Growing Patterns will be on Touch Tonight on Fox TV

touch image 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.


Visit to Saltillo Elementary

4th grader looks at wolfsnailI spent two days last week at Saltillo Elementary School, visiting with all 4th grade students and leading a professional development session for teachers grades 3-5.

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.

Sarah reading Wolfsnail
students using private eyes
girl looking at rock
girl looks at wolfsnail
sarah campbell showing wolfsnails to saltillo students
students looking at wolfsnail app
teaching professional development
principal makes a book
teacher makes a book

Growing Patterns Shows Up in Touch

gp cover w stickersMy 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.

Photo Math

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.

Sarah Campbell school visit

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.

Fibonacci Folding Book App Available in Android Marketplace

app iconThe 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.

Fibonacci Folding Book App Available on iTunes

icon for iPad AppOur iPad app version of the Fibonacci Folding Book tutorial is now available on iTunes. The best way to find it is to search for “Fibonacci Folding Book”. This is Richard’s first app and I think he did a tremendous job. If you have an iPad, please download it and tell us what you think. The app is free.

Created for teachers of all kinds, including homeschoolers, the app provides step-by-step instructions on creating Fibonacci Folding Books with your students.This multidisciplinary unit includes photography, bookmaking, writing poetry, number patterns, illustration, and measurement.

My friend, Julie Owen, and I have taught this unit with third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. We also taught a professional development workshop for teachers this summer. Read more about the project at St. Therese Catholic School here and the Whole Schools Summer Institute here.

Fibonacci Folding Book Examples

Now, for the teachers from the other side of the room… Julie took these with her camera and I downloaded them from her flickr album. I trimmed a little here and there so you can see the books. Once again, I tip my hat to the creativity of these teachers.




ex 5

ex 6

ex 7
ex 8
ex 9
ex 10
ex 11

ex 13

x 14

x 15





More Fibonacci Folding Book Project Examples from Whole Schools

I’ve been posting for several days about my teaching experience at the Mississippi Whole Schools Institute. Here are some more examples of Fibonacci Folding Books made by teachers in the workshop I team taught with Julie Owen. Aren’t they amazing?
fib book1
fib book1b
fib bk2
fib bk3
fib bk3b
fib bk4
fib bk5
fib bk5b

fib bk6
fib bk6b
fib bk7
fib bk8
fib bk8b
fib bk9
fib bk9b

Mississippi Whole Schools Summer Institute

I taught this week at the Mississippi Whole Schools Summer Institute. Julie Owen and I teamed up to teach the Fibonacci Folding Book Project. I taught three other afternoon sessions and Julie taught her fabulous “Knit it, Solve it,” for the first time. You can see photos of our work on Julie’s flickr album here or here on my blog.

ct student takes photos

ct student2 takes photos

ct student3 taking photos


measuring and folding Fibonacci accordian books

writing Fib poem

teachers working on poems

illustrating book

illustrating book2

teaching showing MAC director Malcolm White

illustrating book3

example 1

example 1b

example 2

example 2b

My Fibonnaci Zentangle

My friend Stephenie turned me on to Zentangles. I saw the potential for combining the Fibonacci grid that I use in Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers and Nature and zentangling. I just need to add the spiral.

Fibonacci Zentangle

Richard and the boys are giving me no end of ribbing about the fact that I spend time on the internet researching new “tangles,” which look to them like plain doodling. The final straw was my insistence that I had “messed up” and went to get the white out.