Monday, June 5, 2006

Getting organized D-I-Y style — Free!

If you've got access to a printer and a guillotine paper cutter (most teachers do) or if you can make it to Kinko's... then you've got everything you need to make your own custom planner instead of shelling out big bucks for the refills.

I use the Dayrunner Classic and each page is really just a regular 8.5 x 11 sheet folded in half. So I've found tons of stuff at D*I*Y to keep me organized with just the regular templates. They've also got a whole package of teacher templates, a lesson planning template and a widget that will help you make your own pages just the way you want them.

All standard sizes are available, they are all free, printable, and they even have some programs for digital organizers.

Disinfecting your keyboards…

I know that when I was working in a center environment, all the teachers used the same computer in the office for things like finding contact information on families or finding forms to print.

Imagine how ookie that keyboard must have been. There's a report in the Boston Globe today about a study of keyboards used by nurses and how they were just loaded with bacteria and such. I can see how that would be and know that in a child care environment you come across similar germs and the like.

The study tested out some disinfecting wipes to see if they would get rid of the bad stuff and yet not harm the keyboard. What worked?

"Clorox wipes, CaviWipes and Sani-Cloths. All worked well, removing 95 to 100 percent of bacteria. So did three other products, plain old 70 percent isopropyl alcohol; Vesthene, a different germicide; and a chlorine product containing 80 parts of chlorine per million."

Not a bad habit to get into before the sick season hits in a couple of months...

Friday, June 2, 2006

California wants free preschool for all

There's a proposition on the table that will provide Californians with free preschool for their 4-year-olds. It's Prop 82 and you can read more about it at yeson82.com.

A press release announced that,

"Studies show that children who go to quality preschool read earlier and learn faster. But only 20% of our children actually go to quality preschools. Prop 82 will provide a free, high-quality preschool education for every four- year old in California. It will provide trained, credentialed teachers in every classroom and more parental involvement. According to the Legislative Analyst, all revenues would be used for the new preschool program, and Prop 82 provides audits and criminal penalties, including possible jail time, for misuse of funds."

More and more states are moving toward free preschool and I think it's a great idea. It's not always easy to ensure that your child care center will have highly trained or credentialed teachers, so this is a good move. If child care centers want to compete, then they will have to start hiring better teachers, I suppose. Although it's hard to compete with "free" either way.