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Showing posts from January, 2018

An Interview with Jack Shonkoff, Part One

I've written about the Center on the Developing Child before, and this week I came across a fascinating interview with their director, Jack Shonkoff. He started off by discussing epigenetics, an area of scientific research that has emerged only in the past 10 to 15 years. This is the idea that human developmental outcomes are influenced neither solely by genes (nature) nor how they are raised (nurture) but instead by the interaction between those two influences. So we're each born with a unique set of genes, but life experiences determine how some of them are expressed, in terms of both behavior and chemical changes in the epigenome. Early experiences are especially influential because development is happening so quickly. Shonkoff said, "This is the biological explanation for what we mean by critical periods of development. If you get things right at the time they are developing, you've got a lifetime of a solid foundation. If you don't get them right, you're…

It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. –Lewis Grizzard

Homegrown tomato days seem pretty far off right now, but the food program is still going strong at MVS! This week I polled a few teachers for some new group snack suggestions since our old ones are sorely out of date, and I'll also add these to the Group Snack Suggestions page. Here are a few good options:

MuffinsHard boiled eggsPretzels and peanut butterCheese sticksYogurt and granola (maple yogurt, plain yogurt, strawberry yogurt, banana yogurt, vanilla yogurt, greek yogurt...)Cheese and crackersHummus or dip with crackers/pretzels/veggie sticksHomemade smoothie or smoothie ingredients (we have a blender at school)ClementinesApplesauceBaked goodsQuicheFruit of all kinds; they love trying different things like kiwi, berries, or mangoCottage cheese and fruitRice cakesChex mixPeanut butter and applesBananas with peanut butter or yogurtWaffles, English muffins, or bagels with jam, peanut butter or cream cheese (usually the PreK class can toast these but their toaster oven is not wor…