First graders at The Dalton School in New York City did a recent reading, writing, and art project using our Fibonacci Folding Book App for the iPad. They took photographs, wrote Fibonacci poems, and made Fibonacci Folding Books. You can see their work here.
The Fibonacci Folding Book project is also available on my website in the section labeled For Teachers. I love hearing about it when teachers and librarians use the educational materials we’ve created for Growing Patterns and Wolfsnail.
I learned today that I received a $500 minigrant from the Mississippi Arts Commission to cover the cost of three sets of marketing materials. Many of you know that Richard and I developed a new logo and a new website this year. The minigrant will pay for printing of new business cards, a Fibonacci Puzzle marketing piece, and a new set of bookmarks.
Many of you know I have a new manuscript under consideration at Boyds Mills Press. I hope to have news soon. In the meantime, I thank the Mississippi Arts Commission, members of the Mississippi Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts for continuing to support my work as a Mississippi artist.
I spent Saturday leading a workshop for a dozen Greenville Public School teachers titled “Read a Book, Make a Book.” The workshop was organized and paid for by the Greenville Arts Council. I appreciate all the help I got from Megan Hines, the education director for the arts council.
I taught three book forms: the instant book, the Wolfsnail on the Move Book (a scroll form), and the Fibonacci Folding Book (an accordion form). I shared the stories behind each of my books to give teachers a window into the creative process of a writer of nonfiction, and to empower them to lead their students through the same process.
We used Private Eye loupes to examine natural objects.
It was a cold, dreary day in the Delta so we didn’t spend time outside. We did a few exercises that teachers can use to prepare students for nature journaling outside, including the 20-second nature break.
A highlight of the day was making our Wolfsnail on the Move books.
I used some portions of the Digging Deep curriculum I developed this year with the Mississippi Museum of Art. I thank the museum education department’s Elizabeth Williams and Dorian Pridgen for sending copies of the curriculum, other MMA materials related to schools, and door prizes for teachers.
A little less than a month ago, I presented at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Along with Beth West, the International Baccalaureate coordinator at Davis Magnet IB Elementary School, I taught a workshop on using photographs to illustrate math stories.
Regular readers of the blog will have been following our efforts to pilot this work at Davis this Spring. Read about it here. And here.
We had a great group of teachers at our session. We also had help from Andy Boyles, my editor at Boyds Mills Press (and Highlights). He took many of these pictures, and kept the slideshow(s) going while Beth and I alternated with teaching.
I’m putting the finishing touches on a workshop that I’ll be presenting with Julie Owen at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at USM in Hattiesburg. If you’ll be there for the first session Wednesday, join us for “Read a Book, Make a Book!” This photo is a sneak preview of the new book we’ll be talking about: Wolfsnail On The Move. In our workshop, we’ll also teach two other books for kids to make as responses to reading Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator and Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature.
I will also be signing books at the campus bookstore and hanging out with my librarian and writer friends. See the full schedule here.
Tonight is the re-premiere for Touch on Fox TV. In the episode which airs tonight, Arthur Teller (played by Danny Glover) uses Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature to help Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) understand the complicated, number-based way his son Jake (David Mazouz) sees the world.
During the show, I’ll be on Twitter, answering questions about Fibonacci numbers. Follow me on @campsarah or follow @Highlights.
Everyone was very friendly and helped me work through a few technical glitches. Thank you, Maggie Dickson, fourth grade project director; Faye Bruce, librarian; Gena Yarbrough, district art specialist; Belinda McKinion, assistant principal; and Coke Magee, principal.
The students asked great questions, and were wonderful guides through the school as I made my way from classroom to classroom to sign books.
Once again, I brought along a wolfsnail and some prey snails. I also debuted the wolfsnail app in its trial format. The kids loved seeing the snail video.
Several teachers took the pictures I am posting here. Thank you.
My friend, Hester Bass, alerted me to the fact that Growing Patterns appeared last night on the pilot of a new Fox TV show called Touch. Fibonacci Numbers figure into the plot of the show, and, at one point, the character played by Danny Glover uses our book as he explains the sequence to the Kiefer Sutherland character.
In this trailer on YouTube, a few pages of Growing Patterns appear at about 1:20.
I’m glad Hester caught the reference and I’m now planning to tune in on March 19th.
My second school-based project this month involves teaching third graders to use digital photography to illustrate math stories. I began by reading Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature in each class, and then I talked about my process — from idea to publication. I showed them early (and awful) drafts, described my breakthrough on layout, my complete re-write, and the photography.
As noted in my previous post, I am working with Beth West, IB Coordinator at Davis Magnet School, to develop a lesson plan for a presentation we are giving at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Philadelphia in April. Two books that have helped us a lot was we’ve developed our unit are Math is Language Too: Talking and Writing in the Mathematics Classroom and New Visions for Linking Literature and Mathematics by David J. Whitin and Phyllis Whitin.
The Davis third graders will work in groups to make photo-illustrated books about patterns or measurement. Our primary model texts are: Growing Patterns and For Good Measure by Ken Robbins.
We will ask our students to write regularly in their math journals about the project. Beth and I are very interested in seeing how the students make sense of the pattern and measurement concepts and the book-making process. I will write regular updates here to let you know how the process is going.
The Fibonacci Folding Book Project app is now available in Google’s Android Market. The app in Apple’s App Store has been downloaded by people in a handful of countries. It is very exciting to have our content available for tablets. I’d love to hear from app users about the experience.
Richard has put buttons on the homepage of my website that link directly to the appropriate page in the two App outlets. Click here to see.