Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

Seed Bombs! Math and Science with the National Parks

Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders worked with National Park rangers, volunteers, and members of the Mississippi Park Connection to make seed bombs for prairie restoration work within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). This hands-on seed ball activity is a great way to bring service work into schools and connect students to a unique natural area in their community. Students rolled compost, soil, sand, and 3 types of seeds.. Read More

Kindergarten Field Trip to Minnehaha Falls

One of the gifts of being a teacher in a Quaker, progressive education school such as Friends School of Minnesota is to have the freedom to shape learning and curriculum with the student’s interests and needs in mind. Teachers use their creativity, instinct and intuition, reflection, and knowledge of their student’s interests to create and facilitate learning. Ideas for study can come from many directions and guide learning that is.. Read More

Overnight at the Science Museum

Last week, thirty Friends School of Minnesota 4th and 5th graders stayed overnight at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Camp-In. After arriving at the SMM, students donned their green t-shirts and began their exploration of the some of the museum exhibits. Then came supper: a delicious pizza buffet. And then they were off again for another three hours of museum exploring. Students were able to work in the cell lab,.. Read More

Skipping Stones Summer Program Turns 10!

Skipping Stones, FSM’s summer camping trips for our middle schoolers, turns ten years old this year! Each summer since 2006, groups of FSM students have gone camping in one of Minnesota’s state parks for five days and four nights. Trips include outdoor adventures such as inner-tubing down the Root River through Lanesboro, exploring caves in southeastern Minnesota, hiking to the top of Barn Bluff in Red Wing, cycling through the pine forests surrounding.. 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

People of Color Conference 2015

I attended the 2015 NAIS People of Color Conference in Tampa, Florida from December 2nd – 5th. I returned rejuvenated, honored, empowered, and inspired. It was great to be surrounded by the over 4300 faculty, administrators, and students of color from independent schools across the country. It was like one big family reunion with people giving hugs upon meeting you for the first time. Most of the sessions focused on addressing.. Read More

Leaf Raking for Elders Service Project 2015

Last Saturday morning, Friends School community members gathered for a community day of service.  About 40 students, staff, parents, and alumni helped seniors living in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood by raking leaves.  We were able to take care of five different lawns and plan to take care of several more this week as classroom groups go out again. This annual service work is a great way to connect with our neighborhood!

Composting: 6th Grade Community Service

As a community service project, FSM sixth grade students are responsible for running the school’s composting service. This means that every day right after lunch two 6th grade students gather up food waste from all of the school’s classrooms and lunchrooms and bring it outside to one of our compost tumblers. There it gets mixed together with leaves gathered from around the school yard. In the fall, sixth grade students spend.. Read More