Links to Think: 13.04.15

April 15, 2013



You CAN get up on the wrong side of the bed: Sleeping on left ‘makes you more cheerful and positive’ – Aha! Now that explains things! 🙂

“In addition, 31 per cent of ‘lefties’ love their job compared with just 18 per cent of ‘righties.’

However it is not all bad. Those who sleep on the right side of the bed tend to earn more than their left equivalents.

Claire Haigh spokeswoman for Premier Inn, who commissioned the research, said: ‘The research clearly indicates a pattern between which side of the bed you sleep on and the mood you wake up in.

‘Left sleepers are more cheerful, appear to enjoy life slightly more and have a more positive attitude to the day ahead than right sleepers.

‘It comes down to habit and what you’re used to.  If you are used to sleeping on a certain side of the bed, it does feel a little alien when you switch.

‘So it seems the age old saying about getting out of bed on the wrong side is completely true.'”

And if what side you sleep on wasn’t fascinating enough, here’s an article by Scientific American that speculates the side we sleep on picks up cancer more quickly due to the metal bedsprings, “Left Sided Cancer? Blame Your Bed and TV.” I no longer sleep on a spring mattress (foam) and have never slept with a TV, but a recent CT scan did reveal I had tumors (most likely non-cancerous, though) and several other issues all on the side I sleep on.

What If Everybody Understood Child Development? – This article addresses educators in particular, but is pertinent to anyone around children or who has been a child. (Though perhaps it is those who were not permitted to develop as children who now have trouble understanding and empathizing?)

HT: Johanna @ My Home Tableau

“When writing my Huffington Post piece on children and gun play, I found myself wondering what would happen if everyone understood child development. What changes would come about in education? How much healthier would children’s lives be if this unique period of their lives was fully understood?

Since then, here are a few of the things I’ve encountered:

  • Another child, this time a 7-year-old, was suspended from school for biting his strawberry Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. (Really, people?)
  • A mom responded to one of my tweets about project-based learning with a comment to the effect that she’d just objected to that “nonsense” in her son’s science class (perhaps the content area most suited to inquiry learning).
  • A mom sent me an email pleading for help because her daughter, who has ADHD, is constantly having recess withheld because she forgets things.
  • I read multiple stories of elementary-school children not allowed to talk during lunch.
  • A mom told me she prefers that her child do computer art because it’s less messy than traditional art.

You might wonder why that last one is such a big deal. Well, anyone who understands child development knows that children learn and retain more when their senses are fully engaged. Manipulating a mouse and watching images transform on a screen can’t begin to compare to dipping a paintbrush – or both hands – into a pool of color and slathering it onto surfaces with textures ranging from smooth to course, absorbent to impermeable. Or to the satisfaction that comes from kneading and shaping malleable clay or Play Dough. Or to wrapping little fingers around a big, fat, promising crayon and immersing oneself in the self-expression only possible with seven shades of purple.”

While this article deals with childhood development in the elementary-age child, I find myself wondering the same thing about infant-age child development. This article, “Modern parenting may hinder brain development” has some connections to that subject, as does “The Power of Talking to Your Baby.”

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  • Karen April 23, 2013 at 10:03 am

    In response to the “What if Everyone Understood Child Development?”, I couldn’t help but agree that somethings are nonsense–suspending children for making a “finger gun”, etc., but I also wonder if parents understand the challenges that a teacher faces today. At our school we have started having a silent lunch for the first 15 min. of the time because we found that MOST of the students become so busy in their conversations that they did not eat their lunches. Since the point of lunchtime is primarily getting nourishment and energy for the rest of the day, we are trying to help students get that. But I agree that an entire lunch period being silent every day is excessive–and not good as students need that break. Also, as to taking recess away from students, again I agree that students NEED time to run, but I also believe punishment must be effective if it is going to change behavior, and these days, there are FEW options for teachers. We cannot spank, and often, SO often, a note home about the problem has little to NO effect. We cannot sit the child in the corner, nor do I think we should. Some teachers have students write essays, “Action plans”-which if that is done it is either during class time (which is a poor option for a student with an attention problem) or during a break (which seems to be the criticism), or at home, and if forgetfulness is the problem, we know as teachers we will rarely see that work again. If there is a better discipline measure than taking recess time, I’m all ears. I wish there were more parents who were as concerned as this one quoted–I know as a teacher if a parent disagreed with a discipline I did, I would love to work out a solution to the problem together.