End of Year Slideshow

My End of the Year Slideshow got me like . . . 

Well, I don't know what it's got me like.  But it got me.  Big time.  It is all I have been doing in my waking hours except for my long weekend in Vegas where I took my laptop thinking I can work on the slideshow in my downtime (PUH-LEASE) and, instead, I never took my laptop out of my backpack because HELLO, I was in Vegas.

I've had a few emails and questions about my slideshow so I thought I'd tackle the subject again.  I feel as if I've blogged about this before but that might only be because I talk about it at the end of every year and procrastinate over the entire project and obsess over music and weep over my little first graders as if I will never see them again.

Anywho . . . 

I have a Mac.

As in an Apple computer.

So if you don't have that, this little tutorial (ha!) will not work for you.  Consider yourself lucky.

On my Mac, I use iMovie.

And, because I am afraid of change, I have not updated my computer to the newest operating system of Yosemite.  




I used to camp in Yosemite and I have great memories of family time in Yosemite which means I do not want to upgrade to Yosemite and end up hating Yosemite.

I have no clue what system I am operating on other than I know I am not a doctor and not really operating on anything.

I choose a blank template in iMovie because I am controlling and I like to control the look of my movie.

If you are not as obsessive-compulsive as me, you could do what Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade does which would be way way way easier.  But I am not normal so there you go.

I made some title slides in Power Point to use before each special event that I am going to have in my movie.

Here's a sample or two:

In iPhoto, I edit my pictures.  Let's say we have just had the 100th day of school.  I edit all of those pictures, flag them, and then when I'm in iMovie, I just drag over all the flagged pictures.

I continue doing this for all the major events throughout our school year which makes it look like all we do is party and wear crowns on our heads, rather than have a normal type of day.

Shoulder shrug.

After I've got all of the pictures in iMovie, I add transitions. 

Then I add music.

And by add music, I mean I add music, take it away, choose different music, watch the clips with that music, take it away, add different music, watch it, take it away, add different music, take it away, and then end up with the first song I had originally added.

I like to do this over and over again for maximum Lose My Mind Disease.

Next year, I have promised myself that as each major event occurs, such as . . . oh, I don't know . . . the first day of school, let's say . . . I will edit the pictures in iPhoto right away and then drag them into iMovie right away.  Then when the next major event occurs, such as We did art and we liked it, I will edit those pictures right away and then drag them into iMovie right away.  And so on.

The key words being right away.

That way, at the end of the year, all I will have to do is add transitions and music and I might still have a life.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I promise myself this every year.

But . . . next year . . . I am going to do it.  For real.



I will really, for surely, definitely try.


I think.

We'll see.


Five for Friday

Five for Friday . . . ON A FRIDAY.

I'll be honest.

It's actually Thursday night as I type this and I'm scheduling it for Friday because I've got places to go and people to see and things to do and a THREE DAY WEEKEND TO GET ALL UP IN.

I'm not used to scheduling posts.  

I'd much rather talk live.

This is weird.

Anywho . . . 

Remember this picture from my post about Backpacks?  Well . . . one of my teammies, Heather, decided to just go straight to the source and ask if we could get backpack hooks mounted right onto our outside walls.

And by straight to the source, I mean our amazing head custodian, of course.

He said he didn't think it would be a problem at all.  He mentioned using a wood plank, or a 2x4, or a strip of wood, or who knows, and then mounting that to the wall.  Then he could just screw in the hooks or the pegs or whatever makes everyone feel like the kids are safe instead of the whole discussion of what if a kid is walking by and doesn't know where he is in space and he doesn't pay attention and he gets impaled by a hook?  

So then I emailed our principal and asked her about it and GUESS WHAT?

She is looking into it.  

And we think it's going to happen!!!

I am just a tad bit excited.

I saw this on Instagram the other day and died laughing.

I then texted ten teachers at my school.


When we have assemblies, our kids sit on the floor in the multi purpose room.  Getting through the kids without tripping or falling is a huge undertaking.

I use the kids' heads to balance.

Even if I don't know who they are.

Which is gross if one uses too much gel or if one has friendly critters (read:  lice).  But I'd rather lean on the tops of their heads than fall over on four or five kids on my way to discipline an unruly student who might end up laughing at me because I never made it over to him and I just gave up.

I mean, I've got to have the upper hand, don't ya know.

Scantrons = THE DEATH OF ME.

I usually bubble all of the scantrons after my kids have taken the paper/pencil part of the District Assessment.

And it takes forever, as you can imagine, with 32 kids and 30 problems.

Last trimester, my team and I had the kids bubble their own scantrons for the first time ever.  It was scary.  It was brave.  It was YOU JUST SAVED YOURSELF THREE HOURS AND SO NOW YOU CAN GO HOME AND WATCH REALITY TV!!

This trimester, I completely forgot about having the kids bubble their own scantrons and I stayed late and bubbled all of the Language Arts assessments myself.

It's a wonder I can type.  And that I have thumbs.

So today, I said, NO MORE.  You will bubble your own Math scantrons.

They were excited.  Especially because I said I would take a nap while they did it.

All was well.


I happened to walk by this:


I guess when I was going over how to transfer our answers, and how to stay on track, and how to bubble neatly and erase completely if you make a mistake, I forgot to mention the NUMBER TWO PENCIL PART.  Slap hand to forehead.

Live and learn, people.

Live and learn.

I am THISCLOSE to finishing up my End of the Year slideshow.  I have teared up on more than one occasion. 

I'm chalking it up to I'm tired, I'm stressed, I have to work on report cards, and I love these kids so much, and they have grown so much, and I'm going to miss them so much, and I'm scared to death of the little babies heading my way!

It happens every year.

It's a big ole Groundhog's Day.

Steve and I are headed to Vegas this weekend!  We are celebrating my brother's birthday and staying at my parent's timeshare resort.  It should be a lot of fun with the family and I hope it will also be a little relaxing, too!

Everyone is leaving Sunday morning, but Steve and I have a room booked at a hotel and we are staying until Monday.  We will definitely be relaxing -- we hope the weather is nice enough for some pool time. 

If not, we have plans to lounge around in the hotel room and watch a movie or something.  

Either way, I know that I will not be bubbling scantrons.



Talk About It Tuesday . . . on Facebook.

Hello, don't kill me.

Because I'm going to sit this season out.


I'm just going to sit and watch the show every Monday night (possibly with ice cream and/or wine) and I'm not going to take notes.

It's kind of freeing.

Except that I'm afraid you want to kill me.

I have a few thoughts (or excuses, if you will) about it.

1)  I don't think I entirely agree with the whole Kaitlyn vs. Britt shenanigans that are going on.  SCOFF.

2)  It's the end of the year.  I'm tired.  I'm stressed.  I keep calling kids by the wrong name and I know these kids.  They're in my class and have been in my class since day one.  And I'm not talking a little bit here and there.  I'm talking no one is safe and even if your name is just as easy as pie (like Ann), I'm gonna call you Jim Bob by accident.  Don't even get me started on spelling the names.

3)  I figured if I Talked About it Tuesday on Facebook, we could have more of a conversation . . . and reply to one another and chit chat that way in more of a live feed situation.  I think.  I don't know.  I'm not saying I'm going to sit on FB all night on Tuesdays, either.  I mean, hello . . . The Real Housewives of New York are on Tuesday nights.  One has to prioritize, right?

4)  I have a suggestion for you if you want to read hilarious recaps.  Her name is Sheaffer and she blogs over at Pinterest Told Me To.  

I have talked about her before.  I kind of stalk her.  

I also stalk her best friend, Shae, who happens to be Sean's (The Bachelor who married Catherine) sister.

Sometimes, I even enlist people to do my stalking in person.  As in, Kerry, my twin, has met both of them at the mall (in her city in Texas).  She just went right on up to them and said hi.

I like to pretend I was there, too, and that we all sat down and had a frozen yogurt or a Starbucks together.

Anywho, Shaeffer cracks me up.  I mean, I laugh and laugh.  I love the way she writes.  And, according to Kerry, we have similar writing styles and a similar voice.  So.  Maybe it will be like you are reading my recap except for the fact that you won't.


But seriously, give Shaeffer a try and let me know what you think. She is super duper popular and has a ton of fans.  Her recaps generally come out Wednesday or Thursday because she has a son and a husband and a job and a dog . . . and a life.  

And, if you DO visit Shaeffer for a bachelor recap, you HAVE TO TELL HER THAT I SENT YOU!!  


I'm not embarrassed to say that I've also emailed her on several occasions for fashion advice.  She always replies. 

We are this.close.

In my mind.


Please forgive me for not doing the recaps.  Don't hate me.  Please.

Although, I've kind of always wanted a hater (just to know that I've arrived) so maybe one negative comment would be okay.  But just one.

No more than one.

Or I might cry.

And delete it.



HP Instant Ink

I'm back to talk about HP Instant Ink because some of you asked me to.  And I'm a people pleaser.

Which means that if you ask me to blog about something, I most likely will.  But don't get any big ideas and ask me to blog about volleyball or eggs or whistling because I am not a fan of any of it, especially strangers whistling in the grocery store.  Stop it already. I'm trying to remember if I need these Reese's peanut butter cups or if I already have some, and your whistling is messing with my mojo.

So I'm not an expert on HP Instant Ink which might make this post a bit difficult to write, but oh well.  I'm brand new to HP Instant Ink, but I'm already their biggest fan and telling every single person I know about it.

Once again, I need to give thanks to Lauren at A Teachable Teacher because she is the one who told me all about it in the first place.

So . . . here's what I know.  If you print a lot, and buy ink a lot, and try to save money at Sam's or Costco, or buy recycled cartridges on Amazon, or any of the above, then this just might be what you need.

I print a lot.  I already said that in my Five for Fraturday post, but I'll say it again.  I print a lot.  Although, now that I have enrolled in this program, I haven't printed anything except a class roster, but that's just a fluke thing and happens to be ironic.  


First, you need to see if you have an eligible printer.  Here's the list:

I happen to have the HP OfficeJet Pro 6835 printer (because I happen to be a pro at printing).  It just so happened that I have this printer.  I've had it for awhile and didn't buy it all-special-like to enroll in this program.  SCORE.  If you don't have one of these printers, you're out of luck and can stop reading now.  And I apologize.  It's not my fault.  Don't be mad at me.  (That's the people pleaser in me.)

So then, you pick a plan.

They have a $2.99 a month plan for occasional printing.  I don't think any teacher I know is an occasional printer, but you never know.  Surprise me.  The monthly fee includes ink, shipping, and cartridge recycling.

Next is a $4.99 a month plan for moderate printing.  

Last, there is a $9.99 a month plan for frequent printing.  That's me.  I'm a frequent printer.  Much like a couple of kids in my class who I refer to as frequent flyers to the nurse with this ailment or that ailment or Faking-It-Itis.  Frequent printer, frequent flyer, frequent eater, take your pick.

Here's the thing.  The gist.  

For $9.99, I can print 300 pages a month regardless of how much ink I use.  My printer will tell HP when I need more ink and they will ship it to me BEFORE I RUN OUT.


And, if I go over the 300 pages, that's okay, too.  I can print 20 more pages for just $1.00.  

AND AND AND . . . unused pages ROLL OVER.

HELLO?!  So when I usually pay close to $100 in ink at Sam's Club about every couple of months (maybe, I don't know, I haven't kept track, but it sure feels like I need ink all the time!!), I will just pay $9.99 a month which equals $120 a year and I will never run out of ink.  Look at all my math!  Apparently, HP Instant Ink makes me smart, too.  Not to mention, the website says that their cartridges have more ink than XL ones, so I will need ink less often.





Now, like I said, Steve was a little paranoid and doesn't like that our printer will be constantly communicating with HP which opens us up to all kinds of scary internet I don't even know what's lurking maybe someone will find out how much junk food I eat or how much reality TV I watch or who knows but he gave in because he completely agreed with the money savings involved here.

Several other people have told me how much they love this program so I also feel that's good enough research for me.

Okay.  I think that's everything.  The website does a great job of explaining it, too.

Let me know what you think and/or if you use it so others can read your comments!  :)  THANK YOU!!!!!  :)

PS And no, HP Instant Ink did not ask me to write this for them.  They don't even know who I am.  

Unless they actually do know who I am because my printer is now communicating with them . . . 

Insert scary music here.


Five for Fraturday

Happy Happy Happy Saturday!

I'm going to spend most of the day working on my End of the Year Slideshow.  I'm pretty sure I said that exact same thing last weekend and then I totally procrastinated.  

It's okay, I said.  I'll work on it a little bit each night this week.  That makes more sense, anyway.

But I didn't.

Not once.

So here we are again.

The good thing is that I have 13 more school days which means I have plenty of time left for further procrastination.

This was part of a reading passage from our Language Arts District Assessment.

We were allowed to read the passage as many times as necessary to our students.  This was a huge relief because, at first, it seemed as if the students had to read it independently, but upon further investigation, we learned that the teacher could read it.  And when I say further investigation, I actually mean that a friend at another school texted a picture of the directions to me and she highlighted the part that said we could read it to our students.  

Directions are important, people.  Make sure someone you know reads them.  Thanks, Rebecca!

Anywho . . . I would like you to try to read the word "Shetland" multiple times in a passage out loud to your students as many times as necessary.

Lauren from A Teachable Teacher (who also teaches in my district) sent me this text:


First of all, I would like to tell you that I completely staged this picture.  The box by itself looked lonely so I grabbed the tissue box and my mug of pencils (from Jon Jon) and set it up.

There.  I feel better now.

Anyways, have you heard of HP Instant Ink?!!  Lauren (again, A Teachable Teacher) told me about it months ago and I either ignored her, didn't understand it, ran out of time, or was watching reality TV because I didn't get it.  I didn't.  This has happened before.

Last weekend, on a lark, I looked it up and found out two things.

1.  My existing printer is part of this program.

2.  This was going to save me a lot of money.

And it doesn't matter if it's color ink, either.  I don't care.  I am not afraid of printing (or hairspray, for that matter.  I believe in hairspray).

This HP Instant Ink means I can print and print and print and print and print . . . and pretty much only pay $9.99 a month and HP will ship ink to me when I am about to run out.  

This is MIND BLOWING, people.  I will probably do a whole blog post about it because I cannot get over it.

The only teeny tiny problem is that Steve is not happy about HP knowing when I'm out of ink because, according to him, my printer will be communicating with them and that means Big Brother is watching and they will know everything and we are just opening up our house and our lives to them, Kristin, don't you think that's kind of scary?

To which I said, Who cares?  I'm never running out of ink again and IT'S CHEAP!  Don't you get it?  Ink will come in the mail and it will be cheap!  And I can print all kinds of stuff without thinking twice!  What would you like me to print for you?  Name it!  And what about the Cloud?  No one knows anything about the Cloud and for all we know, the Cloud already knows everything anyway so who cares if HP gets in on the action?  It's like FREE ink, practically!

I think at that point, he had tuned me out and shrugged his shoulders and given in.

I am all about this now.

I was afraid to try it because it has no artificial ingredients and you know (you must know!!) that sometimes preservatives and artificial ingredients just taste absolutely delicious.


I tried the Cinnamon Cream flavor this week and it was delicious.  

I feel a lot less guilty about putting creamer in my coffee now.

And do not, I repeat do not, leave me a comment saying that it has this or that instead and I'm going to die from it, and I need to stop drinking coffee and/or just drink it black.

Because that's not happening.

Stir.  Stir.  Slurp.  Slurp. 

Mmmmm.  Good coffee.


 I laughed so hard when I saw this on a boy's desk before we started Fun Friday.

Apparently, he did not want anyone to use his desk if they were going to be playing with the play-dough.

This started a phenomenon (as things like this usually do) and by the end of our Fun Friday time, I had found four similar signs.

Kids. Crack. Me. Up.

Okay, who's watching??!!

It starts this Monday night!

I am debating inside my head (and now here) on whether or not to take a break from Talk About It Tuesday for this season . . . I am thinking I might just want to watch the show for fun (without taking notes) and then maybe when I have something to say, I can say it on FB and we can have conversations about it on FB . . . 


Alright, I better stop procrastinating about my slideshow . . . and go fold some clothes.




So the other day, Kerry, (my twin if you didn't know, but I think everyone knows) told me that I hadn't been blogging enough for her liking.




Kerry!  I said.  I am busy!  Hello?!  I come home and I have to play with Murphie and grade papers and watch Reality TV and pay attention to Steve and and and and and . . . 

But then, I had to agree with her.  Kerry tends to be right a lot.

I haven't been blogging enough.

But that's mostly because of everything I just said and because I have nothing curriculum-wise to share with you other than the fact that I am struggling with End of the Year Syndrome and my poor kids have come down with it pretty hard, too.

We have 15 and 1/2 days left.

And that is all.


Today, we started telling time to the hour.  

Did you know the hour hand is the short hand?  And that you have to look at the hour hand first?  And that my kids will never forget that their first grade teacher who happened to be short said to look at the hour hand first which happens to be short?

Sometimes, all of my words pay off.

We have also learned all of the words to all of the songs for our Nanny Goats Play.  You can read all about it {HERE}.

I love this play. 

I love watching my kids practice this play.

I love my kids working together as a team to put on this play.  

This play is good for all of us and it's all we want to do all day long.  Seriously.  

All day long, it's . . . 

Can we practice the play?  
Are we going to practice the play?  
Do we have time for the play today?  
When are we getting our parts?  
When is the play?

We would do it all day long, too.

Except for the fact that we're in the middle of District Assessments in Language Arts including a Writing Performance Task about elephants and tusks (not horns, please everyone pray that no one writes down elephants have horns as one of their facts tomorrow, I might blow a gasket because three boys kept saying horns and the class kept yelling TUSKS, TUSKS, TUSKS!) and trunks and herds and so on and so forth, and we are learning how to tell time, and occasionally we are studying ocean animals, and sometimes we actually get to centers.  

I know!  It's like a full day of learning, practically!

So we can't practice the play all day, goshdarnit.

But at the end of the day today, we had some mini try-outs because a few kids wanted to be the trolls, and the trolls take turns singing a mini-solo, and that can be a big deal for a little six and seven year old, and you can't just hope and pray it will all work out.  You have to know ahead of time, otherwise your play doesn't turn out that professional, and you, the teacher, has to step in as the troll because the show must go on, and that little kid is just standing there on stage not doing anything while the rest of the cast looks on horrified and/or giggling with all the parents and some staff members watching.

Live and learn is what I always say.

Give me the microphone is something else I always say.

Isn't it interesting when you think little Miss-or-Mister-So-and-So will be amazing and then they get up in front of the class to audition and start crying because everyone is looking at them and it's too much pressure and so they change their mind?  And then you think the other Miss-or-Mister-So-and-So will just be mediocre, but they blow all of your socks off and spontaneous applause literally erupts from the class?

It happens almost every year.

It's just magical, I tell you!

I ended my day playing with Murphie in the backyard and treating myself to a bag of these:

Oh my word.
I have a problem.
The problem is that a serving size is 1/3 of the bag.
And there are 3 1/2 servings in the bag.
And the bag is little, people.
It is!

The struggle is real.



Five for Fraturday

Happy Saturday!!!!!!!!!!  

I don't know if you can tell from this picture or not, but Murphie is feeling A LOT better!  We had just come in from playing out back, which is one of her favorite things to do besides going to the park.  This girl would rather play ball than go on a walk any day.   

She would probably be feeling 100% better except for the fact that Steve just read the directions on her prescription bottles on Thursday, and I was supposed to have been giving her two pills in the morning and two pills at night and . . . well . . . shoot . . . I was just giving her one in the morning and one at night.  And it's technically my fault because I took over the whole I'll hide the pills and I can do this and just let me do it situation.

Anyways, I'd only been giving her half the dose.  Oops.  

BUT . . . at least she has been taking her pills.  The vet told us to hide them in the wet dog food that she had prescribed (she said to make a meatball out of it) and it works LIKE A CHARM.

Look how sweet our bus drivers are!!  

Our school celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week back in March so this was kind of a nice surprise.

Also, our principal and assistant principal put out donuts another day this week.

I did not need a donut.

But I cut one in half and ate it.  Just half of it.

And then I promptly ate the other half.

During our PTT this week, we had our Let's Make Classes For Next Year Party.

Our principal set out snacks at each table and we had water and soda and whatever else, too.

I'm telling you -- my principal was made for me.

I hate this party, though.  It's stressful and bittersweet.  I have a hard time letting go of my kids . . . just putting their little paper down in a pile and knowing that they won't be mine much longer is HARD.

Unless the kid is a stinker and then I put his/her paper down first.

Oh, I kid!



But it is stressful just due to the whole there are too many boys in this class, can you trade me a high achieving girl with excellent behavior?  And oh, these two can't be in the same class together, let's move this kiddo over there and move this one here and wait, these two are twins and the mom wants them separated, now who do we switch for that one? And wait a second, this class has way too many parent volunteers, we need to move this mom over here because she is a great room mom and and and and and . . . 

Maybe it's just my team.  Because we were the last ones in the multi-purpose room when it was all said and done.  Everyone else left at 3:30 (when we're allowed to) and my team (there are only three of us so I don't know if you'd exactly call that a team but we are great together, if I do say so myself) just kept trading cards and agonizing and stressing . . . until about 4:15.

At one point, our assistant principal came back to check on us and when she left, SHE TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS.


It was an accident, but still.  

I finally got this set laminated and I brought them out this week.  They feature Murphie and Milo again, and they have been a hit!  The only problem now is that this is all my class wants to do.  And there has been a bit of arguing about we want to do that play, give us that play, you did it yesterday, it's our turn now, that's the funniest one, that's not fair! amongst the children.

It's a nice problem to have, actually, except that I have to play referee sometimes and who has time for that so most of the time I say be a problem solver or I'll put the plays away and then it magically works itself out.

The other thing that's been happening is that my kids are writing their own plays!!

Most of them are about me.  This is not giving me a big head, trust me.  Several of the plays involve explaining who I am to upcoming stranger kinder kids and say something along the lines of she is funny and short and teaches us good math.


I'm beginning to work on my End of the Year slideshow.  It's going to be my project for the day while I do laundry and put on a clean pair of pjs.

I have a love/hate relationship with my End of the Year slideshows.  I get weepy and nostalgic for my class, and the fact that the year is almost over, but I obsess over the video and the pictures and the music and the transitions . . . I drive myself absolutely crazy. And I know there's an easy way to do this in iMovie where you just drop in the album and let iMovie make it for you but I can't do it that way.  So thanks anyway.

I always like my version better.

So there you have it.  I'm still a LooneyTune Whackadoodle just in case you were wondering.