This school year has flown by, especially the past couple of months! It felt like just yesterday we were longing for Easter Break, and now I am NINE DAYS from finishing my second year of teaching! I have loved this year, and my group of kinders, and I'll have a whole post more on that coming up soon!

Today I want to share with you my End of Year Countdown that we are doing this year. I searched online for inspiration, and came up with my own ideas to make it work here in Tanzania. This is another post perfect for those teaching in a developing country, because everything is very simple, yet the kids have LOVED it! They get excited each morning to see what we have planned for the day!

I do an ABC countdown, starting with 26 school days left. We begin with letter A and end with letter Z. At the end of this post I'll be sharing a freebie where you can print out your own countdown to reference! This year I created this poster (seen above) for the countdown.

I cut construction paper into rectangles, folded them, wrote the letter on the top, and the activity on the inside. Then I used clear tape to attach them to the poster, and used some of my cute alphabet washi tape to tape them shut. It was time-consuming, but I'll be able to use this year after year!

Now for some snapshots of our fun so far!

C is for Chalk Day! We went outside and had fun with chalk!

F is for Favorite Book Day! Everyone brings their favorite book to school and we do lots of reading aloud and book sharing!

I is for Insect Day! It fit right in with the beginning of our animal unit! We learned about what makes an insect an insect, labeled an insect, watched videos about insects, and did a fun butterfly art project with black crayon and watercolor!

OH THE CUTENESS!! N is for Name Day! Everyone chooses a new name for themselves for the day! We wear name tags, and call each other by our new names! This one was definitely a favorite! We giggled all day calling friends names like "Speedycar" and "Kara" (The name of our school administrator).

P was the tastiest day yet! P is for Popcorn Party! We also drank Pineapple juice and Played outside afterwards!

This is such a fun way to celebrate the close of the school year, while keeping us positive about making fun memories, instead of reminding us that in a few days we won't be at school anymore. That's exactly what my kinders need!

Now for the freebie!! Click the picture to download your ABC Countdown PDF! Also, share this post with your friends using this pic!

How many days of school do you have left? Let me know in a comment below!
Much Love, Allie

A Week in the Life... Day 2!

I'm continuing my week-long series sharing what it's like to live and teach in Tanzania, East Africa! Through the ups and the downs, the mundane and the exciting, this is my home and I love it!!

If you missed Day 1, click here to read that blog post! It's been a BUSY and CRAZY week, so sorry about posting Days 2 and 3 late!! Such is life when we're 20 days away from the end of the school year!

I woke up Tuesday morning hearing one of my favorite sounds- the pitter patter of rain falling on the roof! It was SO CHILLY all day, and it was glorious! The crazy thing is that "cold" to us is 65 degrees!! But, seriously, I LOVE the rain, and welcomed it with open arms after almost 8 months of CONSTANT HEAT.

I live with six other awesome girls, and we all work at Hope School together! This is my view every morning- we all pile in our van, we've named her "Bessie, and head to school! I cherish these simple times together!!

My classroom theme for this week is the story of Moses! So today we learned about Baby Moses and how his mother put him in a basket and floated him down the river to the pharaoh's daughter to save him. To make it come to life, I used a baby doll and we took turns helping "Moses" float down our "Nile River" to the "Egyptian Princess" (or Prince) at the end! It was SO cute to see some of my littles rocking and holding "Moses" so lovingly!! The girls especially loved that part.

Most of us teachers eat lunch together in the school library! It's a great place to take a breather from the tiny humans and catch a break! The school cooks cook us AMAZING local and American-inspired meals, but the diet here is very starch-based. I've been making a lifestyle change and incorporating more veggies into my diet, and I've been bringing lunch to school. This is my sixth week of doing this, and it's gotten easier to say "No" to the carbs!

In the afternoons, I teach ESL for our "specials" or "electives" classes. Each day I teach a different grade level for ESL, and today I had 4th/5th grade! We worked on our speaking and listening skills with a fun partner activity. :)

My evenings are pretty consistent - work out, make dinner, eat dinner, relax, go to bed! #lifeofateacher This weekend I'll have more to show!

Thanks for checking out what life looks like this side of the globe!! How's the weather where you are? If you're a teacher, how many days of school do you have left?!

Much Love, Allie

A Week in the Life... Day 1!

I have about 5 and a half weeks until I finish up my second year here in Tanzania, and leave for the U.S. for furlough! I will be returning in August for year three as a teacher and missionary here, which I'm very excited about! This week, I thought I would take you with me, and let you see Moshi, Tanzania through my eyes. I'll be posting every day this week, showing you life here! It'll be a fun way to share where I call home with you!!

Not gonna lie, I totally forgot to take any pictures this morning before 9 am! I feel like my mind takes a while to wake up on Mondays, and as soon as I get to school in the morning (around 7:40), I'm in go- mode! I know my to-do list is a mile long, and I have less than an hour to get it done!! I did manage to snap a picture of one of the literacy centers we did today...

I love these sandpaper letters, as I have SO many kinesthetic learners in my kindergarten class! I feel like ALL students love to touch and feel things at this age! The task was to take turns making words out of the sandpaper letters for a partner, and have the other person try to guess what word you made! Earlier this year, we just did letters, so I wanted to amp it up a bit for my high-flyers!!

Later in the morning, we have math centers. We do four centers each day, two with teachers, two independent. I think it works really well, so they are getting lots of small-group math teaching, and time to practice the important concepts they are learning!

After math, comes either science or history, depending on the week. This week, I'm teaching on Moses and how the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. So as a hands-on part of our lesson, we each made some small playdough "bricks" and made a pyramid together! Simple, low-prep, but meaningful!

This afternoon, we did a telling time review activity- SCOOT style! It was a great way for me to assess who really understands the concepts we've taught, and who needs some extra reteaching!!

After school, when I get home, I do Zumba with two of my housemates! It's a great workout, and, though most days I'd rather be doing ANYTHING else, I feel SO good afterwards, and I'm seeing some great results from working out 4-5x a week and eating healthy!

Speaking of clean eating, after my workout, it's dinner time!! One of my friends found this AWESOME recipe online for a pizza crust made with egg and cheese instead of bread! The best part is that it really tastes good, and it doesn't make the pizza taste like an omelette! Let me know if you want me to do a post on the recipe! It's really easy and fast, which is important to me!

I'll end today's post with a "Living in Tanzania" moment! We were getting ready to work out this evening, when our guard/groundskeeper comes to the door. I meet him there and he hands me this HUGE papaya, and says, "This is from your papaya tree!" Yes, I have a papaya tree in my yard (I didn't know that until today), and yes, this papaya is about the size of a 1.5 liter bottle of water!!

Thanks for coming along with me today! Hopefully I'll be a bit better tomorrow capturing more snapshots of life here!! I'm excited to share more with you! If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Let me know down in the comments!! :)

Much Love, Allie