Memorial Day Weekend in Boston

  See 37,000 flags on the Boston Common, visit the huge Museum of Fine Arts for free, and more…

No Matter What

  “No matter what”  is similar to “whatever happens”, or “regardless”.

  • No matter what, I will always love my children.
  • He can’t make her happy no matter what he does.
  • I won’t give up no matter what!

Here’s more explanation on  You can listen to the audio, and also read the transcript, with a little quiz.

And – you can watch many examples of “no matter what” used in sentences on


Poison Ivy

  Do you know what poison ivy looks like?  It’s a plant that is very common in MetroWest. You should know how to recognize poison ivy so that you can keep it away from your skin. It has oil on its leaves that can give you a very itchy rash.

Poison ivy always has groups of three leaves.  The leaves start off more red and shiny in the spring, and when they are grown the leaves are green and have uneven edges.

Here is information about poison ivy and what to do if you get a poison ivy rash. Also a little quiz to see if you can recognize it.

Another Dreamreader Picture Quiz

Last week we had an article about a set of picture exercises on the useful website Dreamreader.  Here is another Dreamreader picture exercise and you can go to their website to practice with many more of these.

Which is the best answer in each set of three sentences?


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Something Happening Now

Don’t say: 
– Look! The baby walking!
– Where is your sister?  She’s work in Boston today.
– What are your kids doing right now?  They playing soccer at the school.
– Sorry, I can’t go to lunch with you.  I eat a sandwich right now.

Say this:
– Look! The baby is walking!
– Where is your sister?  She’s working in Boston today. (or She is working)
– What are your kids doing right now?  They’re playing soccer at the school. (or They are playing)
– Sorry, I can’t go to lunch with you.  I’m eating a sandwich right now. (or I am eating)


  • When you talk about something happening NOW, for most verbs, you use this form:
    Verb to-be (am, are, is) + verb + ing

    • He is cooking.
    • I am making the bed.
    • The doctor is flying to California.
    • Everyone in class is reading.
  • This verb tense is called “present continuous”, or “present progressive”.

Watch out for Ticks

  This is a nice time of the year to take walks in the woods, or in more natural areas (around lakes, or maybe outside your own home). However, when you do, you should be aware of ticks – on yourself and on your children.

Ticks can be tiny, but dangerous.  Some ticks can give you lyme disease.  It’s important to be
aware of the information to avoid tick bites, and what to do if you get a tick bite.

Strong, Stronger, Strongest

  Use STRONG to describe one or more people or things.

  • My husband is strong.
  • That is a group of strong women.

Use STRONGER to compare two people or things (or two groups of people/things)

  • Carlos is stronger than his brother.
  • A tiger is stronger than a lamb.
  • Who is stronger in the video below?


Use STRONGEST when you compare three or more people/things.

  • James is the strongest person in the class.
  • Anne is the strongest woman he knows.

— Thanks to Debra, Jamilli, and the rest of their class for the arm wrestling video. —

Describing Pictures on is a website mostly filled with useful short articles to help you improve your reading.  Each article includes the audio (to listen to the story) and a little quiz.

For higher-level beginners, there is one section called “Easy English” that includes pictures, where you try to answer some questions about what you see in the picture.  For example, this is their first picture lesson:

Question #1:

Question #2:

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