Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Snowing Symmetry!

There's no snow here in central Florida, but that doesn't mean I can't draw a flurry of line symmetry designs, right?
Snowy Symmetry has designs for Winter and Christmas such as a penguin juggling snowballs, silly snowflake and star characters, a walrus, a teddy bear, a gingerbread boy, girl, and house, and Santa holding a gift. There are 16 designs with 3 levels of difficulty, making 48 designs in all.
Teachers have left enthusiastic feedback on my fall and spring symmetry packets such as
Great symmetry lessons that scaffold for younger students.
My kids love these and the differentiated variety meets everyone's needs!
Loved this activity. The kids wanted to do it all afternoon

If you would like to combine math and art in a seasonal project, please check out Snowy Symmetry. There is a FREE sample to try in the Preview.
Click cover to view Snowy Symmetry!
Another chilly option is one of the first classroom resources I made, Ready, Set, Snow! Printable Snowflakes to Match Pairs and Halves:
Click cover to view Ready, Set, Snow!
I wish you a very happy holiday season!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Andy's famous spiced cranberry sauce

If you'd like to try something a little different for Thanksgiving, check out this easy recipe. My husband Andy tasted this at a party a couple of decades ago and has been making it ever since. It gets gobbled up in a hurry every year!

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

4 cups fresh cranberries (2 standard-sized bags)
2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Wash cranberries and drain. Combine rest of ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Add cranberries, cook at medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes until the skins pop (see below.)
Mash the berries (below.) Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes with the lid on but askew to allow steam to escape. Stir occasionally until dark red and thickened.
Remove from heat, pour into glass or ceramic container, and chill.
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013 'em or hate 'em?

Like many of us, I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines. On the one hand, who needs the pressure? On the other hand, it motivates us to get things done. This post has two deadlines...for you, not me (hee hee!)

The first one involves 6 teaching resource bundles and 1 clip art bundle to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It's a great cause and the feedback has been terrific. The benefit is over at the end of October and the current price per bundle of around 25 resources is discounted to only $20. The Grades 3-5 ELA and Math covers shown are the ones I donated to but there are also K-2 and 6-8 grades also. Click here to see all of them.
Click to visit bundle page
Click to visit bundle page

The second deadline is tomorrow (October 30th)'s the last day to sign up for a chance to win 1 of 5 copies of Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right With MyPlate on Goodreads. The giveaway was supposed to end after the 31st, but based on what the site says, it's going to end on the 30th. I hope some of my blog readers will be the winners! Click here for more info about this book and a link to a FREE book activity.

Good luck!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Two Book Giveaways and a TpT Flash Sale!

Because TeachersPayTeachers has reached 100,000 followers on Facebook, they've decided to have a sitewide 10% sale until midnight on Sunday, October 13. And everything in my shop is 20% off, so that adds up to a big discount. My sale actually runs through Monday the 14th to give my followers some extra time. Click here to visit my shop.

My brand new Radiant Rainbow Brushes, Pencils, Clouds, Drops, and Borders clip art graphics are included in the sale.

There are only a few hours left in the Jack & the Hungry Giant book giveaway on the Bunting, Books, & Bainbridge blog, so it's enter now or never!

The book giveaway on Goodreads runs until the end of October and there are 5 copies of Jack to win there.

Good luck and happy shopping!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Giveaway of Jack & the Hungry Giant!

During the month of October, my publisher (Holiday House) is sponsoring a giveaway of 5 copies of Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with MyPlate on Goodreads! For more about the book and a link to a free activity, read this post.

I happened to meet a teacher a couple of weeks ago at the UVU Engaged Reading conference who teaches health topics in elementary...she was SO excited to find this book. Apparently, she has a tough time finding fun resources for certain topics. Guess I should keep writing and illustrating!

This #giveaway is a first for me, so it will be yet another "learning experience," no doubt. Click "giveaway details" on the widget below or use this link. I did figure out how to upload an excerpt from the book onto Goodreads, so that's something.

Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with MyPlate by Loreen Leedy

Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with MyPlate

by Loreen Leedy

Giveaway ends October 31, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crazy Like a Fox nominated for the ORA Gallagher!

It was a wonderful surprise this week to find out that Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story has been nominated for the Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award by the Oregon Reading Association. Here is the page with all the nominees.

It's a children's choice award, so the winner is chosen by kiddos across the state. All the books are good ones so they'll have a tough decision to make! In the meantime, it's a fun way to promote literacy and celebrate reading.

The trailer gives a sense of what the book is about without giving too much away:

To visit the book's page on Amazon, click this link: Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story  
My article about the process of writing the book is on the I.N.K. blog: Crazy About Similes!

This FREE follow-up slideshow has photographs of the the items used in the similes such as a log, a lion, a leaf, and so on. It's a great way to help kids understand the comparison each simile is making. The PowerPoint is located in my TpT shop at this link: Crazy for Similes Book Activity 

I drew and painted the illustrations in Adobe Photoshop. The image below gives an idea of the process. I make fairly rough sketches, either in color or black and white. The artwork is divided into layers so each piece can be moved independently. The layers also allow me to try out different colors very easily. It's akin to word processing in that you can keep fine-tuning the artwork until the very last second.

By the way, if you haven't travelled to Oregon, it is a wonderful place to go...there are mountains, the Pacific ocean, fossils, lava fields and tubes from volcanic eruptions, rainforests, lakes, rainbows, fabulous pies, and much more.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Information Options: Presenting Nonfiction Topics in Picture Books

Today I'm delighted to be presenting a keynote address for the Utah Valley University Forum on Engaged Reading. This post has my notes as well as links referenced in Information Options: A variety of ways to present nonfiction topics in picture books. The links for my breakout sessions are included also.

How do people get information? How do children get information?

From prehistoric times, humans have observed the world around them, and wanted to tell somebody about it.

Kids are told many things by adults including parents, relatives, neighbors, and teachers. Children also find things out by first-hand experience, by doing things.

Long distance and mass communication: Town crier, carrier pigeon, letters, (now emails or texts,) newspapers, magazines, radio, telephones, TV, movies. Then computers, Internet, smart phones, search engines

Today's focus: The kind of information children can find in picture books and the multiple ways it can be presented.

What can nonfiction books look like? The bad old days of long paragraphs of text with a few rectangular photos...are they really gone?

Some general categories of nonfiction books:
Just facts
Information + Context to make it more meaningful
Information + Process: how X is built
Information + Activity: make a craft, do a science experiment
Information + Argument: why X is good or bad

Solving for X: key elements to consider when creating an informational picture book
Main Idea; Facts; Age level; Title; Setting; Characters; Plot or Sequence; Writing options; Image options

Some of the combinations found in my books (links go to the book's page on my web site):
Symmetry + Many Examples + Line & Rotational symmetry + realistic images = Seeing Symmetry
Sequence: “What is symmetry?”...starts with Line then Rotational

Mars + Photographs + Kids + Writing = Messages From Mars
Plot: group of kids that win a trip to Mars, write home about what they learn

Animal sayings + Meanings + Comical animals + Antique art = There’s a Frog in My Throat
The groupings are based on where animals live, e.g. On the Farm; In the Wild

Similes + Story + Comical Animals + Transformations = Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story
Plot: Fox acts “crazy,” provokes sheep to follow him, leads her to surprise party

Prehistoric + Chronological + Realistic art + Playful = My Teacher Is a Dinosaur and Other Prehistoric Poems, Jokes, Riddles, & Amazing Facts
Chronological overview, realistic artwork, playful presentation

Math + Delete Numbers + Problems + Fantasy = Missing Math: A Number Mystery
A way to show the value of math by removing it, detective story

Energy + Types + Step-by-step + Characters = The Shocking Truth about Energy
Major types, Steps of energy production, characters come to life with energy

MyPlate + Big food images + Read aloud + Fairy tale = Jack & the Hungry Giant
Large images of food, story for context, Jack & the Beanstalk

Diverse ways of presenting information in books is important, because READERS are diverse.


All Loreen Leedy picture books are on this page of my website. There are links to individual book pages that have a summary, the ISBN numbers, activity ideas, trailers, and more.

This is a blog post with ideas for introducing Seeing Symmetry including using hands-on foldables and the words to a symmetry chant.

I've made several free activities for my books including the ones shown below:
Click image to go to activities download page on TpT
Click image to download
Download my free book activities in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. More are under construction and will be in my shop as they are created. Be sure to "follow me" to be notified.

Other activities are downloadable from this page of my web site.

The Nonfiction Reading Response Cards shown on the left will be free during the conference.

My Pinterest boards are mostly full of teaching ideas on various topics such as Making Math Fun, Kids + Nonfiction, and Eating My Plate. Click to view them all and follow the ones that interest you. A collaborative board I contribute to called Learn to Read has over half a million followers!

ClipArt Etc. has thousands of antique images that are free for educators to use in the classroom. Additional images can be found on a sister site, Presentations Etc.

Holiday House Books for Young People has a page of books categorized by themes such as character education, cultural diversity, math, science and nature, and many more. They also have Teachers guides, Activity pages, and other freebies on this page. Here are all my Holiday House books that are in print.

Life Changing Nonfiction Series: during the month of September, I.N.K. bloggers are writing about nonfiction books that inspired them as children and comparable books that are available today: I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids)

Nonfiction Monday is a weekly roundup of blog posts about nonfiction books. It's hosted on a different blog every week, so check the schedule here.

Here is a free template for kids to make a map of their bedrooms using Mapping Penny's World as a mentor text on the School is a Happy Place blog.

See a class writing their own simile story using Crazy Like a Fox as a mentor text on the 4th Grade Frolics blog.

Why should kids read nonfiction?
Beyond Once Upon a Time by Nell K Duke.

Whew...hope this post is useful...if so, please leave a comment!

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