February 15, 2015

Dear Division 16,

This past couple of weeks have shown us some really diverse weather.  We’ve had torrential rain, near freezing weather, +13 degree days and bright sunshine!  We are still over a month away from Spring but we can see the crocus and snowdrop starting to bloom and many changes starting to happen in nature.

I came across this article on the weekend and thought many of you might find it interesting:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brain-activity-seasons-study_us_56ba26ffe4b0b40245c42d6a

Please read the article and then make one or more change we might make to schools if the conclusions in this experiment are true. Be specific! Support your response with reasons and at least one fact from the article. Remember that all blog posts must be written in full sentences.

I look forward to your responses!

Jody

 

 

45 comments

  1. The Bean

    I think that schools could look at adjusting the curriculum slightly to work with the season changes. Not that much, but enough so that the kids could work better in schools. Later on in the spring and summer months they could increase the amount of time spent on math and other subjects that require focus and problem solving, since our brains are more active then, the kids would be more efficient. then in the winter and fall they could bring in more arts and physical activity, which may seem surprising, but I think that letting us move more help us stay stimulated. And with art there is less attention and more creativity required so it would be much easier. Making these changes wouldn’t mean phasing out math from October to March, it would just mean slightly more relaxed math in December and more social studies and science in the spring.

  2. den10@sea43

    maybe we could have longer brakes over the winter because are brain is not as focused at that time. Also that might mean more rest over the winter so in the summer we will be ready to work.

  3. Amythest

    In the article it said that “Brains don’t change when the seasons are changing”. They only did that test on adults so I think that kid’s brains might change because kids tend to sleep in during summer break. So when school starts they have to wake up earlier so they’re brains during the summer are probably not really thinking and just tired but when school starts you have to get back into your school routine. I think that school should start earlier in Fall and Spring because it kind of gets you ready for when you’re an adult, because normally jobs or high school start earlier than elementary school so while you’re in elementary school you could be sleeping in until 8:30 or 8:00. I chose Fall and Spring because then some seasons you will be getting up earlier for your future but you’re also sleeping in more in winter and when we’re in school for summer. For most jobs you have to be there around 8:00 or maybe earlier so eventually you’ll have to start waking up a lot earlier for high school or your job.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good points about our wakefulness, Amythest! I think in the winter months we all do like to hibernate a bit. Do you think the sleeping in on summer break is about the season, or about a lack of regular schedule?

      • Amythest

        I think that it is about lack of regular schedule because when you don’t have to be anywhere and you’re really tired then you’ll probably sleep in a bit.

  4. 14A DINOSAUR

    I find it interesting that the only time off students have from school for a long is in the summer, which seems to be our best time to have sustained attention. If this is true, we could make some changes to the school to better suit our biology. We could take a longer winter break instead of a summer break, but I think this is a bad idea! If we had winter off, students and family would be discouraged to travel and learn because of the cold weather. Kids might prefer to stay inside and play videogames. On the contrary, when we have a break in the summer, people want to go out and camp, travel, visit family and generally learn new things that you can’t learn in school. Also, if our brain functioning is not as focused, we’d need more help from teachers and staff in the winter to be able sit still and learn. Maybe it is a good thing that the biggest break is in the summer, when students are most able to learn on their own.

    • dickensdiv16

      This is interesting – I guess if you were to make a change you would have to consider the benefits for student learning alongside the benefits for family and out-of-school opportunities!

  5. crazymemeslol123

    I think we should take more breaks off from school in the winter season because as the article said that our brains are not half as focuses as in the other 3 seasons

  6. Rouge

    I think that to change our work habits according to the seasonal changes we could break up the two months off in the summer and have weeks at a time off throughout the year. So as opposed to having two months off for summer holiday we could spread that time out throughout the year, maybe in October we could get a week off, and in February get a week off, and in April we could have two weeks off (and so on.) In the article they stated that the brain is most active in memory and attentiveness in Summer and Autumn. I think by taking this into consideration we could be in school during all the seasons (especially in Summer and Autumn) and have time off at different times which would encourage families to travel at different times of the year and to different destinations. Also students would peak in their learning at different times throughout the year and would manage to stay focused and engaged while in school. As well as this benefiting learning at school, these spread out breaks would help us learn at home and discover new things around Vancouver that we wouldn’t see otherwise while we are in school.

    • dickensdiv16

      Rouge, this is a very thoughtful response and you’ve considered a number of variables. I like your comment about how student learning would peak at different times during the year – I’m curious to know when you think that peak is for most students, and how you think that would change with a different school year?

  7. super cheese cake

    Maybe we can do more brain exercise and make our brain relax more. I read a book about how to refresh our brain like stretching, moving our head back and forth and bending our knees with our hands touching our knees I’ve tried it before and I do think that helps. I don’t think we need longer break. If there are longer breaks our brain will start getting used to the longer break. It will be harder for us to focus on our school work. Or we can do easier work in winter and harder ones in summer. Like we can learn easier math in winter and harder math in summer since we can be more focused in summer.

  8. THEMANGO404 WAFFLE

    I think that altering the days of school would make it so all the time kids would be enthusiastic about learning, but the number of days of school not changing would be better because then the kids would get the same allotment of time at school. But another key issue would be what curriculum would be learned. Because tweaking the times when students learn would also be very important to having enthusiastic learning.

    • THEMANGO404 WAFFLE

      Also, physical education would have to be different according to the energies of kids based on the time of year

    • dickensdiv16

      I like the sound of enthusiastic learning, THEMANGO404, and I agree that the number of days in school shouldn’t be altered – what specific changes do you think should be made to the curriculum?

  9. smeagaleater10

    I think we should have more memory tests during autumn and more attention tests during summer. I respond like this because in the article contained the information that the human brain was better in attention tasks in Summer and was better at memory tasks in autumn. I’m responding like this not because I will get better marks, I am responding like this because we will also learn the topics better because we will understand it more. I’m also not saying that we should have school in summer so we could do attention tests, but the school can do the attention tests near summer.

  10. DLTMGYD

    I think what they could do is make winter break longer and summer shorter. If they are trying it out in schools what they could do is make winter break 1 week longer and summer 1 week a shorter. At first if this is true then instead of pushing week by week each year we could go up 3 or 4 days each year so that we can ease into it. If this isn’t true then they can just put back to what it use to be. An other thing we could do is make the school week short in the winter coming up to winter break or make the days shorter.

    • dickensdiv16

      DLTMGYD, I really like how you’ve proposed a gradual change – I think this is also usually good for our brains! I think your suggestion that the school weeks could be shorter in winter months is a very creative approach! It would certainly help us in our desire to hibernate!

  11. Crazychicken lover

    I think that we should make the curriculum longer and have more school days in the summer because of the article that we were reading said that since our moods change according to the season. I think that we should do chime so that it can help us and our brains because I read in an article that chime boost on mindfulness and our learning ability and our brain activity. In my opinion I would not want the school days to be longer because in the winter everyone would be very lazy if we lengthen the days in winter break and shorten the days of summer break then everyone will be super lazy and would be very boring. We should also do more physical activity like running so that it can help us stay healthy and very active.

  12. Shadow145

    Making winter break a little more longer And making summer much more short 2 or 3 weeks or even more because the article said in the winter we wont be focusing half that much and it said that in the summer that we are more active so making summer shorter would help.

  13. PandaTush

    If these conclusions were true, I would change the times we learn things. If our brain activity was lower in the winter, we would learn simpler stuff like for math it would be addition and subtraction and for music we would learn a simpler song and in gym it would be a simple dodgeball to get us started and so on and so on. When spring rolls around we would start preparing ourself a for advanced learning in the summer. We would learn division and geometry and we would start learning the parts to a harder song in music so we could piece them together in the summer. We would learn more complex gym games and we might do them outside. I think projects are necessary throughout the year but we would learn more complex topics later and a simpler project at the beginning to just start us off.

    • dickensdiv16

      These are all well thought out responses to the article, PandaTush. I like the idea of projects continuing throughout the year. Do you have any speculation about why our learning needs are different throughout the year?

  14. TechNerd

    I agree with den10@sea43, we should really take when our brain focus and can concentrate more into account. I think that we should be given a 1-3 month break in the winter to replace summer break, so that we can easily skip through when our brain doesn’t focus as well. And then we have school all throughout the summer when our brain can focus and concentrate more, and perhaps some professional days. But other than that, I think that this idea would drastically improve our work.

    • dickensdiv16

      Nice connection to another post, TechNerd! Would you prefer this change, personally? I wonder how differently your plan would look in places like the North where it can be hard to get around in the winter, or where there are very few hours of daylight!

  15. Joaquin

    I think we should work on refreshing thing’s so in the summer we can learn new things.
    We should also have longer winter brake and a sorter summer brake.

  16. the Dude

    Maybe when it gets super cold outside we should turn the heat up in schools more than usual. This will create the illusion of summer and will help with the fact that people tend to feel more sad and angry in winter. It will make it like during the summer when people feel super happy and will make the students feel a little better. According to this study it would make sense for kids to go to school during the summer, but this would be a bad idea. The point of summer vacation is that you can run around in shorts, go to the beach. If you had time off in the winter instead of the summer there is nothing to do because the weather outside is crummy.

    • dickensdiv16

      the DUDE, this is a really creative way to approach this question, and I love your response! You’re suggesting changing our environment to mimic the conditions that support better learning, and I think that’s really great thinking. You’ve pushed our discussion in a different direction and that’s very cool. Well done!

  17. ArcticOwl

    I was thinking that we should have a autumn break . I know that is sounds out of the bloom though we have summer break,Spring break , Christmas holidays.Then you brain just gets all mixed up with autumn,because there is no holidays in autumn !

  18. A.ayewthelegend

    In soccer leagues in Europe they have a winter break which is about the length of our winter break however that is just so the players can celebrate Christmas I pointed this out because I wonder if the leagues system will change if they read the article? I think we could make winter break longer and summer break shorter. The article also points out that in fall there should be a break and a shorter one in Spring. If I was to base my schools schedule of this I would because you want to have the kids you have at your school to get high marks so maybe other kids will come to get better grades.

  19. Ginger

    I find it ironic that the two seasons that that we aren’t completely in school are the seasons that the test subjects have better attention and memory! If the conclusions of this test are true and we, in fact, can use some parts of our brain more efficiently (or less efficiently) throughout the year, this could lead to major changes in the way schools and work areas are organized. One of the changes that coordinators and administrators might like to think about is adding 10 to 20 minutes on to recess or morning break and about half an hour onto lunch hour (to make lunch-hour-and-a-half). Adding more time to the breaks would hopefully increase our ability to focus and remember details. Because this would be taking away our learning and productive time, I would recommend that schools are in session until four o’clock instead of 3 o’clock. Yes, there would be less time for homework and hanging out with friends after school, but it might help us, in the long run, to get into university and find a good job.

  20. Purple Pickle

    Maybe in the winter we could have less work in school because our brains aren’t as focused or “awake” but that wouldn’t mean we would have less school work during the year. We could maybe have more work when the years ending so we could balance it out.

  21. baconguy

    I think that maybe if we made summer break in the spring or winter, than that would benefit more than if the big break was in summer or if the school board just took a few weeks off of summer and put them on the end of winter or spring break.

  22. Soccerboy123ABC

    I think that if we altered the curriculum so that we focus the most important stuff in the spring and summer so that we are able to do our best work then . Also I think we should put more weeks on winter break and take ,ore off summer or we could just have on big break in the winter, or we could just make kids do math or what you were going to teach over summer holidays so that you would recommend, ember things that you will learn for the next year so the teachers will be able to teach more in the same amount of time .

  23. iron lanturn

    I think we should have a longer break in winter so in summer we could have more teaching and a smaller break so our brains wont be over stimulated.

  24. Sr.Fruitcake

    I think that as many people all ready said we could make small changes in the curriculum to optimize the brain’s functionality during the different seasons. I think that we could also take the teachers into account and make sure that the curriculum could take less patience and effort in the seasons where moods are effected. I also wondered if the optimal brain functioning time of year depends on your age I find this a plausible conclusion because Grownups and kids minds are at a different state of maturity.

  25. balloongirl123

    I think that we should have longer breaks in the winter because some people would get distracted and not being focus sometimes the snow and everything about winter is distracting to all the children.

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