Miracles of Multiage Learning

During my last seven years of teaching, I taught a multiage 4th/5th grade class.  They were some of my best and most memorable years as a teacher.  In fact, I’m still in touch with many of those students, who are now in their twenties.  Over the years, Awakening Seed has incorporated the multiage approach when . . . Read More

Creatures of the Earth and Sky

Monday in the kindergarten class was a spontaneous preview of our summer art camp.  The class has been studying Ecuador, guided by their student teacher who is from there.  As part of their study, the Galapagos Islands became a topic of discussion.  This grabbed my attention and brought back strong memories of a student who . . . Read More

Lucky to Be Alive Right Now

Like some of my colleagues and friends, I had the good fortune of seeing Hamilton last week.  It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  Everything about it was exceptional, and as I continue listening to its soundtrack, more is revealed.  Several major themes keep circling around in my mind, including standing up for what you . . . Read More

Heart Day

It was a drizzly Valentine’s Day.  I love seeing the children coming through the door on February 14th, decked out in hearts, red clothing, and lots of sparkles, eager to deliver valentines to friends and teachers.  It’s good practice for learning to read friends’ names, as handmade or store bought valentines are dropped one by . . . Read More

Upgrading the Shed

There was a time when we had chickens.  One of our talented dads built a coop for them, including the enclosure that, in recent history, has become the maintenance storage area.  The chickens have been long gone, for a variety of reasons, and the coop remained, filled with all sorts of things not suitable for . . . Read More


The last morning of January, the moon had all sorts of things going on.  It was a super moon, when the moon appears larger because it’s closer to the Earth.  Additionally, it was a blue moon because it was the second full moon in the same month.  It was also a  full lunar eclipse, sometimes . . . Read More

Talking Makes a Difference

Last week I wrote about the Seed’s commitment to continuing the conversation about race and social justice.  This week we stepped into it further.  On Wednesday morning, our dear friend, Dr. Elsie Moore, paid a visit to the Seed and left us with much to ponder.  Elsie is the director of ASU’s School of Social . . . Read More

Resisting the Silence

A few days ago I ran across this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about what matters.” The timing was perfect, not only because we just celebrated MLK Day. It confirmed a practice we’ve had at the Seed since we began in 1977. Over the . . . Read More

New Face on 40th Street

When we returned from winter break, a new face was waiting for us.  After a year of conversation, fundraising, and coordinating with the sign company, the Seed finally has a new sign.  We’ve had a steady stream of positive feedback all week from students, parents, grandparents, and social media followers.  In fact, one of our . . . Read More

All Filled Up

Today is the winter solstice.  I love this day because of its symbolism and how it invites us to tune in to the light within each other and ourselves.  It’s a time of hope.  At the Seed, it has another meaning; it’s what we celebrate this time of year as a school to be inclusive . . . Read More

In My Heart

Although the weather still feels like autumn, we are headed toward the official first day of winter next Thursday.  It will be an especially meaningful solstice this year since the Seed’s Celebration of the Winter Solstice falls on the actual day for our 2017 event.  Our fall semester ends a week later this year, so . . . Read More

Seeds of Justice

On Monday morning I posted information and tags for our annual gift drive for the Sojourner Center.  The way it works is the tags suggest gifts a family might want to purchase for a child or parent.  The new gifts are returned unwrapped to the Seed and we deliver them to the center in mid-December.  . . . Read More


Over the years, practice has altered my life.  When I think of practice in my early years, sitting at the piano playing songs I didn’t want to play comes to mind.  I think of laboriously practicing penmanship in 3rd grade, trying to make my left-handed cursive slant the correct way.  Practice like this equaled drudgery . . . Read More

Vocabulary of Gratitude

Another feast has come and gone.  We had perfect weather and delicious food, thanks to teachers, parents, and students.  Hundreds of hungry, friendly families gathered to celebrate our Seed community.  It was gratitude at its finest. Each year our intention is to approach the Thanksgiving holiday with a genuine sense of gratitude.  The challenge is . . . Read More

It’s What We Do

Grateful grandparents, the food drive, and a sand village were a perfect combination to usher in the season of gratitude.  Our wonderful grandparents group met on Monday.  After addressing a few business items, grandparents arranged themselves in pairs to discuss questions around the topic of gratitude.  Taken from Seth Godin’s Thanksgiving Reader (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/a-thanksgiving-reader.html), questions led . . . Read More

Invented Spelling

I’ve had a relationship with invented spelling since I started teaching in 1977.  Particularly during the 1980s when writing workshop in schools was spreading all over the country, invented spelling has played a big role in the lives of Seed writers and teachers. “Invented spelling, sometimes referred to as inventive spelling, is the practice of . . . Read More


The little altar under the tree caught my eye.  I saw it on my way out to Gwen’s Castle with the 3rd/4th graders the morning after Halloween.  We were headed to the castle as part of Día de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead.  For several weeks, many classes have been learning about this time . . . Read More

Carnival…Seed Style

It’s carnival week.  We’re in the throes of a truly exciting time at the Seed.  Many, many people have been, and continue to be, hard at work putting it all together.  Parents and grandparents are baking treats, stirring up chili, and purchasing kid-friendly drinks.  Our highly efficient APA team has been steadily assembling silent auction . . . Read More

Slithering Like A Snake

Occasionally ideas slither like a snake around the Seed, and we never know where they’ll end up.  Wednesday was one of those days.  Each year around Halloween, PreK students take on the study of a creature that generally creeps out humans, creatures like bats, spiders, and snakes.  Snakes are this year’s chosen species. Coincidentally, the . . . Read More

Inspiration for All

It’s not my regular practice to write about individuals.  I prefer to write about our Seed community, about the relationships and dynamics that keep the school a vital, living entity.  Nevertheless, from time to time, a specific person catches my attention.  When you hear her story, I think you’ll understand why this week’s blog is . . . Read More

A Pile of Rocks

Years ago, while visiting a friend near Concord, Massachusetts, we took a day trip to Walden Pond.  I’ve been a fan of Thoreau since my teens, so standing in the space where he spent his two years, two months, and two days at Walden Pond was significant.  That day I soaked in the essence of . . . Read More


Our Seed writers are on fire.  It’s a rebirth of the writer’s workshops that were prevalent at the Seed in the 80s and 90s.  Although there have been threads of writing throughout the school’s history, we wanted to re-establish the depth and volume of the past.  So every Wednesday of our summer program we met . . . Read More

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