Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

Rocket Launch!

Friends School of Minnesota 6th and 8th graders finished our third round of rocket experiments! They blasted off for the final time after creating their own original design. 

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

All School Crosby Farm Day 2016

It was a glorious day for FSM’s all school Crosby Farm Day! Throughout the year, 7th and 8th grade students traveled monthly to Crosby Farm Regional Park in the Mississippi River Valley. They learned the natural history of the place, measured river height and rates, studied wildlife, and wrote and sketched in a specific habitat. Students went back to the same spot each month of the school year and tracked how the.. Read More

Seed Bombs! Math and Science with the National Parks

Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders worked with National Park rangers, volunteers, and members of the Mississippi Park Connection to make seed bombs for prairie restoration work within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). This hands-on seed ball activity is a great way to bring service work into schools and connect students to a unique natural area in their community. Students rolled compost, soil, sand, and 3 types of seeds.. Read More

Environmental Education at FSM: Walking in our Purpose

Environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota seeks to prepare students to become citizens and stewards of the earth. Whether on a week-long trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a nature walk in the park, or collecting the school compost, environmental education is woven throughout FSM’s K-8 experience. Here is some great news that demonstrates our community’s commitment to environmental education. Presenting FSM Environmental Education Work Last month, members of.. 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

River Field Trip #2: Climate Change

It was a busy week as Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders headed out on their second River Trip. We returned to Fort Snelling State Park on Friday, October 30 for a special event organized by the National Park Service, Minnesota State Parks, and Will Steger Foundation (now called the Climate Generation). The topic was climate change and the students participated in the following activities: Introduction to park.. Read More

Big River Journey 2015 – 5th and 6th Grade

Last Friday, Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders took a trip called “Big River Journey”. This was an extension of the field trips that 6th graders took last year as part of our “River Year.”  We started the day at Fort Snelling State Park doing land-based activities before boarding a riverboat for a science-based afternoon onboard the boat. We ended the day at Harriet Island in downtown St Paul. Activities included: Artifacts Soldier Hike Cultural.. Read More