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September 23, 2009 Another One Bites the Dust: Combating Flu Season in the Classroom By Stacey Burt

    If anyone would have asked me a week ago if I was worried about the flu, I would have responded with, “Are you kidding, I have been teaching so long I don’t get sick.” As I watched my classroom attendance get smaller and smaller last week, I realized that this year’s flu was early and not taking any prisoners. To quote my students as fellow classmates became victims, “another one bites the dust.”

    Just like everyone else, I heard the warnings and thought I was doing my part to combat the spread of flu germs in my house and classroom. Apparently this year’s strain is a little tougher than I anticipated. Falling victim to this illness is miserable. For me it is the constant coughing and aches that have lasted far too long. I miss my students and can’t wait to get back to a normal routine. So what can teachers do to make sure that they don’t become another flu statistic? Of course, wash your hands, a lot. On the day that I had 7 out of 18 students home sick with the flu, I knew it was my responsibility to make sure the others knew just how serious this year’s outbreak was. Here are some activities that the 6th grade teachers at my school did with our students to get them up-to-speed on flu specific strategies:

     1. We watched the Brainpop video on swine flu,

     2. Watched the YouTube video on how to sneeze,

    3. Read the article, “Preventing the Spread of Swine Flu - Tips for Parents Students and Schools.”

    Also check out the article that Scholastic has posted about the H1N1 flu:

    swine flu article

    We also discussed the value of washing hands and keeping desk surfaces clean. When I return to school later this week, I plan on having the students create some Public Service Announcements for the school focused on flu prevention strategies. My wish for all of you is that no one in you class, including you, has the misfortune of contracting the flu. I would love to hear about any classroom strategies that you have used to educate your students about influenza.

    Happy Fall-



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