Boots On the Ground Action Plan
1. Lesson: 7th grade Unit 10 Lesson #1 Homeostasis.
Instead of parents asking for CSCOPE lessons to take home and study, I am going to post on this website CSCOPE lessons and what is wrong with them. Then, parents can ask their superintendent for a copy of this same lesson. This confirms that the CSCOPE lesson on the CSCOPE website and what you bring are the same.
Ask two parents to accompany you to meet with the superintendent. Record the meeting so you can share this information with other parents later.
Lesson: 7th grade Unit 10 Lesson #1 Homeostasis.
The objective of the lesson is to teach homeostasis, which mean internal stability. The lesson begins with Blood Sugar levels in our bodies and there is very little that is correct.
Point out to the superintendent that the teacher is instructed to tell students that the activity will simulate how blood sugar levels are regulated in their bodies. The activity doesn’t simulate this. Nothing about the activity is true in respect to how our bodies regulate blood sugar.
Next, point out to the superintendent that students are to use the internet for 10 minutes to research diabetes. While diabetes is a natural topic to discuss for this lesson, it has nothing to do with the activity which is suppose to simulate homeostasis of blood sugar levels in our bodies.
You might inform the superintendent that students should have been taught that Blood sugar (blood glucose) levels are regulated internally. For this grade level, two hormones should have been introduced, insulin and glucagon. When food intake results in a rise in blood sugar (within a normal range), the body on its own releases insulin which moves the excess sugar out of the blood and into cells. When blood sugar levels are low (within a normal range), glucagon causes the liver to release sugar into the blood. Thus the blood sugar or blood glucose levels are kept within a normal range. This is what the students should have been taught.
The 7th grade CSCOPE lesson has kids using a game spinner to determine their blood sugar at different intervals of time. The instruction material presents the idea that blood sugar levels change erratically during the day rising high above normal then suddenly dropping below normal. In a healthy body, the blood sugar level stays within a normal range of concentration. Again, this is what the lessons should have presented. This balance and regulating of blood sugar levels is an example of homeostasis.
Point out to the superintendent that the following instructions indicate that students are suppose to be recognizing physical symptoms of the high and low blood sugar levels during the day. Students are being given incorrect health information.
Thus far the term “feedback mechanism ” has not been represented. It certainly doesn’t apply to the spinner activity.
The science notebook instructions adds more mud to the water. The term diabetes is now used for the graphing information.
Ask the superintendent to show you the Teacher Key for Monitoring Blood Sugars. Point out that a person with such an erratic blood sugar count would be unconscious. Actually, when it hit 3 on the chart there would be no sugar in the blood and the person would be dead. Eating would not make any difference.
Make sure that you explain to the superintendent that this CSCOPE lesson teaches students that they have to do something to regulate their body blood sugar levels. The objective of the lesson is to teach how our bodies, when healthy, regulate blood sugar. Yes, we need to eat good balanced diets to provide good fuel for this fine tuned machine. Instead of encouraging students to take care of their bodies, the CSCOPE lessons has the potential of misleading kids into thinking that more insulin will fix high blood sugar levels.
Inform your superintendent that:
All students with diabetes do not understand why their bodies are not functioning correctly. When a science teacher tells them that more insulin takes care of high blood sugar levels, there is the potential that this information might encourage them to eat something leading to a high blood sugar count and that they would just increase their insulin to handle it. This is a seriously dangerous solution and one that does not need to be taught to students of any age.
The graph represents the simulated blood sugar levels for a person playing the CSCOPE Spin A Number Blood Sugar Game. If compared to actual blood sugar counts, the person would be dead at the low counts, fed food and back to life they come. The person who designed this game has no concern for the education of your children nor how dangerously misleading this lesson could be.
Get CSCOPE out of your school. Show your superintendent this information and request to see the entire lessons and worksheets including the Blood Sugar game used to collect information for this graph. Let your superintendent know that you want CSCOPE out of your school. If he or she makes some asinine comment about your coming up with something to replace CSCOPE with, point out that it is the job of the superintendent to provide proper, correct instruction materials. CSCOPE doesn’t qualify as this.
Dust off those books in the storage room until new ones can be purchased.