Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Texting & Chewing Gum in Class should be OK

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I am at the Moreh L'Morim "Teacher to Teachers" conference and listening to Joel Hoffman speak about teaching Hebrew.  I am a little bit frustrated that the teachers attending are really talking more about classroom distractions, but it did come to some interesting points about cell phone usage in class (despite what the teachers attending wanted!!)

I got an in school suspended for bring an cell phone that was turned off when I was in High School.  My parents even spoke to the principle and said that since there was theft in the parking lot, they did not want me to keep my phone in the car.  The principle did not care and I had to miss out on a day of school by sitting in a small room with busy work.  

The way that I feel about allowing students to use cell phones in class is not only something that I think because I want to be the 'cool teacher' but because there is factual evidence that they can pay more attention when multitasking.  

I personally use cell phones as a teaching tool with my students.  I like to have them interact with one another and me (the teacher) using them for positive learning opportunities. I have had my students use them to take photos, videos, texting, googleing...etc! I admit though, that I did not let them use their phones to text or play games, but my thinking has now changed.

To see the article that Joel Hoffman wrote quoting the research about cell phone use click here

Chewing gum has a similar bad wrap in class

I see the point that they may put the gum in places other then the garbage and that IS a problem.  I would also suggest gum without chemical of color additives.  However; Gum has been scientifically proven to help kids focus better and to improve their memory (Allen, NYU).

Psychologists in the United Kingdom have also proven that chewing gum helps your memory and studying. This is due to the fact that chewing gum helps to release insulin into the bloodstream which affects how well your memory works. Gum might be helpful for people with 'ADD' or 'ADHD'. The simple chewing motion can help you relax.

What alternative methods have you tried in your class?

1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right on about chewing gum in class. Not only does it stimulate insulin production and blood flow, it also provides proprioceptive sensory input for those who need a little extra input just to be able to sit still and focus. There are tons of kids with sensory integration issues that could be associated with ADD, ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, etc or just as a stand alone diagnosis.


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