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You’ve heard the buzz. Sr. Wooly is where it is at. But then you log yourself on to www.senorwooly.com and are immediately fill with a sense of overwhelm. You’ve seen the Baño video on YouTube and have heard of the famous Billy la Bufanda. Your crazy colleague down the hall actually BOUGHT the scarf!
But when it comes to how to use the songs and supporting materials, you’re at a loss. Fear not, there is support. Here is what to do to start.
NOTE: This advice will reference some of the materials only available to PRO subscribers, and songs not available on YouTube. If you are not a subscriber yet, your mileage may vary on these recommendations.
NOTE ALSO: This post isn’t the ONLY way that one can approach a song. And shouldn’t be how you approach every song. Variety is the spice of life. But this is a fairly simple way to dip your toe into the sea of Wooly. As you get more comfortable with the layout of the site and the vibe of the materials, you’ll develop a sense of what works for you.
NOTE ALSO ALSO: This generic advice is coming from a perspective of students that have never seen the site before, but can’ be of ANY level.
1. Watch a couple of videos. Pick one you like. Don’t worry about matching it to your textbook or learning targets. Show it to your students in class. Play it a few days in a row.
Wait, what should you DO? Well, you don’t have to actually DO anything. Play the video with whatever subtitles you think will help your kids understand the story. (I always use Spanish, then add English one when I think kids will need it.)
That isn’t enough? Okay, okay, you want to WORK with the video. Cool! One of my favorite things to do is to download the Slideshow of Stills for the video, pick out a few key ones, display them in class and talk about them. Who is in the image? Where is that character? What are they doing, thinking, feeling, etc.?
I also like to use the embedded readings after we’ve seen the video once…or sometimes before they even know it is a video! We read the story, compare it to our school/lives, and discuss what we think will happen (or should have happened).
2. So, after playing that video (and playing with that video) for a few days, pick another video. Again, if it can connect overtly to some language goal you have, great. But I recommend that you instead consider making it more about the enjoyment than the “learning”. Trust me, learning is happening, but it probably feels like goofy fun. And go ahead and play with it. Take a look at some of the extras. Use something different than you did for the first one. Play it (and with it) a few times over a few days.
3. Yep, a third video. Lather, rinse, repeat.
4. Now, get your kids signed up for the student accounts on the site. Set up your class, set the main proficiency level, adjust for kids that are higher/lower outliers than the rest of the class. Assign them a number of nuggets (levels) to complete. Each nugget has 8 activities, each activity worth 100 points when completed perfectly. To advance from one nugget to the next you need 600 points. So each nugget will probably take an average student 6-10 minutes. Some will finish astonishingly fast, some will take much longer. So how many nuggets to assign? I would figure about 1 nugget per 10 minutes you give them. But here is the kicker: THEY can choose which activities & nuggets to do. Within each song, the nuggets do have to go in order, but if you assign 3 nuggets across 3 songs, they can stick with their one favorite, or split up those nuggets among all 3 songs you’ve done. Student choice is powerful. It becomes less like an assignment and more like creative play time. Will kids need 30 minutes to do 3 nuggets? Generally, no. But during the extra time what do they do? Play around more. Heck, have a few songs unlocked that you don’t think you’ll use during the year. Let them explore and find things! Keep it flexible. The more you try to control the experience, the more it becomes a “class thing” and not a “play with fun videos” thing.
5. And then…? Basically, do the same but add some new “extras”.
6. But there is so much more on the site!! Yeah, there is. Now it’s time to explore whatever you haven’t. Check out the blog! There are TONS of activity ideas. Check out the Wooly Week 2019 lesson plans. Join the Woology facebook group! The possibilities are endless.
My main advice? With everything, don’t try to do it all at once. There is always another song to try another idea.
Share! We're all in this together!