One Step at a Time

Last Friday morning was a popular time for water play, so the sand circle was flooded more extensively than normal.   I had the pleasure of being on duty for lunch recess and got in on some excellent water play action.  One thing I noticed right away was several children attempting to cross over the . . . Read More


Seeds of Success

Our new edition of The Harvest, the Seed’s yearbook, just arrived this week.  It’s full of happy student faces, quotes, and photos of their lively art collected from projects throughout the year.  Usually we dedicate the yearbook to a staff member.  This year, at the request of Krina (our editor), the dedication is different.  It . . . Read More


Ripening

During playground duty I noticed our peach tree was loaded with fruit.  Its branches were heavy with ripening fuzzy peaches.  The birds had already discovered several and helped themselves to a sweet meal.  I picked a few that were starting to soften and handed them over to one of the teachers for her class to . . . Read More


Friday Projects

I pay attention to patterns of three.  This week, as graduation photos and announcements started rolling in, a set of three caught my attention: future  engineers.  For decades I’ve held the belief that activities children engage in when they are young often surface in adulthood.  When I heard that three of our former Seeds were . . . Read More


Saving Seeds

Harvesting seeds is no easy task, especially for three-year-old fingers. In case you’re unfamiliar with kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cilantro seeds, they’re about the size of a small pin head. They mostly grow in long thin pods that only crack open easily when they are dry. There’s a purpose behind the tediousness of harvesting tiny . . . Read More


Seed’s Little Blue

When I was a child growing up in rural Nebraska, the Little Blue River meandered through our town.  It was more brown (from the mud) than blue.  The Little Blue is a sleepy river, except during the occasional rainy season when its banks overflow.  A few years ago it wiped out one of the main bridges . . . Read More


Teamwork for a Cause

Last week I described potential plans and activities happening on and around Earth Day at the Seed.  One project in particular took on a life of its own.  The Preschool 4s’ campaign to help the African Wildlife Foundation has become a school-wide effort, thanks to the generosity of parents, as well as their baking talents.  . . . Read More


Activists Every Day

We’re doing Earth Day differently this year.  Usually we pick one issue—such as plastic bags, throwaway straws, or endangered species—and make it a whole school theme.  We decide how to address the issue within each classroom, then report back to the whole group on Earth Day.  This year, since such varied authentic learning is happening . . . Read More


It’s About Time

On Wednesday afternoon I sat in the dark on the floor in the toddler room, holding the last wakeful child.  All of her classmates were sound asleep.  She was quiet, yet not ready to surrender to nap time.  I began rocking her gently, and she soon drifted off to sleep.  As I held her, I . . . Read More


Air Inequality

Since returning from India, I’ve thought about air quality.  A lot.  It was one part of the trip for which I was unprepared.  I managed to escape the common digestive tract illness most people contract while traveling, but ended up coming home with a nasty case of bronchitis.  As a result, I’ve appreciated the clean . . . Read More


Public Transportation

I had a flashback on Tuesday morning.  Seeing the K-1 class with teachers and parents waiting at the bus stop on 40th Street, brought me back to the earliest years of the Seed when we had only a handful of young children.  It was the late 70s, and the father of one of our students . . . Read More


A History of Flowers

On my way home the other day, I noticed a yellow sign next to the Circle K at the corner of 40th Street and Baseline.  I hadn’t seen it before and realized it was a marker for something that had been near and dear to my heart years ago, the Japanese flower gardens.  Long before . . . Read More


Seeds Blooming

 I can tell it’s spring, and it’s not just the weather.  All kinds of blooming is happening at the Seed.  I noticed dozens of pink and purple blossoms on our peach tree, and the apple tree has buds as well.  Things are blooming inside the building, too, as was evident in the K-1 class last . . . Read More


Deep Studies

During Monday’s all-school meeting, several classes reported news of emerging studies.  It’s that time of year when deeper studies come forth, usually inspired by interests of children.  I decided to investigate the roots of these studies, and it was no surprise how varied, yet similar, those roots are.   Generally, studies have formulated based on . . . Read More


Spirit of Comradeship

Three weeks ago I was on my way to India.  It was, by far, one of the most profound experiences of my life.  On Saturday evening, we returned to Phoenix, although my inner self seems to be lingering somewhere in between.  I’m savoring the memories as I step back into my work at the Seed.  It’s . . . Read More


A Wider Lens

The heart of India has been calling me for a long time.  On Thursday evening, I’ll board a British Airways flight for the adventure of my lifetime.  For the next sixteen days I’ll be traveling with a friend through parts of India and Nepal.  I’ve spent this past year preparing for the journey, and it . . . Read More


For Anybody and Everybody

It’s impossible for me to see wild geese and not think of Mary Oliver.  High above the Platte River on a wintry Nebraska day or passing through the desert at the change of seasons, the wild geese are poetry in action.  These words at the end of Oliver’s most famous poem, “Wild Geese,” have sustained me . . . Read More


Stay Curious

While hiking with a friend on South Mountain on Sunday, we noticed a cave-like formation on the bank of a wash.  We’d seen a few other small caves, but something was different about this one.  At first glance it resembled a rib cage.  Curiosity got the best of me, so I stepped closer for a . . . Read More


Back to the Grind

Returning after winter break is always a mixed bag of feelings.  On one hand, it seems like we just get used to a more open schedule, then it’s time to get back to our school routine.  I know I wasn’t the only one feeling this on our first day back.  Several parents used the phrase . . . Read More


On a Moonlit Night

Wednesday morning we had our first glimpse of this year’s version of the Seed’s Celebration of the Winter Solstice.  Stuffed into the multi with the dance area configuration taped to the carpet, one by one each class presented its dance for this year’s performance.  The book we picked, upon which the performance is based, is . . . Read More


When Teaching Is a Calling

We’ve been observing in classrooms lately, as part of our annual teacher evaluation process.  Included are a classroom observation, answering a few questions via email, and an in-person follow-up meeting.  Our intention is to acknowledge the wonderful things going on in a classroom, give specific feedback about what is observed, and choose areas for future . . . Read More


Pile of Temptation

You may have noticed the collection of stars posted on our office bulletin board.  Beneath the stars is a growing pile of toys, pillows, basketballs, and children’s pajamas.  Tucked under the table is a brand new child’s bike.  So many gifts are arriving that we’ve opened up an additional table space to hold the incoming . . . Read More


Multi Tasking

We have a small box we open only at this time of year.  It contains gaffers tape, a map, and a six foot segment of ribbon with a tiny piece of yellow chalk tied to the end.  It might seem like an odd, insignificant little collection of things, but in reality, it’s quite foundational to . . . Read More


Modern Elder

On Sunday we gathered in the desert to celebrate the life of Ralph Peterson, our longtime friend, colleague, and mentor.  Nestled in the San Tan Mountains south of Queen Creek, in the adobe home Ralph and friends built with their own hands, we enjoyed a blue sky afternoon that couldn’t have been more perfect for . . . Read More