Dr. Baros is a dedicated researcher, educator, and LGBTQ advocate. Her areas of expertise are proficiency-based language teaching and creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and people.
A while back I mentioned that designed my curriculum last year around the resources available on senorwooly.com and a few of you asked me to share my resources. Things have been up in the air with what I was going to be teaching next year, but I'm happy to announce that I WILL be using the same curriculum next year, so I'm going to fine-tune it and make it available to everyone on TPT - with permission from Jim Wooldridge. Although it's not the first unit I teach, the song ¿Puedo ir al baño? is available to view for free online, so I am making this unit available for free so that you can see if my style works for you.
I am working on additional units in the order that I teach them and am hoping have at least one quarter of materials available by the end of August. I use these units for Middle School Spanish, but they would also work for Spanish I. On a related note, my students are earning Spanish I credit over the course of two years, but the high school program is more traditional, so I will eventually be adding materials that connect to their textbook (En Español) to ensure they meet the high school expectations as they move into Spanish II, although I think they will easily exceed those expectations in terms of proficiency :).
This is a comprehensible input-based unit that also utilizes technology and cooperative learning. All slides and handouts are included with the unit. Resources from SenorWooly.com used with permission. Please note that these units are a work in progress (as teaching always is) and I would love to have feedback! As I learn what will best serve others' needs and create the complete set of units, this unit will be updated. Please private message me any feedback about things that need to be modified or changed. Thanks!
¿Puedo ir al baño? Complete Unit (FREE)
As I'm reflecting on the year so far, I figured it was a good time to invite input from my Beginning Spanish students on what they'd like to see happen in the future. Overall, I've been very happy with my Beginning Spanish classes and would have been satisfied to keep doing what I'm doing. But, hey, maybe there's something I'm missing? So, I decided to put the question out to my sixth and seventh graders and see what they have to say - and I'm so glad I did!
I labeled three areas on my board ("I like...", "I don't like...", and "We should...") and passed out sticky notes to each group. I invited them to write their feedback on the post-it notes and stick them on the board under the category it went with. I set the timer for 5 minutes and they were very engaged in writing the notes! Afterward, I went through what was on the board with them and responded (eliminating the suggestions like "taking naps" and "no homework", etc.) as well as asked for clarification on what they wanted to see happen. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by all of their great suggestions (and I have to admit it gave me the warm fuzzies to see all of the wonderful things they wrote about class so far, with nothing mean or negative - I love my kiddos!). Here are some of my big take-away's from this discussion:
Students love Señor Wooly! In fact, there weren't any notes that said they didn't like the songs, but a few that asked that I don't use any more non-Señor Wooly songs because they're just not up to par with those on the website. There were a few that said they didn't like the Nuggets for homework, but once I told them that they were going to have homework, they all agreed that the Nuggets are better than anything else I could assign.
Students want to play games and use their devices to learn and review, namely using Kahoot. They report that they do it in other classes and that they pair up if they don't have their own device - and they agreed to "teach" me how to make it work. Overall, I want to do more review, so I will build in all of the requests for games by using them for review. Another activity that they suggested that they do in other classes involves giving hints and pictures of a spot in the world, and have students use their devices to figure out "where in the world" that place is. This could be an interesting way to introduce cultural activities or even have little mini-lessons in under five minutes.
Overall, students seem to enjoy the classroom environment and activities. These are things I already knew, but it's nice to hear them say they enjoy the teamwork, I'm building rapport, that I interact with them, that I'm joyful, and "awesome possum" haha. There were a number of different things they expressed that they enjoyed about class, and multiple students specifically said it helped them learn Spanish.
Students want more learning options. There were a number of students that want to act things out, make up songs, make up dances, do projects, etc. I could address this two ways. First, I could mix things up a little more. Although I address many learning styles, I can often get into some of the same routines with these activities. Students want to mix things up more with different activities. Second, I can assign tasks and projects with menus, allowing students to express their learning in different ways. They also don't want to present in front of the class - I could easily accomplish this by having students present in groups and using a variety of Kagan structures. Some items they suggested for menus include: arts and crafts, act out, make up songs and dances, translate authentic resources like songs and cartoons, etc.
Students want to move and interact. I can easily build in these activities with Kagan. They want both opportunities to do Kagan class-builders to "get it out" of their system (referring to talking to each other) as well as opportunities to practice talking in Spanish. I will have to look for opportunities to get the up, moving around the classroom, and talking to each other in Spanish during class time. Some even wanted to go outside. I'm sure I could accommodate that from time to time.
Students want to change seating. Of course, the request was for "free seating" and I explained that my seating was very intentional so that each person had something to contribute to the group (see information about Kagan cooperative groups for more information on my seating arrangements). As a compromise, I offered to change seats once per month. It sounds like I need to get my Kagan group tools set up so it can automate these seats!
Students want to learn about culture. I need to look for more ways to build culture in. I'm doing this much better in my higher levels, but we've been caught up so much with Señor Wooly that we don't have a whole lot of culture. But students want to learn more!
I could not be more happy about this! The new Señor Wooly website exceeds expectations and then some. I am so excited to be able to share this with my students this year!
There is now a complete curriculum and you can assign "Nuggets" for each song to students for homework, then monitor their progress. It does not let them progress until they have achieved 100% on the assignments. Easy grading and differentiation! Speaking of differentiation, the website also allows you to set not only the class proficiency levels, but you can adjust the proficiency levels of individual students so the tasks meet their abilities. The only downside to all of this is that I'll have to re-think a few of my original lesson plan ideas as they were based on the supplementary packets and many of the same activities are now in the "Nuggets". However, that also means I can reserve my class time for the higher-order thinking activities, such as Movie Talk, writing and speaking activities, and more organic language as students get the basics down from doing their homework.
I cannot recommend this website highly enough - it forms the backbone of my curriculum (more to come on that soon), and this just made everything even easier, more interactive, more focused on comprehensible input, and overall more exceptional than ever. Thank you Señor Wooly!
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