Hello Harvest Moon

It's been way too long since I've linked up with the lovely ladies at Collaboration Cuties for their wonderful mentor text linky. I was able to finish up my graduate projects a little earlier this week, so I have a few minutes to blog... finally!

I love that this week's topic is fall/Halloween. It's finally beginning to feel like fall here and I'm loving it! Love to have the windows open, love the gorgeous temperatures during recess duty, and a real reason to jump into a pair of sweats when I get home (not just because I like them!)

This week I'm sharing the book Hello Harvest Moon 

From my friends at Amazon: 
While tired farmers and their families are in bed, the harvest moon silently climbs into the sky and starts working its magic. For some, it is the nightly signal to rise and shine. It is time to hunt, to work, or to play in the shadows. For a little girl and her cat, it is an invitation to enjoy the wonders of the night and a last flood of light before the short days of winter set in. With an evocative text and radiant illustrations, this companion to Twilight Comes Twice offers a glimpse of nature’s nightlife long after bedtime.

The illustrations compliment the text so well. I thought that an excerpt could be taken from the book  to talk about "seed" ideas; focusing on a detail rather than every detail. Or just utilize it as a fall read aloud; it really is a pretty book, but then again Twighlight Comes Twice was a pretty book as well.

Happy fall ya'll!


September Swap & Share: Collaboration Cuties' Pronoun Pirates

We've been in the midst of a grammar boot camp over the last couple of weeks. Although, I had a review of the basic parts of speech at the start of the year, we needed to go a little more in depth... step in Pronoun Pirates: Subject, Object & Possessive Pronoun Practice from the lovely ladies at the Collaboration Cuties.

I was pretty excited to be paired with Stacia for this product swap. She is co-author of the the Collaboration Cuties blog, a wonderful resource for upper elementary bloggers. I'm always finding new, easy to implement ideas from their blog, and I've made many purchases from their store. My student's always love working with the various centers and lessons I've picked up from these ladies; I knew this pronoun pack would be no different.

The packet is full of posters, practice sheets (with keys), a quiz, and a pronoun sort that was a great informal assessment for me. My students enjoyed the fun pirate theme (making me wish I that we would have participated more in 'talk like a pirate day' last week).

We started by filling out foldables with the definition and examples.
Students working on independent practice from one of the included worksheets. We also did one "showdown" style. I showed a question at a time on the projector & students wrote the needed pronoun on their iPad.

Then my students favorite part: the sort!
They were challenged to do it without looking at their foldables. They were honest and did a pretty great job without that aid.

 It was a successful group of lessons, thanks greatly due to the gals at Collaboration Cuties. Be sure to check out their blog and store; you won't be disappointed!


Classroom "App"lications: Lit Circle Role

The weekend is so close I can almost feel it. I'll be heading back home to help celebrate my Dad's 65th birthday. It's been awhile since I've been home, and I cannot wait!

Onward to more educational posts.

I just finished up Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with one of my classes using the iPad for our lit circle roles. It was a bit shaky at first, but as we moved on, things started to work better. Our culminating activity was creating a "commercial" for the book; as this is one book every fourth grader is required to read. I could not get over the creativity that the kids put forth; it was fun to watch the clips.

In my last Classroom "App"lications post, I talked about the role of summarizer. Tonight, I thought I'd share one of the other roles: Word Wizard. As the year goes on, I'll add in more apps for each of the roles to switch things up a bit, but we're starting slow for now. :)

Word Wizard: Flashcard App

For this role, have have 5 instructions:
  1. Choose two new words from your reading. Try to pick words that you haven't seen, are unusual, or were tricky for your group.
  2. Create a flashcard for each word on the Flashcard app.
  3. Write the word, the dictionary definition, and a sentence using the word. Make sure that the definition and fits the way that the word was used in your read.
  4. Add an image to each card, to illustrate the word.
  5. Be prepared to help your team create flashcards for your words. 

When you open the flashcard app, you will want to click on the red icon for "My Decks"

From there, you will see a list. Many of these are pre-loaded and can be deleted. I added a deck for this book that I shortened to TFN. This was done by hitting the plus button, and clicking the options that fit the best.

Once a deck is created, if you want to add a card you have to hit edit. When you do, the little red minus signs appear. It's at this point that you can click on a deck and add cards, or delete a deck.

Next, you will see a list of cards. I just have the example card in my deck at this point. You'll notice, that I have the red minus still, from hitting edit on the previous page. From here, I can hit the plus sign and add another card.

The last step is to add the information. On my deck, it is a "plain card" (you can choose T/F, multiple choice, among other formats). I had students put their word under 'directive', the definition under 'answer' and under 'clarification' a sentence using the word.

For this book, students chose the word just to get used to the app and how things work. For the coming book, I will have students use My Big Campus, to share their cards and definitions with me, or have them screen shot them, so that I can develop vocabulary quizzes that are in tune with what they have.

How are you using the iPad in your instruction? How are your student's using the iPad. Be sure to click the picture below and link up your classroom "app"lications. I'm hoping to keep a link up going each month throughout the school year! Be sure to check back for a growing list of ideas.


Checking In..

A super quick post during a break in training. Our district will be using McRel evaluations this year. Two days of training are involved and the end is in sight. Lots of information, and I truly feel that the evaluations that occur after this training will be much more informative for me---with conversations stemming more from the stand point of this is how I can help you become a better teacher. The principal is super supportive, so I'm excited to see how much I'll grow as a teacher over the coming year.

I'm hoping that someday soon, I'll get back into a consistent blogging schedule. When I return to school tomorrow we will be starting our small intervention groups; I hope to share more about what we are doing specifically for those students. As many of the small groups will be working on the foundational skills that I blogged about earlier in the week. 

One of my blogging buddies, Lauren, from Life in Middle School is celebrating 2 years of blogging! She has gathered up several wonderful bloggers to help her celebrate. Be sure to bop over to her blog, congratulate her on her blogging accomplishment and enter for a chance to win! Just click the picture to head on over!


Reading Foundational Skills: Fluency

This is the last post on reading foundational skills. Anita Archer, Ph. D had such a great presentation, that I had to share. The last component of this mini-series is fluency.

Fluency has 3 components: accuracy, rate, and expression. You have to build up fluency in that progression. In order to pick up the rate you need to be reading accurately. You can't add it the expression unless your reading at a decent rate. Each component builds on one another.

Factors that Effect Rate
  • Porportion of words in the text that are recognized as "sight words"
    • Sight words are any words that readers have practiced; often read from memeory
  • Speed of decoding strategies used to determine the pronunciation of unknown words. 
  • Speed with which word meanings are identified. 
  • Speed at which overall meaning is constructed. 
Why Fluency? 
  • Fluency is related to reading comprehension.
  • When students read fluently, decoding requires less attention. Attention can be given to comprehension. 
  • Laborious decoding and low fluency results in little reading
  • As a result... the rich get richer. The poor get poorer. 
Fluency How? ... Pretty simple... practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, and more practice!
  •  Provide extensive reading practice. Utilize procedures such as augmented silent reading, choral reading, cloze reading, and partner reading. Read a lot! At the least, read together. 
  • Encourage wide independent reading
  • Provide repeated reading practice at the word level. When reading word lists, have students reread word lists until competent.
  • Utilize repeated reading exercises in passages to increase fluency. At least 3 times to get better. 
Passage Reading: Silent Reading
  • Pose pre-reading question
  • Tell students to read a certain amount and to reread material if they finish early. 
  • Monitor students' reading. Have individuals whisper-read to you.
  • Pose post-reading question.
Passage Reading: Echo Reading
  • Teacher reads a word, phrase, or sentence.
  • Students "echo" read the word, phrase, or sentence.
  • Useful for building fluency and expression.
  • Fade as students grow in reading skills. 
Passage Reading: Choral Reading
  • Read selection with your students.
  • Read at a moderate rate.
  • Tell your students, "Keep your voice with mine."
    • You may wish to have students pre-read silently before choral reading.
    • All students are reading--modeling rate/expression
Passage Reading; Cloze Reading
  • Read selection.
  • Pause on "meaningful" words. 
  • Have students read the deleted words.
    • Excellent practice for reading initial part of a chapter or when you need to read something quickly.
Practice Reading- Individual Turns
  • Use with small groups ONLY
  • Call on an individual student.
  • Call on students in random order.
  • Vary the amount of material read. 
Passage Reading: Partner Reading
  • Reader whisper reads to partner.
    • Narrative: Alternate by word, sentence, page, or time (5 minutes).
    • Informational Text: Alternate by paragraph.
  • Coach corrects errors.
    • Ask-- Can you figure out this word?
    • Tell--p This word is ______. What word? Reread the sentence.
  • Alternatives to support lowest readers:
    • Lowest readers place on triad.
    • First reader (better reader) reads material. Second reader reads the SAME materal.
    • Students read the material together.
    • Before reading, students can say ME (I will read.) OR We (Please read with me.)
Repeated Reading
  • Student reads the same material a number of times (at least 3)
  • General procedure:
    • Cold-timing (one minute without prior practice)
    • Practice (rereading material to increase fluency)
    • Hot-timing (one minute timing)
      • Often coupled with modeling by teacher, self-monitoring of progress through graphing. 
In my reading groups, we have "Fluency Fridays" these days have a specific block of time to work on fluency through practice and games. At the very lesast we are working on this component of the "Big 5" at least once a week. The students enjoy the change of pace. It's also easy to implement into reading skills centers, and "catch-up" days. 


Reading Foundation Skill: Phonics (Jam-Packed Post)

I'm finally back to blogging... this week has just been a week. The type of week that makes a person long for the weekend from about noon on Tuesday, but I survived, the weather is fantastic, and I have plans to spend a beautiful evening at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

My last post, was on Anita Archer's presentation at the state MTSS conference. I truly loved her session, and if you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak, I would highly recommend it. She is so knowledgeable and vibrant! If you missed the last post, it was on the reading foundational skill of phonemic awareness; today, I will continue on to the topic of phonics.

Phonics is the ability to utilize letter-sound (phoneme-grapheme) associations and structural elements to determine the pronunciation of words.

This includes:
  • Letter-sound associations
    • Consonant and vowel letters
    • Consonant combinations including:
      • blends (bl,fl,st, tr, etc.)
      • digraphs (sh, ph, th, ch, etc.)
    • Vowel combinations including:
      • digraphs (ae, etc.)
      • dipthongs (oi, oy, etc.)
      • r-controlled vowels (er, ir, ur, etc.)
  • Deconding of regular, single syllable words
  • Structural elements including: 
    • inflectional endings
    • prefixes
    • suffixes
  • Decoding of multisyllabic words
  • Reading of irregular words in which letters don't represent most common sounds
  • Reading decodable text
The teaching of multisyllabic words needs to occur sooner. Struggling readers in intermediate grades are often afraid of or come lacking the skills to read multisyllable words. Giving all students the strategies they need so that as they go along they can feel success as they go on.

Phonics Instruction Progression
  1. Associating letters and sounds.
  2. Blending sounds into words.
  3. Reading words to build fluency.
  4. Segmenting and spelling words. 
  5. Reading decodable text. 
*Daily dictation & decoding shows the greatest growth. We say, you write, I give feedback.

Why letter-sound associations?
  • English is an alphabetic language.
  • Students with lett-ersound associations perform better.
  • Students benefit from early, systematic letter-sound associations
  • Good readers rely primarily on the letters in a word rather than context or pictures. 
Taking another look at the 3 cueing systems:
  • Primary System
    • Phonological cueing system (letter-sound associations)
  • Confirmation Systems  "Back-Ups"
    • Syntactial cueing system (word-order)
    • Semantic cueing sytem (contextual meaning)
First you need to look at the the letters  then you confirm with the back ups...does it make sense?

Teaching letter-sound associations needs to be sequential.
  • Easy to difficult (single vowels before digraphs)
  • High frequency before low frequences (m, a, f before j, x, z)
  • Separate easily confused letter-sound associations (e and i, n and m, b and d)
  • Provide explicit instruction 
  • Differentiate between continuous and stop sounds
Phonics: Regular Words
    • As soon as a sound is learned, incorporate the sound into words
    • Model blending of sounds into words.
    • Provide practice on decoding words to build word fluency.
    • Preteach difficult to pronounce words before passage reading
    Decoding Strategy for Short Words
    1. Say the sounds
    2. Say the sounds fast.
    3. Say the word.
    4. Ask yourself: Is it a word? Does it make sense?

    Sound by Sound Blending
    Sounding out VC, CVC, CVCC, CCVC words

    mom   top    shop   dot
    1. (write the first letter on the board) What sound?
    2. (write the second letter on the board) What sound?
    3. (Move your hand under the two letters) Blend it.
    4. (Write the third letter) What sound?
    5. (Move your hand under the letters) Blend the sounds.
    6. What word?
    This strategy gets rid of blurts and keeps the review and practice going.

    Continuous Blending (Modeling)
    Sounding out VC, CVC, CVCC, CCVC words

    sip   fit   lip  tip  rim
    1. When I touch a letter, I'll say its sound. I'll keep saying the sound until I touch the next letter. I won't stop between sounds. 
    2. My turn to sound out this word. (Touch under each letter and say the sound. Hold the continuous sounds. Say the stop sounds quickly. Don't stop between sounds.) 
    3. Sound out this word with me. (Touch under each letter.)
    4. Your turn. SOund out this word by yourselves. (Touch under each letter.)
    5. What word? (Glide your finger under the word.)
    Transition of responsibility with "I do, we do, you do" strategy.

    CVCE words Using Rule
    Decoding CVCE words

    bake   rate   rat   brake   mane   man
    1. An e at the end of the word tells us to say the name of this letter. (Point to the vowel letter.)
    2. Guide students in applying the rule.)
      1. Is there an e at the end of the word?
      2. (Point to the vowel letter.) So do we say the name or the sound of this letter?
      3. What is the name of this letter?
      4. (Point to the word.) What word?
    Teach with both examples and non-examples, otherwise over generalization can occur.

    CVCE Words-Sound Blending
    like   mine   fit   fine
    1. (Point to the first letter.) What sound?
    2. (Point to the vowel and final e.) What sound?
    3. (Point to the consonant.) What sound?
    4. (Glide finger under the word.) Blend it.
    5. What word? 
    Decoding Words with Onset Rime
    This builds automatically and also shows patterns; additional practice for spelling
    1. (Point to rime.) What part? an
    2. Get ready to read words that end with an.
    3. (Point to new word.) What word? ran
    4. (Point to next word.) What word? fan
    5. Continue with additional words.
    Reading "word families" is an excellent way to buld word reading fluency. Practice the word family until students are very fluent. Use choral reading and partner reading.

    Most used rimes, so focus on these!

      Decoding- Providing Additional Practice & Review
    1. Encoding/Spelling: On a daily basis, dictate words that students have sounded out
      1. Teacher says the word.
      2. Teacher says the word in a sentence.
      3. Students repeat the word.
      4. Teacher & students put up one finger for each sound in the word OR both put up one finger for each part of the word.
      5. Students say the sounds/parts to themselves as they write the word.
    2. Feedback 
      1. Teacher writes the word on the board/overhead. Student compares their word to model.
      2. If student has made an error, they corss out the word and rewrite it correctly.
    Spelling needs to be auditory and visual. All corrections in spelling should be visual.

    Decoding-Providing Additional Practice & Review 
    • Word Transformations (Use whiteboard faster practice)
      • Provide starter word, students write it down.
      • Say another word that is one letter different. Students form the new word.
      • Continue dictating a progression words, each word different from the previous word by one letter by inserting, substituting, or deleting.
    Decoding-Providing Additional Practice & Review: 3 Games/Activities with Little Prep
    • Ten Second Rapid Read
      • After a list of words has been read, have one student whisper-read reads for 10 seconds to his/her partner. As the student reads, the partrner counts the number of words read. Have students switch roles. Can compete to have the most words read. 
    • Team Read
      • Divide the students into teams having the same number of "players".  Have the students line up. When you say go, have students read the words in order. When they complete the list, have them raise their hands. First team done is the winner. 
    • Cross Out Game
      • Have students circle three words on his/her word list. Be sure that the students do not show classmates their circled words. Read any word from the word list. Have students locate and corss out the word. Continue reading words from the list in random order. The winner of the game is the person whose circled words are crossed out first. 
    Decoding Strategy for Long Words
    1. Say the parts.
    2. Say the parts fast.
    3. Say the word.
    4. Ask yourself: is it a real word, does it make sense?
    Too many students have the goal of "done" not does it make sense.

    Decoding Multisyllabic Words
    • Rather than using rigid, rule-directed syllabication to divide words into parts, students should be taught to recognize the parts in a flexible manner.
    • Putting words into "decodable chunks" using prefixes, suffixes, and vowels should be stressed. 
    When decoding the chunks swoop underneath the word parts.  Using lines drawn between the parts looks like segment. Having spaces between the words is not seen in literature so generalizations can't be made. Looping under the word parts looks like blending and keeps the words together.

    Decoding of Multisyllabic Words: Loop, Loop, Loop Strategy
    (Preparation: segment word into decodable chunks. Be sure that prefixes and suffixes are separate parts. Draw loops to sement the words.)

    instruction    commitment    remarkable
    1. (Move finger under the first part.) What part?
    2. (Repeat for remaining parts.)
    3. (Move finger quickly under the parts.) What part? What part? What part?
    4. What word?
    5. Is that a real word?
    Irregular Words
    Distinction between three terms
    • High Frequency Words
      •  Only 100 words account for approximately 50% of the words in English print
    • Irregular Words
      • Cannot be sounded out accurately using the most common sounds for graphemes
      • Many high frequency words are irregular
    • Sight Vocabulary- high frequency & other words learned
      • Words that are recognized instantly
    With irregular words... looking at the words, memorizing the letters in the words is key. 

    Again, information shared was jotted down during Anita's presentation. We are starting up our small intervention groups this coming week & I cannot wait to implement some of her strategies with my students!


    Reading Foundational Skill: Phonological Awareness

    The state MTSS Conference is over. It was a great time, and I survived my public speaking experience. I think our presentation went well even with all of the the technological problems leading to it.

    I thought I'd take the chance a share a few of the things I learned over the two day event. The first session I attended was probably my favorite and  was put on by Anita Archer, Ph.D.

    If you have not heard of her, you really need to checkout her books, clips from YouTube and free handouts from past workshops through MiBLSi. A former teacher of 47 years, she brought a lot of pizazz to the presentation. Although, the presentation was geared for K-2 many of the ideas presented were great for my small MTSS intervention groups. 

    The critical foundation skills are: phonological awareness, phonics/word recognition, and fluency.

    Phonological awareness is understanding oral language can be broken down into smaller components.
    • Sentences to words
    • Words to syllables 
    • Words into on-set rimes
    • Words into phonemes 
    All of these involve blending and segmenting.

    Chart from Anita Archer, Ph. D
    Segmenting and blending activities have the greatest benefit for reading acquisition according to the National Reading Panel. A student's phoneme awareness performance in Kindergarten/First is a strong predictor of long-term reading and spelling success.

    How to Incorporate:
    •  Kindergarten 10-15 minutes a day, could be done throughout the day.
    • Working on syllables could be done by playing the "name game." It's a good way to work on syllables and learn about one another. 
    • Blending and segmenting can be done throughout the day. Have students listen while they are lined up for lunch, give them a word to blend together... maybe where your headed or an object around the room.   
    • First grade 10 minutes a day incorporated into phonics instruction. 
    • All elementary grades should incorporate phonemic awareness into spelling.
     Phonemic Awareness Activities Should Be:
    1. Few in number. 2-3 activities done often.
    2. Explicitly modeled.  Don't commit "assume-aside" 
    3. Supported by concrete materials or gestures.
    4. Designed to include all students. 
    Instructional routines, although often thought to be boring by teachers are actually motivating to struggling learners. This is due to the probability of success that these students can experience through these activities.

    Blending Sounds into Words
    1. We're going ot play a say-the-word game. I'll say the sounds. You say the word.
    2. Listen. aaaaammmm
    3. What word? am
    4. (Repeat with other words.) 
    5. (If time permits, check individual students)
    Practice with words that students will decode. Maybe a particular sound or word family that you are working with. 

    There are two types of segmenting: smooth and separate.

    Segmenting Words into Sounds--- Smooth Segmenting
    1. Put your fists together.
    2. Get ready to stretch the word.
    3. The word is fin. What word? fin
    4. Stretch it. fffiiiiinnnn (pull fists apart)
    5.  Shrink it. fin (bring fists together)
    6. If time permits, check individual students.) 
     Segmenting Words into Sounds--- Separate Segmenting
    1. We're going to say the sounds in a word.
    2. Fist in the air. Put up one finger for each sound.
    3. The word is sat. What word? sat
    4. First sound? /sss/ Next sound? /aaa/ Last sound? /t/
    5. If time permits, check individual students.  
    *It's critical to not distort sounds. Some sounds such at /t/ you can't hold as long. If you do, you will inadvertently add a vowel sound to it.*

    A lot of information for a Sunday, it may not be the most applicable for all of my upper elementary friends; however, I teach an intervention group that I think I could use some of these activities and skill work in throughout our intervention times.

    For topics less brain draining and more fun... my BBB Jivey, is having a MASSIVE giveaway. Click the picture below to have 5 chances to win some amazing products and items.


    MTSS Conference... Will you be there? Come find me!

    Quick post after a long day and an early morning tomorrow! I'm heading to the MTSS Conference in Wichita. Thursday I will be attending a few of the large learning sessions. Friday I will be a presenter in a breakout session...eek! A wee bit nervous, but my co-teaching partner and I will let you know all of the great things that can come from a coteaching experience, as well as how this teamwork can benefit your MTSS programming.  Our session will be at 9:45 so if your attending, come find me!

    If you can't attend, shooting up a prayer or two for Friday...or sending good vibes would be greatly appreciated :)

    Have a great rest of the week!


    Classroom "App"lication: iPad Integration Series & Linkup

    With the welcoming of a new month, a few weeks of a new school year under my belt, and the freshness that comes with a new season (well, maybe I'm just wishing fall would hurry up and arrive)... I've decided to start a new blog series. I can't promise that it will be weekly by any means, but I do want to share how I use the iPad in my classroom.

    I'm beyond blessed to teach in a district that is 1-1 iPad. It is a terrific tool. In order for it to be more than just a paper weight though, some time and effort for integrating the technology into the classroom needs to take place. Our school district has two teachers who have taken a technology integration position for a two year period, just to help the teachers in the district become accustomed to the technology, help lead lessons as necessary, provide tech support, and to show the staff new ways to better use the iPad. Again, I truly am blessed to be in this district!

    Thanks to I Teach, What's Your Super Power for the background & Ashley Hughes for the clip art
    In one of my reading groups, I am utilizing literature circles on the iPad. The first book we are working through all together, although, later I plan on grouping students by their interests in other novels (2-3 novels going at the same time max, so I can keep my sanity!)

    This week, I introduced each of the literature circle roles and the applications that will be used. Students read through the chapter in their small groups and then talked over the comprehension questions. After all the groups were finished, I introduced the app/role of the day. I gave students 15-20 minutes to complete the role and just play around with the app.
    I've found that just giving the students a little time to play around with a specific app gives some great benefits. Usually, they find out more of the ins and outs, and cool tricks than I know about the app after just a few minutes.
    This week let's the students become experts in the app and have a chance to learn my expectations of them in their individual roles. Starting this coming week, they will be given reminder sheets for their roles and begin to take on the responsibility of their role for their group.

    One app that I reviewed/introduced is called "Idea Sketch." The role that utilizes this app is the summarizer. (I plan on using another app to switch it up a bit along the way too).

    The summarizer role has 3 expections:
    1. Using Idea Sketch, summarize the reading using at least 5 complete sentences.
    2. A good summary tells the main events from the reading, in the order they occurred.
    3. Be prepared to read your summary to your team. Practice your presentation in advance.
    The app itself is pretty easy, once you get used to the swipe required to make a new bubble.

    For example:

    Find the app.. it looks like a lightbulb

    Name the Project.. the app automatically saves it

    Click the plus to add a new bubble to start.. then just type and go. To add the next bubble swipe on the bubble you've created. Sometimes you have to hold your tongue right for it to work. 

    The summarizer could make one of the following. A sequential chart, or a web of the main ideas to help retell.

    I have role expectation cards for each member of the 4 person groups. Each day, the students will have a different role. On occasion, I will switch up the apps used to keep things switched up and different as well.

    How do you use the iPad in your classroom? I'd love to know. I'm going to create a month long link up. If you happen to post about an app your use or an activity that incorporates the iPad please link up under the various content areas. I'll keep a tab up at the top


    Big, Huge, Giveaway Hop!

    *UPDATE* I guess blogger doesn't like permalinks when a new month is coming. I had my post scheduled, links included; then I come back from the early church service and nothing is working. I'm sorry!! All is fixed now!*

    Ready for a blog hop with a twist? In honor of two of my blogging buddies having milestones to celebrate, I'm helping them out with a blog hop scavenger hunt! Diane is celebrating 1,000 followers & Amelia is celebrating her blogiversary... and you could win big!!

    The way it words is pretty simple. You can even get a cheat sheet to help you out! (I'm not sure about you, but I've been ready for this long weekend for awhile... my poor overworked brain could use a bit of a break!)

    All you need to do is visit each of the blogs listed on the cheat sheet. When you visit the blog you write down the number in the giveaway graphic, and add up the total from each spot. You will enter the total as one of the required entries in the Rafflecopter.

    There are many prizes including... a pink pencil sharpener (or other color of your choice) and your choice  pick 2 of the following: a laminator, sticker maker, or Amazon giftcard. How cool is that!?!

    Just look for the graphic like the one below on each blog and write down the number on the recording sheet.

    Now click on the next graphic to go to the next blog. When you've made all of your stops, add up the total and visit Diane or Amelia to enter the total into the Rafflecopter. There you will find other opportunities to earn entries!