Friday, November 29, 2013

Jan Brett....Her Books I HAVE To Get!!!

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jan Brett!
She is beyond amazing,
and the best thing about her is that
she is extremely teacher friendly!
Check out her site:
She gives out TONS of freebies...
and what poor, teacher doesn't just love that???!
Hellooo!  Teachers beg, steal, and borrow.
FREE is a beautiful thing!

Here is Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby book:

I like to give out freebies, too...
just emulating one of my literary heroes!

The Gingerbread Baby: Graphic Organizers
 The Gingerbread Baby is...
The Gingerbread Baby has...
The Gingerbread Baby can...
3 easy-peasy sentences for your kiddos
to write about the Gingerbread Baby.
I love, love, love how you bring these
higher level thinking skills down
to the Kindergarten level.
You are all that my friend!
 Not liking the handwriting lines? 
Here are some regular lines for you!
I appreciate that because we don't use 
the 3 lines in our district. 
Here is a Gingerbread Baby Bubble Map,

and here you can have your students draw a picture
of the Gingerbread Baby and write three things
or 3 sentences about him.
Love it!

  The Gingerbread Baby Story Maps:
  If you want to keep it short and simple,
these are the maps for you!

Here are more detailed story maps for
those of you who like to get
a little more involved in the writing.

 Once again, handwriting lines not your thing?
Try these pages instead!
 Of course I have to give it all to you
in easy to print, black and white pages!
Of course you do since you're a
practical teacher that FREAKS out
over the amount of ink you have
to use on your PERSONAL computer.
Here comes some writing paper....
a TRUCKLOAD of writing paper!
How much do you love me?
The Gingerbread Baby Writing Paper 
with LOTS of variety for your writing pleasure!
If I met a gingerbread baby, I would...
 I love these little half- sized pages
to compliment art projects.
The Gingerbread Baby: Writing Paper
My Favorite Part Of The Story Is When...
 Generic Writing Paper for The Gingerbread Baby

Last year, I started selling teaching items on
Teachers Pay Teachers.
I DO have 4 children that need me/
want me to buy things for them,
so unfortunately I can't give EVERYTHING away for free---
unless you happen to teach in my building....
that's a whole different ball game!
To be in sunny Florida right now?
The temps are in the teens up here in Illinois.
(BEAUTIFUL weather at the moment! 
65 and the wind is blowing....LOVE, LOVE, LOVE windy days!)\
Is there a Kindergarten opening
in your building?
(Maybe we could time share...half the year in Florida
and half the year in cool would that be?)
Now THAT would be a tough sell to your four short people.
"C'mon kids.  Let's go watch the corn grow."
If you ever DO work in my building,
come on over to my classroom
and just tell me what you want!
Don't forget your thumb drive!

Starting Spring Break of 2012,
I began making several activities
(for my own classroom and for teacher friends)
that I posted for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers.

(Read the following cautionary tale with your eyes wide open!)
Well, one of those items was a little elf activity I had made.
I can't remember which item it was, since I have several elf
activities, but I'm pretty sure it was this one:
Elf Blank Story Maps

I forgot that
I also have it in Spanish...
Ta Da!
Of course you do.
El Duende Navideno: Elf Blank Story Maps...Los Elementos Del Cuento
(Still haven't figured out how to do Spanish accents and tildes
on this blog...but they're on the download, don't worry!)

Anyway, I got notice from TPT saying that I was in 
violation of using copyright materials and that
I needed to cease and desist
(for the English version one up there).
OMG!  I would have raised my hands
like I was being arrested.
...and I would have freaked out!
You get three strikes and you're out--
as in no longer posting on TPT.
As in, Buh-bye TPT store.
Talk about total freak out session
at the Queen Chaos household!
Did you close your blinds?
Lock your doors?
Screen your calls?
Stay inside?
I mean, after all,
you were a wanted criminal!
'Course they do say stripes are slimming.
AW SNAP!  That's vertical stripes, not horizontal.
Never mind.
I had NOTHING on my little elf pdf.
that had any reference to anyone.
Not in the title, not in the activity.....
but I DID say in the
little, description blurb:

"This would go well with blah, blah, blah."
(Insert book title and author.)
Who knew a little 
"blah, blah, blah"
could get you into such trouble?

I'm not even going to mention
the name of the book or author,
because, "Lord have mercy!"
They're going to track me down here!
Not only that....but to be honest,
I'm kind of anti-this book now.
I can't help it...
they hurt my feelings!
Does a shiver run down your spine
when you see pins on Pinterest
related to "that" book?
You have NO idea.
I still see items being posted all over the place
 by new sellers, and the mom/teacher/nice but bossy person
in me REALLY wants to give them a big, huge WARNING note
in their Q&A sections, but then I think that they're going to think
"Who's this crazy lady telling me to change or even delete my products?"
Hopefully they'll read this post and learn from my mistake!
Well, experience is the best teacher.
She can be a bit harsh, but still a good teacher.

I researched around, and I finally came up with
the answer that this book is not only a book,
it is now a trademark.
Here's my handy tid-bit:
"handy tid-bit?' 
more like
"pearls of wisdom."
 Do NOT EVER mention
a trademark name in any of your product 
descriptions.  I've taken it one step further,
and I no longer mention book titles that my
items MAY go well with in any of my product descriptions.
Quite frankly,
think about it.
All teachers know IMMEDIATELY what stories
different activities go with.  We'll figure it out
even if you didn't s.p.e.l.l. it out for us.
Teachers are good like that.
You never know when people may go trademark happy!

The funny thing is....
everyone I talked to about this
didn't understand it any more than I did.
They just figured (as did I)
that it was free advertisement
for this book.
Very wrong, indeed!
I did contact TPT, and told them my sob story.
Threw yourself at their feet begging for mercy
was more like it!
Everything is fine.
Thank goodness!
TPT is the reason that
Hollywood and Golden Boy
both have braces on their teeth!
What a wonderful blessing!
Plus, that's how we met!
(Everybody say awwwww)
I absolutely DO NOT want to burn that bridge!
Definitely don't want to burn a bridge that 
you hope to walk over for years and years to come sista!

In college, and later on 
(when I took time off to be a Stay-At-Home mom),
I used to rack my brains
about how to make extra money....
and I always came
up blank.

I wrote a couple of children's books
that got sent back to me....
Ouch!  That stings a bit.
Oooh.  That's just cold.
I sat for countless hours in front of my computer screen
trying to start a novel.
This happened.
This was my thought:
I like to read....
so how hard can it be to write
one of these things?
Best-selling authors everywhere
just made a collective gasp.

Hard.......very hard.
Very hard, indeed!

I came up flat.  Nothing.  Squat.  Nada.

Then Golden Boy turned 5,
and I went back to teaching.

Several of my classroom parents
as well as my colleagues would always tell me that
I needed to figure out a way to market what
I was doing to make extra money.
Teachers in my area have to moonlight
in order to make ends meet.
That is so sad.
Sad but true.
More like unthinkable really.
Teaching is so incredibly important
so why doesn't our society reward it as such?
Sad. but. true.
(Unless you're single, childless and
possibly living with a roommate....
...which also explains how you're able
to spend an even crazier amount of hours at school each week.
or your spouse/partner has a job
that can carry the household expenses.)
After all this time, I'm still just making around $38,000.
Bold of you to just put it out there.
Again, sad but true.
I figured out that my salary wasn't very good,
when I heard a commercial on TV say that a family of 4
is living in poverty if they are making $35,000 or less.
Uhhhhhhh....this is not good.'re also more than a family of 4.
You've got 6 peeps in your home my friend.
Just saying...
Not good at all.
Teachers are the working poor.
Sing it sista!

Funny Teacher Week Ecard: 'I went into teaching for the big salary, short hours, overabundance of resources, and low level of stress.' said no teacher ever... like ever.
*AttaGirl Funnies by Angela Furgal AKA Fairy Funtastic*
If you see this pinned somewhere else...know that you saw it here first!

When I went to a college scholarship
informational meeting a while back with Karate Ballerina,
they were talking about the merits
of having a college degree (no duh, Sherlock).
The kicker was when they said that the average college student
graduates and gets a job making around $40,000...
immediately after that, they started talking about
how wonderful teaching would be as a possible profession.
I had to bite my tongue, before I jumped up
and announced my teaching salary as a dire warning
to any young person swayed in that direction. 
You want to be a teacher? Great!  
But go into it with your eyes WIDE open!
Your job will NEVER be finished,
and your bank account will ALWAYS be empty. 
So true on both accounts.
I think the demands of our job
(because even though you may have a passion for teaching
at the end of the day it is in fact a JOB)
are making it harder and harder to persuade
the older short people to go into Education.
Like you said,
have those eyes WIDE open.

None of us went into the profession for the money,
(as non-teachers always love to point out
to those of us who are teachers)
Right after they remind you that
you don't work in June, July, and August.
And you "only" work 9-3.
And you don't work weekends.
And isn't teaching a lot like babysitting?
Girrrrl, don't get me started!
but at the same time...
altruistic employees still have to be able to pay their basic bills.
Do you know that I figured out a few years back,
that even with any bonuses or incentives we would
receive for having excellent ratings....
Stop right there.
"bonuses or incentives"
What are you talking about?
Up here in Illinois we have no such thing.
What and how do you receive them in Florida?
teachers in my area are actually better off
tutoring 1 student for 1 hour 1 time a week
than receiving all of the potential bonuses for a year?
Yup, you'd actually make more money
working for a mere 52 hours a YEAR.
What the public doesn't realize is that a teacher
easily clocks an extra 50 hours a WEEK of  free overtime
(late nights, early mornings, and weekends).
They will do this for their ENTIRE career.  
We often have to reinvent the wheel every year.
Not because we don't 'get it' in regards
to what we're teaching.
I mean, c'mon, 
2 + 2 will always be 4.
t-h-e will always spell the.
But how we reach kids
can be as different as all of the kids we meet.
We get a new crew of short people every year.  
Each crew of short people
comes with their own set of 
strengths, weaknesses, 
background knowledge, and family situations.
One size does not fit all!
Put differently,
we don't hit rewind and play when making
our lesson plans from year to year.
Let me say it again....
One size does not fit all!
Rant over...
Sad, sad times.
For tutoring, you just show up and work for an hour. 
We all know how to teach what needs to be tutored,
so it's a no brainer.
As for getting these "bonuses"...
you have to jump through countless hoops,
which have impossible expectations
that can easily cause heart failure or stroke.
Again, I have NO clue what you're referring to.
Don't get overly excited about these "bonuses"...seriously.
Teachers just give a silent, death stare whenever the topic is brought up.
You know the look....the look that says, "REALLY?" 
I'm sure your salary is more than mine...or maybe not.
Last year, I found someone who was making around $32,000. a year.
Good Golly Miss Molly, how do you feed your babies on that?
Finding this out, DID NOT make me feel better about my own salary.
It's extremely frustrating knowing that teachers
are so undervalued monetarily,
yet we are expected to be
superhuman in so many regards.
Teacher, Mother, Nurse,
Caregiver, Counselor...
...just to name a few.

The bonus itself WILL NOT
cover the cost of a hospital visit
which is where we are all heading--
the ambulance has actually been to my school,
has it been to yours?
I know plenty of teachers that at some point in
their teaching career have had to
wear a heart monitor to record stress levels
throughout the day.
(myself included)

Back to my classroom parents and co-workers
saying I should sell my materials:
I would just laugh, and say,
"Sure, if you're willing to be my 
pre-agent to find me an agent
and help me market this stuff,
I'll share the profits with you!"
(I was COMPLETELY serious.)
I've got all the creativity in the world
without a  lot of practicality.
No one took me up on my offer,
so I just kept making stuff for my
classroom with the only beneficiaries being
my own students and my colleagues.
I've always believed that the best teachers share....
which is what the government and business people
just don't understand when they talk about teachers
needing to be more competitive.
It's not our nature.
We model appropriate behavior all day long.
How can we behave selfishly with
all those short people watching?
When you share, your friend will say,
"Oooooh, wouldn't it be better if we do this?"
Then a colleague will say, "Oh, what if we add that?"
Then someone in a different grade
that you just ran into when visiting the copy room
will say, "Do you know, that you could....."
Do you have ANY idea how often I've
seen something cool that a colleague was
copying at the copy machine?  
Feel like you're in a rut for new ideas?
Hang out at the copy machine and you'll be

bombarded by great ideas!
 .....and suddenly....
A work of genius will  emerge that benefits all of the classrooms.
Competitive Classrooms Will Cause Clear Constraints On Collaboration.
That's the politically correct way of saying
"teachers won't hang out together if they feel threatened."
Back to my collaborative classroom...
It was fine. I was broke....
but Dang It All!
My students had cute, fun activities!
I don't do UGLY.
I don't know what medical diagnosis that would be.
Have a Coke and call me when it passes.

Maybe one day, my doctor will tell me:
"I'm sorry, Queen Chaos, you have the lifelong illness of
T.A.B.U.M.  (Teachers Against Boring, Ugly Materials).
Correction:  IDDU're so just made me laugh!
If I was drinking a Coke right now
it would be up in my nose!
 IDDU...I think I like it!
Doctor: IDDU is an uncontrollable disease that you will have to
learn to live with and maintain.
In other words, "get over it!"
It will cost you plenty of sleepless nights,
and you will have to battle against your desire to
create EVERYTHING in your classroom, yourself.
If you're too that point, it's too late.
Just saying...

Side Effects: Addiction to Coca Cola and Chocolate.
Side effect?  More like the treatment plan!
I know some people who have OCD.
For the record, 
it should be CDO so the letters are in alphabetical order.
Yes.  My name is Angela and I am OCD.
Loud and proud baby!
I could give you all sorts of examples
to substantiate this self-diagnosis...
...but you'll just shake your head not understanding.
So let's just pretend that you don't know 
that about me so we can still be friends.  K?
(Seriously wish I had that house and
classroom would be sooooooo much neater!)
Anyway, me and my OCD friends tease each other,
because I know that they can't deal
with things not being neat...
Neat?  Girl!  It's called how on Earth
can you flippin' concentrate when 
everything is out of wack?!
I feel the need to go breathe in a bag.
Excuse me for a sec...
and they know that I can't deal
with teaching materials that aren't pretty.

I never regret,
the day that I met...
in a beautiful storybook,
the fabulous Jan Brett.
Oh, that's right.  This post is about Jan Brett.
Can you say "sidetracked?"
Most teachers are accustomed to carrying
on 20+ conversations at a time 
so we were all still right there with ya...
...waiting to hear about Jan.
She makes things BEAUTIFUL.
OMG!  Ya think? Her illustrations are amazing!
This girl has some serious talent!
I've used her freebies
to make some really simple PowerPoints that my
students LOVE to read (and re-read).
I, of course, would love to share
with you and your students!
And for that we are thankful!
The Mitten
I'm giving you a sentence bubble download
just in case your students are required to do a multiple choice
bubble test at the end of the year.

The Mitten: Sentence Bubbles
 I don't agree with multiple choice questions for 5 year olds...
To See How I REALLY feel about multiple choice for Kindergarten-
read my Happy New Year! Post.
but if my students HAVE to do it,
I am going to prepare them, and I'm going to make it look fun!
If you want to get my bundle of Sentence Bubbles,
now is the time to do it!
Right now it's listed at a super cheap price,
but as the bundle grows....the price will go up.
Sentence Bubbles Bundle:
Looking for some handwriting practice
and story retelling sheets for The Mitten?
Look no further!
The Mitten Handwriting and Story Retelling sheets in print:
The Mitten Handwriting and Story Retelling sheets in modern manuscript:
The Mitten Handwriting and Story Retelling
sheets in gray scale lettering for tracing:

Here's another one of my top favorites from Jan Brett:
Jan Brett's The Hat
My kids ALWAYS laugh about the underwear.
It doesn't matter that they're long johns.
Underwear is underwear...
and when you're 5,
it's just hilarious.
I absolutely LOVE reading this part.
I stop, gasp, and then read it
in my silliest of voices.
If you can't beat 'em,
join 'em!
...and they are 5 so
to hear their teacher say
underwear?  Well that's comic gold
in their world!

I do have some activities that contain
winter clothing on TPT, if you're interested...
They can be used any time that you're reading books
that contain winter clothing in them.
There's a bunch more...
I'm feeling too tired right now to post ALL of them!
If you want a look, just look on TPT.
Just type in "Regina Davis" 
(no, I don't go by Queen Chaos ALL the time--unfortunately)
and then "winter clothing"...
and Voila!
Activities galore await you!

I've used the winter clothes activities before.
It's ironic to me that you created activities
about winter clothes,
while you're sitting in capri's in Florida.
Just saying!
It's so funny when I hang up my own children's
old winter clothes from Colorado.
My sun kissed kids always
think that the snow pants are a riot.
The whole gloves versus mittens thing is beyond them....
I have to actually show them how the gloves
have 5 places for all of your fingers
and the mittens have only a spot for your thumb
and an area for all 4 of your fingers to hang out together.
We are 5 and we understand sand and surf....not snow and ice!

I also have different Gingerbread
activities if you're interested.
It may be worth taking a peek,
since we do have a WOWZER of a sale coming up!
I know, my marketing skills are wanting...
I SHOULD be posting my For Sale items like crazy.
This is the most I'm willing to do at the moment:
Angela reminded me to throw in the TPT sign...
she's better at marketing my stuff than I am!
Seriously people!  If you check out Regina's store
she has a gift for making relevant
and super cute graphic organizers
for Kindergarten.
Check out her store!
Like now!
There's a tab at the top of our blog.

Click it!
Aren't I the lucky one who got her for a blogging buddy!
I'm the lucky one people!
She has the great products that

need to be in the hands of teachers everywhere!
I just like to talk, talk, and talk.
This blog lets us do both.
All good in the hood.
(So check out her
Kudos For Kindergarten Christmas
items while you're at it!)
The sale is from 12/2/13-12/3/13....
just in case you're reading this post 5 years from now - Hah!
I just figure those of you who ARE interested will
take a look, and those that aren't...don't really want to
see a bunch of stuff  clogging up my Jan Bret/Teaching Rant post.

....And yes....I admit I'm ranting.
Time for a good book and a hot cocoa!

 photo Queenchaossignoff-2.png


cc said...

Thanks for all the great info!! I just love your work!

Queen Chaos said... made my day!

eman alshazly said...
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