Back Stories

Last Friday was a big step for our Seed community to begin spending time together again.  Our tie-dye and tile painting event was a huge success on several levels.  It had been two years since we’d held the event, and it took us awhile with the tie-dye part to pull everything together.  The night before . . . Read More


Argiope Aurantia

I spent last week in the small town in Nebraska where I grew up.  Although the days were warm, autumn was in the air.  None of the trees were turning colors yet, and the greenery in front of my parents’ house was plentiful.  Near the driveway was a plant that had poofy white flowers that . . . Read More


Lifelong Foodies

I write this week’s blog from rural Nebraska, where I’m staying for a few days, helping out with my parents.  I collected classroom stories about our nutrition study before I left, and lots of wonderful food experiences have happened since I left.  My intention in writing about the study is to give you a bit . . . Read More


What Gives Me Hope

Thursday morning a coyote crossed my path on my morning walk, just as I was listening to a conversation where the participants were sharing quotes that inspire hope.  Here’s one of the quotes: “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, . . . Read More


Come Through

On Sunday we received news that our long time friend, Deborah Cox, passed away.  Deborah and her family have been a part of the Seed’s history for decades.  Prior to retirement, she served as the assistant director of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.  It was through Deborah and her family . . . Read More


Take Care

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this week it’s that COVID-19 is real, and we need to remain vigilant now more than ever.  Since we re-opened a year ago, we’ve consistently worn masks, practiced social distancing, kept classes separate, and followed protocols recommended by the county health department and CDC.  Our cases last year were . . . Read More


Remy’s Q & A

As rain fell on Wednesday morning, we scrambled to set up morning recess alternatives until the storm let up.  Once that was settled, I checked in with all of the lead teachers to gather information about the various studies they’d undertaken these past six weeks.   Topics varied widely and included dinosaurs, pirates, families, camping, . . . Read More


Grow My Heart Again

Our summer program is off to a glorious beginning.  We’ve welcomed back many of our current students, as well as families we haven’t seen since March 2020.  Additionally, we have a number of students who only attend our summer program who are here for another six weeks of immersion in the Seed experience.  Many of . . . Read More


Graduation Under the Trees

If there’s anything the 2020-2021 school year has given us, it’s an overabundance of opportunities to be innovative.  After missing their graduation a year ago, we wanted to make sure our 3rd-5th graders had a memorable ceremony.   Although some of the mitigations for COVID-19 have eased up a bit, we still have to follow . . . Read More


Snake Visit

 It was a wildlife day at the Seed.  The morning began with the arrival of Winston, a staff member’s rabbit, who came to visit the toddler playground. He was quite popular with both toddlers and older students as he settled into his makeshift environment. As if that wasn’t enough excitement, the grandfather of two students . . . Read More


Submarine Pickup

On Monday morning, as we were starting another week by conducting health checks on the curb, the father of one of our virtual preschoolers arrived.  “I’m here to pick up the submarine.”  The request caught my attention, as it’s not a typical pickup of materials.  Usually materials picked up for students still learning at home . . . Read More


Showing Up Rain or Shine

A winter storm blasted through Phoenix on Monday, ripping three screens off our office windows and leaving piles of white precipitation scattered around the playground.  I learned later that there is a special name for this precipitation, graupel.   Graupel is described as “water that accumulates on snow above the ground, then freezes and creates . . . Read More


Stretchy Outsider

 It’s easy these days to become inundated with news.  There is an article for everything from how to entertain your kids during a pandemic to the latest developments in vaccine trials.  Painful news about yet another shooting in another city is too frequent.  Alarming photos of fires ravaging the west coast are heartbreaking.  Podcasts are . . . Read More


The Messy Middle

A consistent presence in the kindergarten class from year to year is the hermit crab terrarium.  Hermit crabs become members of the class, providing hours of entertainment as they crawl in and out of wooden block structures constructed by five-year-olds.  What I’ve always found intriguing about hermit crabs is how they inhabit a shell, then . . . Read More


Hybrid

For many years I’ve thought of the Seed as a hybrid.  Early on, we drew on a variety of approaches to inform our practices.  In graduate school I researched Montessori, Waldorf, and embraced the Whole Language movement.  We’ve studied the constructivist approach, based on Piaget’s theory, and added Love and Logic ® to our toolbox.  . . . Read More


What’s Best for the Kids

These past several weeks Bill has showed up at school every day (except a few Sundays) to burn weeds, trim trees, tidy up the playground, paint classrooms, and organize the sand circle area.  He sorted and washed all the spoons, bowls, and pots and pans. He’s used this time to make the space ready to . . . Read More


Caring for Our Own

A devoted mother dove sits in the nest she built on a small shelf above the hose in our back yard.  She’s been there for nearly two weeks.  There were two eggs originally, and now there is one hatchling, whose eyes are still closed.  I don’t know what happened to the other one.  This mother . . . Read More


Stay Open

When I returned from my trip to Nebraska, I checked out a group of mysterious cabbage-like plants in our garden.  Looking closer, I discovered underneath the lush green leaves a whole collection of tiny Brussels sprouts.   How could this be?  I do remember planting seeds months ago, but thought our rabbit visitors had wiped . . . Read More


Always Sifting Sand

Over the past several weeks I’ve been writing about the playground.  I’ve described its activities, life lessons available, and all the reasons we place so much emphasis on our  extraordinary playground.  When I saw these three toddlers gazing out onto the big playground with a student intern the other day, with their similar bikes parked . . . Read More


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


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


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


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