Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

FSM’s Good Morning Handshake Tradition

Another school year is beginning and students will soon return! It is Friends School of Minnesota’s tradition is to greet students with a handshake as they arrive at the front door for a new school day. We believe the morning greeting makes students feel known, sets a positive tone for the day, and builds community. One of the wonderful things about a small, intentional community like FSM is that every student,.. Read More

Media Literacy and the Penumbra Theater Company

Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders wrapped up our Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media and Pop Culture unit in humanities in May. This unit challenges students to examine the role media plays in their lives, how the media constructs messages about race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, and how those messages impact one’s sense of identity. We center the unit around the Center for Media Literacy’s five core concepts.. Read More

What Makes a Community?

First and second graders have been examining what makes a community. Beginning last fall, parents and other community members came and spoke to Friends School of Minnesota’s first and second grade classrooms about their jobs and roles within our communities. After learning and writing about these jobs, students examined the community around FSM through walks focused on transportation, architecture, and green spaces. Through this process, students chose a committee that.. Read More

Our Work on Race and Racism in 5th and 6th Grade Humanities

Over the past month, fellow middle school humanities teacher Melissa Andersen and I have been engaged with the 5th and 6th graders in some challenging, thoughtful work around race and racism in our society. It began with our field trip to the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota, something I recommend that everyone go and see. Before the field trip, we did some preview.. Read More

People of Color Conference 2015

I attended the 2015 NAIS People of Color Conference in Tampa, Florida from December 2nd – 5th. I returned rejuvenated, honored, empowered, and inspired. It was great to be surrounded by the over 4300 faculty, administrators, and students of color from independent schools across the country. It was like one big family reunion with people giving hugs upon meeting you for the first time. Most of the sessions focused on addressing.. Read More

Leaf Raking for Elders Service Project 2015

Last Saturday morning, Friends School community members gathered for a community day of service.  About 40 students, staff, parents, and alumni helped seniors living in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood by raking leaves.  We were able to take care of five different lawns and plan to take care of several more this week as classroom groups go out again. This annual service work is a great way to connect with our neighborhood!

Sharing Our Differences

I had the joy of introducing my extraordinary friend Tiffany Busone to the Bayou third and fourth grade class last week following their reading of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. The book chronicles the unique childhood of Melody. “Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but.. Read More