Getting Ready

This entire week has been one of preparations.  Danielle and I have focused most of our attention on setting up schedules, staffing, and the calendar for upcoming aspects of our program.  For example, we have been talking about registration for the 2023-2024 school year, considering placement decisions and classroom configurations.  We have had conversation about . . . Read More


Solstice Light

Despite all the hustle and bustle the season, I love this week of school leading up to the winter break.  The winter solstice falls right in the middle of it, which is an added bonus.  Over the years, the winter solstice has become one of my favorite days of the year.  I like the history . . . Read More


Leaf Showers

It’s been a week.  It was Thursday before I was able to work at my desk for any length of time.  As predicted by the media, the trifecta of winter ailments (covid, influenza, and RSV) has hit our staff and their families hard.  We seem to be slowly coming out of it, but there’s the . . . Read More


Food Kits

How can it be that we’re already entering the second half of November?  The cooler days make it seem more believable, yet it’s all going so quickly.  On the agenda for the Seed in the coming weeks is our annual gathering the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  In years past, each class cooked an item to contribute . . . Read More


Larger and More Alive

 Over the weekend I traveled to Cheney, Washington, for my friend Elaine’s  celebration of life.  I was invited to join her family at their lake home for a Saturday afternoon gathering in her honor.   Their house felt like a shrine to Elaine Surbeck, with photos of every stage of her life filling walls and . . . Read More


Gluing Seeds

Now that parent/teacher conferences are behind us, and the weather is definitely cooling down (relatively speaking), many classes are at various stages of planting their gardens.  It’s always an exciting time of year to start the process and then see what happens in the coming months.  Our garden soil is prepped each year by Bill, . . . Read More


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