Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

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

State History Day 2016

We spent a beautiful May Day at the University of Minnesota for State History Day, supporting eight 7th and 8th grade projects that competed in the categories of performance, exhibit, documentary, website, and paper. Over 1,200 junior and senior high school students participated in Minnesota’s State History Day this year. Congratulations to all of our History Day State participants! We are so proud of you! Papers Noah R. – Immigration.. Read More

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