Spring is a busy time in the Friends School of Minnesota library!

Middle School

The Middle School students have read, voted and our results are in! The 2012 Maud Hart Lovelace winners among the Friends School students are:

  • Division II: Maze Runner, Juvie Three, and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
  • Division I: Listen!, and Please Write in This Book

Thank you to all of our students who participated in this wonderful program – the statewide results will be announced April 25th (on Maud’s birthday).

Read more about the Maud Hart Lovelace program at FSMN

Third & Fourth Grades

The 3/4 students worked on an Ancient Egypt project and we compared what they knew to a more modern-day story called The Day of Ahmed’s Secret.

With the Maud Hart Lovelace award coming to an end for this year, we began talking about what makes an “Honor” book special – whether it be a Maud Hart Lovelace Award winner, a Caldecott Honor, or a E. B. White Read-A-Loud winner. One of the titles we used for this discussion was How I Learned Geography. For a scavenger hunt, the Tundra students searched our library for past Maud Hart Lovelace winners and put gold stickers on them so future students can easily find them – how often do students get to put stickers on Library books?

The 3/4 students wrote their own book recommendations that are on display in the Library. These recommendations include the book’s title, author and a short summary without giving anything away! The students identified the genre/subject of the book and made their recommendations complete by giving an appropriate age-group for their title.

After the 3/4 play – which had a wonderful literacy theme this year – the students watched the Oscar-winning Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and discussed the animation, the role of the books, the music, and a whole lot more.

 First & Second Grades

Jungle and Prairie classrooms have been hearing wonderful stories in our library lessons including:

  • Caramba (our first cat-themed book),
  • Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library (our second), and
  • A Picture for Harold

A new author for FSMN, Adam Rubin, has found a place in the hearts of our 1/2 students with his two books:

  • Those Darn Squirrels, and
  • Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door (our third cat-themed book)

Students have also done more book comparison activities to help build their skills to find just right material.

The 1/2 students are also discussing award-winning books and the titles we focused on were:

  • A Visitor for Bear and
  • Wild About Books: two winners of the E. B. White Read-A-Loud award.

Animal research is starting and we kicked it off with a fabulous book for both animals and poetry to honor National Poetry Month: Scranimals.

Both classes searched the Library for books to recommend to other students, had their picture taken with that book and then made recommendation posters that were decorated and are still on display in the Library – come check them out!

Many new titles have entered the collection and the students listened to a few book talks on our new items and always have a chance to explore the new items on display throughout the Library. I was able to meet with every 1st and 2nd grade student to check-in with them on what they are reading during independent reading times and how to best recommend materials for the rest of the year.


The kindergarten students put on puppet shows with the puppets they made in the classroom. We started the process by reading Buzz Beaker and the Growing Goo and discussing the basic components of a story: an introduction, a problem, and a solution. Both plays featured aliens from outer space and their adventures meeting animals here on our planet!

Animal research has begun for the Mississippi! We started this unit off by guessing the animals in Lois Elhert’s Oodles of Animals and we read many of the poems that go along with those animals. The day we read A Visitor for Bear, tables were filled with books on each student’s animal and every student found something helpful to check-out for their research.

During another lesson, we read Scranimals and the students did a great job guessing the two parts making up each “scranimal” (eg. the “Cardinalbacore” is a cardinal and an albacore). The Mississippi explored a new online resource allowing them to see their animals moving naturally to help them best portray their animals during their presentations to one another.


I was honored to attend the Educators New to Quakerism conference in Pennsylvania in February. The conference facilitators were so knowledgeable and helpful, I learned so much about why we use the processes we do at FSMN.

So much of what we do is very intentional, and I saw our strong Quaker connections, particularly during our decision-making and meeting processes as well as our times to share how we feel about what is going on at school, for both adults and students. Pendle Hill was a secluded, spiritual retreat center allowing for personal and professional reflection, reminding me of all that I love about being a member for the FSMN community.

During this trip, I also visited the William Penn Charter School and met with two of their Librarians, seeing both the Middle/Upper School Library as well as their Lower School Library. The spaces were beautiful and I came away with another idea for organizing our leveled readers and new lessons to weave into the curriculum. The Lower School Librarian introduced me to their online subscriptions and FSMN is on its way to subscribing to PebbleGo! – an animal research subscription geared specifically toward K-3 students that not only reads texts aloud, but has video clips of every animal, sound clips, maps, games, and more!

I hope you can take a moment to see what’s new in the Gandhi Library by checking out our New Books Blog:

Emily Prebich, Library Media Specialist