Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

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

Marching to Commemorate Selma

Last Friday, March 20, Friends School of Minnesota marched through the neighborhood to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. FSM first and second graders have been learning about the Civil Rights movement and leaders of the movement through dramatic play, reading, singing, and meeting Hollis Watkins, an early member of SNCC and activist in the civil rights movement. Marching in the manner of the Civil Rights.. 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

Birds of a Feather

The first weeks of a new school year brim with possibility, creativity, and a search for connection. Place and time are critical factors in anchoring these notions. For Friend School of Minnesota’s Jungle classroom of 1st and 2nd graders, the place was the sidewalk outside the art room. The time was right after a boisterous morning break outside. It was there that a tiny bird presented itself on the third.. Read More

Winter Poems by the Jungle Class

by Brenna Winkelman In a recent poetry unit, 1st and 2nd grade Jungle class student’s discovered how to see the world through poet’s eyes.  Students accomplished this in their poem about an object by turning their factual observations into original, fresh, new, and unique ways.  Within these poems students realized how their own personal views of an object engage their peers, because they had never seen the object in the.. Read More

Found Object Insects

First and second grade students have been studying insects in science and art. We watched butterflies and mealworms go through complete metamorphosis. We closely observed every stage in this process and recorded our observations using both pictures and words in science journals. We also explored many different mediums during this study in order to deepen our learning and understanding of insects. Children explored drawing pencils, black line pen and watercolor,.. Read More