An Exhale of Color

The first days of autumn in Phoenix often feel more symbolic than actual.  As friends in other parts of the country start pulling out their sweaters and long pants, we’re celebrating the occasional day when temperatures dip into double digits.  Even so, there are other signs that the season is changing.  Sunflowers that have withstood . . . Read More


Project Approach, Phase Three

I always appreciate how things come together here at the Seed.  Sometimes we call it the Seed magic.  This week was no exception.  As we kicked off the final week of our nutrition study, we also held our first grandparent gathering on Monday.  Grandparents appeared from the Phoenix area, as well as San Diego, South . . . Read More


Project Approach, Phase Two

In case you thought Wednesday was a bad diaper day for the toddlers, you can be rest assured, it was merely the PreK’s batch of brussels sprouts baking in the oven.   We take our nutrition study seriously and that means stepping out of our comfort zone from time to time to try new tastes . . . Read More


Project Approach, Phase One

Often a study begins with a question.  “Where does hummus come from?”  “What does candy do for your body?” “How can we turn into food detectives?”  Questions like these are surfacing around the Seed as we prepare to embark on our annual school-wide nutrition study.  We’ve had many successful studies in the past and expect . . . Read More


Totality

Just when our planet needed a positive distraction, nature provided.  Monday’s eclipse lived up to the hype, even at the Seed.  Initially, we made an executive decision to keep our students indoors to protect their young eyes.  We made plans for older classes to watch live stream coverage of the eclipse and some classes began . . . Read More


Invitation to Learn

When I was a kid I went to a public elementary school with polished wooden floors and desks lined up in rows.  It was a two-story red brick building that often felt stark and forbidding.  Most of the teachers were friendly and kind, although my enthusiasm for learning varied from year to year, based on . . . Read More


Clearing the Way

Seed teachers are back at it.  We started our prep week on Tuesday and it’s been an action packed few days.  Currently the hallway is lined with items each teacher no longer needs, including extra random art supplies, puzzles with missing pieces, wrong sized tables or shelves, lost and found clothing, and outdated equipment.  My . . . Read More


What’s In Your Lunchbox?

Now that I’m back from vacation and inspired by all the great food we ate on the east coast, I wanted to experiment with baking vegan bread.  The first loaf I made actually turned out pretty well, except the pan was too small.  The top crust created an overhang that resembled a breaded version of . . . Read More


Hot Lava with My Eyes

This morning a kindergartener bounced into school with a book and long strip of police badge stickers in her hands.  I asked what she was carrying and she said it was a book to share about her mom, who is a police officer.  I said, “That’s right.  Your mom is a super hero for sure!”  . . . Read More


Sharing Space

Action figures arrived from home in sets of five.  As the week unfolded, those same figures brought acceptance and respect alive in a whole new way.  Over the weekend their teacher cleared enough cubicles for each child to have a personal space.  Before long, the classroom looked like a colony of condos.  Toys, blocks, and . . . Read More


How I Feel in Arizona’s Summer Heat

In keeping with the Seed’s emergent curriculum model, our week of learning about feelings is gathering inspiration from the heat wave.  The first and second graders used the high temperatures to launch a project called, “How I Feel In Arizona’s Summer Heat.”  Their visual images certainly express how many of us feel these days, especially . . . Read More


Strong Sense of Self

When we met in January to develop our summer art camp curriculum, there were three major considerations: •  it would be arts-based •  social justice would be the underlying theme •  what we chose to do had to be relevant to children Over the next several months, we pulled together resources, asked for suggestions from . . . Read More


Glorious…and You Know It’s True

Some things will simply not be denied.  Although it’s hard to believe, on Wednesday we  finished our 40th year and added fourteen more graduates to our alumni population.  Since it’s a multiage class, a few will be returning for their 4th grade year in August.  The rest will be scattered into the world to find . . . Read More


Little Free Library

A couple weeks ago I walked past our Little Free Library, just as I do each morning and afternoon.  On this particular late afternoon, I stopped to chat with one of our Seed dads and his young son, a Preschool 4s student.  The boy didn’t really notice me; he was deeply engaged in looking for . . . Read More


Wise Words

Each week I aim for 500 words and generally, I’m in the ballpark.  This week is an exception and as you read on, you’ll see why.  Even though this week’s is longer, I hope you’ll stay with me because it’s about our three speakers at the Seed’s 40th birthday celebration.  We selected three inividuals to cover significant focus . . . Read More


Maps for Teachers, Too

The end of the school year feels like a fast moving train about to arrive at the station.  It seems like three weeks ago that we started our 40th year, and here we are almost finished.  Teachers are working on assessments, final projects, and bringing closure to big studies.  In the background we’re gearing up . . . Read More


Calling Me Forward

It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m sitting at the table where a significant chapter of the Seed’s history began.  It’s the same Starbucks table where, on Christmas Eve years ago, Danielle and I first entertained the idea of her eventually stepping into the directorship of Awakening Seed.  It seems like such a long time ago, yet . . . Read More


Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

This week as the temperature crept toward 100, Seed artists added final touches to our new mural. On the wall along 40th Street, it’s like no other mural among the dozens painted throughout the Seed’s South Phoenix history.  This one was a community effort, bringing together ideas and talents of many.  It began through a generous . . . Read More


Smart (and Kind) Cookies

Last week’s Earth Day celebrations delivered a wealth of blogging topics.  On Friday morning, as the Toddler 1s practiced placing recyclables in a bin with a huge recycling symbol on it, the Seed was visited by Channel 3 for a segment of Good Morning, Arizona.  The interviewer, Lina deFlorias, was masterful with the children.  She started . . . Read More


Most Benevolent Garage Startup

Boxes arrived this week filled with our special edition 40th anniversary t-shirts.  The design took an interesting detour right before the final proof stage.  Originally, an illustration of the earth was inside the zero.  While working on a draft for the mural design, we played around with making the zero into a peace sign.  The . . . Read More


We Are Family

Monday was National Sibling Day.  I’m grateful to my three siblings, each for his or her specific contribution to my life.  Admittedly, I was at times the bossy older sister, and it has been noted that my two youngest siblings were camped outside my bedroom counting the minutes till I packed up my things and left . . . Read More


Learning to Ask

Our Earth Day celebration of the Seed’s 40th birthday is just around the corner.  In fact, it’s occupying most of my mental real estate at the moment.  It’s an event that involves a number of lists, from which several of us are dutifully checking off items.  This week I started a piece of art for . . . Read More


It’s A Sign

In case you haven’t noticed, the Seed needs a new sign.  It’s been tagged on numerous occasions and has a few layers of paint on one side covering up the evidence.  The other side has a small metal piece layered on with the website squeezed into a too small space.  Our trusty, although outdated, sign . . . Read More


Shedding A School

Monday morning presented a reminder of why I still teach kids to be writers.  It was a story about Jimmy Breslin who died on Sunday.  Breslin, 88, was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who wrote a column for the New York Daily News.  He was known for his empathetic stories toward the working class.  One . . . Read More