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Metacognition curriculum: The Primacy of Sleep

November 30, 2010

Based on Cal Newport’s awesome misery poker I’ll decided to coin a new game “Sleep deprivation hearts” where hours of sleep are the trump, as in “I can take 3 hours of sleep,” “I’ll go for 2” and, “I’m going to pull an all nighter.” It’s pretty crazy how much my kids seem to love to talk about how little sleep they get, and pretty unhealthy in my mind as well.

It’s taken me some time, but I’ve finally found some resources I really like for tackling this problem head on. It starts with the reading below from the awesome book Nurtureshock, which is a wonderful science-based primer on how to raise children (it’s got a chapter about Dweck, so it has to be good).

View this document on Scribd

As usual, I ask my students to answer a series of questions based on the article.

  1. Describe one of the scientific experiments in the article and its findings.
  2. How many hours each night, on average, do you sleep?
  3. If you think you get adequate sleep every night, how do you do it? If you think you need to get more, what is your plan for doing so?
  4. Anything else you wish to share about the article?
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian permalink
    December 1, 2010 1:44 am

    John,

    Thanks for sharing this along with your No-Stress exam prep. I love reading about the work you do with your students that centers on helping them be healthy and happy. When you give an assignment like the one above, is it done in your physics classes or is this done with a group of students that you advise?

  2. December 1, 2010 1:52 am

    Brian,
    We don’t yet have an advisory program at my school, so all of this is done in my classes. I used to take more time than I do to have full day discussions of these articles and stuff, now it’s just 5-10 minutes at the start of class, with exceptions for talking about the history of grades, and other personal pet topics. I’m not sure what the most effective way to do this is, but I do get lots of feedback that kids enjoy these articles, questions and discussions. Stills, I’m not sure how effective it is at countering all the other messages they hear from peers, parents and the rest of their day.

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