My blog has been quiet this school year, as I have been over the top busy. I transitioned from working in a pre-k-3rd building in one district, to being at 3 different buildings in 4th and 5th grade in a new district. While I LOVE my new students (at the same time as I miss my old ones) , writing new curriculum, and learning the art of being a traveling teacher has kept me running. While I fully intend to sit down and blog about new activities and new things I have learned as I explore CI with 4th and 5th grade, I am waiting to get my feet underneath me before I dive back into posting videos and blogging (so if you have sent me an email and I haven't replied, please know that this is on my to-do list too).
In spite of all the business (or perhaps because of it), I was GEEKED when Sr. Wooly invited me to review an early copy of his new Graphic Novel 'Me Llamo Víctor'. His other graphic novels are always a top pick for students when I give my native speakers FVR time, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of his newest novel (my students have seen me reading it at lunch, and are anxious for me to share).
Graphic novels in general, are such a great way for emerging readers (first language or second) to enjoy stories that are appropriate thematically for their age and interest, but might be out of reach (from a reading level standpoint) without the help of the intriguing graphics. Sr. Wooly's new novel 'Me llamo Víctor' did not disappoint. It had all the elements of a Wooly story that make it so enjoyable for students: easy language, mystery, drama, and Sr. Wooly's signature, slightly twisted, sense of humor. I laughed, I worried, I wondered. All of these emotions are powerful when reading a new story, as feeling a strong emotional connection to something helps our memories retain the information better. Memory, music, emotions and intrigue are all a part of what I believe makes Wooly's site magic for students.
More than all of these things though, I connected to the character Víctor, especially my middle school self (hidden under many layers of my adult self). Víctor deals with many emotions that make us feel vulnerable in our middle school (high school and even adult years) worry over living up to expectations, worry about our appearance, and even more than all of that, a need to belong as a valued part of a group. The graphic novel is beautiful, and intriguing, and funny, but more than that it is relatable in a way that can lead to deep classroom discussions about the fundamental human need to belong. It fits beautifully into Víctor's saga on the website, and I although I hope to stay put at 4th and 5th grade for a long time, this novel almost had me wishing I taught Middle School again so I could take this adventure with my students.
I cannot wait to read Víctor Parte 2 in 'early 2020'. Thank you Sr. Wooly for your valuable contribution to the language teacher world (my cat even appreciates you, as a good book is about the only thing I sit down for long enough for her to take a nap).
Happy Reading, and a safe and happy holiday season to all the language teachers, and constant learners out there!
Entering my 13th year in the classroom; I am a TPRS/CI Elementary Spanish Teacher. Passionate about TPRS/CI, Brain based learning, and using technology to bring the world to our students, and our students to the world.