Test post

Post to test c20 orientation

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First test post

Welcome Cohort 20! I wish we had a more interesting name for you, but maybe you can take care of that amongst yourselves. We are so excited to be here for this part of your journey towards becoming a classroom teacher. Thank you for joining us at UWB and we are excited to get to you know you!

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It’s been a while…

It’s been a  while since my last post. I am thinking anew about issues of race, class, and how they relate to senses of place, space, and learning. Mostly, I am trying to get my head around how people perceive the places in which they live (what are the various levels along which people perceive these places) and what are the implications for learning.

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Measles cases and vaccinations

In a recent CDC report, it was found that there as the highest number of recorded cases of measles in the United States since 1996. See the report here:

Another thing to think about in health class: vaccinations and analyzing the studies/hype/messaging/values around the vaccine “controversy”. I need to think about how to handle this situation in a way that recognizes and respects my students’ potential concerns but communicates the total importance of vaccinations not only for personal health but for building up and maintaining herd immunity, especially for our most vulnerable populations. This is an interesting opportunity to explore and model teaching potentially controversial issues in the classroom and handling them in a respectful way.

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Racial disparities in asthma exist even among children with equal access to health care

Another avenue for health methods next quarter is talking about racial/SES disparities in incidence of asthma and allergies. This runs of the risk of playing into deficit models, but it seems like a missed opportunity to talk about issues of environmental and social justice when we’re talking about health. The classic problem for me, though, will be balancing communicating the need for teaching health with methods for teaching health!

Racial disparities in asthma exist even among children with equal access to health care.

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Jamie Oliver’s food revolution

Just watched my first episodes last night of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (what else is there to do at 10pm on a Friday night?), and I am newly inspired about the importance of teaching health to kids. Several thoughts occurred to me at once while watching the show:
1. health education, like anything, doesn’t (and maybe shoudn’t?) happen only during “health”–if it did, we would be in trouble because health is taught less and less in elementary school. Instead, health education happens in all moments of the day–how and when to wash hands, what to eat and how to prepare it, etc. The chocolate milk clip, when Jamie has tons of sugar poured into a school bus, is dramatic and sensationalistic yes, but drives an important point home. Something to think about for my class.
2. health education is something that has great ties to issues of social justice. What is the prevalence of diabetes/obesity by race and class? geographic region? The Tableau data that Robin showed me the other day is going to be really useful in helping me teach about this:

The Geography of Diabetes
The Geography of Diabetes


3. Jamie’s Food Revolution website is going to be a great place for school/teacher resources, especially in thinking about school lunch:

4. an unrelated resource that comes from an awesome teacher friend:
This is a site to check out materials from the poison control center through Mr. Yuk–materials for educators to teach their students about poisoning from household products like cleaners and meds.

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re-designing a food label

In thinking about my health methods class coming up next quarter, I am thinking about the ways that I can (a) come up with innovative ways to teach health that will inspire healthy change in my students, and (b) use technology to minimize the need for my students to buy expensive textbooks. I am going to archive some ideas here for future reference, but maybe others will find them helpful. Something that I came across via facebook:
is a site where they are looking for re-designs of food labels to better communicate what is in the food. What a great idea! I have had students in the past design food labels of their “ideal” food, but never re-thinking the concept behind the label itself!

Other things I have come across recently:
1. Jamie Oliver’s food revolution-inspiring and conveys the obesity/diabetes crisis happening in this country. Not sure how to use it yet, but perhaps watch an episode and figure out one small change they can make in their own/their family’s eating habits?
2. keeping a food journal, in conjunction with #1
3. having them self-document all of the meanings of “health” and “unhealthy” in their lives–to convey that this is a complicated, value-laden term that their students may not come to school with the same understandings about.

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