Above is a clip of my students in a WoolyWeek video challenge… Isn’t that what you were in search of? 😉
In case you’ve found my Spanish teacher vlog while looking for Wooly Warhorse answers, a Wooly coupon code, the login page, or behind the scenes footage, please don’t be disappointed! You’re meant to be here! It’s time to be convinced, or reconfirm, why you need Wooly in your classes.
I love Jim Wooldridge’s (Señor Wooly’s) collection of Spanish stories and music so much, that I’ve decided to shout if from the rooftops and share some of my most excellent reasons. Read-on, people!
Second Language Acquisition
Comprehensible – We acquire language when we understand messages (Krashen). There are many ways that we can make our messages understandable in class, but Wooly does this by pairing stories of all language levels with amazing story-based music videos and engaging graphic novels. It’s a lot easier to understand that La Dentista doesn’t have any teeth when we are looking right at those scary gums!
Compelling – Input must be interesting to maximize comprehensibility (Terrell). Wooly’s videos are so compelling that my students naturally maintain engagement, which distracts them from the reality that they’re subconsciously learning vocabulary and grammar. They’re engrossed in the stories, which makes language learning happen naturally, and I know this because their parents tell me that they sing the songs when they’re not at school. It’s hard to imagine similar engagement with spelling and verb chart practice… not that I’ve tried…
But will your students be compelled? Wooly has produced songs in many genres of music, written stories to meet all interests (from horror stories to satirical comedies to even clothing-based romance – just let it happen), created material for ages, and is adding new stories every year. It’s up to the teacher to make the right story available to the students he or she knows best.
Repetition – In order to achieve a high number of repetitions, Wooly’s stories can be used to facilitate circling, story-asking, socratic seminars, TPRS, MovieTalks, crafts, PictureTalks, story sequencing, TPR, guided & embedded readings, PQA, comprehension games like Running Dictation, and so much more. And the best part is, SenorWooly.com has all kinds of readymade options: pages and pages of printable activities, embedded readings, lyrics, video games, and online activities that can be completed on a mobile phone or a computer. Finally, teaching tutorial videos help us bring many of these learning experiences to the classroom with minimal effort (and I NEED MINIMAL EFFORT!). I had no idea that there were so many unique ways to talk about the price of a red t-shirt! #EsUnaGanga
Contextualized – Memorizing long lists of vocabulary and grammar rules is challenging… and torturous. However, the mental representations that come with Wooly’s TL stories input high frequency structures by default. Learners who hear and see language in a communicative context are able to process for meaning, which is needed for SLA. (VanPatten) Save the children! Share a story!
Targeted/Non-Targeted – These stories compliment all teaching philosophies. There is a tool to search the videos by specific structures, and there are also videos that appear to have no linguistic restraint at all. Therefore, all teachers can find what they feel is best for SLA. I prefer to select the videos based purely on entertainment value, but I understand that we live in an era of like-assessments and large departments.
FVR & SSR/Whole-Class Reading – When our students engage in free choice/voluntary reading they show better development in reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary (Krashen). Graphic novels especially increase intrinsic motivation, vocabulary, and comprehension (Edwards). Last year I added a few of Wooly’s novels to my FVR library, and students would race to grab the five copies before class started. This demand is why I have chosen to use La Casa de La Dentista as our whole-class reader next year, and the best part is that Wooly has many complimentary resources on his website! Yhhheeeesssssss.
Technology – If you’re a believer in differentiation and learning-styles or not, it’s great to facilitate technology use to mix things up and maintain engagement. The site is incredibly user-friendly in all areas: to watch the videos, to create and track assignments, to download and print the resources, and to edit the language level settings. Your students won’t have any trouble, but if you do, the technical support staff respond to emails so fast you’ll freak.
School & Language Levels – This input-based curriculum is appropriate for all students and grades. Students only see the stories that you make available, so if you want to block a video that seems too scary, you may. There are Novice-Advanced stories and activities, and the teacher can change the curriculum difficulty at the class level or just for individuals. Also, your students may be beginners at Spanish, but that doesn’t mean they need materials written for babies, which is why there are amazing stories with basic language.
NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements – Every single story has a list of I CAN statements so that stakeholders can connect the standards to their learning and teaching. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines are a description of what individuals can do with language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in real-world situations in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context. Wooly has already done the dirty work for us!
If these reasons haven’t convinced you, I totally suck.
Either way, Señor Wooly has a few super videos public on YouTube, so go watch them!
PS. I didn’t get paid for this vlog; not even a high five.
- If you found the fountain of youth, wouldn’t you want your friends to look forever-35, too?
- If there were a box of puppies left on your doorstep, wouldn’t you deliver them to your favorite students without parental permission?
- If TeachersPayTeachers had a technical glitch, and everything was downloading for free, wouldn’t you group-text the news?
- If Trump University made you a millionaire, wouldn’t you enroll your partner?
- If laser hair removal was actually ‘forever’, would I still have a mustache?
YES! YES! YES! YES! No.
PPS. Did you know that Sr. Wooly will be at ACTFL this year, and he loves to take selfies with teachers?
PPPS. Did you know that he actually feels really silly when people ask him for selfies, and that’s the best part?
PPPPS. Yes, I played the role of Feona who married Víctor from the ‘Guapo’ video, but I was a superfan before the affair was ever imagined. Who would have thought that Víctor was a one-woman man, anyway? Don’t discount my opinion because of one little “I do”. It might not even last…
If you have any questions, or if you just agree with me, please leave a message below!
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All the aspects of Sr. Wooly as an educational tool that you mention are there. I just have to point out that many of my students at the middle school level say that they find each of his videos at some point to be cringe-worthy. The dog vomiting on the girl’s chest in Los Quehaceres, the girl locked in school at night in Encerrada…
‘Cringe-worthy’ is exactly why some of them are our favorites! I don’t see anything cringe-worthy about many others, though. For example, Billys, El banco, Feo, La invitación, No lo tengo, ¿Puedo ir al baño?, etc.
[…] 8:38 – True: If you haven’t subscribed to SenorWooly.com yet, today is your day! His stories and music videos make the target language entertaining and comprehensible. Read my post about this resource here! […]
[…] could have been created together with TPRS, a synopsis of a Special Person Interview, lyrics from a Señor Wooly song, an OWI story, a storytelling challenge, a cultural reading from El Mundo en Tus Manos, or even a […]
[…] These sentences can be personal facts, information from special person interviews, main ideas from Señor Wooly stories, based on One Word Image characters, song lyrics, or even retells of student-created […]
[…] the kids actually started working at SeñorWooly.com without […]
[…] one of her blog posts, Breckley makes a case as to why these resources should be part of your class. She discusses […]
I enjoyed reading your blog a lot and got some good ideas for my action research project. Looking forward to learning and getting inspired. Eres fantastica!
Ooooo!!! That sounds awesome! Good luck on your project!!!
Oh, my goodness! I had to rewatch Feo!! I didn’t recognize you the first time I saw it! That’s amazing 🙂
Thanks for noticing, Profe! Happy last days of school!!!
[…] phrases, story lines, song lyrics, prior Persona Especial facts, previous One Word Image sentences, Señor Wooly tag-lines, or cultural […]
I haven’t jumped on the Wooly bandwagon yet… but your post was awfully compelling!! And it made me laugh a lot. And I totally would rush puppies to my students without parental permission. It would make me the coolest teacher at school!!
Sooooo, I mustache you if you also have a mustache…
How do you create those amazing Personalized Emoji’s?
Hey, Oscar! I use the Bitmoji app on my iPhone after switching the language to Spanish. So fun!: https://www.bitmoji.com/
Ok so not gonna lie, I cry a little every time I watch Feo. My kids get to see it tomorrow for the first time and I’m doing my best not to oversell it. P.S. you are the true star of this video, Feona! You are just the best!
I cry every time I have to see myself in a pink leotard! LOVE YOU!!!
Great recap! Ty for the peek at essential activities that support TPRS/CI! Ty especially for the selfie with Sr. Wooly and my daughter at IFLT18! ???✨
Ay, hombre! IFLT was TheBomb.com! It was so fun to meet you!
I agree with everything you wrote. Señor Wooly is beyond fantastic. And you were perfect for Victor! My students (and I) loved it!
Yuuhhhssssss! Thanks so much for the feedback! We’re crazy-lucky to have these amazing resources!
If I were a non-believer, I’d be convinced! Well written Sarah – have a great start to an amazing year, chica!
NANCY! SO glad we’re living in Wooly World together!!!