Wildwood Elem Specialist Newsletter

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

End of the School Year Newsletter

Hello! Because we send out our newsletter electronically, we needed to find a tool that would allow live links and options to embed multi-media. We also like this S'more newsletter for the ease of reading on mobile devices. We hope you find this newsletter an improvement over our former type. Feel free to send us any comments: jean.oswald@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us


Kindergarten – Recently Kindergarteners created spring time paintings featuring birds. Students used many shapes to create birds and their surroundings. We added white paint to all of our paint colors to create a “tint” of each color used, if was fun to mix colors in this way to make colors lighter. Currently students are finishing a beautiful butterfly decoupage. We learned that butterfly bodies are symmetrical and used tissue paper to make the wings of our butterflies colorful. Kindergarteners finished the year creating a cut paper collage featuring 3-D parts; I’m always amazed at the creativity of these little artists.

1st Grade – Recently first grade students drew and painted symmetrical butterflies, the designs they created were fabulous. Next students created a “Mola” design using colored construction paper. Mola means “shirt” or “clothing” in Spanish. Traditional Mola designs are based on flowers, sea creatures, birds and animals. Mola’s are made of layered fabric and sewn into panels by women of the Kuna culture in Panama. First graders worked hard cutting and gluing paper to create interesting patterns within their Mola. Currently we are creating a still life collage featuring a symmetrical vase with tissue paper flowers.

2nd Grade – Recently second grade students created a portrait in the style of 16th century Italian artist Giuseppe Archimboldo. Archimboldo created faces using fruits, vegetables and plants. Like Archimboldo, students put together their portraits using fruits, vegetables, and plants but also could use food. Needless to say, these portraits made us hungry……cupcake eyes, pizza slices for a nose, spaghetti for hair…you get the idea (so much fun!). Students also learned about proper face proportions in this project. Currently students are creating flower drawings inspired by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe painted hundreds of flowers from a “zoom in” or close-up perspective. Students worked in her style to make big, bold and beautiful flowers. Some classes are transferring their drawings to sidewalks around our school using chalk……..the weather hasn’t been very cooperative however.

I want to thank all my students for another fun-filled year in the art room at Wildwood. I truly feel that I have the best job in the world. I look forward to seeing many familiar faces next year at our awesome new Wildwood School. Have a safe and fun summer!



...musicians have been learning singing games from America and around the world. If asked, they may likely demonstrate the time-tested engagement of song games like “London Bridge.” (One student described it as the Funnest Game Ever.) Even while they play, they are actively involved in singing to match pitch. And if the bridge doesn’t fall at exactly the right beat in the song, considerable trouble can ensue.

The concept of musical instruments representing story characters was introduced in depth to Kinder learners. Prokofiev’s classic musical adventure of “Peter and the Wolf” was explored, with students experiencing how different instruments can portray characters in a story. Which instrument plays Grandfather, or the Wolf? Your kids can tell you!

There is a lot of percussion instrument playing occurring to match the energy levels and techniques learned throughout the year as we review our previous activities . Great groundwork for first grade musicians!

First Grade...

...singers expanded their experience of singing in the form of a round to include “Frere Jacques” in four parts. They practiced correct mallet technique on xylophones while playing a super-fun game where a kangaroo goes shopping (ask them for details!). In preparation for our May 3rd Ordway field trip to attend a dance performance by Pilobolus, first graders explored creative ways to use their bodies to represent things found in the natural world. We also traveled (virtually) to Africa, learning some singing games from different countries. If you've noticed your child spending a lot of time hopping on one foot while clapping and singing, it's likely he or she is hoping to be a winner next time we play "Vahaya Kadimba," a singing game from Zimbabwe. It’s been engaging to learn some drum circle techniques for our beautiful tubanos and djembes. Check out the video below labeled Tumbleson Drumming for an example. Drumming is a great way to participate in beat, rhythm, and (our favorite) improvisation. We finished the year with appreciating class members as they shared interests and abilities during Talent Day. Some time spent revisiting favorite songs and dances rounded off a great year of learning.

Second Grade...

...musicians have been refining their singing skills and techniques, culminating in recording individual or buddy singing performances for their music portfolios. These portfolios will follow them throughout their musical career in Mahtomedi, being added to yearly as they continue in music. Students also drummed up a storm in May, learning drumming techniques and vocabulary on African djembes and classroom tubanos. They also perfected their rhythm skills in the African rock-pass game Obwe Sana. Also in May, every student practiced and perfected our rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner which they sang at their Flag Day ceremony on May 24. Nothing more beautiful than 200 second graders singing their hearts out on the National Anthem! Finally, Talent Day was a big hit in every classroom as many students demonstrated their musical abilities and interests for classmates. Watch for their performance pictures on the school website>music page! The second graders have learned a great deal and practiced many skills in the past three years that have prepared them for music at O.H.A and beyond. They are well-equiped to be life-long music learners and appreciators! Good luck in your music futures, Second Graders! Mrs. Schwister will watch for you on America's Got Talent!

THANK YOU, PTO! The next time you see a PTO member, say "thank you" to them for their ongoing support of Extra Music Activities at Wildwood. This year, they helped fund the 1st Grade Field Trip to the Ordway, the 2nd Grade In-House Music Field trip with the Parker String Quartet and finally, the All-School Celebration and Outdoor Concert on May 30 with singer Glen Everhart. Thank you so much, PTO!

Tumbleson Drumming

Physical Education Happenings


· Dance Dance Revolution

· Fitness testing

· Review stations

· Capture the ball

Sports week was a huge success! Thanks to all who volunteered to run a station. The day would not have been a success without you!

Have a great summer, stay active!

Library Media - Follow me on Twitter @mediawildwood

Kindergarteners got a chance to use the iPads with an app called, "Just Me and My Mom," a Mercer Mayer book. They also learned how to care for our iPads and to use iOS gestures such as a five finger swipe close. They will be using iPads much more next year. In honor of Grandparents' Day, we discovered the many different grandparent books in our library. We finished up in the computer lab reviewing and learning some new features in Pixie software such as changing font, using the symmetry feature, and blend tools. I showed them a free paint and draw program that can be downloaded at home, TUX PAINT. It's a great way to reinforce the skills we've been learning and foster creativity.

First graders learned about award winning books, specifically the Caldecott Award, which has been given out for 76 years by the American Library Association. It is the highest award given for illustration in a children's book. This year's (2012) winners are (I included book trailers if available): "This Is Not My Hat," "Green," "Creepy Carrots," "Extra Yarn," "One Cool Friend," and "Sleep Like a Tiger." The last couple weeks of school the students learned to use our new e-book system. They are VERY excited to check out books year round. I showed them how to log in to our e-book vendor, Mackin Via, as a general student and through their student personal login. To check out books, download them, or put books on request/hold, they need to log in personally.

More information about e-books can be found on the Wildwood Media website.

Second graders also learned about award winning books, especially the highest award given for children's illustration: The Caldecott Medal. The titles and book trailers on the books are listed in the first grade section, and I read "Creepy Carrots" to the students, which they loved. I don't think they'll think of carrots the same way again! We also spent the last few weeks of the year learning how to use our new e-book system which runs through the vendor, Mackin Via. Students can log in as a general student, but to be able to download a book, check out, or request a title, they need to login with their personal id (last name-first name and then student ID number). This information was given to them and sent in a letter home from me. I also showed second graders how to use the dictionary feature and a little about the notes feature. They will learn more next year at OHA. Detailed information about our e-books can be found on the Media website.

Note: I have sent home the 2nd grade headphones with the students. They will need headphones at OHA next year, and these would work well for them as they are durable and already have a plastic bag with their name on it. First grade headphones I kept and will transfer to their second grade teachers.

Please don't forget to check out the Washington County Library's summer reading program Bookawocky.

New WW Media Center as of Friday, June 7. We're getting there, and it's amazing!


Wildwood students have been working on numbers 0-20 en español. We have been working on Spanish numbers in order as well as out of order. We have memory clues to help us with numbers out of order. We have played bingo in class and practiced our song “Cuenta” from Sing, Laugh, Dance and Eat Tacos.

We have also learned calendar words and weather. Students have learned how to say the months and the days of the week in Spanish. We did a group activity where students had to put the days of the week in order. It was very fun and a great way to work together to complete a challenge. For the weather words, we played Simon says in Spanish and did actions for each weather type. The kids talked about ropa words or clothing that would be appropriate for each weather type. We did a cut and glue activity for this topic.

Many classes had the opportunity to participate in a presentation from the Spanish College in the Schools group. The students from the college in the schools class at Mahtomedi High School create a lesson in Spanish to share with the Wildwood Students. It’s a great opportunity for our students at Wildwood to have great role models share their love for Spanish.

Contact information:

Art: Kristi Eckert kristi.eckert@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us 407-2439

Library-Media: Jean Oswald jean.oswald@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us 407-2427

Music: Kathy Schwister: kathryn.schwister@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us and

Ginny Gadbois Green: virginia.green@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us 407-2456

Physical Education: Betsy Sommer betsy.sommer@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us 407-2446

Spanish: Erica Ryan erica.ryan@mahtomedi.k12.mn.us 407-2438