Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PLN #5 
       The article, "Brain may Flush Out Toxins During Sleep" by the National Institute of Health is about how during sleep, the human brain may flush out toxins.In this article, the author explains how  brain cells change size during sleep, making room for a fluid to flush toxins out from the brain. This fluid, known as Cerebrospinal Fluid, is "A clear liquid Surrounding the brain and spinal cord," which was dyed blue in the brains of mice. The author tells how scientists determined that, "the dye flowed rapidly when the mice were unconscious," but didn't move when the mice were conscious. This told scientists that the Cerebrospinal Fluid moves around in the brain during sleep. This happens because of a hormone called "Noradrenaline" which changes the size of certain brain cells when it is released during sleep. When the cells shrink during sleep, the fluid can flow through the cells. The author then goes on to explain the importance of this discovery, and how sleep has another function other than providing us rest. It aids the brain, with the cerebrospinal fluid getting rid of the toxins. This article clearly explains this new function of sleep, and the removal of toxins.

     The article, "Brain may Flush out Toxins During Sleep" fascinated me because I didn't think that sleep had any other purpose than to rest the brain and body. It was really cool to learn how sleep has this function of cleansing itself with the Cerebrospinal fluid. I didn't think that the brain would be able to do that. It also stunned me how such an important discovery this is. It shows another reason why I really need to get sleep, so that I stay healthy. If I don't sleep, the toxins would build up in my brain, and I don't want to find out what affect that would hold on me.It is so cool that scientists can literally look into our brains.Discoveries like this excite me because it shows that there is so much more to some things than I expected, and that there still are things waiting to be discovered. I can't wait to see what future scientific discoveries will hold!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

PLN #4- In Praise of the F Word

The article “In Praise of the F Word” by Mark Sherry is about how many graduates of high schools today “have been cheated by our educational system” and encourages return to the policy of flunking failing students. In this article, the author explains how students are graduating without basic literacy abilities. Some teachers pass on flunking students, causing them to lose the ability to keep up in their future classes. Many have had issues with substance abuse, the influence of divorce, or abusive relationships, that cause them to not focus on their classes. The author shares how he asked students to share something that happened during their grade-school years that was an “unpleasant experience.” One student shared that, “I wish someone would have made me stop doing drugs and made me study.” Another, that, “I was a good kid and didn't cause any trouble, so they just passed me along even though I didn't read and couldn't write.” The author then goes on to explain how, in the adult-literacy program that he teaches, students have begun to make schooling a priority. He shares his opinion that students need to become more motivated and, “rise above their problems.” One of the forms of motivation shared is the fear of failing classes. The author concludes with the idea that dedication, between students, parents, and teachers are a big part of the flunking policy to keep students motivated and from illiteracy.

The article “In Praise of the F Word” by Mark Sherry surprised me because I didn't think that people who graduate High School were not actually ready to graduate. I couldn't believe that graduates could be illiterate, that’s crazy! I don’t understand why a teacher would pass a student on when they are failing a class with such needed skills. If a student is failing a class, it makes sense that they would need to take it again so that they understand the materials in the class. I don’t think it’s a good idea to pass them on, because if a student does not understand the material in the previous class, how can they be expected to be able to learn and understand new material presented to them at a higher level? I agree with the author that the flunking policy is an important part of the education system that needs to be upheld. The fear of flunking definitely motivates me to do well in school. The idea of not being able to graduate on time should motivate any student. The author adds to this in his article, when he shares how the fear of flunking encouraged his son to do well in his English class. I think that flunking students can keep them from falling behind, and keep students from graduating when they are not ready.