Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 2, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Interview Of The Month: Marvin Marshall On Positive Classroom Management

Regular readers know that in the fall I began a new feature called “Interview of The Month” where I interviewed various people in the education world about whom I wanted to learn more. You can see read those interviews here.

This month, my guest is Marvin Marshall, author of the influential education book “Discipline Without Stress, Punishment or Rewards” and the newer book “Parenting Without Stress.”

I’ve often quoted Marvin in this blog. His ideas on positive classroom management have been a huge influence on my classroom practice. I’d strongly encourage people to subscribe to his blog, How To Promote Responsiblity & Learning.

Here’s our interview:

You’ve been advocating for a more positive approach towards classroom management for quite awhile. What got you thinking about it originally, and how would you summarize it in a few sentences?

We now know how the brain operates as it relates to emotions. First come the cognition (input from our senses) and is immediately connected to the senses. For example, receive a compliment and you feel good. Be criticized and you feel bad. People do NOT do good when they feel bad. They do what you would like them to do when you communicate in positive terms. It is really quite simple: Let people know what you WOULD LIKE them to do, not want you do not want them to do.

What might be three key guidelines that a teacher could keep in mind, or on a small index card, to help remind him/her to stay more positive in the classroom?

1. Ask yourself, if the person hearing your communication will interpret what you say in positive terms.

2. Ask yourself, “Will the person feel as if I am using coercion in any way?”

3. Ask yourself, “What can I ask so that the person will feel that I am I am giving a choice and that I am prompting the person to reflect?

What are a few ways you think your perspective on positive classroom management distinguishes itself from many of the other “systems” that are out there?

I have a number of them that are listed here.

However, if I were to limit them to two, here they are:

1. I don’t relay on rules. Rules are used to control, not inspire. I use the term “Responsibilities” because I want to promote responsibility and this term raises expectations–something that relying on “rules” lacks.

2. Imposing punishments–especially imposing the same consequence on all parties–is unfair and counterproductive. ELICITING a procedure or a consequence from each participant is more fair, less stressful, and more productive for all.

You’ve done a fair amount of speaking to teachers in other countries. How would you describe the differences — if any — between how teachers in the U.S. tend to look at classroom management compared to those around the world?

Teachers in many other countries have more time to spend with each other in lesson planning. As a result, they focus on motivation and ways to have students WANT to put in effort in learning. Teachers in the U.S. are allowed little if any of their employment time (as are college professors) to plan lessons. They focus on what they (or the government) want to be taught and focus on teaching that curriculum–with hardly any time devoted to motivation. Teachers just expect that it is the students’ responsibility to learn what has been presented to them.

What are a few key mistakes do you think teachers tend to make around classroom management?

1. They ASSUME students know what the teacher wants the students to do WITHOUT first modeling, practicing, and reinforcing the procedure to do what is being taught.

2. They confuse classroom management (teaching procedures to make instruction efficient) and discipline (how students behave.)

3. They assume that discipline is naturally negative. It’s not. The best discipline is the type that the person doesn’t even realize that the person is being disciplined.

What are some of the most useful things you’ve learned recently, and how did you learn them?

1. That coercion in any form is counterproductive.

2. That any one can learn the skill of asking reflective question that inspire self-reflection.

Is there anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked you about?

Understand that no one can change another person. People change themselves. And that the least effective way to have a person want to change is by using commonly-used approaches such as relying on rules and using coercion.

You can purchase Marvin’s books here and also learn of how schools can obtain free copies, a resource guide, and a DVD.

September 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Excellent List Of Eleven “Classroom Discipline Mistakes”

Marvin Marshall, a great writer on positive classroom management, has published an excellent list of eleven “Classroom Discipline Mistakes.”

You definitely want to read them all, but here are his first three:

1. BEING REACTIVE

Teachers become stressed by reacting to inappropriate behavior. It is far more effective to employ a proactive approach to inspire students to want to behave responsibly and then use a non-adversarial response when they don’t.

2. RELYING ON RULES

Rules are meant to control—not inspire. Rules are necessary in games; however, when used between people, rules create adversarial relationships. Relying on rules is a major contributor to the punishment culture in many schools today. The reason simple: If a student violates a rule, the teacher automatically moves into an enforcement mode. A mindset of rules leads to a punishment mindset, whereas a mindset of procedures promotes a coaching approach that inspires responsible behavior through expectations and reflection. View the effect of relying on rules

3. AIMING AT OBEDIENCE

Obedience does not create desire. A more effective approach is to promote responsibility; obedience then follows as a natural by-product.

I’m adding his post to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

August 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

Good Classroom Management Advice: “The Person Who Asks The Questions Controls The Conversation”

If a student an I are having a bad day — a fortunately rare coincidence, but one that nevertheless still happens — sometimes our conversation can denigrate into one that is not helpful to anyone.

Marvin Marshall, who writes a lot about positive classroom management techniques, offers some good advice in that situation:

The Person Who Asks The Questions Controls The Conversation

In other words, if the conversation is going south, asking a question could be one way to get it on track again — “What do you think we should do about this situation?”; “What do you think would help fix this problem?”; “How is what is happening now contributing to any goal you have for the future?”; “How could we deal with this situation in a way that would help you achieve a goal you want for the future?”

Obviously, students can offer retorts that are not constructive to any of those questions, too, but the strategy is worth keeping in mind.

As is other advice Marvin has offered, which I think is the best classroom management guidance I’ve ever heard:

Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?

Do you have any good one-sentence classroom management advice that’s good and easy for teachers to remember?

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

April 10, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Three Excellent Posts On Giving Effective Feedback To Students (& Anyone Else!)

January 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Start Off The New Year With This Excellent Classroom Advice

'Be Positive' photo (c) 2008, Paul Hamilton - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’ve written a lot about Marvin Marshall’s positive classroom management advice.

Here are a couple of his recent posts that I think are particularly good to reflect on as we begin a new year:

One is titled Relationships Reduce Discipline Problems. It emphasizes the importance of relationships and shares a number of questions we should ask ourselves. Here’s a small sampling:

Dr. Phelps Wilkins, former long-time principal at Eisenhower School in Mesa, Arizona, shared with me some questions he asked the staff to think about in their relationships with students, particularly those that require frequent discipline. As you read them, think about your most challenging youth.

Through my behavior:

◾Does this child know he is safe with me no matter what happens—that he will never be ridiculed, put down, or made to feel small?

◾Has this child experienced success in some meaningful manner on a regular basis in my classroom?

◾Is the youngster developing a feeling of confidence?

His other post has the title Motivation and Discipline.

In it, he briefly discusses three ways to help engage students: creating curiosity, creating desire, and providing encouragement.

I’m adding this info to:

The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students

The Best Posts On Classroom Management

December 10, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
5 Comments

“Flowchart For When A Day Goes Bad In Classroom Management”

As regular readers of this blog and my books know, I love teaching at our school.

Nevertheless, it is not a “walk in the park.” One hundred percent of our students receive a free breakfast and lunch, and many face other challenges inherent in the inner-city. Sometimes those challenges play-out in the classroom.

One of my classes has been a bit challenging classroom management-wise for me recently and it reached a crescendo last week. When one of those days happens, I will typically become frustrated and then angry, and every ounce of my being will want to punish. However, probably the key classroom management lesson I’ve learned over the years is that — more often than not — punishment will make things worse (of course, there are extreme cases when punishment is certainly necessary), so I am usually able to control that impulse.

Instead, I will jettison my lesson plan and redirect students into some less intensive learning activity that I know they will want to do (a game, get into their book discussion groups) and then make arrangements with teachers of the most egregious offenders to pull them out for several minutes the next day during my free period so I can have a one-on-one reflective conversation with them. For example, we’ll talk about what their goals are and how their behavior is hurting or helping to achieve them — if they want to be an Ultimate Fighter, not being able to show self-control is going to create problems. We’ll revisit some of the life skill lessons we’ve done and talk about what they think might help them develop more self-control (change seats, take their work outside if they feel they are “losing it,” get a stress ball, etc.).

Fortunately, these really bad classroom management days don’t happen very often but, when they do, my using this strategy has always worked, and I know it has worked better than what would have happened if I took the punishment route.

It fits into what I consider the best piece of classroom management advice I’ve ever read. It came from Marvin Marshall:

Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?

This really brings me to the main point of this post. In reflecting on all this over the past few days as I’ve seen — again — how effective this strategy can be, I thought I’d try putting it into a simple and rough flowchart.

Check it out here and let me know what you think and how it can be improved (I’m not sure if it will come through in an RSS Reader:

Classroom management flowchart

June 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – So Far

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I continue my mid-year “The Best…” lists…

The title of this “The Best…” list is pretty self-explanatory. What you’ll find here are blog posts and articles this year (some written by me, some by others) that were, in my opinion, the ones that offered the best practical advice and resources to teachers this year — suggestions that can help teachers become more effective in the classroom today or tomorrow. Some, however, might not appear on the surface to fit that criteria, but those, I think, might offer insights that could (should?) inform our teaching practice everyday.

For some, the headlines provide enough of an idea of the topic and I haven’t included any further description.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2011

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2010

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2009

In addition, you might find these useful:

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice In 2011

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2010

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013- So Far:

How My Ninth-Grade English Class Evaluated Me This Year

Here are articles, including excerpts from my latest book, that I’ve written this year and that are very practical:

Q & A Collections: Student Motivation is the title of one of my posts at Education Week Teacher. It brings all my Ed Week posts on student motivation together in one place.

The Power Of Stories

The Importance Of Explaining “Why”

“Keep Calm & Carry On”

Emphasizing What Students Can Do, Instead Of What They “Can’t” — Part Two

I’ve published a list of the ten most popular posts from my Ed Week Teacher blog.

I’ve previously posted about LearnZillion and put it on The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress list. Since that time, they’ve added English Language Arts lessons, and are planning to also have ones related to Social Studies. So, now, I’m also adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress list.

The Simple Things I Do To Promote Brain-Based Learning In My Classroom is by Judy Willis. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “Brain-Based Learning” — Help Me Find More.

What to Do When You’ve Made Someone Angry is an excellent Harvard Business Review article, and very applicable to the classroom (as well as in other areas of life).

Here’s an excerpt:

When-youve-done

It’s a refinement on what I’ve written about the importance of saying “I’m sorry” to students. I tried out Bregman’s advice in class. A student was upset because I didn’t get over to him as quickly as he would have liked when he had a question (a chronic reaction from this particular student). We’ve talked before about how I have many other students who need my help, and, typically, I just quickly say “Sorry” when he expresses his impatience and move on to his question. This time, though, I said, “Sorry, I can see that you wanted to get this work done and were frustrated you had to wait to get my help before you were able to move on” and then got to his question. He clearly was able to “let go” of his anger quicker than usual and re-focus on the work. It’s just one more positive classroom strategy to have in one’s “back pocket.”

Classroom Management Strategy: “Sometimes The Only Thing Worse Than Losing A Fight Is Winning One”

My Best Posts On Writing Instruction

Social and emotional learning gaining new focus under Common Core is a very useful and interesting article published by Ed Source.

The Best Multilingual Resources For Parents is a new “The Best” list I posted over at my other blog, Engaging Parents In School.

The Best Sources Of Advice On How To Get A Teaching Job

Classroom Management Strategy: Here Are Three Things I Want. What Are Three Things You Want?

The Best Resources On “Close Reading” — Help Me FInd More

This is definitely one of the most interesting and useful TED videos I’ve seen (it’s actually a from a TEDx event). Marc Chun talks about Diving Into Deeper Learning. Unfortunately, since it’s a TEDx video, and not one from TED, they don’t have a transcript available. But it’s definitely worth watching. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer.”

The BAM Radio Network interviewed several guests, including Daniel Pink and me, for a program on student motivation. You can listen to it here.

Stop Telling Your Employees What to Do is a post at the Harvard Business Review that has a lot of applicability to the classroom. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

A Very, Very Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Bullying — Please Suggest More

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Using Technology To Help Engage Parents is a post over at my other blog, Engaging Parents In School.

The Best Ideas On How To Finish The School Year Strong….

Famous Person Project

All Excerpts From My Book, “Self-Driven Learning,” In One Place

In addition to this blog, I regularly post at several other sites:

Engaging Parents In School:

Larry Ferlazzo's Engaging Parents in School Site
Weekly Posts At Classroom Q & A With Larry Ferlazzo:

Monthly Posts At The New York Times Learning Network on Teaching English Language Learners:

New York Times Learning Network
Periodic Posts at Edutopia:

Edutopia
All My Class Blogs:

I’ve written regularly in my blog and in my books about the advantages of helping develop intrinsic motivation.

Here’s some more evidence from a TIME Magazine report titled Pushing Teens to Change Their Eating Habits Could Backfire on a recent study regarding parents, their children, and diet:

Anyone see any classroom parallels?

This comic strip provides a perfect example of the wrong way to initiate a serious conversation with anyone, including a student:

Source: gocomics.com

Simple Writing Exercise Said To “Narrow Achievement Gap”

The Value Of “Mimic Writing”

Helping Students Make A Connection Between What They’re Learning In School To Their Goals In Life

How to Give Effective Feedback, Both Positive and Negative is useful column in The New York Times. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

The Advantages Of Helping Students Feel Powerful

Here’s A Goal-Tracking Sheet I’m Giving To Students

Response: Best Homework Practices is one of my posts at Education Week Teacher.

This quote is from Marta Kagan in 7 Lessons From the World’s Most Captivating Presenters. I’m adding this info to The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations:

“Descriptive Norms” In The New York Times & In The Classroom

Student Engagement “Requires A Conversation” is another post at my Education Week column.

Here’s a great story from Marvin Marshall, a great writer on positive classroom strategies:

Here’s The Latest Reflection/Goal-Setting Sheet I’m Using With Students

The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement

The Best Resources For Learning About Ability Grouping & Tracking — Help Me Find More

Many Ways To Help Students Develop Academic Vocabulary is one of  my posts over at Education Week Teacher.

The Best Resources For Doing A “One-Sentence Project”

Bill Ferriter has written a post, including samples, of one-page “unit overview sheets” that he gives to students at the beginning of a course of study and revisits each day.

Links To The Entire Six Week Twitter Chat On Helping Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation

“Ten Elements Of Effective Instruction” is the title of one of my posts at Education Week Teacher.

The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More

Writing Letters To Students Redux

Eye On Education, the publisher of my new books on student motivation, Helping Students Motivate Themselves and Self-Driven Learning, have just posted a short video clip from a webinar I did for them.

In it, I share three strategies that can help students develop intrinsic motivation:

 

“Asking Good Questions Is Important Because…..”

Free Book Excerpts — Lesson Plans On Bloom’s Taxonomy & Metacognition

“7 Qualities to Maximize the Impact of Your Lesson Plans”

Several Ways to Balance Between District Mandates & Student Needs is a post at my Education Week Teacher blog.

The Best Ways To Deal With Rudeness In Class

Response: Do’s and Don’ts for Better Project-Based Learning is a good Education Week Teacher post.

I’ve written a lot about effective ways to give student feedback, and you can seem a collection of pieces about the topic at The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

An article entitled Choice Words by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey has been published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and it’s an exceptional commentary with practical suggestions on giving effective feedback.

I especially like the framework they use — dividing helpful feedback into ones that emphasize student accomplishments, identity and agency.

Short, Sweet & Effective Advice On Helping Students Motivate Themselves

The Best Resources On Grading Practices

The Best Resources For Learning About Performance Assessment

A “Taxonomy For Understanding”

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 1100 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

May 30, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Emphasizing What Students Can Do, Instead Of What They “Can’t” — Part Two

'Pecha Kucha: Positive Negative Patterns' photo (c) 2010, bluekdesign - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I wrote a post a couple of years ago titled Emphasizing What Students Can Do, Instead Of What They “Can’t” and have since elaborated on it in my books and in an article at ASCD, Eight Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say, and Do.

As I said in that original post:

For example, if a student asks to go the restroom, but I think the timing is not right for our lesson, I’ll respond, “Yes, you can. I just need to have you wait for a few minutes” instead of just saying, “No.” Or I’ll start off field trip instructions by saying what students can do, instead of what they can’t.

Marvin Marshall, who inspired that original post, has now written another one that is somewhat related and is worth reading. It’s titled Use Contingencies, not Consequences, to Discipline.

You’ll want to read the entire piece, but here’s an excerpt:

A more effective discipline approach than imposing consequences is to use contingencies because they paint positive pictures and empower. Contingencies prompt people to feel better, not worse.

Here is what a contingency sounds like: “Yes, you may do that, as long as you first do this.”

And here is an actual example: “Yes, you may go to the park, as long as your room is clean.”

I’ve found that these positive approaches are generally much more effective than alternatives.

The challenge, of course, is remember and having the patience and self-awareness to use them “in the moment”…..

January 14, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Praise Or Acknowledgement?

I’ve posted a lot about ways to give feedback to students. In fact, I have published The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

Here are two new additions to that list:

Use Acknowledgments More Than Praise is by Marvin Marshall.

How to Tell Whether You’re Using Praise or Acknowledgments is also by Marvin Marshall.

December 3, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Great Story On “Continuous Improvement”

I’ve written a lot about Marvin Marshall, my favorite advocate of positive classroom management strategies. As I’ve written before, I’d strongly recommend you subscribe to his blog.

I’d encourage you to read his latest post, which includes this great story. Check out his post for his helpful commentary on it:

A woman having lunch at a small café was seated next to a family celebrating their son’s basketball game. Their conversation was so lively that the woman joined in. “You must have been on the winning team,” she said.

The kid grinned from ear to ear, “No, we lost by 20 points. The other team had a killer defense. We were only able to make one basket.”

“Did you make the basket?” she asked.

With his mouth filled with cake and ice cream, the boy shook his head, “No.”

His father reached across the table to give him a high five. His mother hugged him and said, “You were awesome.”

The woman at the next table rubbed her chin.

The boy looked at the confused woman and said, “At last week’s game, I took nine shots but they all fell short of the basket. This week I took eight shots and three of them hit the rim! Dad says I’m making progress.”

September 12, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Today’s Update On Chicago Teachers’ Strike

September 10, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Resources On The Chicago Teachers’ Strike

I’ve got to head off to school pretty soon here in Sacramento, but I wanted to pull together a few resources on the Chicago Teachers’ strike, in addition to wishing my colleagues there good luck as they begin walking picket lines.

I hope readers will contribute additional resources:

Why are Chicago teachers on strike? is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike is from The New York Times.

Chicago’s Teachers Just Went On Strike – Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Why is from The Daily Change.

Chicago Teachers Strike as Education Reform Tensions Boil Over is from Education Week.

Press Release: CPS Fails To Negotiate Fair Contract To Prevent First Strike In 25 Years is from the Chicago Teacher’s Union and appeared in Mike Klonsky’s blog.

Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years; contingency sites ready, charters remain open is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Questions Linger After Day 1 of Chicago Teachers’ Strike is from Education Week.

Analysis: Teachers strike leaves Emanuel between a rock and a hard place is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Chicago Strike Unfolds Amid Frustration, Confusion is from Education Week.

NEA President Van Roekel Statement on Chicago Strike

Why I’m striking, JCB is from Teacher X.

Their fight is our fight!

AFT Statement in Support of Chicago Teachers Union

Why Chicago teachers are on strike and what could come next is from Gotham Schools.

Analysis: Striking Chicago teachers take on national education reform is from Reuters.

Standing up to Rahm is from Salon.

Chicago teachers strike: The issues is by Valerie Strauss.

Teachers’ Strike in Chicago Tests Mayor and Union is from The New York Times.

Why We’re Striking in Chicago is by union president Karen Lewis.

The real problem with Rahm’s school reforms in Chicago is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

National Schools Debate Is on Display in Chicago is from The New York Times.

Unions Are Striking Back, at Last is from The New York Times.

47% of Chicago voters back teachers is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Teachers’ Leader in Chicago Strike Shows Her Edge is from The New York Times.

Strike Issues Stuck in Gray Areas, Political Nuance is from Education Week.

Chicago teachers strike places Obama at odds with key part of political base is from The Washington Post.

Striking Chicago teachers get support from parents is from The Detroit News (thanks CoopMike).

Questions Linger After Day 1 of Chicago Teachers’ Strike is from Education Week.

U.S. Teachers Pay Close Attention To Chicago is from NPR.

Here’s a picture of students marching with striking teachers’:

CHICAGO’S TEACHER PROBLEM, AND OURS is from The New Yorker. Here’s a quote from it:

Source: shareasimage.com via Larry

See all Education Week articles about the strike at this link, which is continually updated.

At the Core of the Chicago Strike, Mistrust is by Barnett Berry.

Teachers in Chicago School Strike Deserve Respect is from US News.

Their Fight Is Our Fight is from Rethinking Schools.

In Chicago, a Democratic civil war is by Harold Myerson in The Washington Post.

Chicago mayor: Get kids in class during contract talks with teachers is from NBC.

Chicago strike: A wiser teacher evaluation policy benefits the kids is by Kevin Weiner.

The Chicago Strike and the History of American Teachers’ Unions is by Dana Goldstein.

Two Visions for Chicago’s Schools is by Diane Ravitch at The New York Review of Books.

As Chicago Teachers Strike, Unions At A Crossroad is at NPR.

Push to Add Charter Schools Hangs Over Strike is from The New York Times.

Chicago Teachers Strike and Standardized Tests is by Marvin Marshall.

Chicago Teachers’ Strike Enters Third Day is from The New York Times.

Why shouldn’t Chicago teachers ask for air- conditioned schools? is from The Washington Post.

Why Rahm Emanuel and The New York Times are wrong about teacher evaluation is from The Washington Post.

Head Of Chicago Teachers Union Rose The Ranks is from NPR.

Fresh Hopes for End to Chicago Teacher Strike by Weekend is from The New York Times.

What’s At Stake For U.S. Teachers is from NPR.

Teacher Evaluation Dispute Echoes Beyond Chicago is from NPR.

Teacher Evaluations At Center Of Chicago Strike is from The Huffington Post.

Chicago Teachers Strike: Union, City Fail To Reach Contract Deal is from The Huffington Post.

Chicago Teachers’ Strike, Performance Evaluation, and School Reform is from Larry Cuban.

Chicago teachers, school district seem closer to ending strike is from The Los Angeles Times.

Strike Talks In Chicago Move Toward End Game is from NPR.

Deal in Sight, Chicago Strike May End Soon is from The New York Times.

Tentative deal reached with striking Chicago teachers is from The Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Chooses Sides is from The American Prospect.

Teacher accountability and the Chicago teachers strike is by Richard Rothstein.

Why teachers have test anxiety, too is from the Chicago Tribune.

Why Evaluating Teachers is Complicated, No Matter What You Think of the Chicago Strike is by Dana Goldstein.

Are We Asking Too Much From Our Teachers? is from The New York Times.

Source: shareasimage.com via Larry

Can the Chicago Teachers’ Strike Fix Democratic Education Reform? by Richard Kahlenberg is short and sweet and is the best thing I’ve read so far on the strike.

This video came via Mike Klonsky:

Here are the lyrics:

We miss the sound of the bell.
Our schools aren’t something to sell.
We got a story to tell.
The Board is in our way.

Our complaints we could list.
Teachers have just one wish:
To get back to our kids.
The Board is in our way.

Our line was holdin’.
Red shirts, all a glowin’
Union pride, we were showin’
Where’s our contract going, baby?

CHORUS:
Hey, We’ve been striking,
And this is crazy.
When there’s a contract,
call us maybe.
x2

We’ve been striking for so long
We want to stop that.
We want to stop that.
We want to stop, stop that.

We’ve missed teaching for long.
We want to go back.
We want to go back.
We want to go, go back.

(Repeat from chorus)

Teachers appear to be the winner is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Mayor’s reputation tarnished in teachers union dust-up is from The Chicago Tribune.

Thousands of teachers rallied in Chicago on Saturday. One of the speeches was from Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, and it is not-to-be-missed. Fortunately, Mike Klonsky has a video of it posted on his blog, and I would strongly urge you to watch and listen to it now…

You can also listen to it here:

Thousands of striking Chicago teachers rally in labor show of force, despite tentative deal is a Washington Post article about the rally.

Teachers Union in Chicago to Extend Strike Into 2nd Week is the headline of a New York Times article.

No school until at least Wednesday, CTU President Karen Lewis says is the headline of an article at The Chicago Sun-Times. Here are some quotes from it:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the decision not to return to class was about trust — union delegates didn’t trust the Chicago Public Schools’ latest proposal and wanted more time to review it….

Delegates were not receiving formal written contract language about the deal so some wanted to keep the strike in place until they could see written language and bounce it off their constituents in schools.

Lewis said the delegates don’t trust the school board at this point.

“Why would you make a decision on something you haven’t had a chance to look at?” she said. “They have language. They see the language. But it’s not finished. We’ve been almost guaranteed that it might be finished by Tuesday.”

Mayor Emanuel, and most leaders of school districts, might find it useful to read The Best Posts About Trust & Education.

Hearing Set in Chicago’s Bid to End Teachers Strike is from The New York Times.

Rahm is suing to end the Chicago teachers’ strike. Does he have a case? is from The Washington Post.

Standing up for teachers is from The Washington Post.

The Chicago Teachers’ Balancing Act is from The American Prospect.

Chicago Teachers’ Union Votes to End Strike is from The New York Times.

Chicago Public Schools teachers’ strike over is from The Chicago Sun Times.

A LIST OF WHAT CHICAGO’S TEACHERS WON IN THEIR STRIKE

Chicago Teachers’ Strike: What Do We Want? Better Management Gurus Might Help appeared in the Pacific Standard

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the over 900 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

January 5, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“What would be the long-term effect of doing that?”

Telling vs. Asking is another great piece of advice from Marvin Marshall, my favorite writing on positive classroom management. Here’s an excerpt (this particular post is directed towards parents):

Rather than TELLING, consider phrasing your idea as a QUESTION or stated in a curious mode. For example, if you disapprove of what your youngster wants to do, ask, “What would be the long-term effect of doing that?”

I wish I had read this advice earlier this morning. Some students at my schools have challenges dealing with transitions, and certainly moving from vacation back to school qualifies as a transition. A couple have not been doing their work and, I have to admit, I was a bit sharp with them today.

Tomorrow, during the first fifteen minutes of class when we do silent reading with a book of their choice, I’m going to have a short private conversation with each one. In addition to apologizing for losing my temper, I’m going to follow Marv’s advice and ask them, “What do you think would be the long-term effect if you acted everyday like you did yesterday?” Of course, teens are not know for thinking about long-term consequences, but I think this question fits in with the life-skills lessons we’ve been doing. Asking the question certainly can’t hurt…

December 1, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best From “Interviews Of The Month” — 2010

As regular readers know, last year I began a new series called “Interview of the Month.” In it, I interview people in the field of education. The main criteria is that I want to learn more about them, and I think they have something to offer to me and to readers of this blog.

I thought it might be useful to readers and to me to revisit these interviews and pick-out what I think is the best part of each interview.

You might be interested in The Best From “Interviews Of The Month” — 2009.

Here are my picks of The Best From “Interviews Of The Month”:

Lydia Breiseth

Lydia Breiseth is from Colorín Colorado, the popular resource site for teachers and parents of English Language Learners.

Colorín Colorado is a bilingual website with free resources for parents and teachers of English language learners (ELLs). We are based at the public broadcasting affiliate WETA in Washington, DC, and our resources include parent reading tip sheets in 11 languages, articles about ELL instruction, webcasts, podcasts, multicultural booklists for kids and teens, and bilingual author interviews.

Valerie Strauss

Washington Post journalist Valerie Strauss writes the increasingly well-known “The Answer Sheet” blog at the Post. “The Answer Sheet” is becoming the “go to” place on the Web for thoughtful pieces on educational policy.

It is understandable that people trying to bring about change become frustrated but they have to resist the urge to go nuclear. Very strident messages get ignored, and that doesn’t help anybody’s cause. The best way to get messages across is by being concise, using facts and never calling anybody a nasty name. Even if they deserve it.

Robert Pondiscio

Robert Pondiscio is the writer of the always thought-provoking Core Knowledge blog.

Ed reform worships almost exclusively at the altar of structures while ignoring teaching and learning. The idea seems to be that if you have the right pay structures, accountability measures, types of schools, etc. all will be well. In my experience, that’s completely backward. The structures don’t matter unless we’re clear on what quality instruction and curriculum look like. You end up with two different flavors of bad. I’m loathe to waive the bloody shirt, but I think there’s a certain short-sightedness that comes from education policy championed by people with no classroom experience.

Barnett Berry

Barnett Berry is the President and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality. I guess you might call it an educational policy “think tank,” but what makes it so unique is that it actually works with hundreds of K-12 teachers from around the country to research and develop specific recommendations and then advocate for them (in the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Teacher Leaders Network, one of the Center’s programs).

Over the last several years the vitriol directed toward university-based teacher education and unions has both fascinated and troubled me. I find very few journalists questioning the near uniform enmity against those who seek to professionally prepare teachers and those who organize them for collective action. Don’t get me wrong — there is a lot wrong with both preparation programs and teacher unions. But their shortcomings are pale when compared to those of administrators who seek to silence even the best teachers, ideological researchers who produce shoddy evidence about what works or doesn’t, and politicians who make decisions about the best interests of themselves and the lobbyists who influence them, and not about students and the teachers who serve them. I would suggest the pushback against teacher education and unions is more about those who do not want a well-educated professional workforce, filled with empowered teachers who will not necessarily comply with those currently in power.

David Deubelbeiss

David Deubelbeiss is the founder of EFL Classroom 2.0 which, in my opinion, is the very best resource on the web for teachers of English Language Learners. David also writes his own blog, and can be followed on Twitter.

There is way too too too much profit by companies in education. (think Kaplan, think Oxford – teachers should read their financial reports). Lots of effort spent to constrict the creativity of teachers and to make “product” and not enough spent on actually fostering teacher training. [oh yeah, they will always point to this project and that project or cry "poor" but it is a drop in the bucket and like BP talking about their investments in alternative energies]. It is a big negative – how institutionalized learning/education is and continues to be.

Renee Moore

Renee Moore has been teaching high school in the Mississippi Delta for over fifteen years. She is a colleague in the Teacher Leaders Network, a popular blogger, and part of a group of educators that have recently initiated a direct dialogue with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

My husband and I have raised 11 children; two of whom had special needs. No two of our children are alike. I’ve now taught thousands of students; each one different and precious. We as parents and educators must reject the attempts to standardize and restrict children in either curriculum or assessment. One reason parents have been shut out of the educational process in many ways is that schools were designed at the turn of the last century to make it convenient for adults to mass educate children efficiently. It’s time to redesign public education to make it effective for children and convenient for their families.

Mary Ann Zehr

Mary Ann Zehr is an assistant editor at Education Week covering, among other topics, English Language Learner issues. She writes a must-read blog for Ed Week titled Learning The Language.

I meet many English-language learners whom I find to be inspiring. I’m particularly impressed by students who have missed years of schooling and come to this country and take advantage of whatever opportunity they have to learn. I’ve met students who have learned to read for the first time IN ANY LANGUAGE when they were teenagers. That can’t be easy. I think their stories should be told.

Carrie Rose

Carrie Rose is Executive Director of the nationally acclaimed Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project. Our school works closely with Carrie and the Project, I’ve written a chapter about it in my book on parent engagement, and I also wrote an article about it last year for Teacher Magazine.

The real barrier to home visits working at a school is usually connected to the assumptions we hold. In other words, what does the staff already think is true about the students/families/community? What do the families already think is true about the staff and school? We spend a considerable amount of time in our training session addressing this barrier and offering a practical exercise we can all use to “check our assumptions”.

Sue Waters

Many know Sue Waters from her writing The Edublogger and her own personal/professional blog. Sue has helped enormous numbers of teachers get started in using blogs and other forms of social media to help with their own professional development and with using those tools with students.

When we talk about the state of the education blogosphere — in terms of using with students it is definitely growing. Educators are being more aware of online technologies and the importance of using them with their students. We’re seeing a continual increase in the use of blogs with students for an extremely wide range of purposes. Yet how educators are using blogs for their personal use is changing as social networking is evolving. Tools such as Twitter and Facebook are complementing blogs, helping their content reach a wider audience and changing how readers interact with the blogger. Once conversations with your readers were in post(s) comments or on other blog posts, now they are often spread from Twitter, Facebook, comments etc.

Marvin Marshall

Marvin Marshall is the author of the influential education book “Discipline Without Stress, Punishment or Rewards” and the newer book “Parenting Without Stress.”

Understand that no one can change another person. People change themselves. And that the least effective way to have a person want to change is by using commonly-used approaches such as relying on rules and using coercion.

Jim Burke

Jim Burke is the author of numerous books and founder of the popular English Companion Ning group.

Trust kids to help you improve. Admit your vulnerabilities whenever you can. Go public with your own learning. This transformed me. To admit that I really struggled with a poem or try a piece of writing they are doing and enter into the process you are imposing on them. You see things you would not have noticed, experience the world from their side of the desk. They appreciate it and see how it helps you be a better, more responsive teacher.

Look for more interesting interviews in 2011!

November 10, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students

'Metropolis Reflections on the modern city - sign - Acknowledgements' photo (c) 2013, Elliott Brown - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve been thinking and writing (in my forthcoming book to be published by Eye On Education) about the most effective ways to give feedback to students. I’ve obviously been trying to apply what I’ve been learning in the classroom, too.

As a one sentence summary, as I’ve posted about previously, the research says it’s best to praise effort and not intelligence.

Here are some resources I’ve found helpful:

What Kind Of Feedback Should We Give Our Students? is a post I have previously written.

The Difference Between Praise & Acknowledgment is another older post.

The Perils and Promises of Praise is an article by Carol Dweck.

Pondering Praise is a nice essay by Joe Bower.

It’s Not About How Smart You Are is an article by Carol Dweck.

Goodbye to “Good Job!”—The Power of Specific Feedback is a useful post by Margaret Berry Wilson at ASCD Express.

“The Praise Paradox” is an excerpt from the book Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, written by by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. It appeared in the March issue of “NEA Today.”

New Marzano Study On “Effort & Recognition”

The words that could unlock your child comes from the BBC.

Carol Dweck’s website for her book, Mindset, contains a number of useful articles on her research, particularly on giving effective feedback.

Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson has written a short article for Carol Dweck’s website. It provides a simple review of the basics on the kind of feedback we should be giving our students, and generally there’s nothing new in it. However, it did make one important point I have not see made anyplace else:

Avoid praising effort when it didn’t pay off. Many parents try to console their child by saying things like “Well honey, you didn’t do very well, but you worked hard and really tried your best.” Why does anyone think that this is comforting? For the record – it’s not. (Unless, of course, it was a no-win situation from the start).

Studies show that, after a failure, being complimented for “effort” not only makes kids feel stupid, it also leaves them feeling like they can’t improve. In these instances, it’s really best to stick to purely informational feedback – if effort isn’t the problem, help them figure out what is.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t provide references to those studies.

“Praise for effort keeps people engaged and willing to work hard”

Use Acknowledgments More Than Praise is by Marvin Marshall.

How to Tell Whether You’re Using Praise or Acknowledgments is also by Marvin Marshall.

An article entitled Choice Words by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey has been published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and it’s an exceptional commentary with practical suggestions on giving effective feedback. I especially like the framework they use — dividing helpful feedback into ones that emphasize student accomplishments, identity and agency.

How To Give Good Feedback is by Annie Murphy Paul.

This next piece is an excellent interview with Carol Dweck. I learn from all of her work, but I found this one particularly interesting because she shared some thoughts I hadn’t heard her say before.

Giving Feedback is by Elena Aguilar and is focuses on instructional coaches giving feedback to educators. However, most of the advice can be easily applied to students, as well.

Quote Of The Day: Giving Feedback

Grant Wiggins and Mark Barnes did a workshop Feedback, and you can see the Storify “notes” and the slideshow here.

Tips for Improving Feedback at the Middle Level is by Debbie Silver.

The Pajarao Valley Unified School District has an excellent collection of resources on Professor Carol Dweck’s work, and it’s been on The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” list for quite awhile.

However, they created another related resource that, for some reason, I discovered is not on that list. It’s an exceptional PowerPoint presentation on how to provide feedback to students that promotes a growth mindset. And, in an added bonus, a portion of it speaks directly to parents.

The Best Learning Motivator EVER! is by Eric Jensen.

The Difference Between Praise and Feedback is from MindShift.

Tips for Giving Feedback is from Elena Aguilar.

How to Turn Praise into Acknowledgment is by Marvin Marshall.

How Adam Grant Just Made Teaching More Complicated

New Ideas on Feedback from IATEFL 2014 is an interesting post.

Pupils benefit from praise, but should teachers give it to them publicly or privately? is from Research Digest.

Additional suggestions are welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 475 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.