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


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


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


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


Marvelous Real

As an alum of Arizona State University, I often receive ASU publications.  One arrived last week that caught my eye.  On the cover was a delightful photo of Alberto Ríos, an ASU professor, Arizona’s first poet laureate from 2013-15, and a former Seed parent.  I read the engaging article about Alberto, his life, and his work . . . Read More


A Void in Our Crowded Place

On Friday morning, as the hustle and bustle of carnival setup was transpiring, I received news that my longtime mentor and friend, Ralph Peterson, passed on from this world.  It was fitting that he left us on the same day as the carnival.  Ralph and his wife Georgia attended many Seed carnivals over the years.  . . . Read More


A Not So Silent Auction

On Friday the 2018 carnival will be in full force.  Months of preparation will come to fruition for the Seed’s big Halloween event.  The bounce houses will be installed, desserts will be arranged in delicious piles, and lines will form all evening for this year’s Mystery Theater performance of I Need My Monster.  Racks of kid-decorated . . . Read More


Hanging Out with the Monsters

When the carnival starts next Friday night, you won’t see me right away.  I’ll be hanging out backstage with the monsters.  You see, for the past 31 years, I’ve been one of the Mystery Theater players.  We’re a dedicated band of hooligans (also Seed staff members) who enjoy making people laugh.   The Mystery Theater . . . Read More


It’s Carnival Season

There are few traditions as well established as our annual Halloween carnival.  It’s a labor of love by many people in our Seed village, and it happens close to the beginning of the new school year.  For new families, it can seem like information overload.  I’m writing this to highlight a few components of the . . . Read More


May We Be

On Saturday we held the annual retreat for our Seed board of directors.  I don’t often write about the board, since our work is primarily behind the scenes.  The board is a guardian of the Seed, looking out for everything from the annual budget to the school’s long range vision.  Primarily Seed parents, either current or . . . Read More


All Coming Together

On the playground earlier this week, I noticed a group of children being super creative.  Standing near the toddler fence, several preschoolers and a first grader were tossing balls back and forth to the toddlers on the other side.  It was a simple game, yet it demonstrated the cohesive community that is forming between children . . . Read More


Why Tie-dye?

It’s shaping up to be a year of reviewing the history of certain Seed events.  Tie-dye day is at the top of the list.  I’ve looked over my blogs about tie-dye, written since 2012, and each one takes a slightly different slant on the event.  One year looked at it as a rite of passage, . . . Read More


Seed Sale

It was a plane that derailed my plans for this week’s blog.  I fully intended to describe the many wonderful food experiences happening around the Seed as part of our school-wide nutrition study.  I was going to write about the incredible smells, the scent of pizza, beans, and pesto that permeated the hallway.  I aimed . . . Read More


seedfood tour

 In honor of our all-school nutrition study, this week’s blog will be a tour of our seedfood website.  The site came into being several years ago when the lead teachers gathered for a discussion about developmentally appropriate food practices.  Starting with an article on this topic, we talked about how much children should be expected . . . Read More


Lunch with Less Plastic

This photo may seem familiar to some of you.  It’s a closeup of one week’s lunch trash we collected last spring.  I thought it was worth revisiting.  Each September of a new school year, we devote two weeks to our all-school nutrition study.  What started as a teacher conversation about developmentally appropriate food practices with . . . Read More