Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

Spotlight on FSM Student Artists

Ten of our middle school students students participated in the first annual Twin Cities Student Art Show at the Dow Gallery April 22 – 24 during the St. Paul Art Crawl. Congratulations to all our participants! Ava C. Eleanor A. Ezra G. Harper E. Helene F. Jane R. Kaija M. Noah R. Sarah S. Sonia N.         You can always see more work by all our talented.. Read More

Arts Field Trip in Lowertown St. Paul

Friends School of Minnesota seventh and eighth graders enjoyed a full day of arts on their field trip in downtown St. Paul. They took the Green Line train from school to Lowertown, met and worked with local creative artists, and had a picnic lunch in Mears Park. Bellows Recording Studio Students visited Bellows Recording studio. They met drummer/composer Graham O’Brien and worked collaboratively with him to compose using samples and an acoustic drum.. Read More

Making Meaning Through Experimentation in Art

Experimentation in art class is an important part of learning to use materials. When students make discoveries about the properties of a particular material or tool, the experience becomes a meaningful part of their education. Sure, I could demonstrate how to use a particular tool or material (and I sometimes do), but when the discovery is made independently of me, excitement ensues. This kind of playful inquiry is what makes.. Read More

Nature, Art and the City

Parents interested in summer arts programming for their children sometimes wonder if spending time indoors during our short summer season is a reasonable tradeoff for the skills their children gain. Friends School of Minnesota science teacher Steve Moe, and kindergarten teacher Marshall Anderson have found a way to ease that concern through their summer class for lower school children—Nature, Art, and the City! Students joining this camp spend their days at.. Read More

New Art Studio in Action!

Lately I have been reflecting on how the new art studio has affected my teaching. I am still in awe of the space and realize that it has become what I used to dream about—an inspiring creative space for discovery, exploration, deep thought, and joy. It is truly an art teacher’s dream room! The kindergarten class has been working with clay and thinking about two questions: “What things can be.. Read More

Drawing in the New Art Room

Friends School of Minnesota students are loving our new art room! This past month, 5th and 6th graders worked on their drawing, painting and observational skills while creating a series of drawings of an object of their choice. Middle school students have art two times a week for 45 minutes.               If you would like to come see the new art room and the.. Read More

Fostering a Caring Community: The Annual MLK Day Celebration

Last Friday evening, I stood in the soaring lobby of the O’Shaughnessy auditorium greeting families, friends, and community members to the Friends School of Minnesota’s annual, all-school Martin Luther King Celebration. The excitement and pride amidst the families was clear; one parent told me it was her favorite day of the year, “even better than Christmas!” she declared.

Kindergarteners Explore Art Through Provocations

Friends School of Minnesota kindergarteners have weekly art class. This fall, we have been focusing on tools and processes using a variety of materials. During each class, I give them a “provocation” or question to focus on while they work. Some of the provocations they have explored: What happens when I use water to mix materials? Which materials blend together and which materials stay put? What new forms can you.. Read More