Jan 28 2017

Can Sitting Harm Children?

Category: Health,LearningAdmin @ 4:30 pm

Classroom workstations could be improved. Children Know Better Children do not sit still easily. They have good reason not to: Prolonged sitting day after day can lead to organ damage, muscle strain and degeneration, cancer, impaired brain function, and other adverse health outcomes (nicely summarized in a 2014 Washington Post article entitled, “The health hazards of Sitting).” Although most research has been aimed at adults, children may already be suffering. A sedentary lifestyle may contribute to childhood obesity (along with diet and… Read more

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Sep 29 2015

Could Your Child be Colorblind?

Category: Health,LearningAdmin @ 6:06 pm

Color blindness can be problematic. One test for it is the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test. The online version is less accurate than the eye doctor would have, since monitors and room light variations may affect the outcome. Nevertheless, it’s worth trying because it is free and a high score indicates that further testing is warranted. Let me relate a true story about a boy whom I’ll call Justin. Justin was completely confused about his math assignment, which depended upon reading graphs. His red-green color blindness made the red lines… Read more

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Apr 15 2015

Recommended Books are Back

Category: General Spark a Playful Mind (SAPM)Admin @ 3:06 pm

I put up a “Recommended Books” page again, this time with my own brief descriptions for many of the books. Check it… Read more

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Sep 29 2014

Observation and Preconception

Category: LearningAdmin @ 11:24 am

Humans are self-correcting organisms. It is sometimes amazing how long it takes us, but once we recognize a problem or a mistake, solutions often come quickly. As a teacher, I try to give children time and space to correct themselves whenever possible. They are happier when they figure it out themselves. But sometimes I need to give a little help. Public domain digitally-altered photo from publicdomainpictures.net, Dawn HudsonOne problem that some researchers have been tackling is a failure by some children to distinguish between facial… Read more

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Sep 07 2014

Is Your Child in Love with Learning?

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 8:50 am

1. Does your child say he or she hates school? If so, something is probably wrong with the school. Children are natural learners, and when they’re young, you can hardly stop them from learning. If your child says they hate school, listen to them. That is the first of "The Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child," an article by Jerry Mintz, founder of the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO). He’s not just talking about finding a better teacher or even a better school within the… Read more

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Feb 17 2013

The Rope over the Abyss

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 1:43 pm

Most news about education these days seems to focus on subject-area content or else on violence in the schools, with little said about how people learn and develop optimally. It is as if all that really matters can be determined apart from who we are as human beings and boiled down to a combination of the right knowledge, the right skills, and the right behavior, all of which can be taught by having teachers deliver the right lessons. I would like to share an excerpt from Yacov Hecht, one of my favorite authors, whom I had the pleasure of… Read more

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Aug 04 2012

New Discoveries in Oobleck Science

Category: ScienceAdmin @ 9:51 am

If you have not ever seen anyone jog on a mixture of corn starch and water – “oobleck” – check out the video from the Spanish TV show, "El Hormiguero," included in Wired Magazine’s July 11, 2012 online article, "Defying Gravity: When Strange Liquids Act Like Solids." Water and cornstarch combine to form what in scientific circles is called a non-Newtonian fluid – a viscous fluid (sticky, slow-flowing) that doesn’t always act like we usually expect liquids to behave. When you apply sudden pressure to oobleck, the stuff… Read more

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Apr 27 2012

Learning without Perks or Punishments

Category: UncategorizedAdmin @ 11:53 pm

As humans, we are intrinsically motivated to learn. (Animals are, too, but their interests and priorities tend to be vastly different.) I am not saying that people necessarily want to learn what other people want to teach them but rather what they themselves find interesting or valuable. If you have ever been interested in dance or other movement activities, and even if you have not, you have probably experimented with your own walk. Was it fun? Did you learn anything? Now imagine being told that you will be graded on how well you walk… Read more

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Apr 09 2012

Family Life Expo & Camp Fair

Category: UncategorizedAdmin @ 8:19 am

This is the first in what will be a series of articles about science and math education for children, activities, learning philosophy and psychology, and a few summaries and comments about interesting education-related stories from other sources. My assistant Stan Jackson and I enjoyed the March 2012 Family Life Expo & Camp Fair, our first time ever. Enticing opportunities for hands-on exploration drew in a stream of curious children for hours without breaks. The children were so eager that I did not even have time to set up the rest of… Read more

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