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


Such A Friend

On Saturday I attended a memorial service for Dr. Joan Moyer, my first ASU professor in early childhood education.  It was 1975, and I was a recently divorced single mom finally accepting the fact that I was destined to be a teacher, like the previous four generations of women in my family.  I’d already dropped . . . Read More


Underground Growing

Having been an artist my whole life, making marks on the page is important to me. Recently I was discussing the drawing of young children with Deb, our Preschool 4s teacher. We were talking about the importance of children having a drawing practice and how to support them in this process. I volunteered to come . . . Read More


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


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


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


D N

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


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


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


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


Never Underestimate a Two-Year-Old

Last Friday Danielle and I had the rare privilege of covering lunch and nap time in the Toddler 2s.  Both teachers were away, attending to family matters, and all our subs were occupied.  Over the years we’ve both spent our share of time in the toddler classrooms, particularly at lunch time and helping with the . . . Read More