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Author Topic: "Use of food" permission slip for science  (Read 10537 times)

Description: Virginia, middle school

Offline ajasfolks2

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"Use of food" permission slip for science
« on: June 04, 2013, 03:43:05 PM »
http://www.lcps.org/cms/lib4/VA01000195/Centricity/Domain/4996/gummy%20lab%20Permission.pdf

From that:

Quote
Your child will be participating in many scientific investigations this year during Science 7.  Several of these investigations involve food products as we investigate life functions.  Additionally, we have found that using familiar food products to model challenging abstract concepts significantly increases retention. 



I would really appreciate any and all commentary -- esp from some of our educators here.

I will reserve comment . . . lots I want to say but will hold my water for now.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 08:00:55 PM by ajasfolks2 »
Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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twinturbo

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 03:59:31 PM »
This reads oddly like an LSAT question. Any number of things can increase retention, as well as surpassing the use of food products, or not using them at all. It reads purposely broad to be true yet completely without context on order to not be handily dismissed as an extremely weak argument. This would begin and end as a "Cite your source."

On the other hand if one were investigating zoological or botanical science or food science then fundamental nature and all. But blanket use as a retention device, further insinuating it is default superior retention device unrelated to the fundamental underlying material. Gimme a break.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 04:54:14 PM by twinturbo »

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 04:21:55 PM »
In one way, I view it as a middle school version of the "safe treat" box:  another EXcuse to EXclude! 

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 04:23:01 PM »
IMHO, this one permission slip sure does help support the case that the unnecessary food IS the barrier to the education!!!
 :banghead:

(Thank you, Pete Wright, for agreeing with me on this some years back . . . )   :smooch:
Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Online YouKnowWho

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 06:16:52 AM »
I see the other side of it (though I have not clicked on the link as of yet due to sketchy coverage).

Having a list ahead of time and the ability to work with teacher (and not deal with their hired henchmen, aka room parents), gives me the ability to brainstorm more than five minutes.  DS1s safety and inclusion this year was mainly do to a teacher pulling crap out of her aspirin at the last minute.  Lack of planning on her end, forced me to pull my hair out and burn holes in my stomach.
DS1 - Wheat, rye, barley and egg
DS2 - peanuts
DD -  tree nuts, soy and sunflower
Me - bananas, eggplant, many drugs
Southeast USA

Offline Macabre

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 07:30:43 AM »
Yes, I appreciate the fact that they are at least aware this this can pose a problem.  I assume a 504 plan would supercede any wholesale permission given through this slip. 

I've come to the place that it's just not realistic to expect food not to be used in school.  And high school is worse than middle school--at least our experience.  But if I can work with the teacher well in advance of the event so that it is safe, we're good.

And in high school, I have been mostly hands off. 
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

twinturbo

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 08:16:48 AM »
Agreed on food in schools pragmatically speaking. It's the argument the school makes that the  purposeful addition of food products to the curriculum that otherwise wouldn't involve it increases retention, which is what I believe caught Ajas' attention initially. From what I understand that's similar logic to food rewards for performance.

What's the colorful phrase? "Blowing air up my skirt"? I understand it's cheap, it (candy, typically) can be used to modify behavior as many devices can, and generally innocuous to the majority population. Even without allergies I'm opposed to the use of food in lessons to modify behavior... to the point I'd homeschool instead without food if the public school's definition of inclusion means using safe gummy bears for math, geology, etc. Worksheet + candy /= curriculum.

Not that in any way discounts what parents would like to see or perceive differently. I could occupy a different part of the continuum on this whether it's on principal or based on unrealistic expectation.



There's another way to differentiate this that I hope may be useful.

Operationally, we all have to deal with food in schools as FA parents. Give or take a bit it's about the same for all of us along a standard bell curve once you account for individual factors.

My problem with claim on the slip what Ajas asked for input on is the logic. It's a weak superlative upsell akin to nothing cleans better than Brand X. Which does not preclude the existence of many other brands that clean just as well, possibly for a better price, longer lasting, has other positive effects besides clean. Or women make decisions based on emotion which is true but so do men so an incomplete statement makes it appear that only women make decisions based on emotion and are therefore more emotional.

My husband's problem with the claim is veracity based on misinterpretation. As a researcher and instructor in human behavior he knows it's absolute bs that food is a necessary device for increased retention. Likely there was some research using food as a sensory stimulant compared to a control that showed a higher positive effect when food was used, but that could correlate to many things that stimulate senses. For example on 100th day does it matter to use Rice Chex or similar sized plastic beads of multiple colors and shapes?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 03:48:56 PM by twinturbo »

Offline SilverLining

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 12:09:06 PM »
Quote
____ My child DOES have a SEVERE food allergy. I request that the class not complete activities with the following ingredients (please list below, mark with a *, and indicate severity and/or concerns):

That is one of the options.

~~~

a teacher that I know IRL has occasionally called me to make sure something is safe.  Her student is pa only, and the mom is pretty laid back about it.  "don't feed him peanuts". The teacher wants this student involved in everything, and takes the time to find out what products are safe (no may contains) and spends her own money on it....for the entire class, not something different for the kid with pa.

for an end of year activity day, the school was providing some kind of Mr. freezie, but not knowing the brand, I couldn't confirm safety.  So she spent her own money to buy her class Chapman's Popsicles.

Another time they were studying archeology.  An inexpensive and fun "dig" to provide the students is chocolate chip cookies.  She asked me which brands were safe.  Kids weren't supposed to eat the cookies....but they do.  She purchased the safe brand for all the kids.

This teacher does not use food constantly in the classroom, but she does occasionally.  I don't think she allows birthday treats in the class either.  Not sure if it's a school rule, but she doesn't like the constant mess and sugar high the kids end up on.  (She is an "all things in moderation" type of person.). Plus, I think her opinion is you should celebrate your own child's birthday at home and not expect her to supervise it for you.  (Why don't more teachers feel that way?)
When I was growing up we didn’t call it “Political Correctness”.  We called it things like “manners”, “respect” and “the Golden Rule”. ~~~ Peter

Offline maeve

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2013, 02:55:31 PM »
Yes, I appreciate the fact that they are at least aware this this can pose a problem.  I assume a 504 plan would supercede any wholesale permission given through this slip.

I've come to the place that it's just not realistic to expect food not to be used in school.  And high school is worse than middle school--at least our experience.  But if I can work with the teacher well in advance of the event so that it is safe, we're good.

And in high school, I have been mostly hands off. 

Not in the case for this school district.  I have received four "permission" slips this year for a MS in that same school district.  The first was for a science experiment in which the students made s'mores.  The next three have been in the past couple of weeks.  One was for a "cupcake wars" good behavior award in DD's science class (yes the reward was cupcake and junk food party; if I didn't want DD to participate, we were given the option of her being sent to another class to work and being brought back when the food was gone).  Another was for her 6th grade team "nacho fest" which was held Monday, and the last was for today's junk food to accompany watching "The Lorax" in science.  Yesterday was the 6th grade field day and we were not given any notice that food (cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones) would be served.  DD texted me seeking permission to get something be she could not see ingredients listed for the snow cone syrup so she got out of line and didn't get anything.

The Lorax permission slip only mentioned peanuts, though DD is also allergic to tree nuts and eggs (I have no problem with kids eating cake or cookies near her--scrambled/hard boiled eggs are a another story; however, nuts are a no-go in her classroom).  We were sent these permission slips at the same time as all the parents in the classes, so we did not have an opportunity to correct any errors.

We have a 504 in place that states we are to be notified ahead of time.  This will be addressed with DD's house dean, who also happens to be the 504C for her school.
 
Oh there was another use of food in DD's English class where the teacher used Goldfish for something related to character development.  The teacher emailed me well in advance of the lesson.  I decided to provide the Goldfish for the entire class; I hate the idea of teachers purchasing stuff with their own funds.  There was also a day when the English teacher let the kids wear PJs, have hot chocolate, and read a book.  She hunted down a source to get hot water for DD and I sent in a safe cocoa packet and some safe mini marshmallows.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 03:09:08 PM by maeve »
"Oh, I'm such an unholy mess of a girl."

USA-Virginia
DD allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and egg; OAS to cantaloupe and cucumber

twinturbo

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2013, 03:08:11 PM »
The teacher wants this student involved in everything, and takes the time to find out what products are safe (no may contains) and spends her own money on it....for the entire class, not something different for the kid with pa.

But that effort wouldn't be spent on behalf of my child's safety or contribute positively to his general health including dental. It would be on the teacher's own behalf so he or she may continue to keep the candy in the curriculum.

Even though my child is allergic to hen's eggs we go out of our way to make sure he's able to attend farm field trips with parental supervision so he can participate. It's part of the essential nature of that activity.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 03:09:47 PM by twinturbo »

Offline CMdeux

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2013, 03:20:51 PM »
That's what it gets down to for me personally; what is the FUNDAMENTAL NATURE of the planned activity?  What are its essential goals?  How are they measured?

What integral role-- if any-- does food serve in answering those questions?

That determines whether full or partial inclusion is possible to begin with.  From there, as an advocate, of course, I have to work within the framework of how integral OTHERS see the food to be.

Generally this is an idiosyncratic perspective, and asking for evidence/documentation of necessity or improvement in outcomes on the basis of including food makes one extremely unpopular... but it can be a 'winning' strategy, so far as it goes.

Of course, in extreme cases, you get safety without inclusion as they isolate the allergic person and continue on their merry way with the festival of food.

Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

twinturbo

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 04:03:33 PM »
On point this is where and when I lock arms with other parents like Bettina from The Lunch Tray. We don't ask for a egg free room but we do expect that the educational service we're paying for (fully independent school tuition) concentrate on academic activities. For that college tuition price tag it'd better be more than Worksheet + Candy = Curriculum.

We have safe chocolate chip cookies at home. We eat them at a table only after a meal. Geology? I bought a set of rocks & minerals for $26, nice magnifying glass for about $3, library DVDs free rent and a Smithsonian guidebook for about another $11. I will be thrilled to loan it to the school if they need it and I'll throw in a geode.

Sorry, that turned into a rant.

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2013, 04:46:02 PM »
What, twinturbo?  You didn't believe that ROCK CANDY would be integral and indispensable as a learning tool for the geology?  I'm certain that your kiddos will never retain squat from their geology lessons because you didn't teach with candy.   ;D

Maybe there is some kind of study that indicates better retention for (Virginia) SOLs if candy or other food crap is used . . .  ~)

maeve -- thank you for sharing that info from your current (and your DD's) personal situation-- that is the kind of info that your local food allergy network would like to know about as they continue to tweak and improve (yes, sometimes school-by-school) the food allergy policies and health/wellness policies in the county!

Yes, there seems to be a renewed *love* of cupcakes and use of "cupcake war" type events in schools.  Guess they couldn't come up with other alternatives, eh?  I don't think it's funny or cute or acceptable.  I believe it's uncreative and lazy and a cop out and part of our society's continued disregard for food as sustenance and our society's downward spiral into food addiction.

Wonder when we'll hit bottom?  What childhood diabetic and obesity rate will it take?

How many more classroom / school ana reactions and deaths will it take?

Why is use/abuse of food and the adult's need-to-feed more important than the health and safety and life of ALL the students in his/her charge?

Why?

Just.why?


 :crazy:

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Offline Macabre

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2013, 05:01:22 PM »
Quote
Maybe there is some kind of study that indicates better retention for (Virginia) SOLs if candy or other food crap is used . . . 

Oh you know there is. Our VA middle school cited it. And used Bob's for all the kids with PA simply because that's what I supplied for DS. But apparently they only help in math, because they were only used for math.

:crazy:
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: A "use of food" permission slip for science
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2013, 05:09:08 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised if somebody is offering "energy" drinks to kids at testing time.

And not just in Virginia.

 :disappointed:
Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

**(&%@@&%$^%$#^%$#$*&      LOL!!