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

All School Crosby Farm Day 2016

It was a glorious day for FSM’s all school Crosby Farm Day! Throughout the year, 7th and 8th grade students traveled monthly to Crosby Farm Regional Park in the Mississippi River Valley. They learned the natural history of the place, measured river height and rates, studied wildlife, and wrote and sketched in a specific habitat. Students went back to the same spot each month of the school year and tracked how the.. Read More

MRES Solar Boat Regatta 2016

Friends School of Minnesota’s 7th and 8th grade Engineering Club once again participated in the MRES Solar Boat Regatta. This boat race held at Baker Lake in Eden Prairie every spring.  It is sponsored by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES). The rules are pretty simple: boats are powered by the Sun.  Each boat is limited to one 12 volt battery and one 85 watt solar panel.  The boats are allowed.. Read More

Geometry Challenge: Pass the Popcorn!

Friends School of Minnesota 7th graders embarked on another geometry challenge this week involving popcorn! Everyone knows that movie theater popcorn often comes in buckets, similar in shape to a cylinder. Not everyone knows that the volume of popcorn received varies dramatically with the height of the bucket, even when the lateral surface area remains unchanged. The design challenge for students was to compare popcorn bucket volumes using a lateral.. Read More

Gallon Challenge! Fifth Graders Study Measurement

Fifth grade students are studying measurement in math class this month. Earlier in the year, they learned the metric system in science class, and they are now learning all things “customary.” Today was a lesson on capacity and they were given the “gallon challenge” to prove their conversions. For example: “How many teaspoons in a tablespoon?”  Prove it! “How many tablespoons in a cup?” Prove it! “How many cups in a.. Read More

Using Math to Reduce Packaging

Friends School of Minnesota 7th graders had a design-engineering challenge to re-design a Toblerone package to hold the same amount (volume) of chocolate while reducing the packaging (surface area). While the original package of chocolate held 110 cubic cm of chocolate and required 231 square cm of packaging, the new designs held the same 110 cubic cm of chocolate with only 136-178 square cm of packaging!   Check out other ways.. Read More

What Makes a Community?

First and second graders have been examining what makes a community. Beginning last fall, parents and other community members came and spoke to Friends School of Minnesota’s first and second grade classrooms about their jobs and roles within our communities. After learning and writing about these jobs, students examined the community around FSM through walks focused on transportation, architecture, and green spaces. Through this process, students chose a committee that.. Read More