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Thursday, August 9, 2012

What is Original? and a Freebie

A while back, I posted a free Number of the Day on Google Docs.  I was then notified by a seller on TpT that mine was similar to hers and that might cause her a problem since she was selling hers.  I took mine off of Google Docs.  Since then, I have had MANY emails requesting the Number of the Day download. 

That got me to thinking about "original".  What does it mean anyway?  I have seen many things duplicated by teachers on TpT and TN that I know the seller did not invent.  I purchased two Matter units from two different sellers.  Both of those packets contained Root Beer Float activities.  And what about Oobleck?  How many sellers have that in a packet?  I have seen things duplicated from Lakeshore, Really Good Stuff, Carson-Dellosa, etc.   Check out the Back to School packets.  Most all of them contain some type of getting to know you bingo with the same questions.  So the only thing original in the way it's arranged.

How many times have you thought, "Oh, this would be the coolest idea to do for ___!", only to find out someone else already thought of it?  In the world of teaching, is there such a thing as "original"?  Math concepts, reading strategies, science stuff...it's the SAME everywhere and the activities are the same.  Seriously, I remember putting celery in food coloring to see how the water travels up the stem when I was a kid (a long time ago).  Someone may put a little different spin on it or add a cute graphic and font, but the concepts are still the same.  Many of these "original" ideas came straight from a text book!

I'm not trying to cause anyone any problems.  I'm not trying to be negative or nasty.  I'm just saying that because my Number of the Day was "similar" to hers, does not mean I shouldn't post it.  So, I have decided to put it back up.  FREE FOR THE TAKING! There are 20 premade numbers and one blank so you can create your own.  I only used numbers that would make the telling time to the nearest 5 minutes.  I'll change up once we have covered time to the nearest minute.


Click here to download
I apologize in advance if this post offends anyone.  That was not my intent.  My goal is to help children become successful. And if I can help a teacher or two along the way, that's even better.  What are your thoughts about "original"?  I'd love to hear them!


49 comments:

Wendy P said... [Reply]

Hi Kristi,
Your post is very interesting and my point. It is one of the reasons I am afraid to open a teacher store on TPT or TN. Isn't most our teacher ideas inspiration from someone else? Thank you for reposting your Number of the Day for us. I was really disappointed when I first clicked on my Pinterest board to look at your Number of the Day and it was gone:( I am your newest follower.
Wendy
4th-5thgradehappiness.blogspot.com

Mary said... [Reply]

I agree that it seems like a lot of things that people have on TPT or TN is a duplicate of what someone else has done. I can go to my county's educational website (or the state's) and download the standards checklists for free and yet people are selling them. I realize that the sellers did take a lot of time to make them and create something that is cute, but it's not original. I still buy things from the sites, because it saves me time, but I thought the person who asked you to remove yours was being a bully, as there are a lot of variations out there. Thank you for sharing this!

Mary
Teaching Special Kids

Michelle said... [Reply]

Personally...I couldn't agree with you more and commend you professionalism in addressing the issue. Well done!!

Amanda said... [Reply]

Krisit, I think you are right. As teachers, we borrow constantly. I just don't see asking someone to take something down b/c it is similar. Do you know how many number of the day sheets I've seen? Tons...some free and some not. Just not a big deal in my book. I get some of my best ideas borrowed from other great teachers.

Sara said... [Reply]

I totally and wholeheartedly agree with your opinion. Teachers all over the place create and recreate to their liking - sometimes, some things happen to look similar to other people's things, but that doesn't mean it's "the same." As a new teacher and a new creator, I can agree with the fact that there's a lot of things out there that look the same, but each teacher has his or her own style and his or her own way to make things... some offer for free, some offer for a price. It's your choice to do as you please, and I totally and 100% support the way you approached this topic. Don't let anyone bully you down!

Sara
Miss V's Busy Bees

Kaitlyn said... [Reply]

You handled this wonderfully! We are all trying to teach to the same standards (for the most part), so there is bound to be overlap in the things we create.

I LOVE these and they are perfect for my 4th graders. Please make more!!

:) Kaitlyn
Smiles and Sunshine

Natalies Nook said... [Reply]

I think you were very articulate in saying what so many of us think. I have thought about this many, many times. I am not sure there is anything that is 100% "original". Don't we spend oodles of time telling kids to dig into their schema, make connections... isn't that what we do as teachers when we make our units? Your examples were spot on. Changing the clipart seems to be deemed making it original. I think you did the right thing to address the issue head on and you had every right to re-post your freebies. I really enjoyed reading your post ~ food for thought for all of us:)
Natalie
www.nataliesnook123.blogspot.com

TeacherChicks said... [Reply]

Amen sister! That is all I can say. Oh, and thanks because I totally downloaded this awesome resource!
Amy

3 Teacher Chicks

sincerely, susie said... [Reply]

Thank you so very much!!! To me the term "original" means one of a kind...there are a lot of number of the day pages on the sites you mentioned, but people just really like the design and layout of yours. I also think had you had yours for sale, people still would have preferred yours. You are so kind to offer this amazing resource to us...and as a freebie! Thanks again!!

FourthGrade Flipper said... [Reply]

That was very well said!! I always wonder if I could ever come up with an idea that no one has ever thought of before. It is a rare occurrence! I cannot imagine telling someone who has a similar product that it should be removed from TpT.
Often, creative products and ideas need to be tweaked to fit our personal needs as educators. I think that is what TpT is all about. If we create something to fit our needs and grade level, we can post it and it may just be the right fit for someone else too. It could save them hours of sitting at the computer and doing the same thing. Time is money!! Anyway, thank you for sharing this freebie and I know it took a lot of courage to speak your mind:) Way to go!
~Holly
Fourth Grade Flipper

mlhughes said... [Reply]

Kristi,
I tried to find a way of contacting you in private, but couldn't find an email/link. Thank you SO much for this! I am an ESE teacher and there are a ton of wonderful items available for use, but the problem with them is that I ALWAYS have to adjust them to meet each and every one of my students needs (not that regular ed. teachers don't do this-- I know that they do), but it is still difficult and frustrating when I am not sure whether or not I will pay $5 for something that looks useful from the previews, but then I find out that it wont meet my needs, but then again, I know that anyone who buys the same items take the risk as well. Anyways... just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!! :) Very much appreciated and i completely agree! :)

Mrs.Rios said... [Reply]

Thank you for reposting this excellent resource! I tried locating your worksheet several weeks ago and wondered why I could find it. Much appreciated!

Laurie said... [Reply]

Thank you for sharing! I plan to use this with my three boys this fall. Even when blogging, I find that I sometimes post something almost identical to a friend. I was even called out on a contribution that I made to a link-up party- but I had never read the other bloggers post. It happens. I think the best thing we can do is to assume the best of others unless they are actually selling material created by someone else. At any rate, I appreciate you sharing your work.

Ginny said... [Reply]

Thank you for posting this. I actually had a TpT conversation with my husband the other night. Teacher's know we don't make a lot of money and that time is short. I feel ripped off by paying someone else for something of that nature. If I create something I am more than willing to share it to help someone else out. If we all create and help imagine where we could take our classes! Thank you for freely sharing of something you took precious time to create. Our collaborative efforts will help our students go far.

Jennifer Salazar said... [Reply]

Kristi, I clicked on the link but it just took me to a google page. I have a google account, but was unable to view the document. Can it be emailed to me?

Janaye said... [Reply]

Totally agree with you! "Original" is used way more often than it should....these look FANTASTIC!!

Janaye
Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

ykamp said... [Reply]

Thanks for posting! Awesome!

F. Jefferson said... [Reply]

Thank you for sharing. I agree with everything that you stated. I only download free things as I don't have the extra money to pay for other products. You are so appreciated.

linda b said... [Reply]

Thank you for this wonderful resource. I too have used and seen many different number of the day activities over the years, they are of course all similiar. As a fellow teacher, I like to share any resource that works for me with others, and because I already spend way too much on things that I need for students, it is a blessing when I can find things others are willing to share for free. I agree with the other posts, don't be bullied into taking your things down. We appreciate you!!!

Jennifer said... [Reply]

I too had a similar problem. I posted a graph and someone confronted me that she had the patent on THAT graph and I was to take it down! (I'm quite sure she did NOT invent the graph!!) But I took it down, cause I was a little scared. With all these copyright laws and stuff. I asked a very popular TpT-er about it. I don't have the time, energy, or know how to look at EVERY SINGLE ITEM POSTED OUT THERE! If I make something, it's cause I WANTED TO, not because I wanted to "steal" someones idea.

mkerns said... [Reply]

I totally agree with what you've said...."what in teaching IS "original" any more. I have been so hesitant to even start posting anything for fear of those same issues....."stuff and nonsense" I say. ALSO....thanks so much, it's a great resource and it's definitely going right into the rotation. THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Brooke Ratliff said... [Reply]

Thank you! Great resource and I agree with your point.

Kindel Baxter said... [Reply]

I completely agree with you! Thank you for posting this again!

Corrina Gideon said... [Reply]

I am so happy that you re-posted this! In the world of teaching I think there are few truly original ideas. I mean, there are only so many concepts to teach and only so many ways to arrange those concepts on a paper. I think you made the right call.

Christy said... [Reply]

I totally agree...thank you so much for posting this!

Brandi said... [Reply]

Totally agree too!! I tried to download it but it didn't work???? Can u email it to me...you rock!! THANKS!! bborchardt1532@gmail.com

Linda Gotsche said... [Reply]

Thank you for stepping up to this cause. I have always created or recreated my own "orginal" things after being inspired from other teachers. I am nervous about posting on TPT just for this reason. I agree what really is "orginal"?

Gina S said... [Reply]

Thank you for sharing! I have my students do a number of the day, but I really like how yours is presented.
I totally agree with your post. I sometimes buy stuff from TpT. I always feel as a teacher we should do what is best for the kids. Is it really about making a buck, or helping each other be better teachers? If making a buck is important, they start by finding a job that pays more than teaching. lol

Felisha K. said... [Reply]

Love it! And as teachers we should all be willing to share ideas! We should pay for the time you put in not the idea because as teachers we are just we working the wheel!!

JLS said... [Reply]

All good points! Sharing ideas is imperative for teachers to stay fresh and relevant. Someone out there always has something new to contribute. Thank-you for being willing to share freely.

Love Teaching said... [Reply]

Thank you so much for posting these. Love them. I totally agree with you cuz I've often felt this way as well; but unable to articulate it as well as you did! This is one of the reasons why I’m so reluctant to post my products on TPT. BTW, I am excited to be your newest follower. When you get a chance, I would love a visit.

http://iheartteaching365.blogspot.com/

Mrs. Dyer said... [Reply]

Amen and thank you!

Stephanie Ann said... [Reply]

I just found this post and I couldn't agree more. Very well put too!

Stephanie Ann
Sparkling in Third Grade

thepolkadotowl said... [Reply]

I just found your blog and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. I have seen it happen to so many bloggers who's blog I read out there and I am so happy that you took a stance. As I read blogs, I sometimes feel like there are bloggers out there who bully other bloggers not to put things up, or to make them feel that an idea was theirs first. It's just crazy. Thank you for sharing, thank you for being an inspiration. :)

Sarah Smith said... [Reply]

THank you so much for sharing. I am a single mother and do not have a lot of resources to purchase additional materials. If we all do what is best for children and others I know it will come back to us when we need it most.

Crafteechic said... [Reply]

I didn't find your post offensive, I actually found it quite true. Most of these things aren't our original ideas, and in fact they are all recreations of something. She crossed the line by requesting you to take down your copy/version/remake/remix etc!! Rock on and as always TFS!!

Sunshine and Company said... [Reply]

I am not surprised someone wants to claim an idea as being their original idea. I believe somewhere the original, they are trying to sell as their own, had a footprint... it might have come from a text book, or be a spin on someone else's idea.. I see many "original ideas" put out there that are just packaged differently...Too bad some are in it for the money but then I also understand one does want credit for work they've created. I would challenge TPT to check out items being sold...To claim an item to be original they would have to investigate all sources and copyrighted material then prove no one else had that idea before it can claimed as original...I value the copyright law and it's purpose..to protect...from infringement of a patent or written work. We get into problems within our universities, in the business world and today's technology with infringement rights of a product someone has invented or created. It happens when one is "borrowing" parts of someone else's work and then claim it for their own..I see everyone having original ideas and having ability to be creative..and often my ideas are spin offs from other ideas... I may choose to make it fit my needs and may even improve on it....so why not pass it on if it helps someone in our profession....I too am reluctant to post any project on TPT...for this reason..Thanks for your post and the courage to repost your project...

Donna Preston said... [Reply]

Getting in late on the conversation. I agree that there is not a whole lot of truly original curriculum out there. Many of the TPT seller have put a lot of time and creative effort into the visuals of their work, and I have no problem paying for that. I'm even willing to pay for the plain looking versions since they often save me valuable time. What drives me to buy the free stuff is that: Maybe there's some way around this, but TPT seems to have a minimum order amount. So if I want something for $1 (very reasonable) I have to look for something else to add to my cart that I don't necessarily need so that I can make the minimum. That's when I end up searching out the the free stuff.

So thank you for posting the free stuff.

Mary Cullen said... [Reply]

Late to the conversation All I can say, is my friends and I constantly share ideas, resources and materials. I don't charge them and they don't charge me. I may change it a little. Teaching is a collaborative career. We need to share ideas with each other, because the end game is not personal gain, but meeting the needs of the kids.I use TPT occasionally, but I also see a lot of things for sale on there that I have also seen in a workbook or other teacher resource, just adjusted slighted. so original? Hardly.

Cynthia Burrell said... [Reply]

Original ideas have been around forever. Unless there is a new way to teach a skill, you probably don't have an original idea. Thanks for sharing your freebie. Don't let a few complainers keep you down!

KEPPI FORTENBERRY said... [Reply]

Hello :)

I do not have time to be original! All the help I can get is great & I appreciate the awesome ideas! I really like the personal word wall for math - it is going in an interactive math journal. I also love number of the day - I had wanted to incorporate so your sheet is going to help me! We are all in this together for student success! Have a great year!!

Tammy Gray said... [Reply]

great job Thankyou

Vivace said... [Reply]

Hi! I love this activity and appreciate you sharing it. I for one have no problem "buying" teacher resources. Who does not love free though? I know many teachers are in the business of "making money" and I love to support that endeavor when I can. But I agree, most of the stuff we see is not "original" though people want you to think that. I have seen things I purchased in different places and I know they were copied and sold. But, I have no judgement about that. I am in this to help my student, period.

Rachel Drozinski said... [Reply]

I'm just coming across this - so glad you reposted! As long as you created it, you should post it! Who do people think they are! Good for you and keep on teaching on!

Mabel Balenzuela said... [Reply]

Hi, I found it really useful! I really liked it and I thank you for sharing!!! big hug from Patagonia Argentina

psa433 said... [Reply]

Thank you for this freebie! I love this!!

Suzette said... [Reply]

I am so proud of you! Thank you so much for sharing this great tidbit - I love it!!! Good for you following your heart and helping us out. I appreciate it and I appreciate you. Blessings to you!

Tchur8 said... [Reply]

Your point is very valid. Something that also needs to be realized is that we are given Standards to teach and follow...therefore....many ideas will be duplicated. We all have a commonality here...we're in it for the advancement of our kiddos. I also am thankful for your number of the day and d/l awhile back and just pulled it out once again to begin my year. I only wish it had an answer key. Thanks for sharing your hard work and making mine that much easier!!!

Rachel said... [Reply]

Hi, I just found this and would love to use it for summer school review, but when I tried to download it, it said it was in your trash, so I couldn't download it. Do you have another link somewhere? Also, I think you make a very valid point. Everything on TPT looks similar, anyway.

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