Storytelling In Action

Our first and second graders are currently developing the practice of using a writer’s notebook.  Each week I present them with a different way to use their notebooks.  This week I gave them a random photo of a scene from our playground.  I invited them to look at their photo and see what it reminds . . . Read More


Playground 101

When visitors come to the Seed and we open the door to our playground, the response is nearly universal:  Wow.  One parent even asked if our school was adjacent to a city park.  Many express their awe by saying, “I wish I’d gone to a school like this when I was a kid.”  I’ve visited . . . Read More


Trusting That Stories Will Come

 I’ve intended to write this blog for awhile, since learning that Vivian Paley passed away last summer.  We met in the late 1980s at a workshop hosted by a local teacher organization.  The event was hosted at Awakening Seed, and Vivian and I made a connection right away.  In addition to our common practices of . . . Read More


Counting Carrots

Exactly a year ago today, I left for India.  It was an adventure that changed my life and is still with me.  The orange-pink sunrise, the smell of rose oil, and the flapping of prayer flags in my back yard all carry me back to India.  Lately I’ve been reflecting on the year that has . . . Read More


Too Many Toys

Now that I have a seven-month-old great-granddaughter, I have more exposure to the “must have” gadgets and gizmos designed to make caring for a baby easier.  Over the past several months, our house has filled up with all sorts of paraphernalia to keep the baby safe and cognitively stimulated.  It’s made me realize how basic . . . Read More


On Fire

A few days ago I read a plea for help posted on Facebook by one of our Seed alums. She’s living in Australia.  Her post included a stunning photo of a huge plume of smoke and an article describing the fire as big as Manhattan.  I thought about her post all weekend and decided we . . . Read More


Last Night We Were Brave

Although everyone is moving a bit slower this morning, we’re all feeling the glow of last night’s performance.  The amount of effort that goes into our winter solstice production is unseen by most of our audience.  The vision, patience, and practice that fill up our December weeks came forth last night as we offered an . . . Read More


Soup for the Bad Guys

The rain was a blessing for our dry desert.  It also transformed our playground into a mud bog that inspired all sorts of imaginative play.  It was a heyday for small persons in brightly colored rain boots.  On Wednesday I noticed a group of young sand chefs, madly stirring and pouring muddy water into a . . . Read More


A Story Line for Each Character

Since late August, I’ve worked with the 3rd/4th graders on their writing once a week.  At the suggestion of their teacher, we jumped into a form of writing that was new to me with this age group, development of a fictional character and creating a story around that character.  In the past, I generally stuck . . . Read More


Never Give Up

On my walk along the canal yesterday morning, pushing my great-granddaughter in her stroller, a man with his little dog called out to me:  “Good morning, Grandma.  Never give up!”  I replied, “I won’t.  I’ll keep going as long as I can.”  As I kept walking, his words lingered in my mind.  He pretty well . . . Read More


More Than A Nap

For the past fourteen years I’ve taught a kids yoga class at Desert Song Healing Arts Center on Tuesday afternoons.  I’ve worked with hundreds of children under the age of ten.  Some of them are in college now, and new students keep arriving.  Many of them attended my class for several years before outgrowing it . . . Read More


Food Foundation

Healthy food has always been a priority at the Seed.  Over the years it’s taken on different expressions as we’ve responded to trends in nutrition.   Our current practices have been highly influenced by this article.    Another influence related to food is our dedication to planetary stewardship.  During the first few weeks of school, I . . . Read More


Trimming the Duck’s Feet

I walked into the K-1 this just as a duck was having her feet trimmed.  In preparation for their upcoming production of Crocodile Beat by Gail Jorgensen, one of the ducks was with her teacher, having a costume fitting.  On the table behind them was a pile of handmade costumes and props, including a crocodile . . . Read More


Congruent with Who We Are

As this fourth week of summer camp comes to a close, the word “congruent” surfaces in my mind.  Congruent means to be in agreement or in harmony.  It comes from the Latin verb Congruere “to come together, correspond with.”   All week long I’ve seen evidence of congruency in action. When we developed our plan for . . . Read More


Let’s Keep Moving

Things are moving and shaking at the Seed this summer.  When we designed our program this year, we wanted to make sure there was a strong movement component.  The summer heat often brings on a tendency toward being lethargic, so we decided to take a proactive approach.  We have regularly scheduled music classes once a . . . Read More


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


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


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


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


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


How Does It Feel to Share?

This week I took one whole morning to visit every single class.   I asked the teachers how things were going in general and what they needed in terms of equipment and support.  The needs covered everything from replacing soap dispensers to ordering extra shelves.  Across the board, everyone seemed pleased with the challenging process . . . Read More


Climbing Trees

I was a child who inhabited trees. The property around our neighborhood was full of mature trees that provided multiple sites for treehouses. Some were built by professionals who knew what they were doing. Others were kid-built and, thinking back, I’m surprised my parents allowed us to hang out so high off the ground in . . . Read More