Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Adam Grant On Failure & How I’m Using What He Says In Class

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Adam Grant has written an excellent short piece on Medium titled To Overcome the Fear of Failure, Fear This Instead.

I’m going to have students read it (after first making sure the understand what the word “entrepreneur” means) and then have them respond to this writing prompt:

What does Adam Grant say about failure? Do you agree with him? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

I’m adding this post to:

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures

The Best Posts On Writing Instruction (I collect all my writing prompts there)

March 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Another Good Idea via Adam Grant: Seniors Writing Letters To Freshmen

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Earlier this week I wrote about the latest great idea I learned from Adam Grant (see Great Idea From Adam Grant: Student Mini-Talks That Challenge “Conventional Wisdom”).

I just learned another today from his email newsletter:

Last fall, a Wharton student named Lauren McCann came to me with a wonderful idea: what if seniors wrote letters to freshmen about what they wish they had known earlier in college? She took the initiative to make it happen—the website had over 10,000 hits in the first 24 hours alone, and other schools are now adopting it. Join me in congratulating her, and feel free to check out the letters here.

He’s talking about college seniors and freshmen, but the idea could easily be applied to high school.

I have students at the end of the school year write letters to students who are taking my classes next year, and I’ve had my Theory of Knowledge students write about how they’ve handled self-control issues so that other students could read them.  However, with the proper scaffolds, something like what they’re doing at Adam’s school could be used to great effect in a school like ours.

I’ll certainly be talking to our teachers about it.

Have any readers done this at your schools?

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

March 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Great Idea From Adam Grant: Student Mini-Talks That Challenge “Conventional Wisdom”

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Adam Grant is one of my favorite writers and thinkers (see my Ed Week interview with him, Teachers As “Givers, Takers & Matchers”: An Interview With Adam Grant).

He has a new book out now on creativity, and you can read two interviews with him about it:

Educating an Original Thinker appeared at the Atlantic.

How Adults Can Encourage Kids To Be Original Thinkers is at NPR.

I was particularly struck by some ideas he shared for teachers in the NPR interview, including this lesson he does in his university class:

I assigned them to work on their own mini TED Talk in pairs. Every student had a partner. They were supposed to film a video of five minutes or less on an idea that they believed in that went against the grain or challenged conventional wisdom.

They can pick any topic in the course, but they had to champion a message that was counter-intuitive, and you know, bring some evidence and experience to bear on it. And I was blown away by how interesting and novel their ideas were.

I do some assignments already in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes that I think promote creativity, like having them do a “What If?” History Project (see The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons) and asking students to write and talk about a time when they challenged a widely accepted assumption or rule.

I think Adam’s idea would be another great one to add, and I think I’ll try it as a year-end assignment.  I’ll let readers know how it goes, including sharing some of the videos.

I’m adding this post to The Best Sources Of Advice On Helping Students Strengthen & Develop Their Creativity.

April 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

How Adam Grant Just Made Teaching More Complicated

I’m a big fan of Professor Adam Grant’s work (see my interview with him at Education Week, Teachers As “Givers, Takers & Matchers”: An Interview With Adam Grant).

And I was very excited to see his must-read guest column in The New York Times today, Raising a Moral Child.

It’s geared towards parents, but just about everything he says is also extraordinarily useful to teachers, too.

He discusses recent studies identifying effective ways to help children become “kind, compassionate and helpful.”

Developing these kinds of qualities are being identified more and more as an important part of our work as educators (see my Ed Week series, ‘Character Is Not Compliance Out Of Fear,‘ and The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources).

There’s so much substance in his short column that I’m not even going to try to summarize it — just read the whole thing.

I do, however, want to highlight one part of it where I think he just made our job more complicated (obviously, I’m talking tongue-in-cheek):

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Many of us who are familiar with Carol Dweck’s work on praising action instead of intelligence might find a contradiction in this finding.

I know I was a bit confused.

So I sent an email to Adam asking about this apparent contradiction and he was kind enough to respond right away. Here’s what he said:

In “Mindset”, Carol Dweck describes her famous body of groundbreaking research demonstrating that when we praise children for their intelligence, they develop a fixed view of ability, which leads them to give up in the face of failure. Instead of telling them how smart they are, it’s wise to praise their effort, which encourages them to see their abilities as malleable and persist to overcome obstacles. Some parents and teachers have stretched this idea to its logical conclusion: always praise actions, not fixed qualities. In the domain of moral character, though, this might be the wrong approach. If we want children to become caring and generous, the evidence suggests that there’s value in helping them see these as stable dimensions of their identities.

That said, even in the moral domain, there may be some risks of praising character. Research on moral licensing suggests that when we see ourselves as good people, we sometimes feel greater freedom to engage in unethical behaviors. This is captured in chilling detail in Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, and in The Honest Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely. I’d love to see more research on how to instill a sense of moral character without leading people to say, “I’m a good person, so I can do a bad thing”—or worse yet, “I’m a good person, so this clearly isn’t a bad thing.”

So, now, based on this research, we might need to be aware of which character quality we want to teach and employ contradictory instructional strategies for some of them.

Teaching is complicated, ain’t it?

June 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2016 – So Far

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It’s time for another “Best” list to add to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

I’ll also be adding this post to All Of My Theory Of Knowledge “Best” Lists In One Place!
Here are my previous TOK-related “Best” lists:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Commentaries On The New IB Theory Of Knowledge Teaching Guide

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Movies For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes – What Are Your Suggestions?

The Best Posts On IB Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Posts On Teaching TOK “Knowledge Questions”

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2015 – So Far

Here are my picks from the past six months:

Atul Gawande gave the commencement address at CalTech this month, and The New Yorker published his speech under the headline “A Mistrust Of Science.”

Here’s an excerpt:

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The whole piece would be useful in IB Theory of Knowledge classes when discussing science. I especially like his discussion of pseudoscience (you might also be interested in Video: Bill Nye On Pseudo-Science.

TOK Connection: “Pearls Before Swine” Does Another Version Of “Who’s On First?”

Here’s What My Theory Of Knowledge Students Will Be Doing For Their “Finals” – What Are You Doing?

I’ve described in one of my New York Times posts how I use illusions with English Language Learners, and I obviously use them in IB Theory of Knowledge classes when studying Perception. I learned from Michelle Henry about a series of illusions created by Mexican painter Octavio Ocampo who, I’m embarrassed to say, was not familiar with prior to seeing this work. Go take a visit — they’re amazing!

Police Body Cameras: What Do You See? is a new very impressive interactive at The New York Times. After first soliciting the reader’s general feelings about the police, the interactive shows several staged police encounters from different cameras and angles – asking you to judge what you think you saw. Then, those judgments are compared to other what others said and their feelings about the police. It’s extraordinarily useful to just about any class, and will be a superior addition to my Theory of Knowledge lesson on perception,Videos: Here’s The Simple Theory of Knowledge Lesson On Perception I Did Today. That post shares several other videos showing the same event from different angles.

Over 2,500 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes

You may, or may not, be familiar with the BBC’s “A History of Ideas.” It’s a show with 72 one-hour podcasts and 48 accompanying short video animations about philosophy. You can access all the podcasts and videos on the BBC site, which is particularly nice since a lot of the other material on the BBC won’t play in the United States. All the video animations are also on YouTube.

Lesson Plan | I Remember: Teaching About the Role of Memory Across the Curriculum is from The New York Times Learning Network, and is great for IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

NPR Videos On Serendipity In Science

Great Idea From Adam Grant: Student Mini-Talks That Challenge “Conventional Wisdom”

Five Videos Demonstrating The McGurk Effect

Videos On Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments – Not Blocked By YouTube Safety Mode

A Handy Compendium of 2015 TOK posts, downloadable is a series of posts by Eileen and Theo Dombrowski. Eileen is co-author of one of the most popular IB Theory of Knowledge textbooks.

I think TOK teachers might find these next two links particularly helpful:

Oral Presentation Suggestions For IB Theory of Knowledge Classes

Part Two – Oral Presentation Suggestions For IB Theory of Knowledge Classes

Here’s a new video on the famous ethics “trolley problem.” I’m adding it to The Best Videos About The Famous “Trolley Problem.”

Here’s A Nice Lesson I Did On Ethics In My Theory Of Knowledge Class

Killing Baby Hitler & Student “What If?” Projects

The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave

My 2014 post, New “Fillable” PDF Forms For IB Theory Of Knowledge Presentations & Essays, has been very popular, with TOK teachers from around the world not wanting to brave the IB website just to download some simple forms. Instead, they’ve just gone to that post, and I haven’t heard any objections from IB about my making them available. In January, though, I heard from TOK teacher Vladi Stanojevic that, in their infinite wisdom, IB  decided to make some changes to the Presentations form (the Essay form appears to be the same):

Here’s the new “fillable” PDF Presentations form.

It’s very similar to the old one, except it doesn’t have space for the candidates names. It does seem odd that they have entirely removed any space for student names, but I’ve given up trying to figure out IB decisions….

I’ve previously posted a lot about the work of Harvard professor Michael Sandel. Here’s an older video clip of an interview he did on NBC. I use it in my IB Theory of Knowledge class when we’re studying Ethics.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I’ve previously written about the great work of Professor Philip Tetlock, and you can find my past posts about him at The Best Resources On The Importance Of Knowing What You Don’t Know. The Washington Post published an article about his recent work – check out The secrets the world’s top experts use to make really good predictions. As far as I’m concerned, here’s the “money quote” from that piece, and it’s perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

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June 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – So Far

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

I’ll be adding this post to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

You might want to explore The Best Resources On Class Instruction – 2015, too.  I’ll be publishing a mid-year 2016 edition of that series soon.

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 many, 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 2015 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far

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

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

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 2016- So Far:

Here’s a piece I wrote for The Washington Post:  Teacher: What happened when my students’ behavior took a ‘major turn for the worse’

I’ve got to include my BAM! Radio shows and my Education Week Teacher advice column.

“Grit” is all over the news lately, and I’ve previously shared a number of related resources (see The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”). In fact, there’s been so much written about it, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start or who to believe. But that won’t be a problem anymore because Dan Willingham has clearly written the best (and most accessible) analysis of grit that I have seen – and, believe me, I’ve seen a lot of them! (and this is one day after he gave the best advice you’ll see on students listening to music in the classroom!). It’s in this summer’s issue of the American Educator under the title of “Grit” Is Trendy, but Can It Be Taught? and it’s freely available online. He provides an excellent analysis of the research, along with reviewing common critiques.

The Best Videos About The Importance Of Practice – Help Me Find More

It’s been awhile since I shared this resource – a full (and free) downloadable chapter from my book, Helping Student Motivate Themselves. And it’s titled What Are the Best Things You Can Do to Maximize the Chances of a Lesson Being Successful? In addition to being useful to teachers, I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students read it in preparation for the lessons that they periodically teach their classmates.

The Best Social Media-Created “Syllabuses” About Current Events

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names

The Best Resources About “Culturally Responsive Teaching” & “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy” – Please Share More!

I’ve published many useful resources on the musical Hamilton (see The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”). But I don’t thing anything is as engaging as the new Wall Street Journal’s feature, How does ‘Hamilton,’ the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap’s master rhymes to blur musical lines? The multimedia piece compares Hamilton lyrics with those of other musicals and hip hop artists. The kicker is that you can paste your own lyrics in and the site will analyze them for rhymes and repetitions.

Calm Down, Everybody – Group Work & Class Discussions Can Work Just Fine

Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”

“FoxType” Looks Like A Very Versatile Writing Site

How My University Students Evaluated Me Spring Semester

I’ve previously posted about ReadWorks as a source of excellent reading passages for use in classes (see “ReadWorks.org” Looks Like A Good Source Of Free Reading Passages For Social Studies). They recently unveiled ReadWorks Digital, a free site where teachers can create virtual classrooms for students to interact with their excellent texts online, including digital assessments.

Education Week has just published one of their typically excellent special reports, and the title of this one is Next Draft: Changing Practices In Writing Instruction. It’s composed of eight separate articles, including “As Teachers Tackle New Student-Writing Expectations, Support Is Lacking,” “Remodeling the Workshop: Lucy Calkins on Writing Instruction Today,” and “Students in My Math Classes Next Year Will Do a Lot of Writing. Here’s Why.” I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

“Bloom’s Taxonomy According To The Big Bang Theory”

I have pinned over  16,500 visual resources on my Pinterest Boards, and over 9,500 of them are ones I haven’t shared here on my blog or on Twitter. You might find some of them useful…

I have often shared classroom management advice from Marvin Marshall, and he wrote another gem recently:

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

The “Constraints Principle” Revisited

Good Advice On How To “Outsmart Your Next Angry Outburst”

How to create digital homework that students love is an excellent “how-to” post about using TED-Ed with students.

The Best Links For Helping Students Learn How To Write “Leads” or “Ledes”

The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills

Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included

There’s a lot of food for thought in Tim Shanahan’s post, Should I Set Reading Purposes for My Students?

The Peace Corps has a nice collection of lesson plans for all subjects — they’re not about the Peace Corps, but are lesson plans they and their volunteers developed for teaching around the world. I wouldn’t say they’re the most sophisticated ones around, but many seem to offer some interesting perspectives you won’t find elsewhere. Because of that “freshness,” I’m adding it to The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet.

Why Teachers Need To Know The Wrong Answers is an intriguing story over at NPR.

Harvard Business Review Criticizes Trump’s Negotiating Skills & Provides Excellent Classroom Management Advice At Same Time

Kevin Durant On “Hard Work” & How I’m Using It In Class

The Secret of Effective Feedback is the lead article in the new issue of ASCD Educational Leadership, and may be the best article you’ll ever read on giving effective feedback to students. It’s certainly the best piece I’ve ever read. And, it’s not behind a paywall! It’s filled with numerous insights and very practical suggestions – a number that I haven’t read anywhere else. I’m certainly adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

I’ve previously written in my books and here on my blog about writing scaffolds like “ABC” (Answer the Question; Back it up; make a Comment/Connection) or “PQC” format (Point/Quote/Connect). You can see Here’s An Example Of How I Scaffold A Short Writing Prompt for more details. Teacher Meghan Everette recently wrote an excellent post on Scholastic about her school’s version of this kind of scaffold, which they call “RACE” (Restate, Answer, Cite the Source, Explain/Examples). In her post, Responding to Text: How to Get Great Written Answers, she shares helpful examples. I’m adding this info to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

The Best World Poetry Day Resources – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning”

The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It

Adam Grant On Failure & How I’m Using What He Says In Class

New Study Reviews 25 Years Of Research Into What Helps Students Graduate – Here’s What They Found

What Are Creative & Effective Ways You’ve Used Multiple Choice Exercises?

Guest Post: “Walk & Talks” Are Extremely Effective Way To Connect With Students – Here’s A “How-To” Guide

Short & Simple Writing Prompt On Effort & Perseverance

Do Your Students Slouch Back In Their Chairs? Here’s A Writing Prompt On It I’m Using In Class

The “Best” Lists Of Recommendations About What “Effective” Teachers Do

Thoughtful Learning has a great collection of model texts in multiple genres and grade levels. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement, where you can find other collections of writing examples.

New “Open eBooks” App Unveiled By White House Looks Like A HUGE Benefit To Students & Schools

Student Instructions For How They Can Create A Cloze (Gap-Fill)

I Did A Presentation Today On The Concept Attainment Instructional Strategy – Here Are My Materials

The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

How My Students Evaluated Me This Semester

Here’s An Example Of How I Scaffold A Short Writing Prompt

Here’s What My Students Think Of A Growth Mindset

I Did My Best Job Teaching A “Growth Mindset” Today – Here’s The Lesson Plan

“Ask A REL” Archives Are Some Of The Most Accessible Education Research Sites Around…

The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of Prior Knowledge (& How To Activate It)

 

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