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Walking Stick

It was my morning to attend to the car-line, which means that I am out of the classroom receiving the children from their cars in the morning as they arrive for school. When I entered the classroom at 8:10, I had four children awaiting my arrival with geometry nomenclature materials set up on a rug. “Ms. Roberta, will you give us this lesson?” they asked with excitement. Next, I heard one of the children in the group say, “Look, someone drew on the wall.” I looked where she was pointing and was momentarily perplexed.

The drawing on the wall was three dimensional, so if it was a work of art, it was a sculptural piece. As I blinked a few times and focused on the spot on the wall, it gave me a moment to register what we were looking at. Something I had never seen before other than in books of insects. We were being paid a visit by a brown walking stick that stood out against our turquoise walls. It must have sensed that it was in a friendly environment because it was not using its camouflage defense mechanism by becoming the color of its surroundings.

I quickly realized that viewing the walking stick would be a perfect introduction and example to the geometry lesson the children were asking for. They had chosen the chart and 3-part language cards to learn about the position of lines: horizontal, convergent and divergent. The way the walking stick was sticking to the wall the four limbs were each converging at the joints. We marveled at its ability to cling to the wall like, as one boy announced, “spiderman!”

We shifted our attention to the geometry materials on the rug as I quickly shared the lesson and nomenclature. We immediately went back to the wall to notice how the walking sticks limbs were great examples of both convergent and divergent lines. I was just as excited as the children as we made this timely discovery of our insect visitor. It was one of those teaching moments that I will always remember.

The exploration and search for parallel, convergent and divergent lines evolved into a treasure hunt looking for more objects with these same qualities.

The children filled rug after rug of examples of each type of line. We noticed that the rugs we were using had a parallel line pattern to the weave. The portable clothesline we use to dry our wet cloth was brought as another example of parallel lines. We examined how it was constructed of six wooden dowels placed horizontally into two larger horizontally aligned wooden pieces. One child brought the sandpaper numeral #4 as a fabulous example of how we use all three lines every time we write the number 4!

The children started to use the red rods and the number rods to make convergent and divergent lines. They discovered the lines in the pink tower cubes and the brown stair prisms. The classroom was abundant in parallel, convergent and divergent lines as the children searched for over an hour!

The children appeared finished with the search but then they started to use the red rods to measure the environment and their bodies to make comparisons of length and height.

All throughout the day the walking stick remained in the same place as we first viewed it in the morning. I left it there as I closed the classroom for the day hoping it would be there the following morning, but it wasn’t! What a timely visit! Like an angel it appeared for a time and then it disappeared.

What a richly spent morning in the Casa!

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Thank you for this wonderful post. More please!

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