Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

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

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

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

State History Day Results

Great results this Saturday at State History Day. We had 12 of our 7/8th graders compete at the state level. Ten went on to the second round of judging. Eight received Honorable Mentions in their categories. Noah and Flann placed for Nationals! We couldn’t be prouder of how hard each student worked! Documentary: Noah Solomon – First Place, Junior Individual Documentary, National qualifier Emilia Topp-Johnson – Honorable Mention John Gisselquist –.. Read More

Young Writers Welcome this Summer!

Friends School of Minnesota’s summer program Create Something Great! is delighted to welcome back writer Susan Marie Swanson. Susan will be teaching two creative writing classes for students ages 7-11 (entering 2nd-entering 6th grades), Hooray for Pippi and Charlotte’s Web. Susan Marie Swanson is a St. Paul writer and poet whose children’s books include (among others), Letter to the Lake, To Be Like the Sun, and 2009’s Caldecott award-winning The House in.. Read More

Story Workshop in Kindergarten

One of the great things about working in a progressive education school like Friends School of Minnesota, is that learning and teaching remain fresh, vibrant, and full.  Our school supports teachers and learners to take risks and expand their creative vision, and knowledge base. In this spirit of trying out new and exciting ideas, I introduced kindergarten students to a new structure for learning called Story Workshop. FSM K-4 teachers have been.. Read More

7th and 8th Grade Spoken Word Unit

For the past two months, Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders have been studying the art of Spoken Word Poetry in their Humanities classes.  The unit evolved into a journey for our students that challenged them to express their own truth through poetry meant to be performed. The unit helped students achieve both writing and public speaking benchmarks.