Sticks and Roughhousing

From time to time, situations arise that force us to reflect on our practices and policies.  We use these situations to refine what we do, driven by what’s best for children, what’s safe, and what works in a school setting.  Such is the case of sticks and roughhousing.   Sticks have always been a part . . . Read More


A Place in my Brain

In preparation for a writing lesson about pumpkin seeds with the 3rd/4th graders, I found these few lines from a poem from “Jerusalem,” a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: “There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow. I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds. Something pokes us as we sleep. It’s late but . . . 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


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


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


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


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


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 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


Wobbly Mud

Occasionally I have the opportunity to leave my desk and spend time with a class.  This happened with the Prek children on Monday morning.  After a story and snack, we all headed to their outdoor classroom on a beautiful sunny day.  At first I watered the garden, simultaneously keeping an eye on the various activities . . . 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


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


Can I Draw Myself White?

Our planned conversation about Dr. Seuss books was postponed until after spring break.  It’s a topic our entire lead staff is interested in, particularly as we develop curriculum that supports social justice.  We needed more time, and I have confidence that it will be a robust conversation when it happens.   In the mean time, other . . . Read More


Another Light Gone

Over the years I’ve often written of my third grade teacher who made such an impact on me as a young child.  As I grew older, there was another teacher, Jim Fraser.  He was my math teacher in junior high and high school.  As I read over some of the memories posted about him on . . . Read More


Seasoned Warriors

Wednesday was Veterans Day.  I held my own personal celebration by calling my 95-year-old father, Jim Kenner.  He’s a veteran and continues to be involved in his local American Legion post.  In fact, he was the recipient of a 75-year continuous service pin in March, right before the pandemic hit.  We were able to be . . . Read More


In Lieu of Halloween

 As the months keep adding up since the pandemic began, it’s easy to slide into the mindset of focusing on what we’ve lost.  I struggle with this daily, and all of it is making many of us feel incredibly tired.  Yet we press on, showing up every day to serve our students, support each other, and . . . Read More


Opening the Space

 Teal colored chairs and tables arrived around the same time as the students.  After many months of virtual learning, we opened the space for more of our elementary and preschool students to return to in-person schooling.  We were aware of the risks of adding more students to our classrooms, and it was time.  Keeping in . . . 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