First Grade Academic Overview
Literacy Curriculum  
Wildwood Elementary uses a "Balanced Literacy" approach, which combines direct teacher instruction in large group, small group reading/guided instruction, and student independent learning.
Each day the students will be in "Readers Workshop" which will include reading to self, reading to someone, word work, writing and listening to reading.
The National Reading Panel Report (2000) 
The panel determined that effective instruction includes teaching children to break apart and manipulate the sounds in words (phonemic awareness), teaching that these sounds are represented by letters that can be blended (phonics), having children read aloud while providing guidance, teaching word meanings, and providing comprehension strategies
·        Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words
·        Phonics:   the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.  For example, learning that the letter ‘b’ represents the /b/ sound
·        Fluency:   the capacity to read text accurately and quickly
·        Vocabulary:   the words students must know to communicate effectively through listening, speaking, reading and writing
·        Comprehension:   the ability to understand and gain meaning from what has been read
WRITING:   Wildwood Elementary uses the Benchmark curriculum of "Writers Workshop".  First graders will be writing in a variety of formats - journaling, personal narratives, informational reports and book reviews.

First Grade implements the Math Expressions program. It is organized into mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts. These concepts are:
  • Partners and Number Patterns Through 10
  • Addition and Subtraction Strategies
  • Unknown Numbers in Addition and Subtraction
  • Place Value Concepts and Money
  • Place Value Situations
  • Comparisons & Data Formats
  • Geometry, Measurement and Equal Shares
  • 2-Digit Addition
The Math Expressions program uses hands-on manipulatives and games in addition to paper and pencil work to ensure mastery of the concepts that are taught. 

First grade also uses "Number Talks" in math class, where students share how they solved a problem.
Complex Instruction is also being used, where students work collaboratively in a small group to solve a problem, each student having a voice and all voices are needed to solve the problem.

First Grade students are instructed in the Zaner-Bloser method of handwriting.  This is a 'continuous stroke' method of letter formation, not a 'ball and stick'.

Wildwood now has STEM as a specialist class. This specialist class covers the Engineering is Elementary curriculum, as well as some of the other first grade standards.  First graders study the life cycles of insects (meal worms and butterflies) in their classroom in the spring. 
Social Studies
First Graders use the Responsive Classroom approach to work on becoming responsible citizens.  Students participate in classroom meetings and help in establishing classroom rules.  First graders also have a unit on Presidents and Presidents Day.  A highlight of our year is an extensive unit on the Wampanoag Indians and their encounter with early European settlers (The First Thanksgiving). The children learn about history through the eyes of the Native Americans.   The topics covered follow the Minnesota State Standards. 


Our Mission

The mission of Wildwood Elementary School, the joyful Zephyr family dedicated to building the foundational pathway of learner agency and personal excellence, is to ensure that each student has intrinsic passion for life and learning with compassion for oneself and others, through a vital system distinguished by:

  • A culture of exploration, play, wonder, and creativity
  • An equitable learning experience for all 
  • A community that builds authentic relationships, a sense of belonging, collaboration, and trust 
  • A culture that views challenges as opportunities to persevere and grow 
  • An array of exceptional and global learning experiences that cultivate academic, social, and emotional growth
Wildwood Elementary School ISD #832
8698 75th Street North, Stillwater, MN 55082
Phone: 651.407.2100
Fax: 651.407.2125
Attendance: 651.407.2108
Our School
At Wildwood Elementary School, we honor the whole child and teach future-ready skills of inspiring curiosity, embracing change, and turning ideas into action. Our talented teachers and staff members work with students in small class sizes and nurture a culture of excellence that has become the expectation and norm. Our students learn social-emotional skills alongside academic core areas in order to gain the foundation for academic success. In addition, they have the opportunity to engage in learning with specialists in gym, art, media, music, and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) classes. Our elementary school is surrounded by green space and our students enjoy recess at our natural playground and attend classes in our outdoor classroom. We have an engaged and supportive parent community who volunteers and supports the school with academic opportunities and tools. Our District is a leader in engineering and science and we value academic areas that will spark curiosity, fuel creativity, and instill a lifelong passion for innovation in our students.