Talent Show

These days fractals seem to  occupy my mind.  In her book, Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown describe fractals as “never-ending…infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales.  They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.”  Further on in the chapter about fractals, she applies this pattern . . . Read More


Food Deserts and Beyond

For eleven years I taught first and second graders.  I believe it was some of my best work as a teacher that ultimately resulted with years of memorable teaching.  In fact, I’m still friends with many of my students and their families from that era.  Looking back, it was my most prolific time as a . . . Read More


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


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


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


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


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


Bricks in the Oven

 Life on the playground is a constant dance of balancing creativity, exploration, and imagination with plain old safety measures.  We look at it as a fluid process of measuring affordable risks.  We let children (except toddlers) play with sticks and bricks.  Yes, we encourage them to walk when they have sticks in their hands, and . . . 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


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


Girls with Dreams

I first met Elsie Moore in the late 1980s, around the time of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.  I remember vividly sitting at a low table with Elsie and her husband, Wade.  They were looking for a kindergarten program for their eldest son, Arthur.  She was pregnant with her third son, Allen.  As always, she was . . . 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


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


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


Gallery of Leaders

It’s been a full, challenging, yet productive week.  As Covid closes in on our little Seed community, we continue to do all we can to keep everyone safe and well.  I spent another week with the 3rd/4th graders, and our time together did not disappoint.  Instead of a blog from me this week, I wanted . . . Read More


Leaders in Training

I’ve had the privilege of subbing in the 3rd/4th grade class this week.  It’s familiar territory for me, as I spent quite a few years teaching 4th/5th graders in this same room.  I also know the students as a result of being their writing teacher, some of them for 3-4 years.  One of my favorite . . . Read More


A Night of Wonder and Light

I knew last night was going to be extraordinary.  I just didn’t realize how extraordinary.  There was a moment right before it started that revealed a glimpse of how it might be.  It was dusk and the sky was the purplish color of twilight.  Staff members moved about quickly lighting the 600 luminarias we made, . . . Read More


A New Kind of Celebration

In two weeks we will experience a new Seed event and, perhaps, tradition.  Since the 1980s we’ve celebrated the winter solstice as a universal approach to the holidays, in respect for the variety of families the Seed serves.  The original celebration included music, singing, and dancing.  Each class was responsible for preparing a dance that . . . Read More