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!


  1. This actually reminds me of my husband, who has always been more comfortable with numbers than with words. Numbers say what they mean, they don't have hidden meanings, or change in complicated ways. Numbers you can trust. :)

  2. I LOVE what you have written, Heidi! There are not enough poems centered around math out there for kids.

  3. You are creating quite a treasure with all of your math-themed poetry. Maybe reading them as a child would have opened my mind (or at least my attitude) toward math a bit.

  4. My 'second-grade' granddaughter is now spouting all these words, Heidi. She is in love with adding zeroes. I'll be sure to read this to her! Love what you've done, and adding some opinion, too!

  5. You have unveiled a new side to math with your math poetry, Heidi. I never thought of numbers being resentful because they didn't have their own names. Love how poetry crosses boundaries of expectation.

  6. Heidi, this poem is so good that it triggered me into a panic-attack I had back in fourth grade. It seemed soooooooooooooooo easy for every single kid around me.....why was it difficult? Fortunately, I married a numbers guy that keeps all of that part of our life in check. GREAT poem.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!