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Moment: Circles and Dotted Lines

4 March 2010

Today, our syllabus decrees that we are to pretend that we are in a store.  I will be the clerk, and they will be the customers.  I have even printed miniature American money for the occasion.  To enact this fantasy, we will need merchandise.  I ask the students to cut out the pictures of fruit from the posterboard insert, and they dive into desks for scissors.  Ten minutes later, they are still cutting, their eyes squinting along the dotted lines as they trim, assess, reverse and trim again.  We push the activity to next week, as there are by now five minutes left in the class period.

Later, with the 2nd graders, we discuss food.  I ask them to draw a place setting on a white piece of paper, starting with an empty plate.  The boy in front of me looks immensely frustrated for a moment, and then his eyes light up.  He reaches for a protractor, and is at ease with the task.

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