Happy Halloween! Lots of teachers dread this time of the year as they fight to keep kids focused on lessons and, on the morning after Halloween, deal with students who stay up too late and then decide to cart their entire bag of treats into the classroom for non-stop snacking. I, however, look forward to this season. It’s the time of year I teach my students the finer points of suspense writing and let them try their hand at writing non-violent ghost stories. Students then present their stories to the class by flashlight. I bought ghost erasers this year to make editing more enjoyable.
October, however, has a lot more going for it than jack o’ lanterns and chocolate.
This is the month to put native California plants into the garden. It’s OK to bleed over into early November, but get them planted soon so the rainy season has a chance to help those root systems get established. Our school Garden Club will plant theirs on Halloween itself, only because the club adviser hasn’t had time to get to the nursery and buy the plants yet. If you’re in the same boat, remember that native Californians plants are drought tolerant, but must be watered regularly at first. Stay away from fertilizers. Just let them access the California soil.
In between trick-or-treaters you might want to check out the national parks and plan next summer’s vacations. According to National Parks Trip Media, a national park travel company, hotels within the parks are being booked right now for next summer’s vacations.
Another Halloween tip, from the Sacramento Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors: some of your trick or treaters might suffer from food allergies. If you are offering food alternatives, such as small toys, stickers, pencils or erasers, set out a teal-colored pumpkin to let those children know you have safe treats. I bought an inexpensive teal pumpkin from Target, but you could also paint your own.