Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Hannah Arendt Died On This Day In 1975 – Here Are Resources About Her Life & How I Use Them In Class


Writer Hannah Arendt died on this day in 1975.


Here are previous posts I’ve written about her:

Quote Of The Day: Hannah Arendt & The Origin Of Evil

Video: “Hannah Arendt” — The Movie (& The Importance Of Reflection)

Two Minutes Of Silence For Sergeant Anton Schmidt

October 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Hannah Arendt Was Born On This Day In 1906 – Here Are Resources About Her Life & How I Use Them In Class


Writer Hannah Arendt was born on this day in 1906.

Here are previous posts I’ve written about her:

Quote Of The Day: Hannah Arendt & The Origin Of Evil

Video: “Hannah Arendt” — The Movie (& The Importance Of Reflection)

Two Minutes Of Silence For Sergeant Anton Schmidt

July 7, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Quote Of The Day: Hannah Arendt & The Origin Of Evil

I’ve previously posted about how much I admire the work of Hannah Arendt, and how I’ve used it to help my students discover the importance of self-reflection (it’s also made-to-order for IB Theory of Knowledge classes). Her work was also very important to me during my nineteen year career as a community organizer and our wariness, which I continue to have, of any and all ideologues (particularly their unwillingness to compromise).

Today’s New York Times has an exceptional essay on her work. Here’s an excerpt:


Here’s another portion that elaborates on the point:

That evil, Arendt argued, originates in the neediness of lonely, alienated bourgeois people who live lives so devoid of higher meaning that they give themselves fully to movements. It is the meaning Eichmann finds as part of the Nazi movement that leads him to do anything and sacrifice everything. Such joiners are not stupid; they are not robots. But they are thoughtless in the sense that they abandon their independence, their capacity to think for themselves, and instead commit themselves absolutely to the fictional truth of the movement. It is futile to reason with them. They inhabit an echo chamber, having no interest in learning what others believe.

It seems to me to speak to many situations in our public life today. What do you think?

May 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Video: “Hannah Arendt” — The Movie (& The Importance Of Reflection)

In both my community organizing and teaching careers, I’ve often cited the work of Hannah Arendt and “the banality of evil” as an example of why we need to promote reflection.

Here’s what I described the connection in my first book on teaching ELLs — English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work:

Organizers often cite the work of philosopher Hannah Arendt when they talk about the importance of reflection. Arendt wrote a book after she observed the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust. She shared that she had expected to see a monster. Instead, she was shocked to see a man who was mechanical, bureaucratic, and thoughtless. She began thinking that evil was more the result of the absence of thinking and reflection, which she described in a famous phrase as the “banality of evil.”

Though Eichmann is obviously an extreme case, this point is important for those of us who are not perpetrating evil, too. If we don’t think and reflect, we can be mechanical and live our lives by a formula. We can fail to calculate the consequences of what we do, and we can make the same mistakes over and over again that can lead to personal and, sometimes, social destructiveness. We can learn the facts, but miss the opportunity to develop an understanding.

A movie has come out
about Hanneh Arendt, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Here’s a New York Times article about it, and two video clips (I think only the first one will come through on an RSS Reader):

August 7, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Student & Teacher Reflection

'Reflections - fountain' photo (c) 2008, Sudarshan V - license:

I have several other “The Best…” lists that relate to reflection (on goal-setting, self-control, metacognition, asking good questions, critical thinking, etc.), but thought I’d put one together specifically on the topic.

Student ‘Reflection Needs to Be a Habit’ is Part Two in my Education Week series on reflection in the classroom. You might want to start there and at Part One.

And I hope that readers will contribute more.

You might also be interested in The Best Questions To Use For Class Closing Activities — What Are Yours?

Here are my choices for The Best Resources On Student & Teacher Reflection:

I’m a big fan of Hannah Arendt and use her work to help students see the importance of reflection. Here are two related previous posts:

Video: “Hannah Arendt” — The Movie (& The Importance Of Reflection)

Quote Of The Day: Hannah Arendt & The Origin Of Evil

A Taxonomy of Reflection: Critical Thinking For Students, Teachers, and Principals is by Peter Pappas.

Empowering Students Through Reflection and Feedback is from Let’s Get Engaged.

Four Levels of Student Reflection is from Faculty Focus.

Reflective Thinking

Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning is from Teach Thought.

A Mid-Year Reflection for Teachers and Students is by Maurice Elias at Edutopia.

Another Big Surprise: Reflection Helps Learning

How I Incorporate Reflection Into Semester Summative Assessments

No Time To Think is from The New York Times.

Twelve Alternatives to “How Was Your Day?” is by John Spencer. It’s designed as a list of questions for parents to ask their children, but can easily be adapted by teachers for reflection activities.

Learning By Thinking: How Reflection Improves Performance is from Harvard.

Warm-Ups, Bell-Ringers, Exit Tickets and…Vitamins? Road Tested / Lesson Closure: Stick the Landing is from ASCD and offers several good idea about ending lessons. What A Shock! Study Finds That Student Reflection Helps Learning Quote Of The Day: “Self-Reflection & Effectiveness” Study: You Really Can ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder

Another Study Points To The Importance Of Reflection

Why Student Reflection Should Never Be Skipped is from Middleweb and is by Kevin Hodgson.

Quote Of The Day: Reflection Is Important

Encouraging Student Self-Reflection is by Donna Boucher.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

July 25, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

July’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):

If You Want To Influence People To Change, Then You Want To Read Atul Gawande’s New Article

Article On Learning & The Brain That’s Perfect For Tenth, Eleventh, & Twelfth Graders

It Looks Like Nate Silver Is Bringing His Stats Knowledge To Education

“Teachers As ‘Givers, Takers & Matchers’: An Interview With Adam Grant”

What In The World Is Rahm Emanuel Thinking?

Nine California Districts (Including Ours) Seek Waiver From NCLB — Duncan Should Turn It Down

Whew! Just Finished First Chapter Of Third Book On Student Motivation

“ColAR” Could Be The Coolest Tablet App Out There, & Here’s How I Would Use It In Class

If You’re Ever Teaching About Racial Profiling, You Definitely Want To Show This Video

The New Google Maps Is Now Open To Everybody!

Stop The Presses! Study Finds Student Prior Knowledge Is Important & Best Explored Through “Flipped Flipped Classroom” (not a typo)

Video: “Kids React to Controversial Cheerios Commercial”

New Kindle Versions Of My Student Motivation Books (& All Eye On Education Books) Available Soon

All My Ed Week Posts On Brain-Based Learning In One Place

Thoughtful Resources On Trayvon Martin Case & Verdict

Standardized Tests & Student Motivation

“Urban Observatory” Is The Coolest Map Site I’ve Seen In Awhile….

Wonderful Video: Brazilian Kids Learn English By Correcting Tweets From Celebrities

Infographic: How Much Of Their Own Funds Do Teachers Spend In The Classroom?

Important Advice For Anyone Who Wants To Be Effective At Making Change

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Story On The Importance Of Being A Good Listener

You Can Read & Download The Entire First Chapter From Our ELL Book For Free

Quote Of The Day: Hannah Arendt & The Origin Of Evil

All My Ed Week Posts On Teaching Math & Science In One Place!

Video: Charlotte Danielson — “We Better Hold Off On Making High-Stakes Decisions” Based On Student Test Scores

Excellent PowerPoint On Feedback Promoting A Growth Mindset

My Most Popular Parent Engagement Posts Over The Past Four Years

Quote Of The Day: You Won’t Hear Better Classroom Management Advice Than This….

Great Student Hand-Out On Learning & The Brain

More On The Research Showing Reading When Young Slows Alzheimer’s Later

Great Interview With My Teaching Partner, Katie Hull-Sypnieski

Create A 28 Year Timelapse Animation Of….Anywhere

That Was Quick — My New Publisher Has Made Even More Free Downloadable Figures From My Newest Book Available

A Surprising Study Only To People Who Have Never Worked In The Community: Low-Income People Care About Their Neighborhoods

“News In Levels” Looks Like An Excellent Site For ELLs

All My Ed Week Posts On Teaching Reading & Writing In One Place!

What Are They Thinking? Cleveland Paper Publishes Teachers’ VAM Ratings


May 31, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two Minutes Of Silence For Sergeant Anton Schmidt

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about Hannah Arendt, the new movie about her, and how I use her writings in thinking about the importance of reflection.

That new movie is sparking a lot of articles about her, including this one in The New Yorker. They include an excerpt from one of her original dispatches from the trial of Adolf Eichmann, which included her describing two minutes of silence that was observed for Sergeant Anton Schmidt after a witness told his story.

His story of heroism is well worth reading. How many of us would have done the same?

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