Welcome to MAUREEN'S english class

Hello everyone!   Welcome to our online English class!  I look forward to continuing our classes together online.  On this website,  I will post lots of links to online lessons so we can continue  practicing our English while school is closed.  

 

Be sure to check back at the beginning of every week for new lessons and information.  

 

Please call or text me at 646-330-7908  if you have any questions or need any help!  I am so excited to get started!

Week of August 11 - Class Work

Hello class!  

 

I hope you are having a great weekend!  Thank you for working so hard in English class this week.  Also, thank you for always helping and supporting  each other.  I am so proud you!   

 

We continued with our Writing Workshop this week and we learned a lot about simple sentences and 

compound sentences.  Some things to remember about each one:

 

simple sentence: 

** contains a subject

** contains a  verb (the predicate)   

** expresses one complete thought

** a simple sentence is also called an independent clause

** must begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark  ( . ? ! )

 

compound sentence:

** contains  two or more simple sentences ( independent clauses ) 

** the sentences are joined together by a  comma ( , ) and a coordinating conjunction  

** the conjunctions are:   for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so - (FANBOYS)

** must begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark ( . ? ! )

 

 

Here is one of the videos that we watched in class, if you would like to take another look. The video explains what simple and compound sentences are and how to write them. 

This is another video that we watched.  It is all about compound sentences.

In this activity, read the sentence and decide if it is a simple sentence or a compound sentence.  We will go over the answers on Tuesday for our warm-up.  

https://www.k5learning.com/worksheets/grammar/grade-3-simple-compound-sentence-a.pdf

 

In this worksheet,  join the two simple sentences together to make a compound sentence.  Don’t forget to use a comma and one of the conjunctions (FANBOYS).  Give it a try and we will go over the answers together next week. 

https://www.k5learning.com/worksheets/grammar/grade-3-compound-sentences-a.pdf

We continued to read  about people who inspire us by their contributions to improving the lives of others.  This week we read about  Susan B. Anthony  and her commitment to women’s rights.  We know that due to her hard work and effort, women were finally given the right to vote. 

Watch this video and see how she spent her whole life fighting for equal rights for people. 

If you would like to know more about Susan B. Anthony, go to ReadWorks.org and read the ahort biography about her. The title is  Susan B. Anthony.  I hope you enjoy learning about this strong woman!  

I can’t wait to see you on Tuesday!  Enjoy your weekend!  Be safe!  

Week of July 22 - Class Work

Hi class! 

 

It was so great to see everyone this week! I loved seeing all of your smiling faces and hearing stories about what you did during the break!  It is so good to be back with you!   

The weather is changing and it is supposed to get very hot this weekend.  We read about Summer Safety and looked at some tips to help us stay safe during this stretch of summer heat.  Here is a list of ways to stay safe on those very hot days: 

http://reverehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/Summersafetyinfographic-01.png

Here is the video we  watched in class about Summer Safety Tips.  Take a minute and look at it again!

We talked about working on our writing skills this summer.  One of the ways we can improve our writing, is to learn about the 4 different types of sentences in English. They are the  declarative sentence, interrogative sentence, imperative sentence, and exclamatory sentence.  When we use different types of sentences, it makes our writing more interesting.  Here is an information sheet on the 4 Types of Sentences: 

 

https://ecdn.teacherspayteachers.com/thumbitem/4-Types-of-Sentences-2265143-1460079015/original-2265143-1.jpg

I have also included the video we watched in class about the different types of sentences and how to use them.  Take a look!  

If you click on the link below, you can complete some live worksheets.  You can get some practice identifying the 4 different types of sentences and the punctuation marks that go at the end of each one ( .   ?    !  ). We will go over the answers together on Tuesday.  Good luck!! 

 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/sv38415mv

https://www.liveworksheets.com/ef25931bh

This summer, we will  continue talking about people who have made a difference in the lives of others.   One of the ways we can learn about  these important people and their contributions is to read their biographies. We learned that a biography is the story of someone’s life.  This week, our  reading selection is called  Mohandas Gandhi.  You can find the reading if you log in to  ReadWorks.  Use the audio arrow to listen to the amazing and inspiring story of the life of Gandhi.  Give the comprehension questions a try and we will go over them together next week in class.  Enjoy!

Thank you so much for all of your hard work this week.  Have a great weekend!  Stay safe!  I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday!  

Week of July 28 - Class Work

Hi class!  

 

I hope that you had a great weekend! You did an excellent job in class last week and I am looking forward to another great week! 

 

We will continue with our Writing Workshop this week.  You did such a great job writing all kinds of sentences  -  declarative (telling),  interrogative (asking), imperative ( command / request) and  exclamatory ( strong feeling / emotion).  It was fun to share all of your original sentences on the Zoom whiteboard.   Now, we will be learning about Sentence Structure and how we can build really good sentences piece by piece.   We will start with the Simple Sentence.   Click on the page below to see all of the important parts that are needed for a Simple Sentence.  

Take a look at this video and review the building blocks of  a good simple sentence in English.

If you want some practice with simple sentences, try these  worksheets.  We will go over the answers this week in class. 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/cf202938zm

 

https://www.education.com/download/worksheet/170112/under-sentence-construction.pdf

This summer we have been reading some wonderful biographies about people who have inspired and helped many people with their good works.   This week we are reading about Mother Teresa of Calcutta. 

 Here are a couple of  videos  you can watch to learn more about this amazing woman and all of the kind things she did to help those in need.   I hope you enjoy them!

Mother Teresa Story

The next few days are supposed to be very hot, so please remember our safety tips!   ** Drink lots of water!   ** Use your sunscreen!   **  Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.  **  Don’t leave children or pets in the car!     Be safe!    See you on Tuesday!   

Week of June 16 - Class Work

Hello class!  

 

It has been a beautiful weekend!  I hope  you are getting outside to enjoy a little sunshine and fresh air!  

A couple of reminders - Mark your calendar!  

- Evening of Recognition (virtual): June 25th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

- Don’t forget to email or text me a picture of you "going to school from home” so we can include it in the Evening of Recognition!  We want to have a picture of each of our students so we can honor you for all of your hard work  this year in your classes!  You can text it to my phone - 646-330-7908 - or send it to my email - mkstrick@comcast.net.  Thank you so much!  

-This is our last full week of classes and then we will take a short  break.  The Literacy Center classes  (online) will begin again on July 13th.  Our English class for the summer session will begin on July 14th. 

This week we will be talking about a new part of speech called Interjections.  An interjection is a word or words that show strong feeling or emotion.  A comma or an exclamation point sets off the interjection from the rest of the sentence, based on the strength of the emotion.  

 

Here are a few examples:

 

Ouch!  That bee stung me!   

Hey, you can’t stand there.

If you click on this link,  you will see a list of some of the common interjections used in English.

 

https://englishstudyhere.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Common-Interjections-List.png

Here is a worksheet to test your knowledge of some of the common interjections.  We will go over the answers together on Tuesday!  Good luck! 

 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/iy346676id

This week our ReadWorks passage was The Struggle for Equality.  After reading the passage, we watched some videos that told the stories of these 3 heroic African Americans who spent their lives working for civil rights and equality for all.  The videos gave us some additional information about the important contributions of these special African Americans.  These would be great stories to share with your families and your children! 

The first video we watched was about the life of Rosa Parks

Here is the video about the amazing life of Jackie Robinson

Finally, here is the video we watched that tells the story of Barbara Jordan:

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to your studies.  I am so proud of you!  I look forward to seeing you again on Tuesday! 

Week of June 9 - Class Work

Hi class!   

This week we talked a lot about the difficult and sad events in our country, and we also spoke about ways we can make some positive changes in our own hearts, in our homes and in our communities.  I am so thankful for the honest  thoughts and ideas that you shared together and the kindness and understanding you showed one another.  We will remember the beautiful  words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for our inspiration!   

We started to look at some new kinds of prepositions--prepositions of time.  Here is the video that we looked at together in class.  It covers the prepositions of time--in, on and at.  Take a look for a great review. 

These are the reference sheets that will help you to remember when you should use each of these prepositions of time- in, on and at.  

Here are a few worksheets that you can use to practice the prepositions of time.  Give them a try!  We’ll correct them together on Tuesday. 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/bh122783tg

https://www.liveworksheets.com/worksheets/en/English_as_a_Second_Language_(ESL)/Prepositions_of_time/Prepositions_of_Time_jo534069dk

https://www.liveworksheets.com/worksheets/en/English_Language/Prepositions/Prepositions_of_Time_ol525199in

Let’s start our new week with a passage from ReadWorks that will tell the stories of some heroic African Americans who worked for equality for everyone.  It is called The Struggle for Equality.  I know we can learn  a lot from  their struggles for fairness and human rights.  

 

I hope you have a great weekend.  Thank you all for being such wonderful, caring students and friends.  I can’t wait to see you all on Tuesday. 

Week of June 2 - Class Work

Hi everyone!  

 

I hope you are having a great weekend!  Thank you so much for all of your hard work this week in our online class.  You are doing such a great job! 

This week we  started to talk about prepositions.  A preposition is a word that is used to link nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in the sentence.  They provide information like place, time or direction.  First, we looked at the prepositions of place.  For a little review, take a look at this video about prepositions of place.  

Here are  links to some practice worksheets using prepositions of place, try them out!  We’ll go over them together in class next week.

 

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Prepositions%20of%20Place.pdf

 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/worksheets/en/English_as_a_Second_Language_(ESL)/Prepositions_of_place/Prepositions_of_place_uq468yz

We have been talking about Occupational Literacy - jobs and work.  We listened to a job interview and had a great discussion about it.  We also answered some questions about the interview.  Here is the recording of the interview and the follow-up questions, if you would like to listen again.

 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/dy315341kr

 

Finally, be sure to go to ReadWorks.org and check out the reading selections that are posted.  There are 8 small readings that describe different, interesting occupations.  Pick a few jobs that you would like to read about.  

 

Let me know if you need any help!  I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Week of May 26 - Class Work

Thank you so much for coming to our online classes this week!  It is wonderful to get together each Tuesday and Thursday to see all of your smiling faces, talk about how we are all doing  and practice our English!  I am very proud of each of you.  I am also proud of the students who cannot attend our online classes but are continuing to work on lessons at home. 

We talked this week about Memorial Day and why it is such an important holiday for Americans.  It is a day to honor and to remember all American men and women who died while serving their country.  This video will give you more information about the history and meaning of this special day. 

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history 

Here is our new set of vocabulary words.  Take a look and see if you can match each word with the definition.  We will go over the words together on Tuesday. 

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_5_Word_Definition_1.pdf

This week we learned about the correct way to use there is and there are.  Here is a chart that reviews the rules:

https://www.allthingsgrammar.com/uploads/2/3/2/9/23290220/atg-chart-thereisthereare.pdf

If you would like to get some more practice using there is and there are…..give this worksheet a try!  We’ll go over it next week in class for a review! 

https://www.allthingsgrammar.com/uploads/2/3/2/9/23290220/atg-quiz-thereisthereare2.pdf

Our new readings for the week will be found in ReadWorks.  The title of this reading is Jobs.  It is 10 short passages about all different kinds of jobs like teacher, engineer, architect and chef.  Each reading will introduce the job to you and describe what these people do for their work.  I hope you enjoy them!  

Have a great weekend, class!  I hope you spend a few minutes on Monday, Memorial Day, thinking about the men and women who gave their lives in service of our country.  They are the reason we are so blessed to live in this  great country.  See you on Tuesday!  

Week of May 19 - Class Work

Hello class!  

 

I really enjoyed our lessons together this week!  You are all doing such a great job.  Keep up the good work!  

Here are the new words for the week!  Try to pronounce each one and then match the words with their meanings.  We will go over this new group of words together on Tuesday!  

 

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_5_Word_Definition_3.pdf

 

For a little practice and review, try to complete this quiz on using capital letters correctly.  Look at each sentence carefully.  Some of the sentences have words that need capital letters.  Do you think the sentence is correct?  If it is, click on correct.  If it is not, click incorrect (not correct).  We will look at this quiz together in our next class.   

https://www.softschools.com/quizzes/grammar/capitalization/quiz288.html

This week, we read our story, Good Employees Get the Good Jobs.  This passage gave us lots of tips and ideas about how we can be good employees.  We also watched a great video by a manager and trainer who gave us some good advice about improving our job performance.  Here it is, in case you want to watch it again!  You did a great job answering questions and discussing both the reading and the video!  

Finally, here is our reading for next week.  We are going to continue with our theme of Occupational Literacy: talking about work and jobs.  The title of our new reading is Looking for a Job.  Take a look at the reading and the comprehension questions that follow.  We’ll read the new passage together on Tuesday! 

http://resources.marshalladulteducation.org/rs/hc/l55hc/Looking_for_a_Job_Level_5.5.pdf

Thank you for all of your hard work in our online classes!  So proud of you!  Have a great weekend! 

Maureen

Week of May 12 - Class Work

Hi class!  

 

Thank you for participating in our online classes this week.  You have been working so hard and I am very proud of you!

 

A few reminders: Be on the lookout for the mailing from The Literacy Center. It will have lots of important information in it, so please take some time to read through it.  Bring any questions you have to class this week.

 

We also talked about the new Conversation Circles that are now available. The days and times are:

Monday: 10:00am - 11:00am

Tuesday: 10:00am - 11:30am

Wednesday: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

 

Please let me know if you are interested. 

 

 Here are the 10 new vocabulary words for the week.  Take a few minutes to look them over.  Try to match the words with their meanings.  We will talk about the words together in class.

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_5_Word_Definition_2.pdf

We learned a lot about contractions and using the apostrophe this week.  Here are the two videos we looked at together.  They will give you a good review of our lessons. 

Here are two worksheets you can try if you would like to get some extra practice using contractions.  We will go over these together on Tuesday. 

https://www.liveworksheets.com/jv154264gz

https://www.liveworksheets.com/bh265444yg

Finally, this month at school, our theme is Occupational Literacy.  That means we will be reading and talking all about work and jobs!  Here is the reading for the week.  It is called Good  Employees Get the Good Jobs.  We will talk about the qualities of a good worker.

http://resources.marshalladulteducation.org/rs/hc/l5hc/Good_Employees_Get_the_Good_Jobs_Level_5.0.pdf

Hope you are having a great weekend!  I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Week of May 5 - Class Work

Hello class!  

 

Thank you for working so hard this week!  You are all doing such a great job in our online classes!  Keep it up!  

 

This week we talked about the Greater Attleboro Stronger Together Fund and looked at the form you fill out and submit to apply for financial assistance.  Please let me know if you have any more questions about the fund or if you need help completing the application form. 

You did a great job with the new vocabulary words this week!  Take a look at our new set of words.  See if you can match the words with their definitions.  We will also try to use all of our new words in some good sentences.  

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_4_Word_Definition_3.pdf

We finished up our lessons on simple future tense.  If you want to review what we learned, watch this video again.  It goes over the ways that we use the simple future tense. 

For some more practice, try this worksheet on simple future tense:

https://www.liveworksheets.com/pt15766zu

Finally, this week we have a new story on ReadWorks.  The title of our story is: Amazing Animal Helpers.  In our new passage, we will read about ways some animals can help us!  Have you ever seen an animal helping someone out? 

 

Read the story and  then try answering the questions.  Remember, if you would like to listen to the story, you can click the audio arrow.  Enjoy!!  

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!  See you on Tuesday! 

Week of April 28 - Class Work

Hello everyone!  

 

We had another great week of online classes!  Thank you so much to all of the students who made the effort to join us!  It has given us the opportunity to learn new things, practice our English and the most important thing--spend time together helping and supporting each other!  Thank you!  

 

At the beginning of class, I showed you some important COVID-19 information that  Amanda, our director, shared with all of us.  Here is the link to that information: 

http://www.theliteracycenter.com/covid-19-updates

We have been learning 10 new vocabulary words each week!  You have been doing a great job practicing the proper pronunciation of the words, finding their definitions, and using them in some excellent sentences.  Here is the new list for next week!   

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_4_Word_Definition_2.pdf

Finally, when you have some time,  check out our new story on ReadWorks!  It is called Crossing the Finish Line.  Remember, you can read it on your own or press the audio arrow and enjoy listening to the story.  When you are finished reading, try to answer the comprehension questions.  Be sure to press the submit button when you are done.  This sends your answers to me so I can check them.  Enjoy!  

 

Have a great weekend everyone!  I look forward to seeing you again on Tuesday! 

Week of April 21 - Class Work

Hello class!  

It was wonderful to see so many of you in our online lessons this week!  We had some great classes together!  I am so proud of you!  If you were not able to join us this week and need some help connecting to our Zoom online class, please text me (646-330-7908) or email me (mkstrick@comcast.net).

Some important information that we talked about in class - if you are in need of any support or help with things like medical information, food or housing assistance, transportation assistance, financial assistance, etc. there are people and places in the community ready to help!  Remember you can go to theliteracycenter.com and find a list of Emergency Resources.  https://www.theliteracycenter.com/emergencyresources

Here is the list of new vocabulary words for next week!  Take a look at the list.  Do you know any of these words?  See if you can match the words with their definitions (meanings).  We will check your answers on Tuesday! 

 

https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_4_Word_Definition_1.pdf

In our class this week, we started to look at verbs and simple future tense.  Here is the video that we watched in class that explains how we form the  simple future tense.  Look at it again to review this!   We will continue to practice using the simple future tense on Tuesday and Thursday! 

This week we will begin a new story.  Go to ReadWorks.org and sign in to read - News Debate: Cashing In.

Read the story on your own or you can push the audio arrow and listen it.  After you have read the story, try to answer the comprehension questions.  We will read the story and check your answers on Tuesday!  I hope you enjoy it! 

 

Have a great weekend!   Stay safe and healthy!   See you on Tuesday!

Maureen

Week of April 14th - Class Work

Hello class!  

 

What a great week!  I am so proud of all of your hard work!     I love seeing you in our Zoom online classes and hearing from you when you text, email or call me.   Keep it up! You can see some of the lessons that  we covered this week in class when you check this class website.  You can see what we learned,  watch the helpful  videos again, and complete some worksheets for review.  These are all great ways to practice and review your English. 

 

This week we continued to learn about articles - thea, and an.  Three little important words!    Look at our chart.  Don't forget.. you use a and an  before singular nouns.  Use a before a singular noun that begins with a consonant sound.  Use an before a  singular noun that begins with a vowel sound.

Here are 2 great videos from Khan Academy to help you review how to use the articles- the, a and an.   Take a look!

 

 

Here is a worksheet  to practice using the correct article.  Give it a try and we will correct it together on Tuesday!

 

https://www.education.com/download/worksheet/119654/using-articles.pdf

 

We completed a vocabulary lesson and learned  10 new words.  We talked about what the words mean, how to pronounce them correctly and how to use them in a good sentence.    Here are the new words for next week.  Click on the link and take a look .  See if you can match the word with the definition (meaning).  We will go over these on Tuesday,  

 

Click here: https://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Level_3_Word_Definition_1.pdf

For  our reading lesson, we went to ReadWorks.org and read our story, Save the World.  We listened to the story and our class volunteers did a great job reading the story aloud for us.  You all did a nice job answering the comprehension questions. We all enjoyed reading about recycling and talking about the many ways that we can "go green" in our own homes!    You are all doing a great job recycling at home and at work.  

 

Remember....A little change can make a big difference!   

This week, you will have a new reading called,  Caretaking  Our World's Water.   Earth Day is coming up on Wednesday, April 22nd and all of our readings have been looking at ways we can protect and care for the Earth.  I hope you enjoy this reading!   We will share it together on Tuesday.  

 

Have a wonderful weekend!   Please stay safe!  Let me know if you need any help.   I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday

Tuesday, April 7th Class Work

Hello class!   It was great to see you in our online Zoom classes this week!  It was fun!   I look forward to seeing  all of you again on Tuesday.  Here is the lesson that we worked on together in class.  You can use this for a grammar review.

We talked about  a new part of speech - articles.    We learned that the words  a,  an  and  the  are  called articles. and an are called indefinite articles.   Indefinite articles  modify singular countable nouns.  You will  find an article before the noun.    There is a rule to help you decide whether to use a or an before the noun.  If the noun begins with a consonant sound- use a.  If the noun begins with a vowel sound - use an.    Remember the vowels are - a-e-i-o-and u.  All of the other letters are called consonants - b-c-d-f-g-h-j-k-l-m-n-p-q-r-s-t-v-w-x-y-z.  

 

Look at these examples of the articles a and an:

Use 'A' before a word which begins with a consonant sound:

a man
a pen
a boy
a car
a fish
a house

a movie
a star
a bike
a student
a watch
a computer

a school
a shoe
a bottle
a mouse
a tiger
a camera

a city
a teacher
a website
a dollar
a machine
a game

Use 'AN' before a word which begins with a vowel sound:

an umbrella
an elephant
an actor
an emergency

an American
an automobile
an airplane
an ant

an ice-cream
an ambulance
an offer
an equipment

Attention: Note that the pronunciation is what matters when choosing between a & an.
 

Examples:

an honor (h is silent)
an hour

a university (a before the 'y' sound)
a unit

Now,  take a look at this video that explains how we use indefinite articles!

REMEMBER:

An article is a word that comes before a noun.
 

There are 3 articles in English: 'a', 'an', 'the'
 

Use 'a' and 'an' with singular nouns.
 

Use 'a' if the next word starts with a consonant sound.

 

Use 'an' if the next word starts with a vowel sound.

Homework Assignments

1.  Complete this practice worksheet for homework.  It is a review sheet about using the  articles a and an.    We will correct it together in our Zoom class on Tuesday.  If you have any questions, we can talk about them in class, or you can text or email me.    Here is the link:

 

https://en.islcollective.com/english-esl-worksheets/grammar/articles/articles-and-beginners/21120

Try the practice worksheet below, too!

2.  Check our ReadWorks website for a new story!    

Remember: to find our ReadWorks group, go to ReadWorks.org to sign in.  

Class code for day class is  : 7AZ37Z

Class code for night class is : Z4VX4U

Everyone's password is: 1234

I hope you enjoy  our new  reading called Save the World.  Read the  passage on your own and then click the audio  (arrow)  button and listen to it being read aloud! 

 

Try to answer the questions when you are finished reading and listening.  Remember to  press the submit button when you are finished so I can check your answers.    

 

Thanks!  Happy reading!   See you on Tuesday for our Zoom class!!! 

Tuesday, March 31st Class Work

Hello class!  Today we are going to work on getting everyone signed up for ReadWorks.  Please follow the instructions below. You can text me if you have any trouble signing up!  

Step 1. Go to ReadWorks.org

 

Step 2. When you get to the website, there will be a blue box that says Student Log In.  Click that button.

 

​​Step 3.  It will say Student Log In and tell you that you need a code from your teacher.   Enter the class code on the line.

 

The Daytime (12pm-2pm) ESL class is called TLC and your code is:  7AZ37Z. 

The night time (6:30pm-8:30pm) ESL class is called The Literacy Center/ ESL Night Class and your code is: Z4VX4U.

After you enter class code press blue Continue button.

Enter "class code" here.

Daytime class code: 7AZ37Z

Evening class code: Z4VX4U

Then, click CONTINUE.

 

Step 4.  You will see a list of all of the students in your English class. It will say Select Your Name. Find your name and click on it.  

Find YOUR NAME and

click on it.

Step 5.     The next page will say "Welcome!"   and ask you for your password.  The password is:   1234   You can use this password or you can set up a new password of your own. 

The password is

1234

That's it!   Now you are ready to read lots of wonderful stories with me and complete some activities after each reading.  

 

Let me tell you a little bit about the first three selections.   This month is  Women's History Month and I thought it would be great to read about three very special women - Marian Anderson, Sally Ride and Malala Yousafzai.  We will learn how these inspiring women made some important contributions to our world.  

 

After reading, try to answer the questions that follow.   Enjoy the stories!!