Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I have been able to spend the past 2 1/2 days in my classroom, finally---after having SO many different ideas go through my head this summer, and seeing all the wonderful rooms out there.  It's been nothing less than stressful.  My own kiddo started FIRST grade Monday!  Ohmiword...  does it ever get easier sending off your little ones?!?!?!  He was so excited because he gets to ride the bus this year to and from school.  We are lucky to have someone in the neighborhood that watches kids.  My 2 year old decided to be ALMOST potty trained last Friday.  I was secretly hoping to have him do it this summer, but he had other ideas.  (my 6 year old was potty trained at 24 months-miraculously!  Cause I did nothing with him to speed it along!)  Well, he was dry all weekend and even woke up dry Monday morning and I could see that light at the end of the diaper tunnel....  Till I picked him up from his first day of "school."  He refused to go for them....  :*(  He isn't a good transition kiddo.  It took him WEEKS to get used to daycare last year.  He just loves his momma! ;)

Add the home stress to the fact that tomorrow is my first inservice day back and Thursday is also another inservice-but there's actually a session in MY CLASSROOM!  (not to mention I am somewhat responsible for the session with another first grade teacher...)

ah.  sorry for all that.  It's nice to get it out there---and I'm sure there has to be SOMEONE somewhere that can relate or know what it's like.  All of you can relate to that back to school stress.  :)

Here's some pictures of what is going on in my room.  It's not completely done, but it's "sit-able" for an inservice!  {sorry the pics were taken with my phone... so they aren't that great}

  This is my new "clip chart" that I'm trying out this year.  I still have to work out the logistics of it, due to our switching classes---but I think I have a good start. UPDATED:  Click on the photo below to find this clip chart on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I added a white background option and certificates for those who exceed expectations within the file!!!

I am planning on having the kids put their clip up at the beginning of class.  There are pink containers on the table there for each class (homeroom, math, reading).  I plan on making it the kids' responsibilities to come to me if they had to move their clip (either up for a bead or down for a "talk" or note home, etc.)  When they leave my room, they will remove their clip and place it back in the bin.  {that's the idea right now anyway}

Close up.  Students will get a pink, blue or purple bead if they move up.  We will be using BragTags, so it will go right on that chain.  {More about BragTags down below!}

As you can see, I've embraced the owl obsession that started with my room last year!  =)
My word wall-I completely redid, which was such a big time consuming project!  My word wall is up in the back of my classroom.  I leave all words up all year due to having such a range of students.  I color coded this word wall to match the Dolch list.  I don't have an up close pic, but the preprimer words are outlined in red, next level is orange, next is yellow... etc.  It really made it colorful and I can envision using the word wall by having them find certain colored words in addition to other things I would have them do!

(I somehow lost my X owl...  and the color printer is down at school and I'm out of ink at home!  I'll just tell the kids he flew the roost!  hee hee)

Here's my job chart.  It is behind my desk.  (sorry for the horrible lighting on these...)  The nests are the jobs, and the owls are going to have their names.  I'm not sure which owls I'm going to use yet.  I created one last year (and forgot) and just made new different ones this week...  ;)

 (I *think* I'm leaning towards the owls above)

I like these colorful owls, but I am already using them in their cubbies and also in the bulletin board below...

 My BragTag display!!!  (I'm just missing the BragTags to hang.  School doesn't start for us for another week.)
This display is half of a bulletin board in the front of my room.  Below each owl is a push pin where their chains will hang.  It's all within reach of the kiddos-which is important! :)

Speaking of BragTags!  I just started a fabulous giveaway for them!  THREE lucky readers will get 35 tags and 35 neck chains.  Click on the pic below to go to the post to enter!

 I wanted to also share a random worksheet/flip book that I keep handy.  It is a great thing/tool to have for substitutes to do with students.  I do at least one with my kiddos early on in the year and then it's always a go-to tool for those last minute sub plans or even for when I have to write sub plans.  Just choose a book for the sub to read and then have the kids work on that!  (or I even have my kiddos pick their own book to read and complete it, if it is towards the end of the year-or work with a partner to complete!)  Click on the picture below to grab yourself a copy.  It's important that when you print it out, to leave it the way it comes out so that you just put it right into the copier to make sure that it copies correctly so when you fold it, it makes the booklet right! :)  (you also need to double side copy)

Don't forget the BragTag giveaway!  It ends at midnight September 1st!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

BragTag Giveaway!

I am SO excited to be using the BragTags that I have been reading about out there in blog land.  I have been working long hours the past 2 days in my classroom and have finally created a space where my kids will be displaying their BragTags, when not wearing them.  They will not be taking them home mostly in fear that it won't return to school.  I am super bummed that I did not snap a picture of the bulletin board where the tags will hang.  I have been in overload trying to get my room ready for an in-service on Thursday in MY ROOM!  Sunday and Monday were my first two days in there sans little people (that make a MUCH bigger mess than they should...).  I will have pictures. UPDATE!  Click HERE to see pics of the bulletin board and more of my room!!!

My first grade team and I decided to get the Motivation Pack.  Starting in first grade, we group kids for reading and math groups and switch them around to different classes.  Because of that, I will be seeing a LOT more students than the 22 I have on my list for my Homeroom!  Thankfully, they have sets that accommodate a larger class size.  What that means to us, is that I'll be able to use them with all the students I see!  The best part is that many of them are personalized with our names, so the kiddos could get the same tag from 3 different teachers, but it is okay--cause they are a little different! 

A little side to the BragTags-I'm also attempting the "clip chart" behavior system (pictures will come later with my BragTag display pic! Click HERE to see pics of it!!!) with my firsties this year.  When/if they get above green, I will have the coordinating "pony" bead that they can add to their necklace!  I can already envision the necklaces at the end of the year, looking all colorful and filled! 

Kim, over at imagestuff.com (the makers of BragTags) is super sweet and is very fast when asking questions and/or ordering!  That customer service makes the whole concept of the BragTags even more exciting!  I just love ordering from companies that I love!  :)

Check out some of these great pics for Red Ribbon Week!  I am IN LOVE with the monkey!  Isn't it the cutest?!

This is the one that "sold" me on BragTags last year.  I gave them to my kids at the end of the year as a little gift (cause we weren't using them all year).  I wrote with a sharpie on the back <3 Mrs. Roost 2012. 
Have you seen enough??????  Guess what!  THREE lucky readers will win 35 BragTags and 35 chains!  The contest is simple.  You need to follow imagestuff.com's blog and my blog!  Simple as that!  Contest ends at midnight September 1st!  I'll announce the winners Sunday, September 2!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Therapeutic Thursday Link Up

 So what do you do to de-stress during the year?  Two years ago I found a great app called "Couch to 5K" where it gets you ready to run a 5K.  I found it to be awesome for stress relieving.  (However, I didn't make it past week 3, cause it ended up getting cold)  I would take out my baby OR the 4 year old in the jogging stroller, cause I liked the company.  Once my 4 year old turned 5 and could ride his bike without training wheels, both would go with me.  I would do this 2-3 times a week if I could and it was only for 30 minutes.  I would plan a dinner that would go into the oven for at least that amount of time and then hit the road to run.  {I also need to add that I am NOT a runner.  Yeah, I played field hockey-but running had been SO incredibly boring to me.  This app also plays music while I run that I choose.  There's also a voice that tells me to walk, or run, or that I'm half way done!)

View the app that I have HERE  (I couldn't get the pic to copy for me...)  It's called Ease into 5K now.

Then last year started, and I lost track of how to find time to run.  I also found last year to be extremely stressful.  I am finding a hard time balancing teaching first graders, while also having kids at home the same age.  So, I started to reflect a little this summer, and I think that I need to try this app again, finding time at least 2-3 times a week.

Another stress-relieving thing I like to do is drive home (well, to pick up the kids-but they are a 20-30 minute drive) and turn the music up loud!  I drive a lot of back roads, so I don't have to worry about looking funny!  lol

Last, I love to have retail therapy!  But, oh man... that can really hurt the wallet!  I'm a bargain shopper and love to find deals at CVS and grocery stores, but had lost time to do that too, once I had number 2!  I've currently fallen in love (a little later than most teachers!) with the LOFT!  Where the heck have I been on these deals?  We even have  LOFT outlet near us, and I actually get BETTER deals at the real store at the mall!

I can't wait to find new ways to de-stress.  I think the key is to find time for myself.  I start to feel a little guilty when school comes around because I feel like if I take time for myself, I'm missing time spent with my kids.  I need to come to the realization (and BELIEVE IT) that I need that time to myself to ENJOY my family and life more.  I'd really like to find a ZUMBA class that is at a convenient time (not to mention find some ZUMBA buddies!  It's always more fun with a friend.)

Speaking of retail therapy----make sure you enter to win a free piece of jewelry of YOUR choice (up to $100!) from Lia Sophia!   My awesome friend just started selling (who was a teacher who is now a Dean of Students at another district-cause she's THAT awesome!)  Check out my post HERE or on the pic to enter and read about it.

 What could be better than winning some new 'bling' for back to school?!

Thanks for hopping by!  Make sure you check out the other fabulous blogs for their tips for relaxing!  Click on the picture at the top to take you there!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tuesday Link Up

 Okay, so I missed Monday... :(  Almost missed Tuesday!  This will be short and sweet.  I wanted to let you know, if you don't already, about this fabulous site called Sign Up Genius!  The site really is GENIUS!  It has saved my life with coordinating parent volunteers to getting donations for class projects!  It's free and SUPER easy to use!  Click on the pic to go take a peek!

Ways I used it:
Donations and volunteers for our Harvest Party
Donations for items for my 5 senses unit that I did (needed random items like cotton balls to rice)
Parent Volunteers for our First Grade Field day (needed parents to run games)
Parent sign up for having lunch with their first grader (on field day)

This year, I'll use it the same plus-add times for parents to sign up to be Mystery Readers!  It'll save me a TON of time by having the slots out there and parents can just choose what works best for them!  Oh, and the site can send a reminder email!  Woohoo!

Thanks for stopping by!  Check out Blog Hopping for more great ideas too!  (click on the picture at the top of the page) Don't forget to check out my amazing Lia Sophia Giveaway that is going on NOW!  You could win a free piece of jewelry (up to $100!!!!!)  Read about it here!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

News, Freebie and teacher BLING!

I'm linking this freebie up to Freebie Friday on Blog Hoppin'!  Welcome Blog Hoppers!  Thanks for hopping by! :)

 Lots to post about today!  First, thanks to all who entered the Samson's Classroom giveaway!  It truly is a wonderful site.  Here's some good news.  My followers can get Samson's Classroom for their very own classroom for the L.O.W. price of-------- TEN DOLLARS!  That's right!  $10!  You have until August 28th to grab that awesome deal!  {Regular price is $80!!!)  Use the code: RTR  {As in Rulin' The Roost when checking out and it'll take the amount to $10}  What are you waiting for?!  GO!  {But, make sure to come back!  Cause I got some other fantastic news down below too!!!}

Let's skip to the TEACHER BLING!  Have you heard of Lia Sophia????  OMG.  My good teacher friend has now become an independent sales adviser for Lia Sophia, and I tell ya.  I'm in TROUBLE!  Well, now you might be too.  Being the awesome person she is, she is GIVING AWAY a piece of jewelry (up to $100) of your choice to one of my fabulous readers!  I'm sooooooo jealous!  I mean, I didn't even get anything!! :(  lol  I got the rafflecopter up and running-so enter now!  The contest will end next week!  {Thought the extra time with school starting everywhere would be appreciated since we allllll know how crazy the beginning of the year is!}

Check out these pictures (of course the pics don't do the jewelry justice!):

 By the way---here's some other awesome news about it. If you order through her website and mention my blog you will get $5 off your order!  Oh-and wanna have a party?!  If you book a show and mention my blog or contest or her Facebook page, you'll get a free piece of jewelry too!  {and the pieces she gives away are between $50 and $100!!!}  Don't live near PA?  Have a catalog "show" and get the SAME deal!!!!!!   Amanda says that most people who have a show usually get $200-$300 in FREE jewelry!  I have a feeling I will have some seriously fabulous fashioned followers out there, if you weren't before!  ;)  Check out her Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/amandalia19

OKAY OKAY.  Now the freebie.  I was trying to think of a math game to play with my kiddos that has lots of variations to it, yet it's simple enough for them to learn and remember.  Enter-the old game of "War" or "Compare."  We all played it.  Our kids play it now (and even in the classroom--and also if you have some of my math stations!)  I created a fabulous freebie for you too.  You'll need to grab it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store due to TOU (term of use) with the graphics.  It's a basic game of compare, but I added some "cuteness" to it with some apple kids.  I also included directions for kids, directions for you and also a set of black and white masters.  Click on the picture to take you to my store to grab a copy!  Thank you for following me and supporting me through this crazy journey!

Now-----here's the rafflecopter!  Don't forget to enter to win some bling for back to school (or to have for conferences or back to school night?!?!?!?)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 17, 2012

Giveaways, Freebies, OH MY!

What a busy week.  I'm not even back to school yet, however today-my legs are making me feel like those first few days of school!  {Spent the day at an amusement park with the family and in-laws}

I'm excited to tell you that I'm apart of TWO different giveaways going on right now!  Two of my bloggy friends are celebrating milestones!  Patti at a Series of 3rd Grade Events is celebrating her 300th follower.  Click on the picture to check out her giveaway where you could win $130.00 worth of prizes, including my newest packet:  Jet Setting.

 I created "Jet Setting" last week in anticipation that I will have a LOT of kids out for vacation like I did last year.  Honestly, I think I had my entire Reading, Math or Homeroom class for like 4 weeks out of the year.  It was CUH-RAAAAZZEEEE  not to mention that it drove me bonkers trying to remember who needed what, by when.  This packet includes things for kids to do that will get them looking for numbers and creating number sentences while out and about.  It also has them writing and thinking about what "story" their vacation could make!  I'm really proud of what I have created and actually can't wait for the first student to go on vacation this year, so that I can see how it works out!  I plan to give the person some sharing time when they return to share their book.  I think it will be such a great keepsake too!  Click on the picture to read more about it at my TPT store.

The second giveaway I'm participating in is Tammy's  at 123 Teach With Me is celebrating her 400th follower!  {Which, by the way I noticed that I just surpassed 400 recently too!  I'll be thinking up some good stuff for the big 5-0-0!}  Click on Tammy's picture below to enter her giveaway.  For hers, you can win ANYTHING {YES, anything!} from my store!  You will also win some fabulous prizes from 20 different TPT sellers!

Last, I wanted to leave you with something from me, to thank you for all of your support.  I get alllll sappy sometimes when I think about where I am, just going on 8 months later after starting my venture on Teachers Pay Teachers and here in bloggy land.  This is a repeat for you long-time followers, but maybe not so for my newer ones.  I promise to have some great freebies up within the week----and a GREAT not-so-educational chance to win something FABULOUS from one of my great long time teacher friends!

Click the picture below for a worksheet for your students to fill out during their first few days/weeks of school.  I know I'm becoming a minority out there as I still have one FULL week left of summer.  Hopefully it's not too late for you to use it!  It's a page out of my Back To School Bonanza packet.

This would make a great class book too!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

How about a Samson's Classroom Giveaway?!

First, congrats to Sadie B. for winning the Vista Print giveaway!  I'm emailing you the details now!!!  Go get your shop on!!!!  =)

Now, here's another awesome post!  Last school year I was introduced to this A.W.E.S.O.M.E. website called Samson's Classroom.  What is Samson's Classroom?  Well, it's a web based educational software program designed for early literacy that focuses on sight words, spelling, and reading comprehension.

You can input your own spelling lists so students can get extra practice or use their preexisting lists.   I would say this was my students' most favorite part of the site {they loved it all}.  The games for the words are totally engaging and FUN!

I love "Read with Samson".  The passages are perfect and I love how, if you get a question wrong, the part of the text with the answer is underlined.  This is really helping my students feel ok about looking back in the text to double check their comprehension because so often, they just like to "be done" without being right.  My students loved playing this and getting their points for "hammer time" :)

"Sight Words with Samson" would have been great had I introduced this site from the beginning of school!  It's great how it goes through different stages/levels to learn the lists!  PERFECT for all levels of learners.  I really liked how there was a spelling proponent for my higher kids so that they would learn not only to read it {most likely they already could} but to SPELL it correctly!!!!

Here's a link to a little video for you to get some more info...

Other GREAT things about this site is that you can EASILY track their progress.  When I had my kids use it during the last part of the year, I gave them a simple log-in name, which was our room number and their name.  I gave all of my kiddos the same password.  Of course, you do not need to give each student a log-in, but instead have a class log-in.  You just won't be able to track each student.

The other great part of this was that it gave my kids an opportunity to use this at home!  Parents loved it too.  It was another great way for them to complete their spelling homework practice or their reading.

This site is TOTALLY worth every penny---------BUT WAIT!  I have one classroom account to give a way!!!!  Say, what?!  That's right!  You can enter to win a classroom subscription for this school year!  All you have to do is enter below!  What are you waiting for?!?!?!?!!??!  I'll announce the winner next Sunday, August 19th!  GOOD LUCK!  =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 10, 2012

Get to Know Me Activity--and SALE!

I'm feeling a little bit behind.  So many of you are going back to school and I still have about 3 weeks of summer left!  I feel like I'm not able to share things from my room because, well... I haven't been in there yet!

I did want to share a few things with you.  FIRST-Call me maybe CRAZY-but while on my vacation, I created and finished a big little unit for Election (or President's Day).  There are over 20 activities that I'll be using during the week of election.  Last election, my team organized a whole school Presidential Voting---so there are also ballots included in the packet with Obama, Romney and Paul listed as well as a blank line for "write ins."  Click on the picture to take you to the listing to read more about what is in it.  I'm excited about it!  (And, I promise that I'll start the October Math and Literacy stations that I've been asked about ASAP!!!!)  =)

Next, I want to share an activity that isn't new in any way, but maybe new to you!  On the first day of school, I'm going to give my firsties a little quiz.  This quiz will be a little different.  I have created (it's important to write down everything, including answers---even though it's obvious!) 25 True/False statements about myself.  Here's the part that makes it even more fun and engaging.  First, you will line up your students across the back of the room---or take them outside.  This will be played kinda like "Mother May I" or "Red Light, Green Light."  I will stand where ever I want the kids to finish.  I will read a statement about myself.  If they think it is TRUE, they will take a STEP FORWARD.  If they think it is FALSE, they will STAY PUT.  If they answer INCORRECTLY, they GO BACK TO START!  The first one(s) to make it to me is the winner!  Click on the picture to read statements I put on.  I have more trues than falses for this one so that I'm sure to get SOMEONE to me.  I am going to send home the paper to parents after we complete it in class for parents to give it a try.  (They won't need to send it back.)  I will send home answers to them the following day.  I'm hoping that this not only helps create a nice classroom culture from day one, but also a great family relationship.
Here's what I did for you!  Click on the next picture to go to google docs.  There you can download an editable version of above (with the directions in place---and one set of directions for SHE and one set for HE-both are in the same doc-and you'll need powerpoint to edit)  If you like the font I have, I used Hello Literacy's font: HelloAli

ALSO-I plan on giving my winner (or winners) a little certificate.  I am thinking that I'll be making one for everyone because I'm not quite sure I'll get an answer from my little firsties ;)  Click on the next picture to grab yourself a copy!  (I will also put the direction page there too, for those of you who do not have powerpoint.  You could do the old fashion cut and paste to get your statements on there)

LAST-If you haven't heard by now, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a HUGE sale this weekend!  I will be having my store 20% off.  Use the code BTS12 to get an additional 10% off!  I can't wait to clear out my wishlist and get some great new things for this school year!

Here are some of the newer things that I have recently placed on TPT:

Word Jails are now editable!

First day/week of school ideas/activities

I have K-5 checklists available in my store!

Lit stations/centers perfect for September!

Math Stations/Centers perfect for September!

A fun word work station activity that can be used throughout the year!


And---make sure to follow my blog because I have some more pretty exciting giveaways coming up that you will NOT want to miss!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Word Jail! UPDATED!!!

I found a quick "hotspot" and had to share!  I have figured out how to make my word jail editable!  If you have purchased it, go back and download it again.  There are directions on how to access the file!!!!!!!  Please remember that it is for your classroom only when you purchase this.  Graphics are copyrighted and cannot be copied. (they are secure)

Click on the picture to take you to my store to check out the details of the product!  (also-read the post below to see more!)  =)

Don't forget to enter my contest for $80 for Vista Print here--------->CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN!!!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Little Bit of This... and That (And a Vista Print giveaway?!?!)

I have been super busy this past week.  It's now been a week since I've had my new laptop back from school, and I gotta say WOW!  I just love it.  Love how fast it is... Love how pretty it is :P

Anyway---I created a few things that I have been fortunate to be able to upload to TPT.  I spruced up my "Word Jails" that I created for my classroom last year.  {See the post here} I found this adorable little graphic set and KNEW I had to make this little beauty POP in my room for this year!


Unfortunately I couldn't make this an "editable" version.  I tried various ways to make it work for you, but it just didn't work out :(  However, I have a blank page in there for you to print out and put your own words on there----BUT if you just email me, I will add it to the packet and re-upload!  IT'S NOW AN EDITABLE FILE!!!  Here's a sample of the words that will be hanging next to each other on my wall:
I have the wrong spelling in black and white and the correct spelling in color so that students' eyes quickly go to the correct one.

Another packet that I just created and uploaded is my 'Scooper' Adjectives!  It's my first 'craftivity' that I have up in my store.  Students will create ice cream cones--either on their own or using the glyph I have included--and then they will choose sprinkles (or jimmies) that have adjectives on it.  They need to decide which words are adjectives because not all of the words I have are!  I also included a bulletin board header because I'm sure this will be a SWEET bulletin board!  ;)

We've also been working the last few years about keeping kids engaged (who isn't talking about that?!)  My teammate and I sat down during one of ours and created a Spelling Practice Choice Menu.  We are planning on giving it to the kids to complete each week to practice their words.  Our original one had more choices.  I downsized it to get my students used to the idea during the first month or so.  I created this one to be a Tic-Tac-Toe.  I changed the heading to be a Word Tic-Tac-Toe so that you could use it in your room however it would fit!  (Spelling, High Frequency Words, Vocabulary,  etc.)  Once we get started on these and I see how they do, I will create more---maybe even monthly/seasonal specific?!   

What you'll do is give this sheet to your kiddos at the beginning of the week.  They need to complete AT LEAST 3 items to make 3 in a row.  (Of course they could do more if they want!)  You can prewrite all of their words on this recording sheet BEFORE handing it out to them, or you could have them write what words.  You could even leave it up to them and have them pick words they want to learn!  Possibilities are endless!!!!  And your kids will be engaged and feel empowered :)

Click on the picture to grab yourself a copy!  {I do have spell with Scrabble Letters on there----but there are lots of things you could use or print that would be the same.  I found a great little set at Fancy Dog Studio, but there are a lot of others out there too.  I plan on asking parents for a Scrabble donation once school rolls around----and I'll be keeping my eye open at the holiday sales and yard sales!}

Borders and Scrabble Letters from Fancy Dog Studio; font from Hello Literacy;  AND-the typo that you see in the picture is fixed on the copy you will download.  I just hadn't had time to create a new pic of the page and re-upload. =)

Last-----who doesn't LOVE Vista Print?!  Well, I have an extra Groupon that I want to gift to one of my lovely followers!  If you win, you'll have $80 to spend at Vista Print!  Just in time for the school year!!!!  Click on the rafflecopter to enter to win!  I'll announce the winner next Sunday, August 12th!  {I'll be without a computer again till then and can't do everything as well with the phone} I'll email the winner the certificate!  Good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
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