Calico Spanish Stories Online vs. Whistlefritz Educator’s Collection
Calico Spanish Stories Online and Whistlefritz are both immersion-style, video-based programs designed for English-speaking or Spanish-speaking teachers to use with their learners. Both programs offer in-depth, thematic units that are supported by a variety of songs that include traditional tunes.
Beyond these similarities, we note some differences that will help you choose the product that best fits your school or classroom. Calico Spanish Stories Online is a web-based comprehensive curriculum that is truly thematic and integrates a variety of fully integrated support materials.
Online, all the time
Whereas Whistlefritz is a program incorporating DVDs, CDs, a teacher’s guide, and a matching card game purchased and shipped to you, Calico Spanish Stories Online is an online program you can access at any time via the internet. This means that it does not require a DVD player and that we are able to continually update and add features that improve your learning experience. Within the online portal you can download and print the resource materials, but as a member, you’ll also receive access to the Members-Only Store, where you can purchase print copies of the materials as well.
Genuinely thematic units and Video Stories
A question frequently asked about Whistlefritz materials is whether the videos should be watched in a certain order, and the answer is that the videos can be watched in any order. The Calico Spanish Stories Online program, in contrast, deliberately sequences the engaging Video Stories to scaffold learning; each video builds on the ones before, setting learners up for success and also for a continual challenge to go further in their language-learning journey.
Whistlefritz claims to be a thematic curriculum but lists true themes such as “Around the House” with “themes” like “Colors, Numbers, [and] Shapes” that are specific vocabulary targets, not themes. In Calico Spanish Stories Online, children will first experience Level A, “I Am Special,” on the theme of talking about who I am. Children continue with the thematic units in Level B, “I Love My Family,” and Level C, “I Live Here.”
Fully integrated, comprehensive support materials
When you order the complete Educator’s Collection from Whistlefritz, you will receive their DVDs, CDs, an extensive teacher’s guide, and the matching cards set. This indicates the curriculum is fundamentally videos and songs with instructions on what to do with them.
With the Calico Spanish Stories Online program, you receive access to digital copies of our comprehensive support materials but can also order print copies through the Members-Only Store. In addition to our Video Stories and fun original and traditional songs, each level fully integrates beautifully designed posters, flash cards, Activity Sheets for practice and assessment, and Storybooks, with detailed step-by-step instructions for how each accessory supports the child’s learning in every lesson.
Making the choice
Preschools who want to expose very young children (2 or 3 years old) to fun, comprehensible language without formally working through lesson plans should certainly investigate Whistlefritz’s quality multimedia products. For elementary schools who want to work through a comprehensive elementary Spanish curriculum that offers thematic, logically sequenced units, is online all the time, and offers a variety of supplements that set children up for success in language learning, we encourage you to consider Calico Spanish Stories Online.