my kindergarten photo, age 5yo.
I am an early childhood educator passionate about photography and documentation as daily integrated tools for understanding young children's play, process and development. "Zella-Said-Purple" celebrates young children, their voice and their discoveries.

It inspires me to take photos of children during their work -  their hands and minds engaged - and I feel that the child's focus and intention comes out in the photo.

I hold an MA in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. The most incredible professional journey I have ever taken was under the guidance of Daniel Meier and Barbara Henderson in the graduate program at San Francisco State University. They were and continue to be inspiring mentors in a field that deserves intentional and committed leaders.  They are co-editors of Voices of Practitioners, an online teacher research feature of NAEYC's Young Children click here for link to Voices

I have been a teacher in the classroom for over 20 years, mostly working with 4s and 5s, yet have worked with toddlers through kindergarten age students. I could only work in a constructivist model setting where children are valued and uplifted as the meaning makers of their learning. I believe that project work and skill based explorations both belong in the classroom.

I am a passionate collector and reader of children's books. The bay area of California is fortunate to have 2 independently owned children's bookstores.  Hicklebee's and Linden Tree Books Here is the link to my favorite Read-Aloud Books

I am the blogger for Zella Said Purple and an educator at Bing Nursery School at Stanford. The connections that I have made locally and across continents via Zella has been astounding and beyond inspirational.


  1. Thank you for your comments on Playfully Learning.
    I love the phrase inquiry learning. You have given me some great points to continue reflecting on,especially with my grappling with just one method, thank you!

  2. @Dana - thank YOU for your comments. Was interested in your sorting out the difference btwn project method v emergent curriculum. You'll discover the right balance for you and your students :)

  3. You are absolutely inspiring. I stumbled upon your blog tonight while preparing for the new school year to start and searching for activities for my own boys. I feel like my entire outlook has shifted just reading a few of your posts. I plan to come back each day and read or re-read something on your blog so that I can hold onto this amazing viewpoint. Thank you.

  4. @Tiffany - you made my day with your thoughtful words. Thank you for 'stumbling upon' my blog AND for taking the time to share about your connection to the posts. I write in a narrative style - versus sharing crafty ideas - so the posts tend to pull in different kinds of readers/parents/educators. Thank you so much for your support :)


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