Tag Archives: health

Word Root Exercise: Spiro

OK, finally on this cool and cloudy Wednesday morning in Brooklyn, here is a worksheet on the Latin word root spiro. It means breathe, which is why you’ll find it at the base of commonly used English words such as perspire and aspirate, and less commonly used words in general discourse, but common in the health professions, like respire (breathe to the layman), suspire, and spirometer.

In fact, this is another one of those roots essential to students interested in pursuing careers in health care, so I’ll tag it as a career and technical education document.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Dorothea Dix

While I am not exactly sure where she fits in the primary or secondary curriculum (health classes? United States history classes?), here, nonetheless, is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Dorothea Dix. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of one sentence and three comprehension questions.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Healthful Advice from the Great Satchel Paige

“If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.”

Satchel Paige, “How to Keep Young,” Colliers, 13 June 1953

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Vision Training and ADHD

“vision training and ADHD: Some people believe that visual problems such as faulty eye movements, focus problems, and light oversensitivity of the eyes cause reading disorders. However, there are few well-designed studies of this approach.

In 1972, a joint statement highly critical of the optometric approach to learning disability treatment was issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In the absence of supporting evidence, most experts warn that this approach should not be used to treat learning disabilities.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Annual Health Exam

OK, health teachers, if you can use them, here is a reading on the importance of an annual health exam along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. For a one-page reading, this document pack in a lot of information–perhaps all that one needs to understand why one should get a physical every year.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Term of Art: Abstinence Education

“abstinence education: An educational program premised on the view that family life and sex education courses should teach students that sexual intercourse is inappropriate for young, unmarried people. Advocates say that adults must communicate an unambiguous that sex outside marriage is dangerous because of the risks of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS. Critics of abstinence-only programs say the programs ignore the reality of widespread sexual activity among teenagers and deprive teens of information they need to protect themselves physically and emotionally.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Sex Change Surgery

Here is a reading on sex change surgery along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Lest you misunderstand, this is not about the medical science or procedure of gender affirmation surgery.

Rather, it is about the infamous John/Joan case. The reading nicely job summarizes the tragic story of David Reimer, whose parents made the mistake of deferring to the New Zealand psychologist John Money. Money, who apparently coined the terms “gender identity” and “gender role,” appears to me to be at least culpable in, if not the direct cause of, the suicides of David Reimer and his twin brother. I wrote this material (using, once again, a reading from the Intellectual Devotional series) during the pandemic; as of this writing, I have not used this material with students. Nonetheless, I have tagged this post’s documents as high-interest material. Unless I miss my guess, students will indeed find these documents of considerable interest.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.


Here is a reading on perspiration along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. If you live anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere as of the publication date of this post, you understand why it is timely.

Other than that, there is not much to be said about these documents other than you can modify them, as you can modify almost anything else on this blog, to your needs because they are formatted in Microsoft Word.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Influenza Vaccine

Here is a reading on the influenza vaccination along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Over the years, I have heard various public figures opine on the need for a return to a solid civics curriculum in public schools in the United States. In fact, two United States Senators recently introduced legislation, called the Educating for Democracy Act, that would invest $1 billion the development of civics education in our country. In general and particularly in the light how closely our country has veered toward fascism in the past several years, I must concede the point. Apropo of civics education, I submit that learning about the science of vaccines, and vaccine efficacy, is at the moment an integral element of civics education–not to mention part of a general education.

So here you are. There are other materials on this site about vaccine–just search vaccine or vaccination.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

18 Common Misunderstandings of Dyslexia

“1. Students benefit from waiting until after second grade to provide reading intervention (False). Early screening and intervention provide opportunities for targeting reading needs and reducing the the likelihood of long-term reading difficulties.

2. Dyslexia requires specific and unique screening and identification approaches (False) Psychometrically sound approaches currently used to screen and identify students with reading problems are useful for screening and identifying students with dyslexia. Layering additional screening measures onto already psychometrically sound screening approaches is an unnecessary burden.

3. Providing more opportunities to read books will resolve their reading problem (False). All students benefit from increased opportunities to read a variety of text levels and types. However, additional reading practice for students with dyslexia is an inadequate approach to improving their reading outcomes. These students also require comprehensive approaches to reading instruction that include decoding, opportunities to practice for fluency, and comprehension instruction.

4. Colored lenses or overlays help improve reading for students with dyslexia (False). Though the issue of colored lenses and overlays continues to appear in a range of professional guides, there is no evidence to support their effectiveness. Similarly, multisensory instruction is not necessary for students with dyslexia. However, there are many systematic approaches for improving reading outcomes for students with dyslexia.

5. Students with dyslexia primarily have reading comprehension problems (False) Students with dyslexia have word-level difficulties that are manifested in difficulty reading text accurately and proficiently. These word-level difficulties result in reading comprehension problems, but teaching reading comprehension strategies alone will not resolve the reading problems of individuals with dyslexia.

6. Many educators have not had opportunities to develop the knowledge necessary to provide evidence-based screening, assessment, and interventions for students with dyslexia (True). There is considerable research documenting the need for educators to have improved knowledge and skills for better identifying and teaching students with dyslexia and other reading problems. Many reading teachers perceived that they lack the confidence to teach students who are identified as dyslexic.

7. Dyslexia is rare, and most individuals grow out of it (False). Dyslexia is a universal condition that occurs across writing systems, not just the alphabetic system, with prevalence rates of approximately 5-15 percent depending on the threshold for poor reading. While the manifestations of dyslexia can dissipate because of effective instruction, most individuals with dyslexia who show intractability to effective instruction have slow and labored reading throughout their lives.

8. Dyslexia operates on a continuum in which the severity can be represented as mild to severe (True). Dyslexia does not look precisely the same for all learners, and the range of reading difficulties because of dyslexia also vary, but reading is normally distributed in the population (i.e. a small percentage of people are excellent readers, most are average or close to it, and a small percentage are very weak readers), and dyslexia is at the lower end of this distribution.

9. Many students with dyslexia display difficulties with spelling and handwriting (True). Students with dyslexia often have difficulties not only with reading words but also with spelling and writing words. Effective instructional approaches target word reading, spelling, and writing.

10. Dyslexia has a familial and genetic association (True). There is a much higher rate of dyslexia in families with a familial history of dyslexia–as high as 45 percent in most studies.

11. Improving home literacy will resolve dyslexia (False). It is not useful to consider the home environment as the causal factor for dyslexia. While opportunities to read are beneficial to all learners, improving home literacy will not resolve reading challenges for individuals with dyslexia.

12. Brain training can improve reading outcomes for students with dyslexia (False). Many approaches to improving dyslexia falsely claim that they can ‘train’ the brains of individuals with dyslexia resulting in improved reading outcomes. Cognitive training in isolation of a reading program does not generalize to improve academic outcomes.

13. Only certified language therapists are capable of providing effective reading interventions for students with dyslexia (False). Educators with extensive knowledge of the science and practice of reading instruction who are using evidence-based practices are prepared to meet the needs of students with dyslexia.

14. Students with dyslexia see letters and words backwards (False). Perhaps one of the oldest and most persistent myths regarding individuals with dyslexia is that they see and write letters and words backwards or upside down. Many young children reverse letters when beginning reading and writing; with instructional practice and feedback, this issue is remedied.

15. Vision therapy is an effective approach for students with dyslexia (False). The faulty idea that dyslexia is a result of a vision disorder of some type has been very slow to go away. Many vision training approaches exist and have not been associated with any improvements in reading for individuals with dyslexia, including a recent randomized trial that showed no effect of optometric exercises on reading skills.

16. Dyslexia can be addressed with medications (False). There is no medication that will remedy word reading difficulties. While many students with dyslexia also demonstrate difficulties with attention and may be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, medications appropriate for these students are aimed at their attention problems, not their reading difficulties per se, and the medications do not lead to improved decoding.

17. Students with dyslexia are more creative, gifted, and talented than other students (False). There are many highly skilled and capable individuals with dyslexia who have gifts and talents. Just like in the population as a whole, not all individuals with dyslexia would be identified with extraordinary gifts or talents.

18. Classroom teachers can be a valuable asset to remedying difficulties for students with dyslexia (True). Classroom teachers may be the most important and valuable resource for students with dyslexia. Classroom teachers are their primary reading teachers as well as the educators who have the most influence on their self-worth. Classroom teachers can be a tremendous source of social-emotional and educational support for students with dyslexia. Armed with the knowledge and skills, classroom teachers can alter the learning and life trajectories of students with dyslexia.”

Excerpted from: Vaughn, Sharon, and Jack M. Fletcher. “Identifying Students with Significant Reading Problems.” American Educator 44:4 (Winter 2020-2021): 4-8. Print.