Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

Summer Curriculum Work

Over the summer, Friends School of Minnesota teachers worked on revising the 3rd and 4th grade social studies curriculum and developing new benchmark assessment for middle school humanities.

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

History Day 2016

Recently, Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders showcased their National History Day projects at FSM. The students started the projects in December by choosing a topic and connecting it to the year’s theme, Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History. During the months of January and February, we put aside our regular humanities curriculum to focus solely on the History Day projects. Students conduct extensive research using primary and.. 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

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

Wolf Ridge Trip 2015

Each autumn, Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders head north to spend a week at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minnesota. We do this trip to learn about the natural environment of the area and to build community. Students challenge themselves on the rock wall and outdoor ropes course. They take classes and study streams, wetlands, and geology. At night, they do astronomy and a night hike, led by science.. Read More

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

5th and 6th Grade Students Write to the President About Immigration

As a teacher, one of my goals is to get students to connect with content in a way that drives them to take action. I continuously feel lucky to be a part of a school community where my goals align with the school’s vision and mission as a progressive, Quaker school. As a progressive school, we believe real-world application of content is important to learning. Being led to service and.. Read More