Very Hungry Caterpillars

You might notice a large very hungry caterpillar hanging above the Toddler 1s door.  The paper was painted by our littlest toddlers, then cut and shaped by a teacher to make the caterpillar.  It’s a wonderful introduction to our annual food study, using Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Each year we devote the two . . . Read More


Taking the Heat

 It was 102 at recess today.  Although I appreciated the rain that August monsoons brought, I’m glad to be stepping into September.  The rain brought plenty of humidity, and this has been exacerbated by extra hot days this past week.  For outdoor play when the temperature is 100 to 109, our practice is to offer . . . Read More


What’s Your Name?

We’re settling in.  We’ve nearly completed our third week of school, and routines are beginning to come together.  Although some children still need extra hugs before saying goodbye, and others express missing a parent, for the most part we’re getting used to being together again.  It’s a time of new learning on many levels. Names . . . Read More


Catching Light Across Time

I listen to so many podcasts, it’s hard to remember which thoughts and ideas come from which podcasts.  Often podcasters interview each other and/or appear on a number of episodes within a short period of time.  I love this intermingling of thought leaders.  It’s interesting how they might speak on the same topic with different . . . Read More


Dirt Builders

Beginning school in early August has its challenges, one being the Arizona heat.  We’ve been lucky so far that the temperatures have hovered under 100, allowing us to be outside for midday recess.  Our policy is if it’s 100 degrees we will offer an indoor/outdoor option.  When it hits 110, we keep everyone inside, except . . . Read More


Be and Be Better

I know it’s unbearably hot this time of year, as sweat becomes a natural state of being.  That said, I love the storms and cloud formations that appear during July in Phoenix.  Last night the clouds were unusually mesmerizing, and I’m glad I captured a few views before the light changed.  As I continued my . . . Read More


What Are You Practicing?

It’s a time of practice for our 2nd-6th grade class.  They are in the throes of preparation for the 32nd annual Way-off Broadway production.  It’s a long-standing summer tradition here at the Seed and involves prop making, backdrop painting, practicing dance moves, and learning lines.  The performance at 2:00PM (which will be presented on Zoom), . . . Read More


Why I Support the Warriors

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and won’t be writing my regular blog this week.  Since the Golden State Warriors are in the NBA championship series, I thought I’d offer you this post from the archives in 2015 when the Warriors won their first championship.  It’s a story about Nick U’Ren, who once upon a time . . . Read More


Hugging the Peach Tree

On Thursday morning a group of  students ran up to me excitedly asking to pick peaches.  I noticed most of the peaches had already been picked, but said we could go check it out.  When it was determined there were enough still left, a small envoy walked to the kitchen with me to obtain a . . . Read More


Precious Times

On Tuesday I observed a group of fourth graders standing together talking at lunch recess.  While larger group activity options were available, this particular group opted for “something smaller.”  Essentially they were asking for space to just hang out and be together.  At this time of year, they’re soaking up every ounce of being at . . . Read More


Winding Down

 I spent last week in Nebraska, caring for my parents who, at 97 and almost 94, are definitely winding down.  Each afternoon we’d take a drive around the county on roads that followed the Little Blue River and the Union Pacific tracks.  We drove past farms abandoned long ago, with barns and houses on the . . . Read More


Time for an Upgrade

For the last 23 years our climbing structure, made from recycled plastic “wood,” has served us well.  Hundreds of children have played tag, taken wild imaginative journeys, and escaped from pursuing bad guys on it.  Over time a few components had to be replaced or removed, and quite honestly, our current structure is ready to . . . Read More


Lasting Impressions

I first started teaching 4th/5th grade in 1999, the year we moved into our present building.  Many students that year were kids I had as 2nd graders, so we were already well established.  As we settled into our new permanent location, we slowly created functional outdoor features.  One of our first projects was a small . . . Read More


Hope for the Planet

 It’s Earth Day, a day I  renew  my commitment to serving Planet Earth.  I’me realizing more and more that the most significant way I can be of help is to keep working with the upcoming generations who will assume stewardship of our planet.  Today’s blog is about one of those young stewards.   One of . . . Read More


Across the Universe

It’s the time of year when many classes are engaged in deep studies.  Two classes, our Early 3s and Kindergarten, have been immersed in the solar system and outer space.  As part of the study, each kindergartener was given the homework assignment of creating a project.  I love when they arrive at school with these projects, . . . Read More


A Fluttering of Writers

This morning I walked into school with one of our first graders.  Yesterday we sat together and I helped her decipher what she’d written about her family dog.  The words were mostly strung together and it was hard for her to remember what she wrote.  Eventually we sorted it out as I had her tell . . . Read More


Snakes and Scorpions

Earlier this week I was covering a playground shift and noticed a kindergarten student exploring the outer edges of our outdoor space.  I wandered over and decided to engage him in conversation about the cool shirt he was wearing.  It was brown with a bright green snake on it.  I asked him if he liked . . . Read More


Harsh Times

Lately I’ve struggled to find words to describe these times.  This morning a fourth grader gave me the words I needed.  In response to a classmate’s honest sharing of a poem about a difficult family situation, one student said, “Writing a poem is a way to get through harsh times.”  These are harsh times on . . . Read More


Literacy of the Heart

In a recent interview with Mark Nepo, he offered an idea I’ve been thinking about for days.  He said, “In the Middle Ages in Europe for about 300-350 years, only 10% of the European population was literate.  That means 10% of the people living in Europe at that time kept literacy for 300 years.  Whatever it . . . Read More


Listening to Nature

During recess I noticed a child sitting by herself in the grass under a shady tree.  She seemed perfectly happy engaged in her own little world.  I approached her to check in, and was amazed at her willingness to talk.  Keep in mind, this is a child I’ve known for several years, with whom I’ve . . . Read More


Read in Color

You might notice the sticker recently adhered to the glass door of our Little Free Library.  It came with the books and materials for the READ IN COLOR program sponsored by the Little Free Library Foundation, with books provided through Southwest Human Development.  Their mission statement says: “READ IN COLOR  aims to promote the distribution . . . Read More


Student Teacher

As you might recall, a few weeks ago during my stint of substitute teaching in the 3rd/4th grade class, we embarked on a study of leaders.  Students selected someone they wanted to learn more about, researched important facts about his/her life, drew a portrait using oil pastels, wrote a poem, and found a quote from . . . Read More


A Mindful Monk

I generally keep a close eye on the sunflowers in my garden.  Several plants are blooming right now, in a wide range of colors and sizes.  I love watching the flowers form and move through all the developmental stages.  Over the years, the sunflower has been a metaphor for the stages of life.  I was . . . Read More


Baby Steps

This morning I was looking at the calendar on our office door that holds all the names of absent staff members.  In all of my 45 years of being a school leader, I’ve never seen anything like this.  Fortunately, this week we’ve had more people back, and the list each day is shorter than the . . . Read More