Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

Melissa Andersen - Humanities Teacher

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State History Day 2016

We spent a beautiful May Day at the University of Minnesota for State History Day, supporting eight 7th and 8th grade projects that competed in the categories of performance, exhibit, documentary, website, and paper. Over 1,200 junior and senior high school students participated in Minnesota’s State History Day this year. Congratulations to all of our History Day State participants! We are so proud of you! Papers Noah R. – Immigration.. 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

Middle School’s New Environmental Service Club

After a recent discussion at FSM’s Environmental Education Committee meeting, science teacher, Steve Moe, and I decided to offer a new club to middle school students at FSM. Our goal is simple – to provide a time and place for kids that are interested in helping the environment to mobilize and take action by working together on several projects throughout the school year. We will meet monthly, and there is.. Read More

Feeling Inspired: Reflections From the Progressive Education Network’s National Conference

Middle school humanities teacher, Melissa Andersen, reflects: One of the things I greatly appreciate about teaching at Friends School of Minnesota is the amount of freedom and encouragement I am given to continue my growth professionally and personally. This last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Progressive Education Network’s (PEN) national conference, Access, Equity, and Activism: Teaching the Possible, with fellow FSM teachers, Laura Pereira (art), Andrew Rutledge.. 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

National Geographic Giant Map of Asia Visits FSM

Each year, National Geographic rents out a giant map of a continent to schools across the nation. This year, the map was of Asia. The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE) brings the giant traveling map to Minnesota for several weeks and Minnesota teachers can request to have the map at their school.  In the fall, I applied for the map to visit us, and last week, Friends School of.. Read More

History Day 2014

Every two years, the 7th and 8th grade humanities classes participate in National History Day, a program that over half a million middle and high school students take part in each year. Students choose a topic to research and connect their topic to an annual theme. The 2014 theme is Rights and Responsibilities in History. Friends School of Minnesota students chose a variety of topics to research, from the Salem witch trials to the.. Read More

Teaching Integrity, Studying the Holocaust

In Friends School of Minnesota’s 7th and 8th grade humanities classes this year, we are focussing on the Quaker value of integrity. Our guiding questions for the year are: How have societies changed by interaction with other societies? How do I keep my values when confronted by counter values? How do people decide when and how to take a stand? The 7th and 8th humanities students have been studying the.. Read More