Friday, April 28, 2017

npm17 calculations

April 28


when I see it in words, I can keep it straight:
ten ones= a ten  (that's its special name)
ten tens = a hundred (another special name)
ten hundreds = a thousand (the next special name)
ten thousands= ten-thousand?
                              that's not fair!
                             why doesn't ten-thousand get its own special name?
and then
ten ten-thousands = a hundred-thousand!
                                                 that's not only unfair,
                                                 it's getting confusing now,

kind of like trying to pay for a college with its own special name
that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars
and you don't know exactly what you are getting for all those thousands
                                                                                      and ten thousands
                                                                              and hundred thousands
of dollars that you are committing to spending.

at least with the numbers
neatly organized in periods of three digits (oh yeah, I've got the vocabulary)
you know exactly where you stand
and the special names don't matter so much

draft (c) HM 2017

The roundup today is over at Teaching Authors with Joann Early Macken.  I hope you can count on me to make it over there even as the count-down to decision continues!

Friday, April 21, 2017

npm17: 1+5+16+42 = infinity

1 teacher + 5 mentor poems for two voices +16 second-graders + 142 days of school = infinitely intriguing poems by 7-8's!

Dog and Cat in the Park
      by Melvin A.R.

Hi! Let’s go play
in the park, or on the
monkey bars,

So first, we’ll do what I want,

but if you don’t do
what I want,

then we can play everything
we want.

Oh, let’s play tag,
We can make a map
of the park,

and then we’ll do what I want,

and you don’t do
what I want,

then we can play everything
we want.


Yellow and Pink in Color Land
            by Nathan Z.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
yellow so bright

see me in the night

see me shine like a star

see ME so majestic

I think I’m brighter

pink in the morning

see ME so bright

see me brighting up the morning

     I think I’m brighter


                               Jacob and the Moon on the Moon
     by Jacob L-M.

Moon, are you made
out of cheese?

Can I eat you?

Maybe we can have a
snack together?

No, I don’t think so.

Yay! Mmm! Is this
New Zealand cheddar?


Yes certainly!

No! You cannot eat me!

Why yes!  Did you bring any

Well, I have no choice.
We can have my cheese.

Of course!  Do you like it?

I’m glad!


Soccer Ball and Kid on the Soccer Field
                     by Kelly M.

Kick me kick me
I am a
big soccer ball
so kick me

If you do
I will give you
a goal!!!

Okay I will
kick you but
first let me
put my cleats on
then I will kick you

Here I go!!!


Wolf and Bird in the Forest-Woods
            by Joseph S.

I’m a wolf who howls
at the moon.

I live in a forest.  I jump high
and I eat birds.

Sometimes I go in
the dark and I
catch birds.


I’m a bird who flies
in the sky.

I like the sky.  I make sure
I look for food.  If I
get food I bring
it to my babies.

And I need to get out
of here!

                              Ms. Mordhorst and Students in School
            by Roselyn H.

Dear Students

I hug you up

Oh yes, I do,

I don’t mind at all
oh no I don’t

I hug you up with love
happy wishes to you

The round-up today is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.  Let's have some poetry conversations!

Dear Ms. Mordhorst

with every piece
and with all your heart

Oh do you?
Oh  how nice

Oh I hope you don’t

we do too!
we love you.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

npm17: numbers 19 & 20

April 19

take apart and break apart
compose and decompose
flip the cards and roll the dice
to see how this game goes

if the sum is seventeen
color it [rhyme fail]
hang a number on the hook
to balance left and right

race to know it fast by heart
slow down to understand
tell your method: "First I took..."
use your feet AND hands

greater than and less than
hundreds, tens and ones
a rubber band around the sticks
playing math is fun

April 20

I had a great idea and then I lost it---

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

npm17: numbers 17 and 18

April 17

I know the answer right away.
It's almost like I
can feel in my guts the number
that goes in the blank,
and it blurts out fast.
But the teacher keeps saying,
"the answer isn't the most important part."
How could the answer be less important
than any other part of the problem?

April 18

Fact Family

A small family, a "nuclear" family,
relatives living under one peaked roof,
three members bonded together
for life.

Is this greatest one, the 10, the great big papa bear?
And this 6, is she the middle-sized mama bear?
If so, then 4 over here must be
the little wee baby bear.

Or is this 8 the mom
with her two twin 4s--
their parents are divorced now,
and do they ever get to
see their dad?

Or maybe this 9 is the hermana
and this 7 is the hermano
and the 2 is the toddler nino
who keeps running off,
and they stay home alone sometimes
when their papi goes to work
and their mama's home late.

Once upon a time
there was a fact family...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

npm17 numbers 15 & 16

April 15

A Strategy You Can Count On
  for Joey

First I had to learn
what a strategy is.
You can have a strategy for a lot of things:
doing a cartwheel (stretch as high as you can
before you start),
carrying your lunch tray (lay your bottle of milk
on its side),
keeping b and d straight (thumbs up
for b and d!).

So this strategy is my favorite. My dad taught me.
It works for addition AND subtraction. 
You just COUNT ON.

If the problem is 4 + 9,
I like to start with the bigger number,
so I think “9” and then I count on 4 more,
one finger for each number, and I say “10, 11, 12”
and I land on 13. See?

If the problem is 13 – 4, I have to start
with the smaller number, so I think “4”
and then I count on until I get to 13,
one finger for each number,
“5, 6, 7, 8, 9.10, 11,12, 13,”
and how many fingers is that?  It’s 9,
so the answer is 9.

And if the problem is 4 + __ = 13
that works the same way,
and if the problem is __ - 4 = 9
it seems like it should work the same way
but 5 doesn’t make sense, so I’m still figuring that out.

Another thing that doesn’t make sense
is why I don’t get P for Proficient
when I use my COUNT ON strategy,
because I’m really good at it.

draft ©HM 2017

April 16

My teacher says you can't take
a bigger number from a smaller one.
She's wrong.
You just have to be hero enough
to make the leap to less than zero.

Friday, April 14, 2017

npm17: numbers 9-14

So it turns out that a five-day road trip to visit colleges with international grandparents is more than enough balls to juggle; and while I have been entertaining the odd mathematical thought (and some even thoughts too), there has been no moment during which to actually write anything down.

This was not true during our last Spring Break trip with the intrepid "Dad and Mad"--Granddad Damian and Mamie Madeleine, who ordinarily are to be found in Lille, France, but who will throw in with any agenda we propose.  Last time we visited the Grand Canyon, and from that journey arose many promising drafts, such as this one, which I will count and then follow with another infinity poem.

April 9


millions and
billions and
trillions of us
each of us our own particular
grains and
shapes and
crystals and
infinitely numerous
formed through unimaginable
eons and
from uncountable
eruptions and
erosions and
somehow we are all called

©HM 2012?

April 10

2 reaches down
out of an open window—
“one hand at the end of an arm
grasping another hand”
is what I wanted to write,
telling a story of clasped
human hands, a cliffhanger
story of two tangoing in thin air—

but looking now very carefully,
I notice that 2
does not in any obvious way
resemble “two”.

Perhaps 2 was originally more like
Z, a connected pair of horizontal lines,
and for speed in writing became curved
because after all
we do probably need 2 more often
than Z.

© HM 2017

Brahmi numerals (lower row) in India in the 1st century AD


(My brief research seems to corroborate this guess, and no, this formulation of the poem is not for young readers, but let’s let that go as a first draft.)

April 11

they call it Horseshoe Falls
and try to count the amount
of water that passes here:
six million cubic feet per minute.
what does that even mean?

but I just want to wear
this wrap of water
this pounding cape of pour
this cloak of furious flow
I want to wear this glinting infinity
this neverending Niagara
of water

©HM 2017

It's now 8 am, so I'll post my link and keep updating all day, in case anyone wants to follow the progress of my progressive catch-up today.  The roundup on this very Good Friday indeed is with Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads.  And speaking of progress, the Progressive Poem is on receives its line 14 today from Jan Godown Annino, and what a cracker it is, about-facing from Margaret Simon's line 13.  The poem has taken on exciting extremes of temperature--slam!

April 12: a special poem in honor of said Granddad's birthday, yet to come...



 April 14

Feeling Kinda Dumb

Plus means addition:
putting some in!
Minus means subtraction:
taking some out!

Plus jump ahead!
Minus jump back!
Plus: more and more!
Minus: less and less!

It all makes sense:
higher, then lower, 
forward-back like a dance,
to the right to the right
totheright totheright totheright;
to the left to the left
totheleft totheleft totheleft.

It all makes perfect sense
until I have to "find the difference,"
find the difference between
4 and 13.

Um...the difference is 
that this number is 4
and that one's 13.

And it's pretty obvious to those of us who are even a little observant that 4 has only one digit and 13 has 2 digits, and the digits are not even alike in any way, and also four has only one syllable and is spelled with four letters, which is cool because it means 4, while thirteen has two syllables and eight letters, which doesn't match up in the same way at all, so that's another difference, and also 4 is even because two people can each have a partner for the dance, while thirteen is odd because six people can have partners and one person is left out of the dance.  So I can actually find quite a lot of differences between 4 and 13.

But none of them is 9.

©HM 2017