Campaign for a Climber

First of all, thanks to all of you who purchased bricks to support the playground project.  We look forward to adding them to the current collection near the ramp to the playground.  Now, as we slide into December, we will begin our capital campaign for the remainder of funds needed for our playground structure.   . . . Read More


Sticks and Roughhousing

From time to time, situations arise that force us to reflect on our practices and policies.  We use these situations to refine what we do, driven by what’s best for children, what’s safe, and what works in a school setting.  Such is the case of sticks and roughhousing.   Sticks have always been a part . . . Read More


Food Kits

How can it be that we’re already entering the second half of November?  The cooler days make it seem more believable, yet it’s all going so quickly.  On the agenda for the Seed in the coming weeks is our annual gathering the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  In years past, each class cooked an item to contribute . . . Read More


In Remembrance

Last week was full and colorful.  It started with Halloween on Monday, as the school filled up with an overabundance of costumed children.  The week morphed into many celebrations of Día de los Muertos on Wednesday.  Inspired by work in Spanish with Diane, classroom events ranged from setting up simple displays of pictures of ancestors, . . . Read More


Larger and More Alive

 Over the weekend I traveled to Cheney, Washington, for my friend Elaine’s  celebration of life.  I was invited to join her family at their lake home for a Saturday afternoon gathering in her honor.   Their house felt like a shrine to Elaine Surbeck, with photos of every stage of her life filling walls and . . . Read More


Precocious Pumpkins

You may have noticed the parade of silly pumpkins lined up along the hallway this week.  You might not recognize them as pumpkins, since they’re disguised as doughnuts, an ice cream cone, a very hungry caterpillar, and other fanciful characters.  We wanted to do something fun to usher in the Halloween season, especially since we . . . Read More


A Place in my Brain

In preparation for a writing lesson about pumpkin seeds with the 3rd/4th graders, I found these few lines from a poem from “Jerusalem,” a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: “There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow. I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds. Something pokes us as we sleep. It’s late but . . . Read More


Gluing Seeds

Now that parent/teacher conferences are behind us, and the weather is definitely cooling down (relatively speaking), many classes are at various stages of planting their gardens.  It’s always an exciting time of year to start the process and then see what happens in the coming months.  Our garden soil is prepped each year by Bill, . . . Read More


Talent Show

These days fractals seem to  occupy my mind.  In her book, Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown describe fractals as “never-ending…infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales.  They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.”  Further on in the chapter about fractals, she applies this pattern . . . Read More


Paving the Way

It’s the autumn equinox, and the rain this morning is a welcome visitor.  The creosote bush at the school’s entrance is a fragrant greeter.  Even though the days are still on the warm side, it’s clear that summer is coming to an end.  It’s giving us a bit of breathing room to look ahead to . . . Read More


Food Deserts and Beyond

For eleven years I taught first and second graders.  I believe it was some of my best work as a teacher that ultimately resulted with years of memorable teaching.  In fact, I’m still friends with many of my students and their families from that era.  Looking back, it was my most prolific time as a . . . Read More


Very Hungry Caterpillars

You might notice a large very hungry caterpillar hanging above the Toddler 1s door.  The paper was painted by our littlest toddlers, then cut and shaped by a teacher to make the caterpillar.  It’s a wonderful introduction to our annual food study, using Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Each year we devote the two . . . Read More


Taking the Heat

 It was 102 at recess today.  Although I appreciated the rain that August monsoons brought, I’m glad to be stepping into September.  The rain brought plenty of humidity, and this has been exacerbated by extra hot days this past week.  For outdoor play when the temperature is 100 to 109, our practice is to offer . . . Read More


What’s Your Name?

We’re settling in.  We’ve nearly completed our third week of school, and routines are beginning to come together.  Although some children still need extra hugs before saying goodbye, and others express missing a parent, for the most part we’re getting used to being together again.  It’s a time of new learning on many levels. Names . . . Read More


Catching Light Across Time

I listen to so many podcasts, it’s hard to remember which thoughts and ideas come from which podcasts.  Often podcasters interview each other and/or appear on a number of episodes within a short period of time.  I love this intermingling of thought leaders.  It’s interesting how they might speak on the same topic with different . . . Read More


Dirt Builders

Beginning school in early August has its challenges, one being the Arizona heat.  We’ve been lucky so far that the temperatures have hovered under 100, allowing us to be outside for midday recess.  Our policy is if it’s 100 degrees we will offer an indoor/outdoor option.  When it hits 110, we keep everyone inside, except . . . Read More


Be and Be Better

I know it’s unbearably hot this time of year, as sweat becomes a natural state of being.  That said, I love the storms and cloud formations that appear during July in Phoenix.  Last night the clouds were unusually mesmerizing, and I’m glad I captured a few views before the light changed.  As I continued my . . . Read More


What Are You Practicing?

It’s a time of practice for our 2nd-6th grade class.  They are in the throes of preparation for the 32nd annual Way-off Broadway production.  It’s a long-standing summer tradition here at the Seed and involves prop making, backdrop painting, practicing dance moves, and learning lines.  The performance at 2:00PM (which will be presented on Zoom), . . . Read More


A Time of New Suns

Earlier this month I spent a glorious eleven days with one of my daughters and great-granddaughter on a road trip through the Midwest.  The intention of the trip was to assemble our five-generation family for a photo, which we successfully accomplished.  It was a time of reconnecting with my family and several friends.  Joy was . . . Read More


Why I Support the Warriors

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and won’t be writing my regular blog this week.  Since the Golden State Warriors are in the NBA championship series, I thought I’d offer you this post from the archives in 2015 when the Warriors won their first championship.  It’s a story about Nick U’Ren, who once upon a time . . . Read More


Hugging the Peach Tree

On Thursday morning a group of  students ran up to me excitedly asking to pick peaches.  I noticed most of the peaches had already been picked, but said we could go check it out.  When it was determined there were enough still left, a small envoy walked to the kitchen with me to obtain a . . . Read More


Precious Times

On Tuesday I observed a group of fourth graders standing together talking at lunch recess.  While larger group activity options were available, this particular group opted for “something smaller.”  Essentially they were asking for space to just hang out and be together.  At this time of year, they’re soaking up every ounce of being at . . . Read More


Winding Down

 I spent last week in Nebraska, caring for my parents who, at 97 and almost 94, are definitely winding down.  Each afternoon we’d take a drive around the county on roads that followed the Little Blue River and the Union Pacific tracks.  We drove past farms abandoned long ago, with barns and houses on the . . . Read More


Time for an Upgrade

For the last 23 years our climbing structure, made from recycled plastic “wood,” has served us well.  Hundreds of children have played tag, taken wild imaginative journeys, and escaped from pursuing bad guys on it.  Over time a few components had to be replaced or removed, and quite honestly, our current structure is ready to . . . Read More