Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

How Many Wood Chips Should a 4th Grader Order if a 4th Grader Could Order Wood Chips?

How do you make learning geometry skills, specifically calculating area, perimeter and volume fun and “real”? First you learn and practice those skills on paper and then your (amazing) teacher, Kak, tells you she has a project in mind–new wood chips for the playground. First, 4th grade math students used adding and multiplying skills to determine the overall area of the playground. Then they discussed volume and imagined what the.. Read More

FSMN Quarterly Friends Circle

Featured in this Edition In Celebration of the Everyday Moments–by FSMN Head of School Rick Juliusson See Highlights from the Past Year AND the Past 30 Years–Follow Us on Facebook and Instagram Creativity, Collaboration and the Arts–Collaboration is Essential for Both Children and Teachers by Eileen Galvin Our Students Are Speaking Up to Make a Difference–Several Students Were Published This Year (read Eva’s ’19 article, “The Trump Administration’s Attack on Transgender.. Read More

A Letter from an Alum Parent – On Transitioning to High School

An open letter, offered with love, to the FSMN graduating class of 2019 From Christina Boyd-Smith Dear Friends at Friends School of Minnesota, As graduation draws close I have been thinking about the transition from Friends School of Minnesota to high school and how significant it has been for our family. For the most part, it’s been smooth, especially for my children. The truth is, they navigated the transition more.. Read More

A Place of Belonging–Alum Spotlight

My name is Mashal Sherzad, and from fifth through eighth grades I had the beautiful opportunity of attending Friends School of Minnesota and being part of a community which, to this day, has remained my rock. The world outside of Friends School held a number of revelations for me. I attended another private school for high school, a privileged institution with many opportunities—but for a low income student of color,.. Read More

Alum Parent Co-Authors Study–The Impacts on Children of Experiences with Nature

Congratulations to FSMN alum parent Cathy Jordan for her work co-authoring an academic study of the impacts on children of experiences with nature. We know that it is critical for children to spend time outside playing, observing, exploring and learning. Being outside is a vital part of our school experience at Friends School of Minnesota. It is one of the ways we live our Quaker beliefs. We know that children.. Read More

Why We Sit in Silence – A Deep Sense of Unity and Compassion

Watch this 7 minute video from QuakerSpeak to hear more about the challenge and the gift of sitting in silence. Seven Quakers discuss the challenge of being alone with one’s thoughts in Quaker worship, and the opportunity for grace and true communion on the other side. “I leave Meeting for Worship with a sense of energy to live.”      

Our GSA at Work–We Don’t Teach Peace. We Live It by Making a Difference.

People often wonder how we teach peace. The short answer, we don’t. We live it. We actively live it. Our children live it. If we don’t teach peace, what do we teach? It is our job to educate our children about as many varied perspectives as we can, to speak about injustice and discrimination and the systems that help them thrive. When we teach, we hold our children at the.. Read More

Ideas, Vision and Trust

My lunch today: First, some 5th grade girls asked if could supervise indoor recess to play volleyball. We ended up with 18 students quickly organizing to set up nets, make teams, and get a wonderfully co-operative game going in which they cheered each other, gave multiple tries for servers, laughed, danced, and insisted that I play too. As they willingly put the equipment away at the end, the grade 7/8.. Read More