Conditions for Learning

DISCLAIMER:  This post is a tad off the usual topic, but the links here are worth looking at.  I promise.

No, I am not talking about Cambourne’s Conditions of  Learning.  Though, they are very important.

The conditions I am thinking about in this post are more basic:  kids need to have nutritious food and a good night of sleep.

Here are a few things I have come across recently that have me thinking a lot about both of these needs.

Snooze or Loose: Can a lack of sleep set back your child’s cognitive abilities? From the article:

Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years.

Of course, the implications of sleep’s effect on learning  isn’t news to us as teachers.  However, the mother part of me- the one that fudges on bedtime 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there- was alarmed by this article.  We have recommitted to a bedtime deadline (8pm) in our house.  This article made it pretty clear:  sleep is key!

I know this is an ongoing issue with some of our students, and a cultural one too.  This article, or some parts of it, might be worth including in your communication with parents. (Thanks, Cathy, for sending it to me.)

As for the nutrition, I can’t stop reading about this new reality TV show:  Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  From the article:

The premise is that Mr. Oliver, the well-known British chef and television personality, will help to reform the eating habits of Huntington — identified in news reports as America’s unhealthiest, most obese city — by working with the school kitchens and educating the community.

If the story of this TV show interests you at all, here are a few other links to take a look at:

  • At TED, Jamie makes the case for teaching children about food.  He won the  TED Prize for 2010.
  • This blog post also talks about how this show is uncovering another problem- the fact that the students in show can’t use a knife and fork!
  • And if you are really fired up, you can sign his petition to tackle obesity around the globe here.

And yes, I went to bed to late last night and ate those Kettle Chips for lunch (whoever decided we should have those in the snack bar is Satan!)

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