Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 4, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

New RSA Animated Video Of Daniel Pink Talk

'Daniel Pink - PopTech 2007 - Camden, ME' photo (c) 2007, kris krüg - license:

People are probably familiar with Dan Pink’s “TED Talk” which is one of their most popular of all time, and some are familiar with the RSA Animation of another one of his talks on motivation (I’ve embedded both below).

A few days ago RSA posted another animation of a talk he gave on his most recent book (by the way, for what it’s worth, Dan interviewed both my wife and me for it). I’ve embedded this new video first, followed by the other older two.

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

Thanks to Brain Pickings for the tip.

February 12, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Daniel Pink Answers Two Questions About Group Incentives

As regular readers know, I’m not a fan of teacher merit pay (see The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea).

Some school reformers and researchers have suggested that providing merit pay for entire schools is an alternative, though I’m not a supporter of those kinds of group incentives for similar reasons why I’m opposed to individual merit pay.

I asked Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, about his take on group incentives, and he was kind enough to respond (I’ve written a lot about his work).

What’s your take on the whole idea of group versus individual incentives?

To me, the difference is less about groups versus individuals than about other, deeper factors. For instance, the big problem with “if-then” rewards isn’t the rewards but the “if-then,” the contingency. Those types of mechanisms are forms of control. Control can be effective for simple, algorithmic tasks — but a disaster for more complex, creative, conceptual ones. So the real issue here is whether the rewards are controlling — or whether they’re operating as forms of feedback and information. Also, a big problem with contingent rewards are that people can game the system. Individual rewards are much harder to game than group ones. For example, I can cut corners and shift around orders in order to make my own monthly sales look good. But it’s tough for one person to singlehandedly manipulate and distort company profits. One reason that group incentives can sometimes work better than individual ones is that they’re harder to game — so people end up just doing their jobs.

Do you share a concern about its “workability” in a school situation and, to make the question even broader, do you have any thoughts about a general criteria to apply or thoughts to keep in mind to distinguish between incentive ideas and strategies that might be appropriate for businesses but not in schools? This is of particular concern to many of us in education who find ourselves dealing with some efforts to “run schools more like businesses.”

Absolutely. Here’s what people never seem to realize: Schools aren’t businesses. Even people who think schools are businesses can never tell me whether students are the product or the customer. But most parents don’t want their kids to be either products or customers. They want them to be human beings who learn and grow. The idea that we can accomplish that singlehandedly through teacher or school bonuses is silly.

What are your thoughts on the use of group incentives in education and Daniel Pink’s other comments?

February 1, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo

Daniel Pink Talks About Schools & Motivation

The Superintendent of Montgomery County Schools in Maryland had a book discussion group with Daniel Pink last night, and posted a video of it earlier today.

It’s ninety-minutes long, and I’ve only had a chance to watch/listen to the first thirty minutes. So far, I would especially recommend the section from about the ten minute mark to the 25 minute mark. I’ll be listening to the rest of it later tonight.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

January 9, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo

Highlights Of Twitter Chat With Daniel Pink

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of Daniel Pink’s work. Tonight, there was an #HRBookchat with him, and I created a “Storify” highlighting what I thought were key comments that were made (of course, it was particularly nice that he encouraged people to read my post in The New York Times today :) ).

Here it is:

October 23, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo

Daniel Pink On Grades, Autonomy & Inquiry

Daniel Pink was recently interviewed on a local Washington, D.C. television show along with a local university official. You watch it all here, but I thought the few minutes he spent discussing the role of grades, autonomy and inquiry in education to be particularly thought-provoking. I used Tube Chop to “chop” those two brief segments and have them embedded below. I don’t know if they will come through on an RSS Readers, so you might have to click through to my blog in order to view them.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

June 3, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Short Summary I’ve Seen Of Daniel Pink’s Book, “Drive”

I’ve written quite a bit about Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, here on this blog (see My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students) and in my new book.

I recently saw what I think is the best short description and summary of the book’s key points. Check-out the post “What really motivates us?” at the Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog.

April 12, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Good Short Interview With Daniel Pink

“The American School Board Journal” has published a nice short interview with Daniel Pink, author of the book, “Drive.”

For people familiar with his work, there’s probably nothing new in it. But it’s a nice introduction to the problems of rewards and incentives.

I’ll add this resource to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

August 31, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo

Exceptional Interview With Daniel Pink

I’ve just finished listening to an hour-and-twenty-minute interview/conversation between Daniel Pink (author of Drive) and Russ Roberts, host of a podcast titled EconTalk.

It’s really an exceptional conversation. Roberts is a gentle skeptic at times of Pink’s points, and it creates a situation where Pink talks about his research and perspective in a somewhat different way than I have heard him talk about it before — I’ve usually just read what he has written, or heard/read interviews from people who are in complete agreement. It was very helpful.

The last half hour of the interview is entirely devoted to incentives in education, but don’t just go to that part. I usually am not a fan of podcasts, but his one is worth listening through in its entirety.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

January 1, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Few Reflections On Daniel Pink’s New Book, “Drive”

Daniel Pink’s new book, “Drive:The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” just came out. I found it to be a very interesting “read,” though have to admit I was a little bit disappointed that — as far as practical applications to teaching — it didn’t have that much beyond what could be found in his must-see TED Talk (see My Thoughts On A Very Intriguing Video On Motivation & Incentives).

As I wrote in that post:

He cites a lot of research debunking the effectiveness of extrinsic rewards on motivation. This isn’t news to the many of us whom have read Alfie Kohn’s excellent book Punished By Rewards. However, he seems to provide a slightly more nuanced critique.

Pink basically says that extrinsic rewards do work — for mechanical work that doesn’t require much higher-order thinking.  But he says research says that it will not work for anything that requires higher-order thinking skills and creativity.

This analysis mirrors my own experience in the classroom.  In Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got “Out Of Control”? I shared the challenges I faced last year in using extrinsic motivation to get students into a new pattern of behavior, and then moving them back toward intrinsic motivation. Using “points” was definitely effective in getting the class under control. They received them for being focused and doing their work.

However, I didn’t think students started doing their highest quality work until they were “weaned” off the point system and began to gain what Pink calls “autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” Pink says that those are the three essential elements in generating higher-order thinking skills.

One thing I did learn from the book was that behavioral scientists define these two categories into “algorithmic” and “heuristic.”    Here is how he defines the difference on page 29:

An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion.  That is, there’s an algorithm for solving it.  A heuristic task is the opposite.  Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution.  Working as a grocery checkout cleark is mostly algorithmic.  You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way.  Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic.  You have to come up with something new.

I was struck by the similarity of algorithmic and heuristic to what Gladwell and others have framed as “puzzles” and “mysteries.”  I’ve written more about that at Is Figuring Out How To Make Schools Better A Puzzle Or A Mystery?

Another particularly useful part of the book — related to teaching — is a good review of Carol Dweck’s research and writing, though I think you can get the same information directly from her — see What Kind Of Feedback Should We Give Our Students?; The Difference Between Praise & Acknowledgment; and Reading Logs — Part Two (or “How Students Can Grow Their Brains”).

The nice thing about Pink’s book is that he shares a lot of neat research in an accessible way.  I was also impressed by his explanation of Edward Deci’s work on self-determination theory. I also use Deci’s research in my book that will be published in April, English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work (Linworth Publishing).

You can read an interview with Pink at the Wall Street Journal, which also has published an excerpt from his book.

I’d be interested in hearing other people’s reactions to the book. Please leave a comment…

August 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

ASCD’s Ed Leadership Is Online – Here Are My Recommendations

The newest issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership publication is now online, and its theme is Motivation Matters.

Here are three pieces that are not behind a paywall that I would highly recommend:

Rick Wormeli has a typically great article that’s titled Motivating Young Adolescents. It includes a list of “Top 12 Demotivators” that I think should be taped to every teacher’s desk.

Motivated to Learn: A Conversation with Daniel Pink can also be found in the issue, and Dan always has important thoughts to share and that are worth hearing.

Research Says / Curiosity Is Fleeting, but Teachable is an excellent piece by Bryan Goodwin.

I’m adding Bryan’s piece to The Best Posts On Curiosity.

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

July 27, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Amazing Video: 1980 Bush & Reagan Comments On If Undocumented Children Should Be Able To Attend Schools

This is amazing.

What has happened to the Republicans?

I’m adding this to The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform.

May 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

May’s Best Posts From This Blog


I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see older Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month (more recent lists can be found here).

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference):

Dr. Walter Mischel, Creator Of Famous Marshmallow Test, Is Writing A Book

Geography Instagram Videos By English Language Learners

“Ways To Develop A Teacher – School Counselor Partnership”

This Is One Of The Best Pieces I’ve Read On Teacher Evaluation: “The Problem with Outcome-Oriented Evaluations”

Resources On Ending The Year Strong

How We Can Develop a Culture of Success in Schools Is Topic Of My New BAM! Radio Program

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL — Gold Mine Included!

Learn About Synonyms & The World Cup In My Latest NY Times Post For ELLs

‘Help Students Be Organized By Being Organized Yourself’

“Quill” Could Be A Very Useful Tool For Reinforcing Grammar Concepts

My New BAM! Radio Show Is On Making History Curriculum More Engaging

Important New Report Questions VAM

#IRA14 — Useful Tweets From The International Reading Association Convention

“School Leaders Must Focus On ‘Authentic Learning,’ Not ‘Test Prep’”

My Latest NY Times Post For ELLs is on Mexico, Travel & “Articles”

Using Instagram, Bloom’s Taxonomy & Student Interest As A Fun Part Of A Semester Final

Great GIF: “European Colonial Empires from 1492-2008″

Another Reason Why We Need More Organizing, Not More Dialogue, In Education Policy Fights

Administrators Must Make ‘Alliances With Students, Teachers & Parents’

How Much Do We Teachers Spend On Our Classrooms?

I Learn Another Great Game For English Language Learners From Jimmy Fallon

Wow! 800 Pound Gorilla Google Unveils “Google Classroom” That May Make Many Present Tools Irrelevant

“Six ways teachers can stay energized” Is My New Post At Teaching English

Learn About Mother’s Day & Conjunctions In My Latest NY Times Post For ELLs

“TUZZit” Looks Like An Intriguing Site For Online Graphic Organizers & More

New RSA Animated Video Of Daniel Pink Talk

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using As Part Of My Final For Ninth-Grade English

This Month’s ASCD “Ed Leadership” Is Out — Here Are 3 Articles I Recommend

‘The Grading System We Need to Have’

New Writing Prompt For My U.S. History Class

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using For My Geography Class

San Francisco Symphony Unveils Must-See Redesigned Website

Discovery Channel Cancels “Bad Teacher” Immediately In Response To Complaints

Class Activity: Setting A Goal For The Last Six Weeks Of School

Using Dance To Teach English Is Topic Of My Latest NY Times Post

An Interesting Exchange With Sugata Mitra

Sacramento Makes Correct Decision In Withdrawing From CORE NCLB Waiver

Cool NY Times Interactive Lets You Create “Blackout” Poetry With Their Articles

Yes, It’s Authentic: School Cancels Kindergarten Play Because It Doesn’t Prepare Kids “For College & Career”

“Many Ways To Help Our Students Grieve” Is My New Ed Week Post — & Here’s A Bonus

April 6, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Bunch Of Student Motivation Resources

'Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink' photo (c) 2010, cdorobek - license:

As regular readers know, I have a particular interest in the topic of student motivation, and my third book on the topic will be out next year.

I’ve been accumulating some related resources, and am putting them all together in this post:

Studies Offer Practical Ways to Bring ‘Growth Mindset’ Research to Schools is an Ed Week post about some recent studies. One of them featured having students read about the struggles experienced by famous scientists, as opposed by focusing solely on their achievements, and resulted in higher student motivation and academic achievement. Here’s an earlier study done by the same researchers with Taiwanese students (the most recent research was with classes in New York) that reached similar conclusions and has a lot of interesting background information. I’m adding this info to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Teachers told: use ‘not yet’ in place of ‘fail’ when marking is from The Telegraph. It’s about a new guide for UK teachers on how to help students develop a growth mindset. I’m adding it to the same list.

Carol Dweck and others have developed an online program focused on helping students develop a growth mindset around math. They are invited teachers to participate for free. You can find more information about it here.

Here are links to two articles that don’t really provide any new information on motivational issues (at least, they’re not new if you’ve been following this blog). However, they do provide good short summaries on the topic. I’m adding them to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students:

Why Incentives Don’t Actually Motivate People To Do Better Work is from Business Insider.

How To Motivate People – 4 Steps Backed By Science is from Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

February 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Another Study Demonstrates The Ineffectiveness Of Extrinsic Motivation, But Also Something More….

'Carrots' photo (c) 2006, Fovea Centralis - license:

Yet another study has found that extrinsic motivation is not a effective in enhancing motivation. Since there is so much research showing this already, that’s not really big news.

But it’s the details of this study that are particularly intriguing.

Daniel Pink has written and spoken about research showing that extrinsic motivation is effective in enhancing mechanical work that doesn’t require creative or critical thinking. To be honest, I’ve never looked into the research he cites, but this new study reinforces that conclusion. The experiment was a little convoluted but, basically, participants were promised bonuses based on their “test” results (either a high or low reward) and had to answer questions and were given cues. Sometimes the cue was an arrow pointing right next to the word “Right” (or pointing left with the word “Left”) and sometimes the cue was an arrow pointing right or left with the opposite word next to it.

If I’m reading the research correctly, and I believe I am, they found that the people promised high bonuses did well when the arrows and words were “congruent,” but worse than the low-reward group when there were not congruent cues.

In other words, the promise of bonuses helped mechanical thinking, but actually made it more unlikely that they would perform tasks successfully that required critical and creative-thinking.

The researchers point out that this result was specifically for participants with high levels of dopamine, but it appears that either they or the writer of the report for the Association For Psychological Science suggest that it could have broader implications.

I was also particularly intrigued by a couple of other comments in the report:

It appeared the participants with a lot of dopamine in their systems were so distracted by the potential reward that they had trouble concentrating on the task.

In reporting on their findings in the journal Psychological Science, Aarts and her colleagues suggest that for people with naturally high dopamine levels, the promise of a bonus for good performance could actually “overdose” the reward centers of their brains.

It seems to me that this relates to another topic that Dan Pink discusses — the difference between learning and performance goals, and how those who focus on learning goals tend to do better than those who focus on performance.

February 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators


I’ve been posting annual lists of the Best Videos For Educators for a number of years.

I thought it would be useful for readers, my students, and me to review them all and identify my choices for the “all-time” best ones.

I’ve begun creating a number of these “All-Time” Best list, with The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly being the first and The “All-Time” Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education second.

Look for quite a few more “All-Time” Best lists over the next couple of months.

There are over 1,200 Best lists now that are categorized and updated regularly.  You can see them all here.

Here are my choices for The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators (let me know which ones I’m missing — I’ll also be adding to this list after I do a complete review of videos I’ve published on this blog):

Of course, the “graphic notetaking” video of Daniel Pink’s speech about his book, Drive, has got to be on this list:

Alfie Kohn has written several books, including “Punished By Rewards.”. Dwight Schrute is the well-known character in the television comedy, “The Office.” What might the connection be between the two of them? Watch this two minute video clip to find out:

Here’s Bloom’s Taxonomy According To The Pirates Of The Caribbean:

The PBS News Hour produced this segment on self control and young people. It uses financial literacy as an initial hook, but it’s mainly about the famous marshmallow test and a recent updated study:

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

This is a great video to get students to think more carefully about their writing:

Thanks to an excellent post by Jennifer Brokofsky, I learned about this short video of Sir Ken Robinson. He makes an excellent point about the importance of helping students motivate themselves (and I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students):

“Farmers and gardeners know you cannot make a plant grow….The plant grows itself. What you do is provide the conditions for growth. And great farmers know what the conditions are and bad ones don’t. Great teachers know what the conditions for growth are and bad ones don’t.”

In this video, some ducklings were able to get over the curb on their own. However, several found that it was just too high. Look at how someone provides assistance to those having trouble, and how he doesn’t tell them what to do. Instead, he offers it as an option, as a choice they can make. It’s an example of an old community organizing axiom, “If you don’t give people the opportunity to say no, you don’t give them the opportunity to say yes, either.”

Jason Flom shared this great video on the importance of making mistakes. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.

This TED Talk video from the late Rita Pierson on “Every Kid Needs A Champion” is a great one:

Perseverance (grit) is one of the key qualities researchers have found to be essential in a successful language learner, as well as other learners.

Here’s a video demonstrating that quality that I’m adding to The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner:

This is from Yahoo News and is a great illustration of “thinking outside the box”:

I’m adding this next video to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”:

December 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Favorite Posts In 2013 — Part Two


I regularly publish a list of my personal favorites posts during the year, and it’s usually my last annual “Best” list of the year.

You might also be interested in:

My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume One, focused on the year 2007 and includes a fair amount of still-useful material (at least in my opinion).

I’d say the same thing about my review of posts from 2008, which you can find in My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume Two.

Volume Three covered 2009.

Volume Four reviewed 2010.

Volume Five looked at 2011.

My Favorite Posts In 2013 — So Far

So, here are my favorites from over the past six months:

I’ve got to start off with my latest book, which was published by Education Week: Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching

In addition to my teacher advice column at Ed Week (by the way, tomorrow I record the first of what will be weekly radio shows with the BAM! Network interviewing people who contribute guest pieces to that Ed Week blog), I’ve really enjoyed writing weekly posts for The New York Times on teaching English Language Learners (previously, they just appeared monthly).

There are almost 1,250 “The Best…” lists, and here are a few of my favorite ones from over the past six months:

A Collection Of The Best Fun, Yet True, “Said No Teacher Ever” Resources

The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013

In addition to my Ed Week and NY Times posts, I’ve published a number of other articles elsewhere. Here are a few of my favorites:

Here are some on classroom management that I particularly like:

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

Getting A Special Wristband Is Not The Best Road To Greater Student Motivation

Choice Equals Power: How to Motivate Students to Learn is a nice article over at KQED’s MindShift blog about an online conversation I had during Connected Educators Month.  It’s been quite popular, and I think offers helpful ideas.

As far as education policy goes,  Why we can’t all get along over school reform is a post I wrote for The Washington Post that I like a lot and has received a fair amount of positive feedback.

Here are a few other posts I’ve published on teaching English Language Learners that are also among my favorites:

English Language Learners Using Screencast-o-matic For Folktale Presentations

And here are three favorites on classroom instruction:

This Is Exactly What I Mean By Connecting Social Emotional Learning & Literacy Instruction….

Here are some audio interviews I did:

Dana Goldstein had me as a guest, along with Matthew Chingos from the Brookings Institution, on a Slate podcast of Schooled: Does Class Size Matter?

School Leadership Briefing posted a fifteen minute audio interview they did with me over the summer.

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

I hope you find these links helpful!

November 3, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Special Edition Of Good Posts & Articles On Education Policy

'$4.8 Billion Taken Away From Our Schools' photo (c) 2008, Benjamin Chun - license:

Usually, I just post one “round-up” of articles on ed policy issues each week, but I’ve got a big backlog. Here’s a special edition:

The State of California has rightfully decided to bypass most state standardized tests this year as we prepare for the new Common Core assessments. Arne Duncan is not pleased:

Feds set price of defiance on standardized tests: at least $15 million is from Ed Source. Here’s a piece from The San Jose Mercury News on the same topic: U.S. threatens to take $3.52 billion from California schools in testing dispute.

‘Read-Aloud’ Assistance on Common Tests Proves Contentious is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

Teacher Quality, Wiggins and Hattie: More Doing The Wrong Things The Right Ways is by Paul Thomas. Though I don’t necessarily agree with all his points, this is probably the most thoughtful critique you’re going to find anywhere of Understanding By Design and John Hattie’s work.

The need for seniority in schools is by Lisa Haver. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

Listen to Diane Ravitch being interviewed by Daniel Pink here.

A Rash of Studies is an excellent post by John Merrow reviewing the recent study of teacher evaluation in Washington, D.C. and its implications for the school reform movement.

Federal Bureaucrats Declare ‘Hunger Games’ More Complex Than ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ The Common Core’s absurd new reading guidelines is from The New Republic. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

June 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

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


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:


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:

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:


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”

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