A Very Special Bank Account

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Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day!

We all have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back.

There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.

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WHO Declares “Gaming” as a Mental Disorder

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The World Health Organization, the public health division of the United Nations, has released its newest list of classified diseases–and “gaming disorder” is included. A draft of the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) describes this as being characterized by a “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” online or offline.
The description goes on to say that gaming disorders can include the following: “1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

People suffering from the so-called “gaming disorder” run the risk of “significant impairment” to their personal, family, social, education, and occupational lives, according to the WHO. The description goes on to say that “gaming disorder” can be a continuous condition or it can be episodic or recurrent in nature. For it to be suggested that a person has “gaming disorder,” they would display these behaviour patterns for a year or longer.

The WHO also has a listing for “hazardous gaming,” which the organisation says “refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual.”

It goes on to say: “The increased risk may be from the frequency of gaming, from the amount of time spent on these activities, from the neglect of other activities and priorities, from risky behaviours associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these. The pattern of gaming is often persists in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others.”

Speaking to the BBC, technology addiction specialist Dr. Richard Graham said he welcomes the WHO’s decision to making “gaming disorder” a recognised disease. “It is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services. It puts it on the map as something to take seriously,” he said. At the same time, he said he worries that it could also lead to “confused parents whose children are just enthusiastic gamers.”

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Not everyone is thrilled with the WHO’s decision to recognise gaming addition as a medical condition. The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video game industry’s interests in Washington DC and organizes E3 every year, said the move “recklessly trivializes real mental health issues.”

“Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time,” the ESA said in a statement to Gamasutra. “Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games.”

“The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive. And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action.”

The newest ICD draft is not yet finalized, so things could change regarding its content and language. We’ll report back with more details as they become available.

Reference

Understanding Dyslexia

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“It’s frustrating that you can’t read the simplest word in the world.”Thomas Lester grabs a book and opens to a random page. He points to a word: galloping.

“Goll—. G—. Gaa—. Gaa—. G—. ” He keeps trying. It is as if the rest ­­of the word is in him somewhere, but he can’t sound it out.
“I don’t … I quit.” He tosses the book and it skids along the table.

Despite stumbling over the simplest words, Thomas — a fourth-grader — is a bright kid. In fact, that’s an often-misunderstood part of dyslexia: It’s not about lacking comprehension, having a low IQ or being deprived of a good education.

It’s about having a really hard time reading.

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States. It touches the lives of millions of people, including me and Thomas. Just like Thomas, I spent much of my childhood sitting in a little chair across from a reading tutor.

Today, Thomas is working with his tutor in an office building in northwest Washington, D.C. The suite they’re in is an oasis of white couches and overstuffed pillows. In the waiting area, a kid is curled up sucking her thumb, and a mom reads a magazine quietly.

In the back of the suite — a Lindamood Bell Reading Center — Thomas fidgets with everything in arm’s reach.

“All right, I am going to give you some air-writing words,” the tutor says to Thomas, speaking rapidly as if daring Thomas to keep pace. She spells the first one out loud: “C-O-R-T.”

With his index finger, Thomas writes the letters sloppily in the air.

Then his tutor asks a question: What sound do the two middle letters make? “Eer? Aar?”

Thomas squints at whatever visual memory he can retain from the letters he has just scribbled in the air. Then, with a burst of enthusiasm, he stumbles on the answer: “Or!”

“Good job!” his tutor replies, with what seems like genuine excitement, before moving on to her next question about the letters.

I also have a question for Thomas: What’s it like to have dyslexia?

Thomas stops his fidgeting. “It’s hard,” he pauses. “Like, really hard.”

Thomas, 9, has trouble reading, but he likes books. Just give him the audio version, he says, and he’ll “listen to the book on Audible like 10,000 times.”

“His comprehension is that of a 13-year-old,” says Geva Lester, Thomas’ mom. “He can understand Harry Potter, but he can’t read it.”

Before they started coming to this Lindamood Bell Reading Center, Lester says, she’d watch with alarmed confusion as her son struggled with the most basic text: “See Spot run.”

She remembers trying to read with him. “On one page he would figure out the word: ‘There.’ And on the second page, he would see it and he would have no idea what it said.”

Sitting there with Thomas and his mom, I remember doing that myself — and in some ways, I still do.

As a child, my dyslexia was a closely guarded secret. In kindergarten, I’d leave class to work in a tiny closet, with a space heater and a reading specialist. Walking there, down the locker-lined hallways, I’d avoid eye contact, hoping nobody would notice me.

In middle school, I struggled to read even picture books. In class, I’d pretend. Then, at home, I’d listen to my books on cassette tapes — at double speed. And during the summer, I’d go to Lindamood Bell, just like Thomas. (The reading centers, which offer tutoring and reading programs around the world, also provide financial support for NPR.)

Over the years, I survived by memorizing words. It started with boxes and boxes of index cards. I’d practice each night, looking at a word and saying its sound as quickly as I could. I memorized hundreds and hundreds — maybe a few thousand — words this way.

I’ve never been able to sound out unfamiliar words. And I still can’t.

Dyslexia causes difficulty in recognizing words.

When I come across a word I don’t know, I freeze. It’s often a last name or a street name that never made it onto those index cards. It takes a great deal of focus for me to clump the letters into groups, link those groups with sounds and, finally, string those sounds together.

Since dyslexia is not something you outgrow, I have learned to work with it, and work around it. It’s always there, but it is rarely the focus of my thoughts. That was true through college and graduate school, but when I became an education reporter, it changed.

As I returned to elementary school classrooms and interviewed parents and teachers, dyslexia kept popping up in places I didn’t expect. I saw teachers who were mystified by their students’ struggles and parents whose stamina and empathy were tested.

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Dyslexia is so widespread that it forces schools and parents to take action. And yet, it is deeply misunderstood. Even basic questions don’t have easy answers.

Exactly how many people around the world have dyslexia? Well, it’s complicated. Estimates vary greatly, partly because it depends on what country or language you are talking about (English speakers may be more likely to have it than, say, Italian speakers) and partly because many people who have dyslexia never get a formal diagnosis. However, most estimates in the United States put it at somewhere between 5 and 17 percent of the population.

Many people think that dyslexia is seeing letters in the wrong order, or getting b and d mixed up. Not true. Researchers, experts and people with dyslexia dismiss these as common misconceptions.

So, if dyslexia isn’t any of those things people think it is, then what is it?

“It’s basically like looking at a foreign word,” says Jonathan Gohrband. He’s a videographer in Chicago and, at 31, he says dyslexia is still part of his daily life.

When reading, Gohrband says, his eyes often lurch to a stop in front of a word that looks utterly unfamiliar. His best solution, he says, is to turn to his girlfriend, asking a now familiar question: “What’s this word?” And as she answers, he almost always has the same response: “Of course that’s what it is!”

Here’s the thing: There’s nothing wrong with Jonathan Gohrband’s vocabulary. Or 9-year-old Thomas Lester’s vocabulary. They know what “galloping” means. And they can use the word in spoken English 20 different ways. They just can’t read the word.

That’s why dyslexia used to be called “word blindness.” People with dyslexia don’t naturally process the written word. They don’t easily break it into smaller units that can be turned into sounds and stitched together.

Dyslexia causes many obstacles for reading.

This makes reading a laborious — even exhausting — process. Writing, too. Gohrband remembers when his former boss pulled him aside after she’d received emails littered with spelling mistakes.

” ‘Hey, I know it’s the weekend, but don’t email when you’re drunk,’ ” he recalls her saying. He was, of course, perfectly sober — just dyslexic. Now, he can spend hours scouring emails he’s drafted, looking for typos. “It’s very time-consuming and very exhausting.”

Consuming. Exhausting. There’s an emotional dimension, too. Gohrband recalls that when he was a child he would fantasize about not “being broken.” He would avoid telling people about it: “If they know that you’re dyslexic, they’ll think you’re dumb.”

Yet, he says, there came a turning point when the shame faded. For him, it was when he found videography. There he discovered a “language” that came easily, and suddenly his talents were visible to others.

“I felt so much more confident,” he says.

And with time, Gohrband says, he has found benefits hidden inside his struggles. He thinks that being pushed outside his comfort zone by dyslexia has made him more creative and less judgmental.

I’ve felt that myself, and as I’ve talked with many others, I heard one thing again and again: When things don’t come easy, you learn to try new things and work hard at them.

SOURCE

Using Digital Devices Around Bedtime Can Disrupt Kids’ Sleep

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A new study discovers use of devices such as smartphones and tablets at bedtime more than doubles the risk of poor sleep in children.
Previous research suggests that 72 percent of children and 89 percent of adolescents have at least one device in their bedrooms and most are used near bedtime.
The speed at which these devices have developed — and their growing popularity among families — has outpaced research in this area, meaning that the impact on sleep is not well understood.
Researchers from Kings College, London reviewed 20 existing studies from four continents, involving more than 125,000 children aged six to 19 (with an average age of 15).
Their findings appear in JAMA Pediatrics.
Investigators discovered bedtime use of media devices was associated with an increased likelihood of inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

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Bedtime use was classified as engagement with a device within 90 minutes of going to sleep.
They also found that the presence of a media device in the bedroom, even without use, was associated with an increased likelihood of poor sleep.
One potential reason for this is that the “always on” nature of social media and instant messaging means children are continuously engaged with devices in their environment, even when they are not actively using them.
It is thought that screen-based media devices adversely affect sleep through a variety of ways, including delaying or interrupting sleep time; psychologically stimulating the brain; and affecting sleep cycles, physiology, and alertness.
Sleep disturbance in childhood is known to have adverse effects on health, including poor diet, obesity, sedative behavior, reduced immune function, and stunted growth, as well as links with mental health issues.
Dr. Ben Carter from King’s College London, said, “Our study provides further proof of the detrimental effect of media devices on both sleep duration and quality.
“Sleep is an often undervalued but important part of children’s development, with a regular lack of sleep causing a variety of health problems. With the ever-growing popularity of portable media devices and their use in schools as a replacement for textbooks, the problem of poor sleep amongst children is likely to get worse.
“Our findings suggest that an integrated approach involving parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals is necessary to reduce access to these devices and encourage good sleeping habits near bedtime.”

 

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Teach Your Kids to Pick, Prepare and Pack Their School Lunch

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If kids help plan and prepare their school lunches, they’re more likely to eat them, an expert says.

Give children a list of choices in each of the main food groups — fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy — and let them pick favorites in each category, Penn State University dietitian Kara Shifler suggested.

“This definitely takes time, but past third or fourth grade, they should be taking on some of the responsibility themselves. That will help them have more control over what they eat and be more experimental in the kitchen,” she said in a university news release.

Pre-planning a menu and shopping for the entire week will reduce how much time parents have to spend packing a healthy lunch on busy weekday mornings, Shifler said.

Her colleague, Dr. Marsha Novick, recommended packing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

“Look for things that are quick — that you can easily grab and put into baggies like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas. That can help with the time pressure we all face in the morning. It’s also helpful to pack some of it the night before,” said Novick, director of the pediatric weight loss program at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Other healthy choices include dinner leftovers such as soup with vegetables and pasta with vegetables in the sauce, Novick said in the news release.

While a home-packed lunch is often best, school cafeterias now offer a fruit, vegetable, whole grain and low-fat dairy item at each meal.

“The key is to know what is on the menu for each day and discuss the choices with your child ahead of time,” Novick said.

Source: Medline Plus

N-n-n-n-nervous about day one? Check out 14 fun activities for that first day of class.

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Whether you’re a first-time teacher or a seasoned educator, getting the year off on the right foot is certainly something to shoot for.
Day one often sets the tone for things to come, so it makes sense to kick-off the year right with entertaining and suitable activities. pencils and-stuff.
With that in mind we asked fellow teachers on Edmodo how they’ve approached the first day of class. Naturally we received lots of eye-opening suggestions for activities. Some were insightful. Some creative. Some just plain hilarious (a big thanks to Alejandra Guzman for her idea, which may not apply to everyone, “Snowball fight!”)
Here are a few other suggestions that help break the ice, without requiring snowfall:
“I’ve used several over the years, but my favorite is to get them to seat themselves in birthday order from January 1 to December 31 without my help.”
Vanita Vance
“Give Me 5 – I ask students to share 5 things about themselves.”
Merewyn Patrick
“Anything that gets them up and moving around.”
Michelle Touceda
“Have them interview their elbow partner, turn that interview into a paragraph, then have the partners stand and introduce one another using those paragraphs.”

Mrs. Touceda
“I like to start the year with world’s worst actor. The kids aren’t expected to be good which is very freeing and lets me see a bit about their performance comfort level.”
Jody Urbas
“I love art and other things where students create. This collaborative drawing ice breaker is fun.”
Carrie
“2 truths and a lie.”
Cristin Miller
“Brainstorming a great school year, and creating a poster wall to get to know students and help them get to know one another.”
Stella Maris Berdaxagar
“We share our favorite book.”
Rory Morse
“I like to have them answer a fun survey, or do a share out, sometimes will use some tech games to have fun with them, learn who they are.”
Rachelle Poth
“Play the game where the teacher asks a question and kids move from one side of the room to another based on their answer. For example, the teacher says, “Pizza is one of my favorite foods.” Kids move to the right of the room if they agree and the opposite side of the room if they disagree. It’s a get to know you activity without a lot of risk.”
Sandy King
“I always start out with a Science mystery hunt! Gets the kids up and active and meeting new people.”
Linwood Starling
“Shoot selfies and show them in the interactive whiteboard while students describe themselves.”
Jose Angel Morancho
“Here’s my favorite way to start the school year off! I like to have students make a one-minute Animoto video about themselves to introduce themselves to the class. I then have them post the video to an Edmodo small group and have them comment and say nice things to each other.”
Mr. Fairfield
As you can see, the approaches are varied but most have a common theme: Get all of your students participating so they each feel involved, and let everyone get to know each other.
With that you’re sure to have a great first day that leads to a magical year.

Source: EDMODO BLOGS

 

6 Simple Ways to Stay Connected When You’re Super Busy

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Couples may find themselves spending less and less time together, and the time they do have might be stained with stress. Not surprisingly, this can make you feel like you’re miles apart.

But it doesn’t take long hours of quality time to enhance your relationship connection. What’s important is developing an “attitude of carrying your spouse or partner with you” throughout your day, according to Mark E. Sharp, Ph.D, a psychologist in private practice who specializes in relationship issues.

Here are six simple ways to sustain a strong connection when the days keep getting shorter (and the to-do list, longer).

1. Use technology for good.

Technology can strain your relationship if you’re constantly plugged in, but it doesn’t have to. “Sending a quick text, an email, a chat or a phone call can take just a few seconds but can send an important message – I am thinking about you and I love you,” said Chelsea Madsen, Ph.D, a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with couples at Wasatch Family Therapy.

If you get so busy throughout your day that you forget, just set an alarm on your phone as a reminder, Madsen said. Or schedule specific times in your day to reconnect, even if it’s a brief phone chat, Sharp said.

2. Plan ahead.

According to Madsen, “When the ‘to-do’ list gets longer we often get lost in the have to, want to, and should do’s, but the clarity of which tasks are the highest priorities seem to get a little cloudy.” Plus, waiting to spend quality time together when you actually have time will likely leave you waiting forever. Prioritize your relationship by planning ahead for date nights. For instance, hire a babysitter well in advance, Madsen said.

3. Know each other’s schedules.

“Another way that partners can carry each other is being aware of each other’s schedule and activities,” Sharp said. This way, if your partner has an exciting or tough day, you can support them, he said.

4. Create and continue rituals.

Your rituals don’t need to be elaborate or time-consuming. They could be as simple as a kiss before work, a chat before bed or a glass of milk in the evening together, Madsen said. And if you already have certain rituals, keep them going, she said. “Rituals tell your partner you are there, and there is stability in the relationship, something to count on,” she said.

5. Tackle tasks together.

Madsen suggested checking off your to-do list as a team. Run errands together. Catch up while you’re cooking dinner, she said. “Even working side by side on your computers can be fun and relationship-enhancing if you make it that way,” she said.

6. Check in with each other’s emotions.

“One of the first things I see slide when we are busy is emotional connection,” Madsen said. But this is an important way to feel closer to your partner. “It gives you a sense of support and confidence that is unique,” she said. So talk about your feelings, worries, woes and life in general, she said.

Credit: psychcentral.com