Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post or two containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

You might also be interested in The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – Part Two andThe Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2017 – So Far.

Here are this week’s picks:

Why This/Not That? A thinking routine to move kids from identification to analysis appeared in Moving Writers. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions — Help Me Find More.

Core Knowledge has released their elementary school History and Geography curriculum, and it is free to download and use.  I doubt if most educators would want to use it all “as is,” but it certainly has some resources from which to pick-and-choose.  You can read more about it at Education Week.

Multiple-choice Testing: Are the Best Practices for Assessment Also Good for Learning? is from The Learning Scientists. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Use Multiple Choice Exercises.

Why I (Re)Write? #NationalDayofWriting is from Used Books in Class. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Getting Student Writers To “Buy-Into” Revision – Help Me Find More.

I’m a big fan of Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain  (you can read an interview I did with her here). She’s just released a free study guide for her book.

Fighting Extinction: Researching and Designing Solutions to Protect Endangered Species is a lesson plan from The New York Times Learning Network. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For World Biodiversity Day (& Endangered Species Day).

After Charlottesville: Public Memory and the Contested Meaning of Monuments is a lesson plan from Facing History. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching About Confederate Monuments.

October 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“ESSA & English Language Learners”

ESSA & English Language Learners is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, Margo Gottlieb, Sarah Said, Catherine Beck, Heidi Pace, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, and Lindsey Moses share their thoughts about how The Every Student Succeeds Act will affect English Language Learners.

Here are some excerpts:

October 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Holidays

As I shared a few months ago (see Beginning A New “Best” Series Of Interest To ELL Teachers), I’m beginning to create an updated series of “Best” lists for Beginning English Language Learners. They will ultimately replace the resources I have on my outdated website.

I’ve done quite a few so far, and you can find them all at All My Thematic “Best” Lists For Beginning ELLs – In One Place!

I’ve got several more to go, however, and here’s the latest one – on Holidays!

I have a separate list on Halloween (The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Halloween & The Day Of The Dead) and will be developing other ones specifically on Christmas and Valentine’s Day (I have included a few Christmas & Valentine’s links here, too). I have individual lists on just about every holiday imaginable, but they include links for every ELL from Beginning to Advanced. This post, like others in this series, are just including resources accessible to Beginners. The holidays will also be listed in chronological order starting from Halloween, which is when my students will be using the list:

VETERANS DAY (November 11th)

Learning Chocolate Veterans Day

THANKSGIVING (November 23rd)

Learning Chocolate Thanksgiving

Learning Chocolate Thanksgiving Feast


HMONG NEW YEAR (November  and December)

All About Hmong New Year

CHRISTMAS (December 25th)

Learning Chocolate Christmas

Learning Chocolate Christmas 2

Learning Chocolate Christmas 3

Christmas Vocabulary Game

Christmas Word Game

More Christmas Words


NEW YEAR’S (January 1st)

Learning Chocolate Happy New Year!


MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY (January 15th or third Monday of January)

Learning Chocolate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


VALENTINE’S DAY (February 15th)

MES Games has a nice activity to develop Valentine’s Day vocabulary.

Learning Chocolate Valentine’s Day

Make A Valentine with Starfall.

PRESIDENTS DAY (February 19th or third Monday of February)

Learning Chocolate President’s Day


LUNAR NEW YEAR (Between January and February)

Chinese New Year Words


ST. PATRICK’S DAY (March 17th)

Learning Chocolate Saint Patrick’s Day

MES Games has a vocabulary building activity for St. Patrick’s-related words.


EASTER (Between March 22nd & April 25th)

Easter Activities

MES-Games has another fun activity to learn Easter words.

Learning Chocolate Easter

PASSOVER (March or April)



Ramadan Activities


Memorial Day Activities



LABOR DAY (First Monday in September)

October 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Uh Oh – Bill Gates Has A New Big Ed Idea


Bill Gates has just announced a new $1.7 billion initiative for schools.

One good element is that his foundation will no longer fund teacher evaluation efforts.  As for what everything else looks like – the devil will be in the details.

You can read more about it at:

Bill Gates has a(nother) plan for K-12 public education. The others didn’t go so well. from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post

Gates Foundation Announces New $1.7B for K-12 is from Education Week.

Here are some of my previous posts about his past efforts:

Videotaping teachers the right way (not the Gates way) (which I still think is the the best piece I’ve ever written)

The Best Posts Responding To Bill Gates’ Appallingly Clueless Op-Ed Piece

The Best Posts On The Gates’ Funded Measures Of Effective Teaching Report

A Beginning List Of The Best Posts On Gates’ Final MET “Effective Teaching” Report

Gates Foundation Minimizing Great Tools For Helping Teachers Improve Their Craft

Gates Foundation’s Mea Culpa

L.A. Times Editorial Tears Into Gates Foundation

Quote Of The Day: Gates Official Says They Game Their Research (No Surprise, But Still Not Good)

 Why a new Bill Gates interview depressed Larry Ferlazzo. appeared in The Washington Post.

One Of The Worst Tweets I Read This Week Came From The Gates Foundation

Will It Ever Be Possible For A Teacher To Trust Bill Gates?

Microsoft Eliminates Its Own Destructive VAM Rankings; However, Gates Still Seems Focused On Using It For Us

Gates Foundation Makes Its Move In California — And It Looks Like Somebody Is Giving Them Good Advice

Gates Foundation Discovers It’s Important To Listen To Teachers — Better Late Than Never

October 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

What Do You Know About “Differentiated Grading” For ELLs?

Earlier this week I saw this tweet from the national WIDA Conference and was very intrigued – I hadn’t heard the term “Differentiated Grading” before:

I’ve contacted the folks mentioned in the tweet and hope to get more information from them.

In the meantime, I thought I’d ask readers how your faculty/school/district handle grading for ELLs in mainstream content classes?

The only other thing I found online about it was this PowerPoint from a school district.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On Grading Practices.

October 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – Part Two

Time for another end-of-year “Best” list.

I’m adding this post to All 2017 “Best” Lists – In One Place!

You might also be interested in:

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2016 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2016 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013 — So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2012 — So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2011

Here are my choices for My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – Part Two:

I Knew Encouraging Oral Reading Fluency Was Important, But I Didn’t Realize It Was This Important….

Study Questions Whether Standardized Tests Assess Learning Or Engagement

New Study Finds Advantages To Reading Print On Paper Over Reading On A Screen

Harvard Business Review Publishes Yet Another Excellent Guide To Classroom Management

New Study Contradicts Past Ones – Music Does Not Appear To Hurt Studying

Research in 100 words are great summaries of…research from CHRIS MOYSE.

Useful Recommendations For Reducing Drop-Out Rates

New Study Suggests That Motivation & Growth Mindset Are Most Important Factors For Student Success

Study: Teachers Have Fewer Good Relationships With “immigrants and adolescents of color”

Study: Ninth-Grade ‘Grades’ Predict Graduation & College Attendance

Another Study Finds That Learning By Doing Works….

Study Finds Adding More Periods Of Instruction That Didn’t Work In First Place Doesn’t Help High School Readers

Yet Another Study Documents The Long-Term Harm Of Short-Term Extrinsic Motivation

New Studies Find Calling Children “Smart” Makes Them More Likely To Cheat

Statistic Of The Day: Yes, We Teachers Buy A Lot Of Food For Our Students To Eat

New Study Finds VAM Is Biased Against Teachers Of “At Risk” Students

Good Advice On Talking About Our Colleagues & Our Students

Extrinsic Motivation Strikes Out Again

New Study Finds That People Like You More If You Ask Questions

The Best Resources On Developing A Sense Of Community In The Classroom

Bingo! There Are Issues With This Study On Grit & ELLs, But I Am Sure Going To Use It With My Students

Focusing On The Impact Classroom Disruptions Have On Others, Not On The Students Doing The Disrupting

Study Finds That Social Emotional Learning Has Long-Lasting Effects

New Study Finds Students Less Motivated In School The More They Think Wealth & Income Inequality Is Stacked Against Them

New Study Finds That Punishment May Encourage The Behavior Being Targeted

Change “Employees” To “Students” & This Article Has Good Research & Advice On Building Trust

Study’s Conclusion Is Not As Useless As It Sounds: Low-Income Adolescents Are Less Likely To Attend College

New Study On Cellphones Helpful To Teachers Everywhere

Using The “Curiosity Gap” To Enhance Student Motivation

Good Reminder About How To Give Constructive Feedback

Study Suggests That Simple Writing Exercise Gets Big Results

This Is Interesting: Hattie Says Jigsaw Strategy Hits a Homerun

Intriguing Research On How To Increase Intrinsic Motivation

NY Times Publishes Best Summary Of Why Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough….

New National Academies Of Science Report Identifies Three Qualities Key To Student Success

Useful New Study On Resilience & “At Risk Students”

Two Important Reports On Education Released Today

No Surprise: Study Finds Immigrant Students Have Trouble Concentrating When Laws Are Passed Attacking Them

The Best Resources For Learning About Cognitive Bias



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