Wildwood Elem Specialist Newsletter

Art, Library-Media, Music, Physical Education, and Spanish

October-November 2013

Hello! We hope you find this newsletter an informative resource. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us. Our contact information is at the end of this newsletter.


All students at Wildwood, recently finished a unit on Día de los Muertos. We read a story to learn some facts about the holiday and also learned some Spanish vocabulary words.

Students in 2nd grade did a cultural analysis on folk art. We learned what folk art is. We analyzed several authentic folk art pieces for Día de los Muertos. After our analysis, we created our own folk art nichos (shadowboxes in class). Students had a blast with this and tried to model their nichos after the authentic works.

1st graders make calavera masks and worked on creating patterns on their masks. We also translated a recipe for Mexican hot chocolate. While the students were translating the ingredients, we made some and tasted it. It was a hit with almost everyone!

Kindergartners made calavera masks as well and also watched a Día de los Muertos cartoon from PBS Maya and Miguel.


All students started the year with projects that focus on the many lines

and shapes that artists use.

2nd grade students created a paper weaving that focused on pattern,

color, balance and emphasis or focal points within the artwork. Currently,

2nd graders are working on a fish painting that incorporates

knowledge of the color wheel. Students are using the primary colors to

create secondary colors, as well as creating tints of color by adding

white. These creative fish paintings also allow students to portray a variety

of expressions within their cartoon style fish.

1st grade students experimented with printmaking this fall. We created

prints using real leaves and the results were dramatic. Students also created a dragon drawing/collage. The dragon is a symbol of good fortune in the Asian culture. Currently, students are learning about the color wheel through creating “color wheel pizzas.” Who doesn’t love pizza?!

Kindergarten students have been creating artwork focusing on line,

shapes and form (specifically the sphere). We created silly fall pumpkins that focused on drawing, painting, cutting and gluing skills. Currently we are creating an abstract tree painting that introduces the primary colors.

I am inspired daily by the enthusiasm and creativity of my Wildwood

students. It is my pleasure to lead them through the creative process of

self expression each week!

Library Media - Follow me on Twitter @mediawildwood

Kindergartners have been learning how to check out books and care for them at home and how to care for their computer workstation and the parts of their workstation (mouse, keyboard, monitor, computer, headphones, printer). I've just started showing them how to use and care for the iPads, and they're VERY excited! I'm getting them ready to use the iPads in literacy block with their Kindergarten teachers in December. We're also working on learning five parts of a book - author, illustrator, illustration, title, and cover - and why they help us find and understand a book. Last, we've studied Fall themed books and author/illustrator Lois Ehlert.

In First Grade, students learned about different types of libraries and how they help us find resources we want. We read The Librarian of Basra and The Library. They were interested in learning that many public libraries started with people donating their books and even their houses for the greater community. We also just finished a VENN diagram comparing the terms fiction and non-fiction. In the computer lab, we reviewed how to care for their computer workstation and what input and output devices are (anything that connects to a computer is either an input device where we put info in - e.g. a keyboard - or output device where the computer produces information - e.g. a printer). These terms provide the base of understanding various computer parts and their purpose. Currently, we are in the computer lab working on a challenging project - creating a self-portrait collage using objects from Pixie software. Students also learn the File>save command during this project. When they are finished in a few weeks, I'll put their work in a slide show and post each class on the WW Media website under "First Grade Projects." Students love to see their collaborative work!

Second graders spent the first couple months delving deeper into how to access the full resources of a library including the layout of the fiction and non-fiction sections, using the I PICK strategy for choosing a book, accessing ebooks and the library catalog while also learning their student login. Their student login will remain the same through senior year: username is last name-first name and their password is their student ID number. A handout went home with the students explaining the ebooks with their login information stapled to it. Both the Mackin Via ebooks and the library catalog, Destiny, can be accessed at school or anywhere with a web-enabled device (computer, smart phone, tablet, etc.). Second graders also used the iPads to do a scavenger hunt of the library, identify strategies on how to choose a Good-Fit or Just-Right book, and access the ebooks through the MackinVia app and soon the Destiny catalog app.

Please visit the Wildwood Media Webpage for more information about curriculum, student projects, policies, Media class schedule, and previous Specialist newsletters.


Kindergarten has been "Goin' to the Farm," learning, naming and playing different classroom instruments such as cow bell, tambourine, maracas, jingle bells, wood block, rhythm sticks and drums. K’s can distinguish the instruments by sound and sight and even tell if they are a metal, wood or skin (drums). K’s are also practicing using their best singing voices to match vocal pitches with the teacher and find their best singing voices in songs. K’s also can clap their rhythm of their first names with no help! K’s can sing and play games like Betty Martin, Macaroni, Wild Horseman and Doggy Doggy.

First Graders Got Rhythm! We have been discovering the rhythm patterns that are part of songs we have learned. Quarter notes (ta), eighth notes (ti-ti) and rests have been explored with our voices, with movement and with percussion instruments, leading us to success with reading the written notation of these rhythms. We are taking turns being Composers, using the rhythm patterns in fun ways for classmates to perform. First graders have played glockenspiels, demonstrating understanding of sounds that go higher and go lower. We are working to sing with pitch that matches the teacher, and enjoy songs that use words not just in English, but also French and Spanish. Train songs are currently popular, as we become acquainted with music terms associated with tempo (speed). Everyone wants to be the train that goes Presto (very fast).

Second Graders have been practicing their best singing all fall. They remember that good singing includes good posture (power feet, stand tall, hands at sides), singing out and trying their best to sing the songs correctly. Some students have recorded themselves on video, doing their best singing in a small group as they sing “My Country ‘tis of Thee,” paying close attention to best singing practices. Students have also practiced rhythms, melodies and proper instrument technique using xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels and other classroom percussion instruments. Students read and play rhythms that include ta (quarter note), titi (eight notes) and quarter rests with more notes to follow. Coming up, students will practice reading, singing and writing short melodies on the staff with notes Sol, La and Mi. So far, two second grade classes have led the Song of Month over the school loud speakers. Peterson’s class sang “My Country ‘tis of Thee” and Brandt’s sang “There Are Many Flags” after the Pledge of Allegiance on the last Monday of September and October. More classes will lead songs in the months to come.

Physical Education Happenings

Activities For October-November
· Soccer Skills: dribbling, passing, trapping, shooting
· Football Skills: spiral throw, catching, punting, running
with the football, flag football games
· Long Jump Ropes: squiggly snakes, choppy waters,
mountain climber, regular jumping
· Short Jump Ropes: single rebound, double rebound,
backwards, skier, hot peppers, cross-over

Bones and Muscles
• Bones: femur, patella, tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges
• Muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius

Please remind your child to wear tennis
shoes on gym days!