WW Specialist Newsletter

Art, Library-Media, Music, Phy Ed, and Spanish

December-January Newsletter 2015-2016 School Year

Hello! We hope you find this newsletter informative on our specialty areas. Feel free to send us any comments. Our contact information is located at the bottom of the newsletter.


Kindergarteners are continually developing their ability to keep a steady beat. What could be more engaging than using varying percussion instruments at each class to do so? Ask them to play their imaginary (or real) woodblock, and these musicians can easily demonstrate proper playing technique, even discovering the instrument's "sweet" spot.
Many traditional singing games have been learned and enjoyed frequently, the repetition of which helps young singers gain confidence and learn to sing on pitch. "Betty Martin" and "Doggie, Doggie" are favorites. Any song with actions assists with learning, and it is very possible your kindergartener can act out all "Twelve Days of Christmas" even if you are a bit foggy on the sequence. Mastering traditional folk dance moves like right-hand-star and two-hand-turn has been a challenge well-met in the Skater's Dance.
We are on to exploring high and low sounds, and how that looks and sounds on instruments like the glockenspiel. Forms of written notation representing these concepts are being introduced (snowflakes blowing up high, snowflakes drifting down). And of course anything that we do with our bodies (such as being a snowflake) helps us understand concepts.
First graders
visited Orchestra Hall on December 4 for a special performance of Swingin' Nutcracker. Members of the Minnesota Dance Theatre performed to selections from both Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and jazz variations by Duke Ellington and William Strayhorn. In preparation for the trip, students listened to the Nutcracker story, learned about ballet, and acted out parts of a video version. (They especially enjoyed trying to match steps with the Russian Dancers!) For several weeks, first graders enjoyed hands-on time with a variety of instruments. It was pretty exciting to enter the music room and discover which instrument family awaited exploration!
A variety of winter and holiday songs were learned in preparation for the Wildwood Winter Singalong. We especially enjoyed spinning like dreydels and using our bodies as drums to accompany a song celebrating Kwanzaa.
First graders are now focusing on what good singing looks like and sounds like. Our progress will be evident on the evening of March 8, which is the first grade program. Listen for songs in English, Spanish, French, and Japanese, all with excellent singing and posture! Many of our songs involve movement or dance, the practice of which will keep us active and engaged through the cold months ahead. Please see the event invitation below for details regarding the program.

Second Grade continues to practice their best singing by using "self checks" during singing known songs. Students reflect on their own singing and classmate's singing, noting and discussing what good singing looks and sounds like. Students continue to review and learn new music literacy concepts; reading/singing melodies with Sol, La, Mi, Re, Do on the staff, reading/playing rhythms with quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes and rests. Students will be practicing ostinatos, fermatas and singing in canon in new and known songs, some to be performed at our upcoming concert in March. Ask your student to sing I Bought Me a Cat or Noble Duke of York! Students will continue to use classroom instruments to practice their music skills and proper instrument technique, especially when playing Orff instruments (glockenspiels, metallophones, xylophones).

Hats off to the students who shared their musical talents and interests with classmates in our first Talent Day of the year held in December! We had many students in each class perform for classmates and share their musical interests and talents. Next Talent Day in May!

From now through March 10, Second Graders will focus on preparing songs, instruments and dances to showcase their musical skills in their music program "Music is FUNdamental." Come see our budding musicians as they perform and demonstrate their musical knowledge and know-how! Performance details are listed in the information below.

First Grade Program: Amigos! Friends around the world...

Tuesday, March 8th, 5:30pm

Chautauqua Fine Arts Center, Mahtomedi High School

5:30-6:15 p.m.
Classes performing: Horihan, Comfort, Hoffman, Brunner
6:45-7:30 p.m.
Classes performing: Tumbleson, Laue, Schmidt, M. Marshall

Second Grade Program "Music is FUNdamental!"

Thursday, March 10th, 5:30pm

Chautauqua Fine Arts Center, Mahtomedi High School

5:30 PM performance: Fesser, Haugh, Miller, Peterson classes

6:45 PM performance: Baker, Edinger, Brandt, KMarshall classes


Thanks to all who attended the first annual Hour of Code event at WW on Dec. 8th. Resources from that evening are here. Next year, the event will be on Dec. 6th during Computer Science Education Week. Also thanks to PTO for funding acclaimed author Alison McGhee's visit to Wildwood on Dec 22. We thoroughly enjoyed her presentations!


First Grade:

  • Computer programming unit in December using Course 1 from code.org and the Dash and Dot robots. Many more programming resources are available on the WW Media website.
  • Studied books with a Friendship theme in them.
  • Currently learning about biography genre with Martin Luther King Jr. and used Kidspiration software to create a timeline of MLK Jr.

Second Grade:

  • Logged in to Course 2 in code.org to complete computer programming activities and used the Dash and Dot robots with the iPads. Many more computer programming resources are the WW Media website.
  • Learned about Folklore genre, particularly fairytales.

Coming up:

  • READ ACROSS AMERICA: February 29-March 4. Click here for all the information including dress up days for Dr. Seuss's books!

Physical Education


· Basketball: dribbling, passing, shooting, modified games

· Floor Hockey: stick handling, passing, shooting, modified games

· Tumbling: forward roll, backward roll, cartwheel, headstand, balance, rope climb

Bones and Muscles:

· Bones: femur, tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges (leg/foot)

humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpals, phalanges (arm/hand)

· Muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius (leg)

biceps, triceps (arm)

Please welcome Abbey Luger from Augsburg College!

Abbey will be doing her student teaching in physical education at Wildwood until April 1st.

Fitness Fever (February 1st – 5th)

In addition to the whole school exercising together every morning, the student will be encouraged to try and eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and to get 60 minutes of physical activity in every day!


I continue to be inspired and delighted by the enthusiasm and creativity that Wildwood students show each day in the art room!

Kindergarten: We have been busy drawing, painting, cutting and gluing. We continue to challenge and strengthen our fine motor skills through creative expression. Early this winter kindergarten students created a colorful city by cutting and gluing shapes to make a variety of buildings with doors and windows. Next, students where challenged to create a pair of mittens that match. Currently, Kindergartners are creating their very own “snow person” drawing/painting. In the near future, students will be learning how to draw 3-D forms; including sphere, cylinder and cone.

1st grade: Early this winter, 1st grade students created a city drawing. Students showed space or depth in this drawing by overlapping their buildings. Students used a variety of geometric shapes to create interesting details on the buildings in their cities. Liquid water color paint was used to give these awesome drawings a pop of color. Currently, 1st graders are learning to draw 3-D forms; including sphere, cylinder, cone, pyramid and cube. Soon, I will be introducing students to the Art Adventure program. We will be looking at a portrait of George Washington that is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and comparing this realistic portrait to more abstract portraits by the artist Pablo Picasso. We will be creating our own portrait in the style of Picasso.

2nd grade: Early this winter, 2nd grade students created a cut paper collage. This collage was inspired by the French artist Henri Matisse, who created cut paper collage late in his lifetime due to deteriorating eye sight. Students cut both geometric and organic shapes and worked to create balance in their collage, so that it "felt right" without empty spaces. Next, Students learned how to draw 3-D forms; including sphere, cylinder, cone, pyramid, cube and rectangular prism. Recently, students started painting a Minnesota winter landscape. Students learned how a horizon line, background, middle ground and foreground work together to create depth. This landscape includes the watercolor techniques of painting "wet on dry" and "wet on wet." Students also sprinkled salt on their watercolor paint to create the frosty texture of snow and ice. Students learned how to paint pine trees and birch trees to complete the landscape. Next, I will be introducing students to the Art Adventure program and we will be looking at and discussing a portrait of George Washington that is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Students will see this portrait and other artwork that they will be introduced to in their classrooms by parent volunteers when they visit the MIA later this winter.


We have just finished celebrating the holiday season like they do in several Hispanic cultures. First graders did a posada procession in the classroom like they do in Mexico for nine nights before Christmas. Second graders, celebrated New Year's Eve like in Colombia by sweeping out the old year, choosing potatoes to predict the future year and eating 12 (dried grapes) for good luck. Kindergarteners celebrated Three Kings's Day on January 6 by chooing a piece of King's cake. The lucky student with the bean in their piece was king or queen for the rest of class time!


We are having a wildly fun time in Spanish now as we are building the rainforest and observing its changes each day. First graders can bring in their stuffed rainforest animals to populate it. Be sure your child's initials and teacher code are written on the tag. Kindergarteners are doing animal population counts to practice numbers and describing the color of the animals they find. Second graders will learn adjectives to describe them in more detail.


First graders are learning poems in Spanish to recite as part of the first grade program in Marchy. We will practice in class but I will also send the text to homeroom teachers so that your child can practice at other times. The pescaditos poem is in the video section of the Spanish web page.

Contact Information

Art: Kristi Eckert kristi.eckert@isd832.net 407-2136

Library-Media: Jean Oswald jean.oswald@isd832.net 407-2167

Music: Kathy Schwister: kathryn.schwister@isd832.net 407-2153 and

Ginny Gadbois Green: virginia.green@isd832.net 407-2149

Physical Education: Betsy Sommer betsy.sommer@isd832.net 407-2143

Spanish: Lynn Mucciacciaro lynn.mucciacciaro@isd832.net 407-2135