While grammar and writing are interconnected, taking time to teach grammar helps your students build better sentences and stronger writing pieces. Extra practice helps them master the craft. Having a firm foundation of grammar also helps students write with confidence. I am going to share three grammar ideas that will help you improve students’ writing. I will also be sharing some free teaching resources to help you get started with using some of these ideas too!

 

Improve Students' Writing with These Grammar Ideas

These activities are meant for grammar practice. I do recommend these grammar concepts be taught via a mini-lesson, mentor sentences, or in some other way that models the grammar rule or concept. These activities will help you to diversify your teaching strategies to reach all learners. Research has long proven that to maximize your chances of reaching all students, a diversification of teaching methods is needed. Definitely, use integration strategies with your writing and reading lessons. But to reach all your students, make sure to include focused activities and grammar mini-lessons too. Through diversification, you will maximize learning in your classroom.

Activity #1 Fix the Sentences

Activities that involve students fixing sentences they did not write allows opportunity for them to move away from focusing on creating content and focus solely on the mechanics of a sentence. Not only are they getting extra grammar practice, but this also helps them to develop those much-needed editing skills.

fix it sentences for grammar activities

I think it is important for these sentence editing activities to be geared towards their grade range, so I will give some examples for different grade levels. The ideas I suggest connect to the Common Core grammar standards for each primary grade level, but you can always pull from these ideas if you follow different standards.

For kindergarten and the beginning part of first grade, editing sentences can include fixing capital letters at the beginning of sentences, the pronoun I, and the ending punctuation.

For first grade and the beginning part of second grade, you still want to reinforce those elements from editing a kindergarten sentence. However, you can also add the following components once they are familiar with these grammar concepts. Some ideas include editing subject-verb agreements, using articles correctly, capitalizing dates and names of people, using commas in a series, and correcting misspelled words with familiar spelling patterns such as cat or lake.

 

 

For second grade, you still want to reinforce the elements from editing kindergarten and first grade sentences. As you dive further into grammar, you may want to add more of the following components. These components can include proper use of irregular plural nouns and past tense verbs, adding commas to compound sentences, separating run-on sentences, capitalizing holidays or product names, using commas in a letter, proper use of apostrophes with contractions and possessive nouns, and correcting spelling errors in words with familiar spelling patterns such as crown and coat.

These sentence activities can come in different formats. The one shown below is in a task card format, but you can also have the sentences on a whiteboard, a worksheet, sentence strips, and more.

Activity #2 Grammar Task Cards

Task cards come in handy when teaching grammar. You can cover just about every grammar concept with a set of task cards. They can be used for playing a game of SCOOT with the entire class, you can pair them with a game board for extra fun, you can use them for exit tickets, give them to early finishers, just use as a set of task cards, and more. Sometimes, you can even add manipulatives, such as counters, to give it a hands-on twist. They are very flexible!

 

Students can play solo games like Splat or do a Space Race with a friend. I have another post that explains nine different games to use with task cards including these two, so I will link that at the bottom of the post.

 

Let’s look at the formatting of them too. I really think the format can be beneficial to some of your students with special needs. There is one problem on each task card, so the spacing of it makes it easier for students, who might become overwhelmed with too much on a page, to read and comprehend.

close up of reflexive pronoun task cards

 

Additionally, it is easy to differentiate to meet student needs by providing grammar task cards that focus on concepts they need to work on at that moment.

When using grammar task cards, I also like to consider the reading levels of the students. It’s important that students focus on the grammar concept without the actual reading of the grammar activity interfering. That way, you do not have to wait until the last half of the year to start teaching grammar. There are just too many grammar standards to cover in a year. You will teach them more efficiently by making sure the reading levels do not block the student’s ability to practice the grammar concept. Just because it is the beginning half of kindergarten, does not mean students are unable to learn about nouns and verbs. With the support of pictures, kindergartners can learn all about basic nouns, verbs, and more.

verb task cards for kindergarten

 

Later in the year, they can work with sentences that contain simple sight words, CVC words, and picture support.

ending punctuation task cards

 

First graders will be developing their reading skills throughout the year, but grammar can still be taught early in the year by making sure the sentences are basic enough for them to decode easily. Start with sentences with pre-primer and primer sight words, CVC words, CCVC words, and picture support to help students focus on learning the grammar concept. Later in the year, you can move up to using grammar activities with vowel teams, diphthongs, and higher-level sight words. The example below illustrates students finding indefinite pronouns in sentences geared just for first grade.

When it comes to teaching grammar, task cards make it easier to incorporate a variety of engaging activities by including rich content from the task cards, meeting the needs of some of your students with special needs, differentiating instruction, and making sure that reading levels are not interfering with the learning of grammar standards. Task cards are also easy to prep, and you can laminate them for reuse each year too.

irregular plural noun task cards

grammar task cards with games

Activity #3 Go Digital

Similar to using grammar task cards, digital resources can be used to reinforce grammar concepts too. Just like the task cards, digital grammar activities can also be used for things like a game of SCOOT, exit tickets, early finisher activities, and more. The only difference is you don’t need to prep the task cards. Instead, students will need to be assigned the file, or you can run them as a presentation and let them use a recording sheet, if you do not have an LMS or another system, to keep assignments organized. If you have Google Classroom, assignments are easy to do with a click of the button. Also, you can set-up folders in Microsoft OneDrive if using PowerPoint instead. Office 365 for education is actually free to those with a valid .edu email address. I will provide the link to that below.

An additional benefit of the digital grammar activities is that an anchor chart can be placed at the beginning to reteach the concept to students. For my kindergarten digital grammar activities, I included a video option, since the reading level would be a challenge. When a video is not desired because of a lack of access to headphones, the slide can easily be deleted.

complete sentences digital task cards

For my second grade grammar activities, a presentation plays instead.

adverb digital task cards

Digital grammar activities are easy to use in a literacy center or station, so you can squeeze in extra grammar practice. That way, your students can hone their writing skills and write with confidence!

ending punctuation digital task cards

You can always make these types of resources for your personal classroom use, but if you would like to save time, I do have all these grammar activities for sale too. I sell them individually and in bundles.

Here is the link for all my grammar activities. You can also click the picture below too.

grammar activities for primary grades

 

If you would like to filter by grade, you can check out my kindergarten grammar resources here, my first grade grammar resources here, and my second grade grammar resources here.

Here is the link for the grammar and language arts bundles here. It will filter out my other resources. You can also click the picture below.

grammar bundles for primary grades

If you are new to using these types of digital grammar activities, I have a free tech course that will help you get a simple three-step system in place. You can get more information and sign-up for that here.

Using technology in the primary classroom to reach more students a free course

If you are interested in Office 365 for Education and have a valid .edu email address, you can find information on that here. Please note, I am not affiliated, nor does Microsoft endorse anything written here today. I just want to inform you all of this handy resource.

I also have free grammar resources to share with you all today.

free noun task cards for grammar activities

Click here for the free kindergarten task cards. This one covers nouns in context. To keep these on a kindergarten reading level, the sentences include cvc words, common sight words taught in kindergarten, and picture clues.

Click here for the free first grade task cards. These target the CCSS language standard to spell frequently occurring words with irregular spelling patterns. These can easily be used in kindergarten too.

free verb tense task cards

Click here for the free second grade task cards. This one covers verb tenses. These can also be used in first grade with students with stronger reading skills.

Looking for more game ideas to use with the grammar task cards? Find nine game ideas and a free game here. Make sure to check out some of my other grammar posts too. I share many ideas here, here, and here.

I hope my ideas and tips were helpful to you all, and ultimately to your students! Thanks so much for stopping by The Candy Class! Happy teaching!

Sharing Teaching Ideas for K-2

Jolene Mathew

 

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17 04, 2019

Nine Games to Use with Grammar Task Cards

By |2019-05-14T00:37:39-04:00April 17th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

I’m excited to show you nine different games (including a freebie) that you can use to make your grammar task card activities more hands-on. Let’s face it. It can be a challenge to constantly teach rich content that is also engaging and fun for students. Task card games tap into children’s love and need for PLAY, which is the most powerful learning modality there is! Pairing games with task cards will help students to practice a variety of grammar skills and other content. While I will discuss using these with grammar task cards, these games will work for any task cards in any subject.

game ideas to use with task cards

It’s important for task card games to be simple and easy to remember, so that students can work independently. The game is not meant to overshadow the task cards, but to reward students with a playful action every time they complete one.

Game 1: Walk the Block

For Walk the Block, students complete a task card and move around a game board. The first person to go from start to finish wins. You can repurpose old game boards or make your own using cardstock and dot stickers. Students will eagerly draw task cards as they race to the finish line. In this activity, students can discern between complete and incomplete sentences. Once they complete the task, they can move a space.

Game 2: Splat

Splat is what happens when a bubblegum bubble pops and sticks to your face. In this one-player game, every time students complete a task card, they get to cover up a splat on the game board. You can use pink pencil cap erasers as the game markers to match the bubblegum theme. This activity is great for when a student needs to work solo.

Here students can fix up sentences by marking words that need a capital letter and adding ending punctuation. They then can cover up a splat on the game board.

splat task card game

Game 3: Speed Race

Speed Race is a multi-player game that students love. After completing a task card, students move one space on their race track. The game is over when all students make it to the finish line. Students can enjoy using small toy cars as game markers.

For example, students can complete a preposition task card and move a space.

speed race task card

Game 4: Chunk the Cookie

Chunk the Cookie is a simple but sweet game for one player. When students complete a task card, they add a chocolate chunk to their cookie. The goal is to make the cookie as chunky as possible! You can easily make this game using brown construction paper and black pony beads too.

In this example, students can mark the word that needs a capital letter and then add a piece of “candy” to the cookie.

chunk the cookie task card game

Game 5: Sprinkle the Cupcake

Sprinkle the Cupcake is similar to Chunk the Cookie, and students will be hungry to play this one! After completing a task card, students add a sprinkle to their cupcake. The more sprinkles there are, the more learning is taking place. When students complete all the task cards, they can pretend to eat their cupcake.

For example, students can identify a complete and incomplete sentence. Ten students can add a “sprinkle” to the cupcake.

sprinkle the cupcake task card game

Game 6: Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt is a multi-player game that takes students on a hunt for hidden treasure. When students complete a task card, they move one space on the gameboard. The game is over when all players reach the treasure. Shiny pennies can be used as game markers too.

This example shows how students can mark if the picture is plural or not. After that, they can move forward on their treasure hunt.

pirate task card game

Game 7: Space Race

For Space Race, students play with a partner. Each time students complete a task card, they cross off a number starting at ten and count backwards. Once they reach blast off, they win!

One example is students can sort one of the noun task cards with the appropriate category. Then they can take a turn moving their rocket forward.

space race game

 

Game 8: Space Launch

Space Launch is similar to Space Race, but this time it’s a one-person game. After completing a task card, students cross off a number on the blast off countdown starting at 20. Once the countdown is complete, their rocket can launch, and they win!

For example, students can add the correct ending punctuation and countdown.

space launch task card game

As you can see, these games are simple yet centered around things students love like race cars, cupcakes, and rocket ships. You can create games with seasonal themes or make games that match your social studies and science units too. You can also add costumes to the games such chef hats and aprons for Chunk the Cookie and Sprinkle the Cupcake and pirate eye patches for Treasure Hunt. With playful elements, students will want to play again and again, and thus develop concept mastery.

If you’d like to try adding games to grammar task cards, you can find my Kindergarten Grammar Task Cards bundle here. It’s Common Core aligned and includes all nine games I’ve shared with you today, plus 15 different grammar task card sets and anchor charts. The task cards can also be purchased separately. Each task card set contains a single player game and a partner game.

grammar task card bundle

Game 9: Tic-Tac-Toe

This is the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game with a task card twist. In this partner game, players take turns choosing task cards. After completing each task, players record an “X” or an “O” on the gameboard. After one player gets three in a row, students can start a new game of Tic-Tac-Toe. The game ends when students use up all the task cards.

If you’d like to try this Tic-Tac-Toe game for free, sign-up for my newsletter here. Please note, the task cards in the picture are not included. However, read on for how you can receive some free task cards too.

tic-tac-toe game

Once you sign-up for the newsletter, you’ll receive many other freebies, teaching ideas, sales announcements, and more. Click on the image or here to sign-up!

If you would like to read about more grammar ideas, make sure to check out my post here. It also gives information on how you can receive a free set of noun task cards for kindergarten, a set of verb task cards for first grade, and a set of verb tense task cards for second grade.

Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class! Happy teaching!

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16 01, 2019

Adverbs Mini-Lesson & Activity Ideas

By |2019-03-12T21:05:57-04:00January 16th, 2019|Grammar, Resources|0 Comments

Adverbs are tricky for students to learn and understand. I can remember my mom getting my cousin, an English teacher, to tutor me when I was young because they were just super confusing. Thankfully, the tutoring helped! Today, I would like to share how to teach an adverbs mini-lesson. I will also include some ideas for activities too.

Adverbs Lesson & Activities

The Adverbs Mini-Lesson

First off, I recommend making sure students have a solid grasp on adjectives first. After all, adverbs also can describe an adjective. I have some ideas for teaching adjectives here.

When introducing the adverbs, get students to tap into that prior knowledge on adjectives. Then introduce adverbs. Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Let students know that adverbs answer the questions how, when, where, and how often. Then strike a pose and model it. I like to give sample sentences.

The dog ran quickly.

How did the dog run? Quickly.

Sally ran daily.

How often did Sally run? Daily.

Next, give students a way to apply it by having them find the adverbs in some sentences. You can do this on a whiteboard, with a document camera, through a class chat in Google Classroom, and more. It is good to do this in a class discussion format with a few sentences to build student confidence and help clear up any confusion. Later, give students time to work with adverbs in other ways that involve more activity. You can actually scaffold this too. First ask the questions of either how, when, where, and how often. Then lead students to ask the question and identify the adverb. Finally, check for understanding by asking students to describe the concept of adverbs.

This shows an adverb mini lesson and anchor chart poster.

A Few Ideas for Adverb Activities

Once you have taught a mini-lesson on adverbs, it is time to dive into some activities to give students the opportunity to work with adverbs. The ultimate goal is to help students develop solid writing and speaking skills by having a firm understanding of adverbs. Let’s get to the ideas now.

Idea #1 Brainstorming Adverbs

Divide the class into groups. Hang up four posters or large sheets of paper around the room on a hard surface. Write the question how on one poster. Write the questions when, where, and how often on the others. Give each student a marker. Each group will write as many questions as you can think of to answer those questions. Rotate the groups after one to two minutes. After this, discuss the posters.

Idea #2 Adverb Detectives

Let students investigate and find adverbs in sentences. You can do this in a number of ways. Books and journals can be used. Task cards are also a great option. You can also do this digitally! Here you see an example of some digital task cards for finding adverbs in a sentence. An interactive anchor chart that plays as a slide show at the beginning reminds them to look for words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs and that answer the questions how, when, where, and how often.

Adverb Digital Task Cards for Google Classroom Use

You can click on the picture above or here to get to the resource.

This shows a set of adverb task cards.

I also have these as paper task cards too. You can click here for the paper ones.

Idea #3 Writing with Adverbs

Let students write a narrative or other type of writing piece and challenge them to use many adverbs in their writing.

This shows an example of an adjective and adverb writing activity.

Here is a fun writing prompt: Seems the turtles in Pet Town have caused a traffic jam from moving too slowly in the left lane. No one is using their adverbs to get the turtles to move over right. Create a story using adverbs, so the traffic jam can flow smoothly in Pet Town.

You could set standards for a minimum amount of adverbs, but to motivate students to go above and beyond, set a challenge to use as many as possible while still sounding clear.

Of course, after students work with adverbs, it is good to incorporate some lessons that teach adjectives and adverbs together. I have a post for that planned later down the line. I do have a teaching resource that completely covers that here though.

This shows examples of the adjectives and adverbs teaching resource bundle.

Click on the image or here. Please note, digital task cards are sold separately from this bundle. It includes the printable task cards instead.

That bundle includes the adverb bundle pictured below, but you can get just the adverb set separately too. Find it here.

This show a picture of the adverb bundle with anchor charts, mini-lesson, task cards, interactive notebook entry, worksheets, game, and assessments.

 

Click on the picture or link here for the Adverb Bundle.

I hope this content about how to teach an adverbs mini-lesson with ideas for activities has been helpful to you! If you would like more helpful content like this, freebies, and more, then subscribe to my newsletter here. Grab a free pair of task cards when you subscribe.

Adverbs Lesson & Activities

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew 🙂

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18 05, 2016

Ideas for Not Teaching a Boring Adjective Lesson

By |2019-03-12T21:06:02-04:00May 18th, 2016|Grammar|1 Comment

 

adjective blog 1
Hi everyone! I wanted to share with you several ideas for teaching adjectives, so you never have a boring adjective lesson again! (And sorry about the stinky skunk pic. Made me laugh, so I could not resist. Hopefully, some of you will get a giggle from it. 😉 The stinky skunk is my adjective mascot for teaching adjectives.)

Idea #1: Create an Adjective Monster- If you got a smudge of art talent or you just don’t care about art perfection on anchor charts like me, you can have each student use one adjective and a noun to describe what the monster will look like. You then either draw or add the monster parts as you go along. Don’t forget to write those amazing adjectives around your monster!

adjective blog 2

 

Idea #2: Lots of Feet- Students can look around at the feet in the classroom to generate a list of adjectives. Don’t forget to encourage the adjectives for which feet? Those feet.

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Idea #3: Brainstorming Adjectives- Make three anchor charts each.
Put these questions on each one:
•What kind?
•How many?
•Which one?
Give each student a marker. Divide the class in groups. You may want to have some groups sit out while three groups work on the posters at the time to tame the chaos and make room for everybody. Each group will write as many adjectives as they can think of to answer those questions. After a minute, you rotate the groups. Alternatively, you can have charts up for smell, taste, looks, quantity, etc.
adjective blog 3
Idea #4: Sprinkle Adjectives in Your Writing- Have many adjectives written on paper that is shaped and colored like sprinkles. Students can use these as reference to sprinkle adjectives in their writing as they edit. It’s good to remind them to look for nouns that have no sprinkles.
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 Now actually, the cupcake was just added in the picture for fun. Just having the “sprinkles” handy is all that is needed for the activity, but I could not resist adding a cupcake to it, lol! Cupcakes are always optional though ;). You can actually write the words on color paper and just cut them out in this shape. I recommend laminating them.
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Idea #5: Word Hunt in a Book- Students can keep a handy writing pad to record adjectives they find as they read. I’ve used these printables, but you can totally put it in a notebook too.
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Idea #6: Word Hunt Sorting- This goes with the idea above about finding adjectives as they read, except they take it a step further by sorting the word into a category. The categories can be either the questions, What kind? How many? Which one? Alternatively, the categories can be smell, look, taste, quantity, touch, etc.

Idea #7: What’s in the Box? This can be done a few different ways. You can place something in a box and describe it to the classroom with adjectives. Students will have to guess what is in the box. Alternatively, you can have numbered boxes (or bags) with objects inside with a card in front that describes the object inside it. Students will have to write down their answers as they rotate from box to box (or bag to bag). At the end, students share their answers as a class. You then reveal what was inside each box (or bag).

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Idea #8: Build a Sentence Together: You start with a bland sentence like, “My dog ate.” Students each take turns adding an adjective to the sentence. You can add some more nouns in there if needed, of course. Together, you build a descriptive sentence as a class.

 

adjective blog 4

Idea #9: Adjective Round Up: This is an adjective game you play with the class. Students are given a few minutes to list as many adjectives as they can on a sheet of paper (you could even have them lists adjectives to describe a noun of your choice). After time is up, they pair up with a student to compare the lists. They must mark off any adjectives that are the same. They then switch to another partner to compare lists. Once again, they mark off any adjective that is the same. You can have them switch as much as you like. At the end, the person with the most adjectives remaining wins.

Idea #10: Empty Noun Hunt: As students are reading, they look for nouns with no descriptions. They rewrite the sentence with some adjectives.

Idea #11: Describe a Picture: Students describe what’s in the picture with adjectives. You can do this as a whole group instruction and record their answers on a board if you like. I like the idea of using something whimsical like this picture below.
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Idea #12: Adjective Eyes: You share some sentences with the classroom. Students look for the adjectives in the sentence. Alternatively, task cards with sentences can be used in a center. You can make these fun by adding some fun glasses for looking or use a pointer with big eyeballs.
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Basic RGBhttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Adjective-Task-Cards-2394682
Find these task cards here. I also have them in my Everything You Need to Teach Adjectives unit.
Idea #13: Adjective Games: I like to use games in centers for students to have more hands-on time with adjectives. For students who need a bit more help, I like a game of memory, cover up activities, and graphing activities. Once they get the hang of identifying adjectives, I definitely want to move them up with their critical thinking, so I incorporate using adjectives in sentences too. I’ve even figured out a way to have them use adjectives in a game of bingo! I don’t have a picture here, but I have a race with sentence making that goes with the spinners too. There is three different spinners, and I have seven activities I use with those three spinners. I am all about repurposing a game board for another activity. 😉 Of course, you can always put some adjectives on some index cards and make some memory and gold fish games.
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Find the spinner games here. I also have them in my Everything You Need to Teach Adjectives unit.
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Find these game cards here. I also have them in my Everything You Need to Teach Adjectives unit.
Idea #14: Printables are OK. Sometimes, you just need a printable. I totally get that. I like to use no prep printables that still incorporate some fun like dabbing, and I like printables that have students applying things too. I also like to integrate reading comprehension.
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Find these no prep printables and many other resources by clicking here.
Idea #15: Integrate Writing: For me, the main reason a student should know about adjectives is not so they can diagram a sentence, but so they can use those adjectives! Sure diagraming a sentence is important, but that is not the ultimate goal. I think it is important for students to tap those higher thinking skills too, so incorporating a writing activity with the integration of adjectives is a great way for students to use those more creative thinking skills to synthesize what they know into something new as they use those adjectives.
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Find this writing activity that incorporates higher order thinking and many other resources in my Everything You Need to Teach Adjectives unit by clicking here.

Idea #16: Journal It: I like the idea of students keeping a journal because students can revisit their journals. There are multiple ways to keep a journal.

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Find the interactive notebook entry, journal entry, and many other resources in my Everything You Need to Teach Adjectives unit by clicking here.

I hope you enjoyed these ideas! I have many other grammar and vocabulary posts in the work, so make sure to subscribe for email to get more ideas!
Thank you so much for stopping by the Candy Class!
new logo 2-01
Jolene 🙂

 

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