Richard and I had a great time at the annual convention of the National Science Teachers Association in Boston. We signed at least 80 books for teachers, professors, and science specialists. Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature got lots of love!
On Saturday, I was part of a session called “A Real-Life Page Turner: Award-winning Trade Book Authors Share Their Research Strategies.” As always I began by talking about Wolfsnail. We had about 40 participants who rotated through three tables for 15-minute mini sessions. A group of professors of literacy and science education put the session together.
Dr. Wendy Saul opened the session with a discussion of why books remain important, especially in nonfiction.
Here I am talking about the page in Mysterious Patterns where the first explanation of fractals comes.
A look at the other groups’ tables.
Here I am conferring with Dr. Amy Broemmel, an early literacy expert at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She was my table partner for this session, and will be a co-presenter with me and Jessica Crosby-Pitchamootoo at the International Reading Association annual conference in New Orleans in May.
In addition to presenting and signing books, I attended a number of great sessions, including:
Asking, Imagining, Arguing: Using Books to Provide Examples of Science Practices in Action (Broemmel, Rearden)
NSTA Press® Session: The Authors’ Picks! Teaching Science Through Trade Books (Royce, Morgan, Ansberry)
Sense-of-Place Writing Templates: Connect Your Students’ Past Experiences with Science AND Literacy! (Clary)
Using Writing to Motivate Students to Learn Science (Caukin)
Connecting Science, Engineering, and Literacy in an Elementary Classroom (Laurier, Denisova)
Great news is coming in fast and furious around here. It’s hard to keep up with the reporting.
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature will be published in Korean by a Korean publisher.
Here’s how I found out: I received a nice check in the mail from my publisher with no explanatory letter. The memo on the check just said “Advanced Pay.” I sent off an email to my editor asking about the mystery check. She passed it on to our rights manager who told us that the Boyds Mills Press international team had sold the rights to publish a hardcover edition of Growing Patterns in Korean to a Korean publisher. Wow!
My check is an advance against royalties so the hope is that eventually, there might be further royalties from the deal. I haven’t seen any royalties from my first foreign rights deal, which was to publish Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator in China in 2011. I keep scouring the twice-a-year royalty statements, and occasionally bugging my editor, who then bugs the international team. I’ll keep you posted.
I learned from a reader this week that the Fibonacci Folding Book Project app for the iPad is not working with Apple’s new operating system. I am very sorry for the inconvenience. My developer is working to re-create the app with coding that is compatible with ios 7.
Until we have a new version, we are removing the app from the app store.
Please take advantage of the materials on my website until we have a new app available. Click here for a pdf version of all the materials in the Fibonacci Folding Book Project app. Click here for blog posts related to the pilot project we did after developing the Fibonacci Folding Book Project.
Thank you for your patience. I am so grateful to all of you teachers, librarians, and literacy specialists who use my books with students.
I visited the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress this week, and look what I found. Wolfsnail! Actually, I wasn’t surprised. I met the founding director of the Young Readers Center at a conference a few years back and heard her pitch for books. She had no budget, but wanted to build a collection of books in the Library of Congress that kids could actually take off the shelves and read when they visited. So, I sent her a copy.
I learned that they don’t have a copy of Growing Patterns, so that’s one of my jobs for this week. While I was at the LOC, I spent some time in the Science Reading Room. It is a lovely space, and reminded me of the many great libraries I’ve had the privilege of studying in — especially Northwestern University’s Charles Deering Library, the New Bodlein Library at Oxford University, and the Corpus Christi College Library.
I was only in Washington, D.C., for a few hours, tagging along with Richard on a business trip. We flew to DC, where he met with members of Congress and I visited the LOC, and then took the train to Baltimore, where I did some site-seeing, reading, and R&R. It reminded me of the summer I graduated from college (25 years ago) when I spent a term in DC covering the Capitol for a Mississippi newspaper. Several of my classmates and I spent a day up in Baltimore. Lovely times.
Though it rained much of the time we were in Baltimore, Richard and I managed two nice meals out — one Italian and one Thai. I read a few New Yorkers, Big Brother by Lionel Shriver, and started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.
We’re working hard to finish the images for the fractal manuscript. This one is proving hard to put to bed, but I think it’ll be all the better for it.
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.