This One's for the Teachers (GIVEAWAYS INSIDE!!!)

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!! I celebrate all of you AMAZING educators, and am so happy to be connected to so many of you through blogs and social media. It seriously makes being a teacher so much better!!

To show my appreciation for you, I have LOTS of fun things for you: a big sale and TWO giveaways!! Let's start with the SALE!
Teachers Pay Teachers is having one of their GLORIOUS sales, and you can get up to 28% off in my store, and many others!! Click the picture above to be taken to my store and fill up your cart with goodies to finish this year and prep for next year! Here are some of my recommendations:
This resource just got a MAJOR update!! I have 40+ writing prompts for your students to use all throughout the year when they're having writer's block, or when you want to change things up a bit! All prompts come in color and black/white, and I'm also adding themed prompts for holidays, seasons, and events as they come!

If you teach Pre-K - 1st grade, this one's for YOU! Get you beginning writers stretching out the sounds they hear and writing them with my LABEL AND COLOR resources!! Click the picture to get more info, but I have 11 resources in this bundle for you, and with the sale you get them for less than $1 each!!

Here are some of the things going in MY cart during the sale, in case you need more suggestions!
The majority of my students are English Language Learners, and on Wednesdays I have dedicated time with them to work on English. I'm snagging this from Momma with a Teaching Mission's store to help them with grammar!
I might be switching grades this next year, and am going to be grabbing some back to school things so I'm not scrambling for when that time comes!! I love all of Jennifer Findley's work and these flipbooks look awesome for the first week of school!

FUN FACT: Ladybug's Teacher Files was one of the FIRST teacher blogs I ever discovered/thoroughly read! I LOVE her classroom signs and labels, and I'm thinking these are going to have to come in my cart this sale!! They're just so pretty!! #allthehearteyes

Hi. My name is Allie and I'm a fontaholic!!! I loooove Alexis's fonts, and may have to splurge on her bundle!! She's just so creative (she's the one who designed this blog!!)!!
What are you snagging at the sale? Let me know what I'm missing out on in the comments!!!

And now for the GIVEAWAYS, to help make your wishlist your reality!!!

I'm teaming up with lots of teacher friends to give one of you a $100 gift card to TPT!! Enter in the Rafflecopter below!!

I'm also a part of a BLOG HOP PARTY! You have the chance to win several goodies! I'm giving away a $10 TPT Gift Card and a Resource of your Choice from my store! Enter using the Rafflecopter, then click the image to hop to the next blog! Good Luck and Happy Hopping!


Chapati, Easter, and Nairobi!

Well hello there! Long time no see! The past few months have been busy and exciting! I can't believe we're starting to close down the school year- only 28 more school days!!! To catch you up on the month of April, I'm starting this new monthly series, sharing SNAPSHOTS of the month!

The first snapshot actually happened in March, but I can't help but share it! My friend Esther came over to teach Alyssa (another friend and housemate) and I how to make CHAPATI!! In return, we taught her how to make banana bread and brownies. Chapati is like a tortilla- only thicker, with a different flavor, and it takes longer to make. But it is so worth it, because it is like heaven in your mouth! I'm so excited to finally learn how to make it, and you better believe there are many chapati parties going to happen this summer when I'm home!!

Next, we celebrated Easter in my classroom! Our spring break was April 7-17, so the first week of April was the only chance to learn about and celebrate Easter at school before it came! We took communion as a class (mango juice and bread) and went through the whole Easter story. This brought up many questions about heaven- five-year-olds having theological discussions is pretty awesome!!

At the end of the week, we made these watercolor art pieces. They looked so great hanging on our wall! I loved sharing the Easter story with my littles - it was a powerful time to teach them about God's powerful love and victory over sin and the grave!!

We started Spring Break off with a day of fun! :) Alyssa and I visited some of our friends- we taught them card games, brought banana bread and samosas, and got to hang out with this sweet little one!

I had the opportunity to travel to Nairobi, Kenya for a quick visit with my high school friend, Sarah! It's an 8-hour bus ride away, but was so worth it! I loved hanging out with her, and visiting somewhere new!!

We went to the Elephant Orphanage...

Hiked in a forest with a waterfall...

Visited a neat bead shop...

And, I gotta tell ya, after being in Tanzania for 8+ months, it felt like Little America at times!! We got sushi, went to a couple of malls, and had Coldstone ice cream and Subway!! (It's the little things!)

I returned to Moshi the day before Easter and celebrated with my "framily" here (friends who've become like family). I missed my family back home, as holidays are always special, but we celebrated here with worship, a potluck lunch, and Easter fun for the kids!

When we returned to school, we had "Dapper Day" - a fun formal dress-up day! The kids looked ADORABLE!

We've also been invaded by ants this month!! The rainy season has finally arrived, but all the bugs have now come out of hiding. We have ants living above and below our house, and every couple days they have come into our house. We now have a system down for when this happens, and end up killing a few hundred bugs each time! SO GROSS...thankfully we will have an exterminator come this week to take care of the problem!

My friends and I went fabric shopping this week in town to get some kitenge (African fabric) to make some dresses and skirts!! Here's a look at one of the shops- fabric piled high in every nook and cranny!

It's been an awesome month! Thanks for reading and following along! Stay tuned for something EXCITING coming next week!!



Teaching students how to write is a tricky process. I teach Kindergarten, and my students enter MAYBE knowing letters and some sounds, and exit reading and writing. But how do we get them from Point A to Point Z?!?! How do you encourage them to write without having them shut down at such a daunting task?! Well, I have some tricks and tips to make writing something your students LOVE, and make it easier for you to teach!

In my opinion, the best way for the littles to start writing is by drawing their story and labeling the picture! Labeling pushes them to segment words into sounds, and put them on paper. It is a STRUGGLE at first, and requires lots of coaching, encouragement, and practice!! Over the next three weeks I will break the method to my madness down for you, starting with part 1 today!!

Labeling the teacher is SO much fun! Littles can laugh at ANYTHING- including a teacher with sticky notes all over her! ;)

This activity is low-prep and HIGH-impact. All I did was write the parts of my body (eye, leg, elbow, hand, nose, hair, etc.) on sticky notes, and stuck them to my whiteboard. One KEY here is to have enough labels for each student to label one part.

Then, I challenged my students to label me! They chose a sticky note, TRIED to read the word (I had to help- as a lot of these words are hard for this age!), and stuck it to the right part of my body.

Giggles ensued every time they labeled me, especially when the labels would cover an eye, or my mouth!

Not only was this a FUN and MEMORABLE lesson- but it was great to introduce them to labeling, and show them that EVERYONE can label! Idea Credit goes to the lovely Cara- The First Grade Parade!

Come back next week for part two...guiding students to label with some themed stories, slinkies, and s'more! :D In the mean time, pin this image so you can reference it later and share it with friends! You can also get ahead of the game by heading over to my TpT Store to check out all my labeling resources: The Gypsy Teacher.


Teaching in Tanzania!!

Teaching in Tanzania is not the easiest thing you can do, but it sure is rewarding!! Most evenings I come home exhausted- by the heat, by the kids, by life. But, my heart is full of joy, to be doing what I love, and trusting the Lord every step I take. I thought I'd share today what life looks like...teaching in Tanzania!

I get to teach with this incredible group of superheroes! They are so much more than my coworkers- they are my friends!! I love that God has given me such an incredible group of women to connect and grow with. It's truly a blessing here- when we're away from home!

Our morning drive to school usually includes a GORGEOUS Kili view!! We are blessed to live and teach right at the base of The Roof of Africa! What an awesome way to start your morning!! :)

I get to take my class on fun field trips for hands-on learning opportunities! They loved visiting the greenhouses last month!

On Sundays, we get to visit all kinds of churches! This particular church was so cool because there was a "Battle of the Choirs" going on! Over 10 choirs were there! There's always something new and interesting at the churches we attend! :)

As a teacher here you quickly learn what works and what doesn't. It's very hard to keep things from falling off our concrete walls, but I've learned that hot glue on top of masking tape does the trick! #teacherhack 

My creativity as a teacher has grown as there are limited resources here! But I love teaching with themes, and creating fun learning environments for my kiddos! We learned about Ancient Egypt a couple weeks ago, and they LOVED becoming pharaohs!!

We got to rep our school and #RUNFORHOPE at the Kilimanjaro Marathon! Even our littlest students came out to support!! Such cuties!!

I get to teach a diverse group of kindergarten cuties, and we get to dress up monthly for our themed days! Superhero Day is always a favorite!! I love these littles!

Last month I got to celebrate with my friends as they welcomed their beautiful baby girl into the world! Her name is Favor, and she is SO precious! I love spending time with them whenever we get the chance! Moshi truly feels like home, as I am surrounded by so many great friends, that have become like family!

There are definitely hard parts of living here- such as saying goodbye to this sweetheart! She has been one of my favorite students this year, and she just left this week to return to America with her family. Perpetual goodbyes never get easier. :(

I love that I get to teach alongside my friend, Esther! She has been such a blessing to me, and I don't know if I could teach Kindergarten without her! :D

There are definite ups and downs to teaching here in Tanzania, but there's no place I'd rather be! My heart is here, and I love getting to love on and teach my Kindergarteners! I'm so thankful for God's plans and purposes! He is a GOOD FATHER!

P.S. If YOU would like to teach with me here in Tanzania, I'd love to give you more info! Email me at We'd love to connect with you!

February Faves and a #TPTBEMINE Giveaway!

Hey there friends!! I hope you're having a great February so far!! I have some VERY exciting things for you today...make sure you read to the end of this post to enter some awesome giveaways! Did you know that Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a sitewide sale Feb. 7-8?!?! Up to 28% so many amazing resources, including my WHOLE STORE!!

February is such a fun month- with Valentine's Day, the 100th Day of School, and more! Living in Tanzania means we don't have to deal with all the commercialism that holidays bring, which is nice. But I love introducing my students to these holidays however I can! Here are some resources I use to do so. Click the pictures for more info!
This is my newest creation- right in time for Valentine's Day!! Get your early writers labeling pictures, differentiate with three levels, and you get to choose a koala, giraffe, or penguin! Labeling encourages them to stretch out the sounds of a word and write it how they think it should be. It is NOT about perfection- it's about working towards their best!

This is a craft I do with everyone- young and old. A heart map is just that...a map of your heart! Students get to create their heart maps (like mine above), and then interview each other, and write an expository piece on their partner's heart map! Gets in important writing skills while keeping things personal and fun!

Here's another Label and Color activity for winter! This also makes a good early finisher activity, morning work, or writing center! Doing these throughout the year allows you to see their growth and progress, as well as aligning to your themes!

Make sure you check out this blog post for more about Valentine's Day in the Classroom (and get a freebie or two!)! 

Okay, now for the FUN part!! I've teamed up with some other bloggers to bring you a GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP! We're each giving away a $10 Gift Card to TPT, so you can grab some great deals before the sale ends!! It's going to be a quick one, so make sure you get your entries in TODAY! After you enter my giveaway, click the image below to hop to the next blog! Happy Hopping and Shopping!