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


K-4 at the Seed

 We want you to know about our exceptional K-4 program.  Although we’re just entering our fourth month of the school year, it will soon be time for making decisions about the future.  In order to help families make the most informed decision about elementary school placement, we are offering a K-4 information session on Wednesday, . . . Read More


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


Food Foundation

Healthy food has always been a priority at the Seed.  Over the years it’s taken on different expressions as we’ve responded to trends in nutrition.   Our current practices have been highly influenced by this article.    Another influence related to food is our dedication to planetary stewardship.  During the first few weeks of school, I . . . 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


Friday Projects

I pay attention to patterns of three.  This week, as graduation photos and announcements started rolling in, a set of three caught my attention: future  engineers.  For decades I’ve held the belief that activities children engage in when they are young often surface in adulthood.  When I heard that three of our former Seeds were . . . 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


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


Public Transportation

I had a flashback on Tuesday morning.  Seeing the K-1 class with teachers and parents waiting at the bus stop on 40th Street, brought me back to the earliest years of the Seed when we had only a handful of young children.  It was the late 70s, and the father of one of our students . . . Read More


Deep Studies

During Monday’s all-school meeting, several classes reported news of emerging studies.  It’s that time of year when deeper studies come forth, usually inspired by interests of children.  I decided to investigate the roots of these studies, and it was no surprise how varied, yet similar, those roots are.   Generally, studies have formulated based on . . . 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