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For This Halloween: Let’s Light a Bonfire, Burn Vegetables and Remember Grandpa

Wait? That doesn’t sound like Halloween! What about the candy?!?

I love Halloween. I love the small-town, community vibe of Halloween, when children can knock on neighbors’ doors to fill their pillowcases with candy. I love the costumes and decorations. I love the neighbors who spend time, money, and energy turning their houses into ghoulish exhibitions, all for the sake of entertaining the kids. It’s the most creative holiday we have!

We asked this question last December, during the Christmas holiday season, but we’ll ask it again. Given the evolution of most of our holidays into traditions that are connected by a tenuous thread to the holiday’s actual roots, do you think it’s important to teach your kids about the origins of their favorite holidays? Should kids know where Halloween comes from?

STEM Friday: The Invention of Time!

Did you know there’s a clock in Boulder, Colorado that can keep the time to within 1 second in 3.7 billion years?! It’s considered the most accurate clock in the world. It’s an optical clock, and what that means is that instead of using the vibration of atoms or molecules, like our current atomic clocks use, it uses light to keep time.

That’s pretty cool. But how did this method of keeping time evolve? And why is it even important to be this accurate?

When a child (or an adult for that matter!) asks, what is time, the explanation isn’t an easy one. Yes, time is a way to keep track of our lives—the school year, the season, the age of our dog (in human and doggy years)…it seems like time has always existed. Well, it has, but what time is today—seconds, minutes, days, etc.—isn’t what time was millions of years ago, when telling time didn’t exist as we know it. It’s easy to forget that the act of telling time is one of the greatest inventions of mankind!

Friday, Oct. 19th: National Day on Writing

We want to get the word out early! Friday is a day devoted to the written word—whether it’s written with a pen, pencil, or keyboard (of any sort). You don’t actually have to write something on Friday (although writing every day is always encouraged!), but you should try to share something you’ve written. If you have a twitter account, the National Council of Teachers of English have asked that you include the #WhatIWrite hashtag to get it trending.

Show Your True Colors: 10/10 is Wear ORANGE for Unity Day

If you want to do something to support anti-bullying efforts around the country, wear ORANGE tomorrow. It’s a small and simple act, but it’s an act that will create awareness. Sometimes it takes more than talking about an issue to combat the issue. Wearing orange tomorrow will signify your unity in the fight against bullying, and it will provide a much needed visible symbol of support.

There are also other ways to unite against bullying on October 10th:

October is Anti-Bullying Month

Did you know that an incident of bullying occurs every 7 minutes? That means every 7 minutes a child is physically or emotionally harmed by another child.

In an effort to raise awareness and increase prevention of bullying at our schools and online, October is recognized as National Anti-Bullying Month. Becoming bully-free doesn’t start with pointing fingers at the bully. It starts with “me.” It starts with equipping ourselves with the tools necessary to address the very real and very prevalent issue of bullying on a case-by-case basis.

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