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Pick 3 - TOP PINS for AUGUST

Happy AUGUST! It is my birthday month, and I couldn't be more excited!!!! I also leave to go back to Tanzania in 5 days. On top of ALL that, I am currently en route to a TROPICAL destination for a little Girls Trip with my mom for a couple days! Can you feel the excitement?!?

I loved sharing my Pinterest picks so much last month, that I thought I would do it again for August! Make sure you read all the way down, and check out all the awesome pins that are being highlighted in this linky!!

Pin It Here!!!
1. First of all, I LOVE Brooke Brown!! I first discovered her when Periscope blew up in the summer of 2015. I looked forward to each of her scopes- she's so creative, insightful, and an amazing teacher!! So, of course, I had to check out her blog. She has SO much amazing info for teachers; I love reading her posts!
Anyways, in regards to the pin, I dabbled in Morning Meeting this past year with my kinders, but really didn't do a full-fledged Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting. Her blog post on this is so informative, and I'm definitely going to use it to help plan out my morning meetings this year with my kinders!

Pin It Here!
2. I teach ESL to all grade levels at my school, in addition to teaching Kindergarten. I seriously LOVE this writing activity- and can't wait to use it with my older ESL students. I think it's a really neat way to help build their confidence, appreciate each classmate's uniqueness, and foster community! I want to do this within the first few weeks of school, to assess their writing abilities and levels. And then, I want them to do it again at the end of the school year, to see how much they've grown!

Pin It Here!
3. Anchor Charts- one of the most necessary parts of any classroom! At the end of the day, you could lose the cute decor, the loads of labels, and the excessive amounts of teacher supplies, and your students would still be able to learn. But, take away anchor charts?!! That would make learning nearly impossible- especially for your visual learners!! I love how anchor charts really do make a difference in a student's learning. They are able to remember the lessons and refer back to different charts for different things. Linda has an awesome post on making the most out of your anchor charts- it is a MUST READ!!
Alright! I could probably share 20 more pins with you that I will be taking from as I begin planning for this next school year!! But, I know that we have to keep it to three! If you want to see more from me, come join the party by following me on Pinterest!!
Much Love, Allie

Theme Thursday : Kindergarten in the Ice Age!!

I don't know about you, but I could really use some cooling off from this HOT summer sunshine! So, today, I thought I'd share with you about how I taught my kindergarteners about the Ice Age! Here we go for the fourth installment of Theme Thursday!

I've mentioned before that we use the curriculum called Mystery of History to get ideas for my history themes. It's geared for MUCH older students, so it takes a little work to adapt it for Kindergarten! However, I like a challange- and I came up with some fun ideas (and took a lot from Pinterest!) to help my kindergarteners in Tanzania, almost all who've never experienced weather below 60 degrees, discover the Ice Age!

I decided to host an Ice Age Day in my classroom. We spent ALL day learning about the Ice Age! Here is how my Focus Wall for this theme started out.

Believe me when I say that keeping things frozen in Tanzania is NOT EASY. I found this fab idea to put toys and different trinkets in a plastic storage container and freeze it. Then, the kids would have to "excavate" the toys from the ice! Well, of course, the night before "Ice Age Day", our power was out for a few hours. And even though I had stuck my container in the freezer a couple days prior, it wasn't completely solid! #lifeintanzania #rollwiththepunches #TIA

Thankfully, the block of ice was mostly frozen, so the activity still worked! We went outside with our "eyedroppers" full of blue water and spoons, and got to work!

It was a great way for my students to experience the ice, and build their schema! They also had to be creative to break the toys from the ice; and they had to work together! I have 12 students, so one block of ice worked fine. But, if you have a larger class, I recommend doing 2-3 of them.

This kept them working for a good 10-15 minutes, and by the end we had retrieved all the toys, and we were definitely cool as cucumbers! :D

Then we went back inside to discuss the activity, and we used an anchor chart to anchor their learning. (no picture :( ) After teaching them about the different animals in the Ice Age, and showing pictures, we did a woolly mammoth craft. The template came from Learn, Create, Love. They turned out SO cute, but I probably will use paper for the tusks next time, as the felt didn't stick very well!

We have a 15 minute snack break mid-morning, where the students eat and play outside. During that time, I used fabric over my windows to make the room dark, like a cave! The students DEFINITELY had a lot of background knowledge on that- as the power can go off at crazy hours, making it feel like you're inside of a cave! I had sent home a note earlier that week to have students bring in a flashlight, or lantern, if they had one. Using mine as well, each student was able to use one for our next activity!

We turned off all the lights and made CAVE DRAWINGS! This idea came from Alejandra Chavez. We used crumpled up brown butcher paper, and drew pictures on it. I recommended drawing some animals we had learned about, or tracing their hands. I showed them pictures of some actual cave drawings to spark their creativity! They had a lot of fun using their flashlights!!

We also got to squeeze in some of the Ice Age movie at the end of the day! I felt like my little kinders really got a good taste of the Ice Age, from our day of experiencing and learning!
I was talking to some friends about Theme Thursday, and they wanted to join the fun! So I'm turning this into a LINKY PARTY!! If you have a theme you've taught in your classroom and you'd like to link up with me, here's what you need to do:
1. Write a new blog post sharing your theme with us. Links and resources are appreciated!
2. Grab the picture to use in your post; and link it back here!
3. Link up below! I'd love for you to choose a picture from your blog post as the picture we click on to go to your post!
4. Follow the rule of 3 - go read and comment on 2 posts before you and 1 post after you- to share the love!

Much Love, Allie

Top Pinterest Teacher Finds!

Hey friends! Can you believe that it's July already?!? Ugh, this summer is flying by way too fast!! Today I'm joining some bloggy friends for a fun link-up where we share the awesome Pinterest finds that we've pinned this month! Are you following me on Pinterest? Do it ---> HERE!

I absolutely LOVE playing music in the classroom, and my kinders this past year really took to it too. I love this blog post from Amber! She has so many great music suggestions, and when to use them during transitions!

Maribel has some AWESOME organization tips in this pin, and she has a great freebie for us! I love weekly to do lists to keep me on track and to have everything in one place. These are getting printed and prepped so they're ready to use in August!

We know firsthand, how difficult it is to turn our teacher brains off during the summer! One of the things I'm planning out is my word wall- making it more meaningful, organized, and helpful for my students! I love this pin, and found lots of great examples and links to word walls! I found that I really love the color-coded words, and the color-blocked word walls! We'll see what mine ends up looking like!

I hope you found this helpful- as we are pinning away this summer! Leave me a link to your favorite pin in the comments. Also, go check out more pins from these fabulous bloggers!!
Much Love, Allie