Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blogs about science books for children

It was a pleasant surprise to find this review of The Shocking Truth about Energy on the blog Simply Science: Using books for easy science lessons. I certainly can’t argue with this quote:

“The publisher says the book is for younger audiences, but I loved it and can see it read by older kids, too. It is succinct and complete, and a wonderful resource. I’d love to see it in every library in this energy-conscious age.”

It is funny how publishers put an age range on books that isn’t necessarily that accurate. It may have something to do with how they organize their catalog or some other arcane reason. Guess I should ask one of these days.

Here is an activity page for this book. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A handy list of my math picture books

Since starting to “tweet” I can see how useful it is to create blog posts about a very specific topic. The “math phobia” #mathchat last week also was an inspiration. Without further ado, here are my math picture books with a summary and a link to each book’s page on my web site:

George the quarter starts at the mint, becomes change in a cash register, is used to buy a balloon, falls out of a pocket, is saved in a piggy bank, and has many other adventures as he travels through the economy.

Miss Prime and her students learn about fractions in five short stories, starting with simple geometric shapes and objects such as half a glass of milk. Scenarios such as how to divide food evenly for a lunch or how far to discount lemonade for sale in wintertime show how fractions are used in real life.

Who is the best at making graphs, Gonk the toad or Beezy the lizard? With Chester the snail as judge, they set about collecting data and making bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, and quantity graphs. Rocks, bathing suit patterns, cookies, and flowers are some of the items that wind up being grouped and displayed in colorful visual form.

Lisa’s dog Penny is the focus of her homework assignment about probability. Lisa predicts the likelihood of events such as whether Penny will see a shark, dig up a buried treasure, or turn into a cat, then records the actual results.

Mapping Penny’s World
This time Lisa needs to make maps, so she starts with a floor plan of her room, complete with symbols, a key, a compass rose, and a scale. Other maps include Penny’s treasures, her favorite places, and a trip around the world Penny might take some day.
Lisa needs to measure something for her homework, so she chooses her dog Penny and a few of her doggie friends at the park. Lisa uses both standard and nonstandard units to measure tails, paws, noses, as well as how high the dogs can jump and many other characteristics.

When a town’s numbers vanish one day, everyone discovers how difficult a world without math would be. If nobody can count, add, subtract, make phone calls, use a computer, or buy anything then life becomes impossible, so hopefully a local detective can crack the case.

Miss Prime explains the basics of addition, then her students venture out into the world to add up scores, tally up their pets, sell things at a garage sale, and write word problems.

When a young monster and a girl want to join The Monster Club, they must earn money to pay dues, help add up the group funds, and figure out what to spend it on.

Seeing Symmetry is a concept book with dozens of examples of line and rotational symmetry. From horses to hubcaps and bugs to boots, symmetry is all around us!

Subtraction Action
In seven short stories, Miss Prime’s students watch a magic show, put on a play, run an obstacle course, and try to win a prize by making things disappear.

In six short stories, silly Halloween characters such as ghosts, black cats, bats, and skeletons demonstrate the multiplication facts from 0 X 0 = 0 all the way to 5 X 5 = 25.

Whew, have I really made 12 math books?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Twitter hashtags about children’s books, writing, publishing, and education

We can officially add Twitter to the list of Things-I-Said-I’d-Never-Do-But-Now-I-Am. Since I’ve only been tweeting for a couple of weeks, it may be premature to compile this list, but what the heck. 

Hashtags are the way people index their tweets, which allows anyone searching on a hashtag to find info about, say #ebooks or #elemed (elementary education) or #math. Here’s an example from fellow I.N.K. blogger, Vicki Cobb:

"Before you cobble together free reading material for your kids, read this: http://bit.ly/b02i0o #education #edweeklive #literacy."

I’m not sure what #edweeklive is, will have to check it out, might be a conference. The shortened URLs are obtained at bit.ly or some other service for free. If there are tweet buttons on the blog, the post's URL is automatically shortened for the tweet.

By the way, I’m tweeting under @LoreenLeedy, so hope to see you there. The tags in bold are the ones I use the most…without any further ado, here are the tags:

#amediting        from people who are editing
#amwriting        from people who are writing
#arted               art education
#artsed             arts education
#askagent         agent questions and answers
#bookapps        book-like apps for iPad, Android, etc.
#ece               early childhood education
#edapp           educational app
#edtech          education technology
#edubk            books about teaching
#elemed          elementary education
#ellchat           english language learners
#ePrdctn         electronic production (e.g. book designers)
#esl                 english as a second language
#hsc                homeschool
#innochat         innovation
#kedu               kindergarten education
#kidlit              children’s literature
#kidlitPRchat   marketing children's books
#mglitchat          middle grade literature chat
#mlearning         mobile device learning, e.g. phones, tablets, etc.
#nanowrimo       national novel writing month
#NFforKids        nonfiction for kids
#ntchat               new teacher chat
#pblit                  picture book literature
#pblitchat           picture book literature chat
#pubtip                publication tips
#SCBWI              re the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator
#storyappchat     chat for book app authors, illustrators, developers, and users
#titletalk             librarians talking about specific book titles
#tlchat                teacher-librarians
#webfic              web fiction
#weblit               web literature
#wip                   work in progress
#writequote       quotations about writing
#writetip            writing tip
#writingtips        writing advice
#yalitchat          young adult literature chat

Tags that end with -chat are discussions held at a scheduled time such as once a week, but some people seem to put them on tweets at any time.

My source for some of these is here: Daily Writing Tips and here: Cybraryman. The rest I cribbed from reading various tweets, of course.

[Update Feb. 20, 2012: Added and deleted some tags. Suggestions are welcome!]

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