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


Instead of Selling Candy

The Seed carnival started in the 1980s as an alternative to trick-or-treating.  It has evolved over the years into a huge community event, attended by current and alumni families, as well as neighbors and other local friends.  It’s become a much anticipated first return to the Seed after families leave to move on to other . . . 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


Taking A Break

For over thirty years, the Mystery Theater has been a part of the Seed’s annual Halloween carnival.  It began in the 1980s as a production put on by Seed staff to entertain carnival attendees.  Dozens of staff have participated in all phases of the production, including script writing, acting, choreography, set design, costumes, music management, . . . Read More


Color Study in Grey

Early Tuesday morning I sat in the dentist chair, looking out large windows into the overcast skies looming over the valley.  I noticed a heron perched on top of the building in front of me.  It was a color study in grey.  Monday was the autumn equinox, and our shifting weather matched the change of . . . Read More


A Grand Event

On Monday the Seed grandparents gathered once again.  Over twenty arrived for the beginning of our fourth year as an organized group.  During introductions we met grandparents new to the Seed and caught up with familiar friends who have been around the school for a long time (including one grandmother whose daughters are Seed graduates).  . . . Read More


Red Threads

The red threads captured my attention.  During one of my summer morning walks, I heard an interview with Marcus Buckingham. He described his life long obsession with helping others improve the quality of their workplace experience.  The interview held my attention, yet there was nothing extraordinary in the conversation until he brought up the red threads. . . . 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


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


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


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


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


Gratitude in the Air

In the past few days I’ve noticed people mingling outside the 3rd/4th grade classroom.  Finally I walked down the hallway to check out what was going on.  The class created a giant bingo display with an act of kindness in each section.  Anyone interested in participating is invited to sign their name in a section . . . 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