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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Pincus’

Poetry Friday round-up with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

Poetry Friday round-up with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

Do you know about the famous Fibonacci Sequence? The ages old sequence that creates a spiral, a shape found in nature? The mathematical sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…Do you see the pattern? More information (including algebraic equations) can be found at Math is Fun.

I had forgotten about using the sequence in poetry until a colleague introduced it to our 6th grade enrichment group. We are working on Unsung Hero projects. Our previous meeting had been a field trip to see and hear about heroes in our own town. She asked the students to recall the field trip by writing a Fib poem. I wrote about the Buddhist Temple in our local Laotian community.

Wat Thammarattanaram, New Iberia, LA

Wat Thammarattanaram, New Iberia, LA

Stands
tall
above
Buddhist monks
humbly giving self,
Temple of golden ornaments,
Temple of sacrifice,
meditate on lasting love.
–Margaret Simon

A Fib poem follows the syllable count as in the mathematical sequence, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. And if you are feeling wordy, you can tack on a line of 13 and 21.

A few years ago I had used this form with my students when we were sharing The 14 Fibs of Gregory K by Greg Pincus.

I tried out the form on my other students. I asked them to write about our field trip to New Orleans, the Aquarium and Insectarium, last week. The exercise was quite a challenge. I, too, struggled. But that’s what writing is all about, right? We made a padlet.

erin's mermaid

Each afternoon, I read aloud another chapter of Fish in a Tree. We usually write notices and wonders to add to the Voxer chat with other classes, but yesterday, I asked Jacob to write a Fib poem with me about Ally, the main character. We started over 3 times. Jacob was being very patient. Each time he’d write the syllable count down the margin of his journal page. Finally we liked what was coming, but we couldn’t quite get that last line. Then Jacob just blurted it out. Some days my young students blow my mind. We recorded it on the Voxer chat.

Why?
Why?
Ally
thinks she’s dumb,
so afraid to tell,
hates being locked up in her brain.
–Jacob

Using strict forms can be frustrating, but when it works, when we discover a winning line, we can say “Boom, Gotcha” to that Fib!

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Discover. Play. Build.

It’s Celebration time! What are you celebrating? Head over to Ruth Ayres’ site to read about other celebrations.

I. A huge thank you to Greg Pincus, author of 14 Fibs of Gregory K, for Skyping with my class…twice. Two groups of my gifted students talked with Greg and learned about the life of an author and how to write Fib poems.

Quotes from their thank you notes:

“Math and poetry are two of my favorite things, so combining them makes my life 10x more enjoyable.” Brooklyn

“You taught us some interesting things about the book like that some things in reality accidentally snuck themselves into your book.” Ian

“I really thought it was nice of you to talk to us, it being 7:00 at your home.” Matthew

“P.S. I would eat 12 donuts before I ate pie (but I still eat it.)” Nigel

“I like how you said humor is the sixth sense because you made a joke out of every question we asked, especially the pie question.” Gage

II. My principal asked my students to write chalk poems on the sidewalk for our Mother’s Day celebration, “Muffins with Moms.” So we had another Chalk-a-bration, and following our Skype with Greg Pincus, we had to make them Fib poems!

Vannisa chalking
Moms Brooklyn

mothers chalk poetry

III. This week was our annual Gifted by Nature Day when all the gifted students in the parish gather for a day of playing strategic games and making art and poetry with nature. This year a group of middle school students led the art/writing activity. This was a great relief to us teachers. The activity was great, too. The students drew an object from nature, then retraced it on foam board. This pattern was used for a monoprint on colored construction paper. The students really focused on the details in their drawings.

Erin draws

After they made the prints, they wrote 6 adjectives and a metaphor or simile about their print. I told the students these were poems. I thoroughly enjoyed this day watching my students interact with kids from other schools and have so much fun playing and creating. The weather was great, too, so we enjoyed picnicking in the park.

I wanted to take pictures of all of their prints. Here are a few to celebrate!

Andrew drawing

Dancing flower

Andrew's leaf

Reed's poem

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IMWAYR

In yesterday’s DigiLit Sunday post, I talked about joining in this weekly round-up, It’s Monday: What are you Reading? I dreamt about it all night, so I guess the time is now to join in. The round-up can be found at Teach Mentor Texts.

OneThousand

For my spiritual life, I am currently reading the memoir of Amy Voskamp. I am enjoying her fresh language and her real struggle to find joy in every day. She makes a list of 1000 gratitudes. In making the list, she discovers joy in giving thanks and encourages, through her real experience, us to do the same.

14 Fibs

I am reading 14 Fibs of Gregory K in preparation for a Skype visit with Greg Pincus next month. My boys enjoyed this book. In Gregory K, we have a boy in a family of mathematicians who is a writer. Each chapter begins with a clever Fib poem. Greg Pincus invented the form using the Fibonacci series as syllable counts. This is a great form to use with students. Greg’s debut novel is as clever as he is, but somehow his character just keeps getting deeper and deeper into a fib of his own. I am looking forward to visiting with Greg soon.

My own Fib poem, which is completely true.

We
find
magic
when poems
reveal inner truth
and breathe out a sigh of Ah, yes!

–Margaret Simon

Today, I am the guest blog post at Laura Shovan’s Author Amok. For poetry month, she asked writers to submit a n essay about a source poem. I wrote about a professional struggle that ended in my discovery of myself and Mary Oliver’s wisdom in “Wild Geese.” It was harder than I thought it would be to let this go public. I want to thank Laura for her continued encouragement and inspiration to me as a writer.

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