Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

Geometry Lesson: Calculating Famous Pyramids

7th grade math students just completed a geometry project on pyramids. To investigate surface area and volume, each group chose a pyramid somewhere in the world to research. They located the dimensions, including base, height, and slant height to calculate relative volume and surface area of actual pyramids, including ancient pyramids of Egypt and Mexico as well as modern pyramids such as a new hotel in North Korea and the.. Read More

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

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

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

South America Comes to Friends School of Minnesota

A giant map of South America filled half of the gym last week! Each year, National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps rents out a floor map of a continent to schools across the nation.  The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE) brings the traveling map to Minnesota schools.  We had such great success with the map of Asia last year that our humanities teacher Melissa Andersen applied for a visit from the map of.. 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

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

Dance Residency 2015

Friends School of Minnesota welcomed back Jae Haile Phillips and Hannah Esparza for a dance residency the during the week of October 19-23. Students in kindergarten through 8th grade learned a different social dance each day.  They explored Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, and Hip Hop. Students had the opportunity to work through basic dance moves and practiced incorporating those steps into a more intricate routine by the end of class.  As they grew in their confidence,.. Read More