Gee - I am out of it - just catching up on this thread...
I really enjoyed reading all of the comments on perspective/space/measuring
and so on -
Measurement - too many students are given directions on how to use a ruler -
but no concept of measurement... standard and/or nonstandard units ... if
you have class where the teacher stresses both everyday in math and
science... and applying the use of the skill - the kids are able to bring it
into your classroom. If it is 'taught' as a few workbook pages - forget it
Drawing from the top of the flag pole example - again - this should be done
as part of a strong whole math classroom - spatial visualization... also
included many times on standardized logic test - you know the folded paper
with a hole punched out - when opened it will look like A, B, C, or D....
drawing stacks blocks from the opposite point of view... there are a lot of
fun activities to strengthen this skill....
As far as creating space on a 2-D surface - some students are very
comfortable with an algorithmic approach (step one, two and so
on...vanishing point, horizon lines... and so on) and others that are more
observant in real life and are 'naturals' in creating space on paper....
and many times they may 'see' it, but how many times do they put it into
words, or know the why? I just keep the conversation going,, and depending
on the age/level - more deliberate about the conversation.