career day

For the enjoyment of all, here are some first grade quotes from our career day this morning:

Nurse: How often should we wash our hands?
First Grade Friend: Um... every day.

Attorney: I went to school for 3 years after college.
First Grade Friend: How long do you have to go to school to be an astronaut? (completely off topic...of course)

Orthodontist: Candy and soda are not good to eat while you have braces.
First Grade Friends:
Can you eat gum?
Can you drink milk?
Can you eat chocolate?
and the best of all.... Can you drink water?


the germ report...courtesy KSL

Hand sanitizers: clean hands or a false sense of security?
May 19th, 2008 @ 10:15pm
Debbie Dujanovic reporting
Produced by Kelly Just
They seem like a stroke of genius: A way to clean your hands anywhere, no water required. In no time at all, hand sanitizers became part of our daily lives. The Salt Lake Police Department makes sure officers have them handy. Local schools stock it to keep children healthy. And a single bottle can cost you as much as $4.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says they can keep us healthier by getting rid of the common germs that cause tummy troubles and infections. Many even promise to kill nearly 100 percent of germs. But do they always work as advertised? Could these products be giving you a false sense of security?
We randomly purchased 10 brands of hand sanitizers and took them to Data Chem laboratories in Murray to test them out. We requested the lab run a single test on each hand sanitizer. Who better to put the sanitizers to the test than a group of 6th-graders?
The students from Fremont Elementary know when their hands are dirty. One student said he can see the dirt, "when I'm done playing basketball." Another said her hands get dirty because, "I like to play around a lot outside, play with my dog."
Just to make sure all the children had germs on their hands before we started, they rubbed them in their hair. It's a lab-approved way of collecting germs.
Then microbiologist Adrian Gallardo helped them press three dirty fingers into a Petri dish. Using a different brand on each child, we squirted a generous amount of sanitizer into their hands. The children thoroughly rubbed it in, and then they press their fingers in a different Petri dish.
Two days later, the results were in. "There is definitely variability between the products. And there's a wide span of range between the percentages that were killed." said Gallardo.
Before we get to those numbers, we found something about hand sanitizers the children didn't know and you might not, either. Some research suggests they should be used in addition to regular hand washing. In fact, the CDC says when your hands are visibly dirty, go for the soap and water. If you expect hand sanitizers to always kill all of the germs, you may be giving yourself a false sense of security.
With that in mind, two of the brands we tested did kill 99 percent of germs found on the children: Walgreen's and Delta hand sanitizers
Five brands got rid of 90 percent to 98 percent of the germs. The brands were Family Dollar's store brand, Crystal Waters, Swan, germ-X and the American Red Cross sanitizer.
Next we tried Purell and Breck for Kids. In other tests around the country, both brands scored higher than our results, killing between 80 percent and 90 percent of the germs. Our Purell test came close to that at 79 percent.
The makers of Purell discounted our test saying our methods did not follow the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) protocols and procedures. They said our results were not valid for scientific assessment. They stood by their promise to kill 99.99 percent of germs.
With Breck for Kids, our test killed just 16 percent of germs. One possible reason: the Petri dish shows the student who used this product started out with more germs than the other children. The company hasn't issued a response.
Finally, we tested two Bath & Body Works cleansers; the gel and the foam. The gel killed 98 percent of the bacteria. The foam was no match for the germs, killing just 8 percent of the germs. Bath and Body Works did not want to comment on our results. Data Chem lab suggests it could come down to different active ingredients. The gel is alcohol based, the foam is not.

So I guess it is good that we use germ-X in our classroom!


the weekend

This weekend I helped my mom do food for 100 at a Young Women luncheon, worked in the yard, attended Caroline's singing concert, and had a chance to catch up with friends.

In high school and college I tended for the Talbot family. I would help out so Diana could run errands and tend when Diana and Bryon went out of town. They are like a second family to me. I was able to visit them this evening...it was so good to catch up. Little Lexi, who is 8, is an absolute crack up. She decided that she is going to go on a plane all by herself and come to see me so we can go to Disneyland together. "Mom just put me on the airplane and I'll go see merbecca. I'll just need some money so I can buy drinks on the plane." (We told her that drinks are free, because we didn't think she would be drinking any alcohol.) I told her she would have to be very brave to come all by herself and she said, "I am brave and very responsible."

I also just saw an interesting tidbit on the news: apparently KSL did an investigation on hand sanitizers and found out that some are not effective in killing germs. Yikes! That is what we use in first grade all the time! I call them "squirts". I always have about 5 friends who ask if they can give "squirts" for snack. It airs tomorrow on the 10:00 news...I will most certainly be watching! I know first grade is germ central! Yuck!


the lady on the elevator and idol

So if you know me, you know I often say hello and strike up conversation with random people: the lady at the checkout stand, the random child at the store, the department store salesperson. Today was no different. I hopped onto the elevator at the condo with a lady who was putting off some interesting vibes. Perhaps against my better judgment I decided to say something. "Hi, how's it going?" I greeted her. She muttered some reply and I said, "thank goodness it is almost the weekend." To that she says, "I don't spend my life wishing, but I do wish my ex-husband husband would get hit by a car- carrying mack truck." Sufficiently awkward. Luckily she got off on the second floor.

So in this moment I am watching American Idol and Fantasia is performing.... I pose this question: "how did she win?" I mean was everyone else tone deaf??

And a side note...of course I want Utah's own David Archuleta! He's darling!

Random story...I was in Relief Society on and during the good news minute a 50 something lady in my ward shares her good news: " I went to the Gateway to see David Archuleta...I just love him!" I laughed pretty hard. Then my mom pipes up and says, "I was at Gateway the day he was there too. The lady at Chico's asked me if I had seen David Archuleta and I kind of just said no and didn't tell her that I didn't know who that was." I had to enlighten my mother...me and I have seen a whole 1 1/2 episodes this season...


not on the test

Check this out. My teammate Melody emailed this to me. It is so true! More true for those of you who are educators! Anyway it is quite clever!

Lucky for me the Utah State Office of Education opted to not have first graders take the CRTs. Thank goodness because filling in bubbles and multiple choice tests are not very developmentally appropriate for six and seven year olds. More stress than necessary for their little brains!


may musings

Let's start with California...the apartment hunt was successful! We saw 5 different apartments: 3 in Irvine and 2 in Newport Beach. During our apartment hunt we concluded that The Irvine Company owned the majority of Orange County...seriously! So this company owned every complex we looked at and about 75 more and a couple of shopping centers! We are looking to end up in Newport at one of the two places we saw. We think we found a good deal on rent...if "good deals" even exist in that region of the country. Don't worry I will probably take a big gulp as I write out my first rent check. But nonetheless I am excited about my new adventure!

My other obsession during the California weekend was Sprinkles Cupcakes... they were FANTASTIC! I love them! We went back twice and I purchased more than I should have. Somehow I found myself justifying the $3.75 per cupcake price tag. Let's just say cupcakes will be for special occasions so I don't end up looking like a cupcake!

I stopped by Costco on my way home to purchase a couple DVD's...27 Dresses and P.S. I Love You...both fabulous. Needless to say, these two DVD's have kept me company this evening while folding laundry and creating a first grade unit on the ocean.

I only have 1 more month left in the school year. Our last day of 1st grade is June 6th. It will be bittersweet leaving. I have 27 children who have become such a part of my life. It will be strange not teaching...I feel as if 1st grade teacher has become a part of my identity. My fellow teachers you will understand this.

I am now living in my grandparents' condo in Salt Lake until the end of the school year. It was definitely time to bid farewell to Provo! I am enjoying my space at the condo... it has been quite nice! Beautiful things like: it is only my food in the refrigerator, having a washer and dryer, a walk in closet, drinking juice directly out of the carton....