Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Teaching Without Connecting is ‘Futile’: An Interview With Annette Breaux & Todd Whitaker”

Teaching Without Connecting is ‘Futile’: An Interview With Annette Breaux & Todd Whitaker is my new Education Week Teacher post.

In it, Annette Breaux and Todd Whitaker agreed to answer a few questions about the new second edition of their popular book, Seven Simple Secrets: What the BEST Teachers Know and Do!

Here are some excerpts:

To-attempt-to-teach

Teaching-is-an

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July 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two Excellent World War One Resources From The Guardian

world war

The British newspaper The Guardian has recently produced two excellent resources about World Ward One that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Learning About World War I:

A global guide to the first world war – interactive documentary is an impressive multilingual…interactive documentary.

How to teach… the first world war is also from The Guardian.

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“FluencyTutor” Could Be A Useful Tool For Students To See Their Reading Progress

fluency

Richard Byrne posted yesterday about an intriguing new site that would be useful for emerging readers and English Language Learners called FluencyTutor For Google.

It’s a web app only usable with a Chrome browser that provides a large selection of leveled reading passages that students can read, record, and store on Google Drive. Teachers can then listen at their convenience and correct and note students’ reading fluency. The reading passages provide quite a few supportive features that make them particularly accessible to English Language Learners.

Most of the features are free, but teachers have to pay $99 per year for some “dashboard” services like tracking student progress.

If I was teaching an online class of motivated adult English Language Learners, I could see FluencyTutor’s whole package as an excellent tool.

However, I definitely wouldn’t recommend a classroom teacher using it as a way to track a readers’ progress. I have the same concerns about using it for that as I have about Literably, a web tool in the same vein — having students read to us is as much about building the relationship (if not more so) than getting the data.

On the other hand, though, a site like FluencyTutor could be a super tool for students to practice on their own and compare their reading progress during a school year. It’s less about them tracking exactly how many words they read each minute and more about them seeing how their reading prosody — expressiveness, smoothness — improves. Just having the free features should be enough for accomplishing that goal.

Here’s a video explaining how it works — keep in the mind that some of the features it talks about the end are the ones you have to pay for:

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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12 MORE New Yorker Articles On Ed To Read While The Archives Are Free

Yesterday, I posted “12 New Yorker education articles to read while the archives are free,” a link to a a great collection of links that Vox identified.

Now, today, Alexander Russo published links to his own choices at 12 New Yorker Ed Articles Vox Missed/Got Wrong.

All twenty-four are worth reading this summer….

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Open Curriculum” Has Math Lessons & An Easy Lesson Plan Builder

open

Open Curriculum is a new free site that right now shares lots of math lessons, and plans to expand to English and Science lessons soon.

I looked at a couple of the math lessons, and they seemed relatively decent, but I’m definitely no judge of math lesson plans. Because of that, I’m not ready to consider adding it to The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet.

However, their lesson plan builder seems pretty easy and useful, so I am adding it to The Best Places On The Web To Write Lesson Plans.

I’ll be interested to see what eventually share for English and Science.

You can read more about the site at TechCrunch.

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Has Race To The Top Been A Success, A Fiasco, Or Something In Between?”

Has Race To The Top Been A Success, A Fiasco, Or Something In Between? is a special question of the week at my Education Week Teacher blog.

This week is the fifth anniversary of the Obama Administration announcing the program.

Feel free to leave comments here or there…

Has-Race-To-The-Top-been

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Liberio Says It Lets You Create eBooks From Google Drive

librero />

Liberio is a new tool that says it will let you turn any Google Drive document into an eBook. It also says it lets you upload and use a document from your computer.

That could be a very useful. However, I was not able to successfully upload any document. That may have been because of their being overwhelmed by new users after being written-up in TechCrunch, or it might be a technical problem with Liberio, or something wrong that I was doing (granted, I’m not super technically-knowledgeable, but I do know how to upload a file).

Let me know if you have better luck. Until that problem doesn’t exist, though, I won’t be adding Liberio to The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online.

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Wash. Post Unveils New “Storyline” Site — Great Content, Confusing Lay-Out

storylinle

I’ve previously posted about The Washington Post’s announcement that they were joining the data-journalism party with a new site called Storyline (See The Washington Post Joins The Party Of Data-Journalism With “Storyline”).

Today, Storyline opened up for business.

The content looks great, and will be very accessible to students — unlike Vox (which I like a lot), Storyline’s pieces look like they’ll be very short — almost “bitesize.” They say they’ll be focusing on a few themes each day with several short pieces, including infographics, on each theme.

The only negative I see, and it’s a sizable one, is that the lay-out is atrocious. They have a separate post trying to explain it, but it’s all just too confusing. In fact, once you click on one story, I couldn’t even find a way to get back to the home page. I think this is an example of designers being too cute for their own good in a misguided effort to differentiate themselves from other sites.

However, I expect that they’ll get enough negative feedback to make corrections pretty soon.

I’m sure it will be a source of useful classroom material in the upcoming year.

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Seven Good “Reads” On Ed Tech

Here are several recent good pieces related to educational technology:

10 Things Every Teacher Should Know How To Do With Google Docs is from Edudemic.

Will Computers Ever Replace Teachers? appeared in The New Yorker.

3 Reasons Why Chromebook Beats iPad in 1:1 Programs is from edSurge.

My Flipped Classroom Experience is by Kenneth Headley. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

Classroom Management and the Flipped Class is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to the same list.

Ed tech that needs nothing but a TV and VCR? is from The Hechinger Report.

Betting Big on Personalized Learning is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning.”

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Good Overviews Of Israel-Gaza Crisis

Vox has created two useful resources for understanding the present Israel-Gaza crisis. I’m adding them both to The “Best” Resources For Learning About The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis is from Vox.

And Vox has created this two minute video explainer:

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Contribute A Post To The Next ELT Carnival — It’s On Humor In Language Teaching

'Carnival by the River' photo (c) 2004, Out.of.Focus - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The next ELT Blog Carnival, formerly known as the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival, will be hosted by Carissa Peck at her blog.

She writes:

I am a teacher who strongly believes that humor makes classrooms better! This Blog Carnival is designed to let other teachers share how they use humor in the class, so that other teachers may be inspired from them!

To submit your blog you have three options:

1. Tweet it to Carissa Peck (@eslcarissa)
2. Use the general ELT Blog Carnival submission form.
3. Leave your link in the comments of her post on the Carnival

You can see all the previous Blog Carnivals here.

And you can express your interest in hosting a future edition of one here.

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Movie Scenes, Stories, & Quotations About “Transfer Of Learning” – Help Me Find More!

I’ve been doing some thinking and writing about the idea of “transfer of learning” — helping students be able to apply what they learn in one situation to other contexts. I’ve previously posted The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More.

I think I have a pretty good understanding of it now as I prepare a lesson plan. However, I’d like to spice it up with videos of movie or TV scenes, stories from real-life or from literature, and pithy quotes and hope readers will contribute suggestions.

Obviously, this science from Apollo 13 and other clips from The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More could apply, but I’m hoping for a lot more.

Have any ideas?

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“12 New Yorker education articles to read while the archives are free”

Last week, I wrote a post about The New Yorker preparing to make all its archives available free for a few months (see “The New Yorker” Makes All Articles Available For Free Until November).

That time has arrived this week!

And Vox has just published a nice guide titled 12 New Yorker education articles to read while the archives are free.

Their guide includes the recent excellent article on the Atlanta cheating scandal (see The New Yorker’s “Wrong Answer” Feature Is The Must-Read Education Article Of The Summer).

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “Do Students Learn More When Their Teachers Work Together?”

Do Students Learn More When Their Teachers Work Together? is an excellent post by Esther Quintero at The Shanker Blog.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Here’s an excerpt:

The-big-message-is-that

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Resources On Race & Racism

July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Latest Resources On The Child Refugee Crisis

July 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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July’s Infographics & Interactives Galore – Part Three

There are just so many good infographics and interactives out there that I’ve begun a new semi-regular feature called “Infographics & Interactives Galore.”

You can see others at A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Infographics and by searching “infographics” on this blog.

I’ll still be publishing separate posts to individually highlight especially useful infographics and interactives, but you’ll find others in this regular feature.

Here goes:

Every Second Counts: an interactive story by Sophie McKenzie is a “choose your own adventure” story from The Guardian. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories.

Best in class: 25 inspiring school improvement ideas – interactive is also from The Guardian.

Average weekly wages in majority of U.S. counties were below national average in 2013
is the headline of an interactive map from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows wages from every county in the United States.

Here’s a useful infographic on Alzheimer’s:

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July 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

I’ve started a somewhat regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention:

You Can Learn a New Language While You Sleep, Study Finds is an article from PsyBlog. Learn Dutch In Your Sleep is another report on the same study.

Inventive, Cheaper Tools for Learning a Language is from The New York Times.

What makes a language attractive – its sound, national identity or familiarity?
is from The Guardian.

Adam Simpson – Homework: Should we give it or not? is a useful post at the British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

Mathematics in English is an interactive from Engames. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning Strategies To Teach ELL’s In Content Classes.

allatc offers an ELL lesson plan for the Wonderful World song. I’m adding it to The Best Music Videos Of “What A Wonderful World.”

Adapting materials for mixed ability classes is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teaching Multilevel ESL/EFL Classes.

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