Currently December 2015

Wow, taking all the numbers off the calendar in my classroom a couple days ago and switching to a new month still does not make me believe it is DECEMBER! A couple of restaurants and stores in town have busted out some Christmas decorations, and I've been playing some Christmas music to get in the mood, but it feels like Christmas shouldn't be for six more months! I'm still not used to this living in the southern hemisphere thing. However, I am excited for Christmas- for the celebrations, for the fun in my classroom, etc. Here's a snapshot of what's happening right now:

I LOVE me some Rend Collective- and their Campfire Christmas album is awesome! It's been on REPEAT- getting me into the Christmas spirit!

I'm loving that Friday is almost here! This has seemed like such a LOOOOOONG week, for so many reasons. I'm ready for the weekend!

In all honesty, my brain is pretty fried at the moment. I have NOT gotten enough sleep this week and I'm feeling it. No lie, I brought TWO cups of coffee with me today- one hot and one cold. Yes, it IS almost Christmas break! Thank you Jesus!!

We need some Christmas cheer spread around here! I'm excited to finish up these last couple weeks of school and be able to decorate our home for Christmas!! Tomorrow we'll be rockin' out to some Christmas music in my classroom and making a class Christmas tree!

Well, there are really no REAL Christmas trees here in Tanzania, but I'm very glad to have (most) of a fake one! We just need to spruce it up with some homemade ornaments!

Thank you, Farley, for always providing this super fun link-up! What have you been up to lately?!? Anyone else not experiencing their "usual" Christmas this year?!

Much Love, Allie

Five for Friday ~ Towers, Thanksgiving, and a Tired Teacher

Hello everyone! Long time no blog...sorry about that! Life is busier than busy and is just flying by! I can't believe we only have three more weeks of school until Christmas break! The end is in sight! :) Today I'm going to recap my week- Five for Friday style!

1. The many Towers of Babel
This week our theme in Kindergarten was the Tower of Babel. We did LOTS with this topic- I was actually pleasantly surprised to find TONS of great ideas on the web for this lesson. We made so many towers-
We began our unit by exploring making towers from apples and toothpicks. It may have been a little over most of my kinders' heads, but a couple got the concept!

On Wednesday, we split into two groups, and tried to see who could build the tallest tower within four minutes with our foam blocks! THEN, we did it again with NO talking, to think about what it was like for the people who were building the tower of babel!

Our fun craft for the week was constructing a Tower of Babel out of sandpaper strips! I cut the sandpaper into different sized strips, and they had to place them longest to shortest on their paper. I used hot glue to glue the sandpaper down.

To end our unit, we made a "crafty snack" - a tower made from cookies and peanut butter! This was the yummiest tower all week!
2. Thanksgiving
It definitely does NOT feel like Thanksgiving happened this week! The temperatures here are heating up more and more, and I'm definitely missing my midwest fall! We did, however, have a Thanksgiving feast- lots of Americans gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving Thursday afternoon. I made apple crisp :) (my favorite). Of course, I forgot to take pictures :/ Oh well #moreimportantthingstodo #eatallthefood #dessertismyfavorite #caloriesdontcount :D

3. Animal Day
The last Wednesday of every month we have chapel with the whole school, versus just Nursery-1st grade. On these days we prepare some sort of skit, song, etc. to present that goes along with the memory verse of the month. We also have a dress up day! This time, it was Dress like an Animal day! I dressed like a giraffe, and we made masks so our whole class could be animals! It was so fun!

4. Purple "Snow"
We have PURPLE snow here in Tanzania at Christmas- well, it sure looks that way as all the beautiful Jacaranda blooms are falling!

5. #TiredTeacher
It's been a BUSY few weeks, and I've been going pretty much nonstop. And for an introverted teacher like me, there comes a time when I need some R & R. So I have declared this weekend as my "Me Time" weekend. It started today with a walk to the huge outdoor clothes market, for a look around for Christmas-y fabrics. Then I walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner and to read my new book. Finally, I walked to a friend's house for a worship night! It was a glorious afternoon :). FYI my new book is called Eve. It's kind of a sequel to The Shack, but very different. And right now, it's on an amazing sale, for just $1.99!

I have been pretty jealous of all you teachers with a Thanksgiving break! We got a half-day for Thanksgiving, but had school again on Friday. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Make sure to stay up-to-date with me...on Instagram! I post on there a lot more than on here ~ find me at @alliethegypsyteacher.
What have you been up to lately? How was your Thanksgiving?!
Much Love, Allie

Currently: November!

October was quite the month- with parent/teacher conferences and Tanzania's presidential elections. I can write a whole post about the elections, but we ended up having the whole last week off because there was quite a bit of uncertainty of what would happen. Now I'm gearing up to go back to school and am refreshed and ready!! Let's start November off with a Currently!!

Listening: I am loving Bethel's We WIll Not Be Shaken album! It's so good!

Loving/Thinking: We had a FULL week off this past week, and I was soaking up every second of our time off! It was fantastic to be able to do some things I usually don't have time for- like making Christmas cards, reading, having lunch dates with friends, etc. I don't know if I'm ready to face the music tomorrow brings!!

Wanting: CONFESSION: I love Tanzania with all my heart, but I am sincerely missing Fall right now that you all in the States are experiencing!

Needing: I'm planning to start off this next week and month being more disciplined! I want to meet my goal of walking in the mornings four times a week, as well as doing strength exercises. I know it's important and will make me feel better!

Yummy! I love everything apple! I have plans to make some apple crisp this coming weekend!! :D #superexcited

Also, I'm really excited to participate in this for the month of November:

Are you looking for a fun and memorable way for your students to practice thankfulness?! I have created a TpT product for you! It is my 30 Days of Thankful: A Thankful Tree Craftivity. It's workable for all ages, and is a fun way to recognize all there is to be thankful for! It is on sale for $3.00 (25% off!) through Tuesday, November 3rd in my TpT store! Check it out by clicking the link or the picture below!

What are you up to, currently?! Link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!!
Much Love, Allie

We're WILD about Kindergarten! (Classroom Reveal Part 2)

I'm back for part two of my kindergarten classroom reveal! [Click here to see part 1, if you missed it!] We have now finished the seventh week of school, and I'm feeling really good about my class, and what we're learning! This week we're studying magnets, and they got a kick out of how my earring was magnetic! LOL!

Today I am sharing about the back half of my classroom- where we have our whole-group lessons, story time, and morning meeting. I made the dry-erase sign above for my students to hold individually for first-day-of-school pictures. I also had lots of books about the first day of school/kindergarten out and ready to read!

We sit in a circle in this area (now on a rug), and I sit in the chair most of the time. It also becomes our Writer's Workshop sharing chair. The green board is also a faux bulletin board I created for Literacy. I now have two command hooks on the close side to keep anchor charts! I really love this area of my room.

Here's a closer view of the calendar area. It fits perfectly right under the window. The "Yesterday Was," "Today Is," and "Tomorrow Will Be" could use some revamping, but it works. I stuck a velcro dot on the wall under each title, and also on the back of each day of the week.

I keep extra calendar materials and attendance slips in the hanging organizer on the left. I've posted our school rule and standards up on the left too. I now have our school's monthly memory verse up on that wall, and my centers chart. Everything is always changing, but this was a good starting point!

This is my birthday area! I LOVE how it turned out. It is one of my favorite DIYs in my room. The letters (along with the others in my room), came from a pack at Lakeshore (I think it was Creative Teaching Press). They were a splurge, but totally worth it! I also got the cakes from Lakeshore. I used command hooks to hang up the blue shabby chic ribbon.

I wrote my students' names and birthdays on the cakes, and clothespinned them to the ribbon in order. I love how the cakes pop off the ribbon, yet tie in with the aqua blue!

Turning clockwise around the room, we have cushions (one for every student) that we use for reading and rest times, and my storage cabinet. I have two (dollar store) over the door hooks with binder rings on them to hold up my chart paper. The first day of school this was my anchor chart (I basically copied Kristen's from A Day in First Grade) showing how to be a good listener.

This is the opposite side of the room. We have two identical bookshelves. The nearest one is where I keep our reading books, as well as our workbooks for writing, reading, and math. We also have our Writer's Workshop journals on the first shelf. I love using the top shelf to display books for the week, and some sort of message to go along with our theme.

One of my DIYs I did is made little window embellishments for all four of my windows. I used kids "grass" skirts from the Dollar Tree, the green chevron ribbon, and fake greenery to create a fun, jungle-like decoration! I think they turned out really cute!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what my classroom looks like! As I mentioned before, it's ALWAYS changing, but that's a good thing!! It's my home-away-from-home here in Tanzania, and I love it! I'll be back next week sometime to share about our Egg Drop project, and more about how we explored force and motion!

Much Love, Allie