Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

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

Environmental Education at FSM: Walking in our Purpose

Environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota seeks to prepare students to become citizens and stewards of the earth. Whether on a week-long trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a nature walk in the park, or collecting the school compost, environmental education is woven throughout FSM’s K-8 experience. Here is some great news that demonstrates our community’s commitment to environmental education. Presenting FSM Environmental Education Work Last month, members of.. Read More

Making Meaning Through Experimentation in Art

Experimentation in art class is an important part of learning to use materials. When students make discoveries about the properties of a particular material or tool, the experience becomes a meaningful part of their education. Sure, I could demonstrate how to use a particular tool or material (and I sometimes do), but when the discovery is made independently of me, excitement ensues. This kind of playful inquiry is what makes.. 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

Sharing Our Differences

I had the joy of introducing my extraordinary friend Tiffany Busone to the Bayou third and fourth grade class last week following their reading of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. The book chronicles the unique childhood of Melody. “Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but.. Read More

Marching to Commemorate Selma

Last Friday, March 20, Friends School of Minnesota marched through the neighborhood to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. FSM first and second graders have been learning about the Civil Rights movement and leaders of the movement through dramatic play, reading, singing, and meeting Hollis Watkins, an early member of SNCC and activist in the civil rights movement. Marching in the manner of the Civil Rights.. Read More

Creating City Maps in Spanish Class

Friends School of Minnesota students are creating city map drawings in Spanish. Students are using active vocabulary in labeling designs of imaginary cities. We have been looking at marketplaces and cities throughout the Hispanic world through videos and a variety of lessons. This group project is a culmination of our unit on “la ciudad” (the city).

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