Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Study: Inductive Learning Promotes “Transfer Of Knowledge” Better Than Direct Instruction

I’ve written a lot in this blog and in my books about using inductive learning with students (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching). It’s one of my favorite instructional strategies.

And, I’ve written an equal amount about the importance of transfer of learning — in other words, facilitating student “transfer” of something they learned in one lesson to another situation (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More).

Now Education Week has highlighted a study that used that inductive concept – though, surprisingly, they called it “sorting” instead of “inductive learning” – in teaching science. And they found that it was more effective in promoting transfer than direct instruction.

One common way to use the inductive method is through “text data sets,” which a short piece of text that students categorize. You can read more about this particular method and see links to examples in “Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances.”

In the study covered by Ed Week, though, the scientists just used cards sharing different scientific concepts instead of a typical few sheets of paper with the examples.

One thing I found particularly intriguing and I hadn’t really read about in other studies of the inductive method was that it was its effect on transfer:

…the students who had sorted the cards were significantly better at applying the concept to new situations.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior.”

January 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

In the inductive process, students seek patterns and use them to identify their broader meanings and significance. In the deductive process, meanings or rules are given, and students have to then apply them.

I’m a huge fan of using inductive learning, and plenty of research (which you’ll find in the resources on this list) document its effectiveness.

I’ve written many posts about it, and thought it would be useful to bring together a few of my best ones, along with resources developed by others, that explain the inductive process and how to apply it in mainstream and English Language Learner classrooms (feel free to make suggestions of ones I’ve missed):

The Best Ways To Modify The Picture Word Inductive Model For ELLs

The British Council has shared a short post that Paul Kaye wrote six years ago that does a great job explaining the difference between inductive and deductive, and he provides a number of practical examples from the language-learning classroom. Check out his article, Presenting New Language.

Here are two British Council posts where I wrote about it:

What Does Enhanced Discovery Learning Look Like In The ELL Classroom?

The picture word inductive model

I’ve written several posts at The New York Times explaining the concept:

Ideas for English Language Learners | Labeling Photos, Sequencing Passages and More

Learn About President Kennedy Using the Inductive Model

Learning About New Year’s Inductively

Get Organized Around Assets is an article I wrote for ASCD Educational Leadership. It includes a section on teaching inductively.

The Best Ways To Modify The Picture Word Inductive Model For ELLs

More Info On Why Inductive Learning Is So Effective

”How Google is teaching computers to see” — Inductively

More Research Showing Why Inductive Learning Works

The Picture Word Inductive Model In Science & Social Studies

How to Teach an Inductive Learning Lesson is by Jennifer Gonzalez.

Learning Inductively Works…

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Padlet”

Picture Word Inductive Model with High school Newcomers by Wendi Pillars is an exceptional step-by-step description of how to use one of my favorite ELL teaching strategies.

“Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances”

Study Says Ability To Identify Patterns Key To Second Language Learning

“Szoter” Will Become A Key Tool For ELL Students & Teachers

“Thinglink” Could Be A Great Tool For ELL’s

What Can Teachers Learn From Target?

“We Should Celebrate Mistakes”

This Is The Best Lesson Plan On Punctuation I’ve Ever Read

Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe

How to Help Our Learners Discover English is from Gallery Languages.

Inductive and deductive grammar teaching: what is it, and does it work? is from the English Language Teaching Global Blog.

Here Are Some Examples Of Using “Concept Attainment” In Writing Instruction

Study: Inductive Learning Promotes “Transfer Of Knowledge” Better Than Direct Instruction

September 22, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Info On Why Inductive Learning Is So Effective

I have written tons in my books and in this blog about the effectiveness of inductive learning.

It’s the idea of pushing students, and ourselves, to see patterns and concepts in a list of examples, as opposed to telling students the concepts and then giving the examples that fit in them.

TIME Magazine has just published Q&A with Consciousness Researcher Daniel Bor, and he talks about why our minds learn so much from this kind of pattern-seeking. Here’s an excerpt:

So what do you think the purpose of consciousness is?

I think the purpose of it is to draw all the relevant information together in a larger space. It’s almost as if we can’t spot it because we are doing it all the time. Why do we love crossword puzzles and why are people addicted to sudoku? That’s what a huge bit of the cortex is primed to do — to spot [patterns] — and once we spot them we can assimilate them into our pyramid of knowledge and build more layers of strategy, and knowing how to do that makes us incredibly successful at controlling the world.

And that’s why solving puzzles or finding a useful bit of information feels so good?

We get streams of pleasure when we find something that can really help us understand some deep pattern. Sudoku isn’t the most [fun activity], but it sure feels good when you put in that last number. It’s why scientists love doing research. The way I approach my job, it’s like trying to solve a really big fuzzy crossword puzzle and when you do put in that new clue and see the deeper pattern, that’s incredibly pleasurable.

If our brains are hungry for information, then why do we tend to see learning as a chore and fail to recognize it as a huge source of pleasure?

I don’t know. Obviously, more intelligent people get more pleasure from spotting these patterns, but I think almost every normal person does this. I think it’s a pretty pervasive thing but it’s almost as if we can’t notice it because it’s so pervasive.

October 24, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

More Research Showing Why Inductive Learning Works

The Mind Hacks blog revisits an older study that restates why inductive learning, student autonomy, and choice works in the classroom.

The blog also has a useful chart. It’s worth checking-out but, in summary, it discusses findings that students will remember things far better if they bring their own meaning to in a way they choose:

What this research suggests is that, merely in terms of remembering, it would be more effective for students to come up with their own organisation for course material…..You’ll remember better (and understand much better) if you try and re-organise the material you’ve been given in your own way.

If you are a teacher, like me, then this research raises some distrurbing questions. At a University the main form of teaching we do is the lecture, which puts the student in a passive role and, essentially, asks them to “remember this” – an instruction we know to be ineffective. Instead, we should be thinking hard, always, about how to create teaching experiences in which students are more active, and about creating courses in which students are permitted and encouraged to come up with their own organisation of material, rather than just forced to regurgitate ours.

It’s nothing particularly new, but any research that backs up that kind of perspective certainly can’t hurt….

June 26, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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June’s Top Posts From This Blog

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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).

You can also see my all-time favorites 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):

“Ways To Find The ‘Right Balance’ Between School & Home”

A Milestone Of Sorts: There Are Now Exactly 1,450 Categorized & Regularly Updated “Best” Lists!

Quote Of The Day: A Corollary To The Best Piece Of Classroom Management Advice I’ve Heard

Jigsaw Puzzles As A Language-Learning Activity

Quote Of The Day: Carol Dweck On “Nagging”

“Avoiding ‘Trust Busters’ When Making Change In Schools”

Some #CharlestonSyllabus Highlights

Study: Inductive Learning Promotes “Transfer Of Knowledge” Better Than Direct Instruction

All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions

A Perfect Quote To Begin A Lesson On Deliberate Practice – If Your Students Are Basketball Fans

“Control Your Destiny”: Positive Self-Talk, Students & Stephen Curry

Questions To Help With Positive Classroom Management

“Ways To Encourage Support For English Language Learners”

“Jellybean Scoop” Looks Like A Useful Reading/Writing Site For Students & Teachers

“Don’t Leave English Language Learners ‘In The Cold’”

Study: “Authoritative,” Not “Authoritarian,” Classroom Management Works Best For Boys

“It’s Been A Pleasure Having You In Class This Year”

“Teachers: What we want everyone to know about working in our high-needs school”

How Can We Help Students Feel That Theory Of Knowledge Class Is More Relevant To Their Lives

Teaching Knowledge Questions In IB Theory Of Knowledge

“Ways To Help Students Develop Digital Portfolios”

Skype Opens Up Web Version To Everyone

“Cash” For Good Student Behavior – Without An Exit Strategy – Is Not The Best Classroom Management System

Nevada Legislature Goes To Crazytown With New Voucher Law

Khan Academy & College Board Announce New Free SAT Prep

“Our World Of Data” Is A Treasure Trove Of Infographics

“Teachers ‘Seek Relevance & Choice’ In Professional Development”

Here’s How My ELL Beginner/Intermediate Class Evaluated Me

Useful Collection Of “Growth Mindset” Animations

Here Are The Results Of Anonymous Class Evaluations From My English Language Learner History Class

If You Haven’t Read It Already, “The Teaching & Learning Toolkit” Should Probably Be On Your Summer Reading List

“Follow-Up Is Critical For Successful Professional Development”

Did The NY Times Just Demonstrate The Next Generation Of Infographics?

Google’s New “Expeditions” Looks Like An Insanely Cool Way For Students To Take A Virtual Field Trip

June 13, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2015 – So Far

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Another day, another  mid-year “The Best…” list…..

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – So Far

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s — 2010

The Best Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2015 – So Far:

Jellybean Scoop provides free daily new content for students to read. They don’t “level” the same text, they do provide different articles at different levels of accessibility. Each article provides audio support for the text. More importantly, they also provide a number of interactive exercises for each article. Thankfully, they are not just comprehension questions (though they do have that, too). The other activities include sentence scrambles and vocabulary exercises. They also provide an opportunity for readers to record their voice reading portions of the articles after they hear it read to them. Teachers can create an account for up to one hundres students for free and track student progress. Teachers register and then easily create student accounts.

I’ve got to recommend my Ed Week Teacher column and its accompanying BAM! Radio Shows, both which contained a number of columns/episodes on teaching English Language Learners.

I write a regular monthly post for the British Council, like this one on ESL/ELL error correction – Yes, No or Maybe?

Using Video In The Classroom – A Teacher’s Handbook is from David Deubelbeiss.

I wrote several more posts for The New York Times, and you can see them all at All My NY Times Posts For English Language Learners – Linked With Descriptions

Here’s How My ELL Beginner/Intermediate Class Evaluated Me

Here Are The Results Of Anonymous Class Evaluations From My English Language Learner History Class

Make Beliefs, the popular comic-creator that is on The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online list, has just unveiled a new and expansive resource section filled with free materials for teachers of English Language Learner students.

This Is The Geography “Final” For My ELL Students

ELL teachers and students might be interested in my revised U.S. History, World History,  blogs. Also, you might want to check out my ELL English and Geography class blog.

A Simple Game Using Academic Language

Here’s A Successful Music Lesson We Did With Beginning ELLs (Hand-Outs & Student Examples Included)

“Edueto” Has Got To Be One Of The Best Teacher & Web 2.0 Sites Of The Year

Inductive and deductive grammar teaching: what is it, and does it work? is from the English Language Teaching Global Blog. I’m adding it to The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching.

The Best Advice On Creating Materials For ELLs (& Other Students) – Help Me Find More

Academic Language Function Toolkit is from the Sweetwater School District and looks very useful. Maria Dove shared it on Twitter. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.

Video For All has a ton of resources about using video in language-teaching. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them).

Games for the language classroom: Who wants to be a millionaire is another great post by Adam Simpson. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

Simple ELL Writing Assignment On Imperialism

The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners

Here’s How We’re Using “WhatsApp” For Language-Learning

“Photographer Writer Illustrator” Would Be Unique Way To Use Photos With ELLs

Here’s The End-of-Year Goal-Setting Activity I’ve Done With English Language Learners – Including Worksheet & Video

I Like “ThinkCERCA” For ELL Reading Practice In Free Virtual Classrooms

“Animal Translations” Are Great For ELLs

Kieran Donaghy has a great new blog called Film in Action.

Word Jumble: Practicing sentence structures is from tekhnologic. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Creating Sentence Scrambles.

Free e-book: Using Games in the Language Classroom is from Adam Simpson. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

Revision With Games comes from Cristina Skybox. I’m adding it to the same list.

How to use songs in the English language classroom is a great post by Adam Simpson. I’m adding it to The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

Study Finds Another Reason To Look At ELLs Through Lens Of “Assets”: They Are Likely To Be More Creative

Here’s a useful list of activities from the British Council that ELL teachers can do with “Zero Materials.”

This Resource Might Be A Huge Help For Applying Common Core To Teaching ELLs

English teachers, are you asking the right questions? is a really interesting post from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Formative Assessment.

THE REAL TRICK: TURNING A TEST INTO A GAME is from tekhnologic. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

How to set up an information gap is by Sandy Millin. I’m adding it to The Best Online Resources For “Information Gap” Activities.

No Surprise In This Study: Language Learners Retain Vocabulary Better When Connected To Gestures & Images

Jimmy Fallon Models Yet Another Game Useful For English Language Learners

What Are People In This Painting Thinking?

New “Warm-Ups” I’m Doing With My English Language Learners

I was browsing Pinterest and came upon this page after searching “infographic language ell”. Wow, what a treasure chest of useful visualizations!

Here Is The New Student Self-Assessment I’m Using At The End Of Our Semester

Duolingo For Schools Opened Today – Here’s How It Works

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

Rachael Roberts – Motivating students to write is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

Learning to Write Like a Reader: Teaching Students How to Edit and Do Peer-Review is from Teaching Learning/Learning Teacher.

I’m going to add the resource shared in this tweet to The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners. It’s a gold mine!

June 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

I’ve got to recommend my Ed Week Teacher column and its accompanying BAM! Radio Shows.

All of the many – and I mean many - student hand-outs in my new book on student motivation are now on the publisher’s site and can be downloaded for free — no registration is required. Just click on the “eResources” tab. And Routledge has been kind of enough to do the same for the zillion student hand-outs in my previous two student motivation books, too, though for those books they’re called “Supplemental Downloads.” Jossey-Bass has done the same with hand-outs from my last book on teaching English Language Learners (by the way, a sequel to that popular title will be published in 2016).

“It’s Been A Pleasure Having You In Class This Year”

How I Learned Differentiation appeared in Teach Thought, and is excellent. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction.

I think these excerpts from my third book on student motivation are useful:

Modelling Writing and Rich Tea or Hob Nob? from Class Teaching both make great points and offer suggestions about the role of teacher modeling in writing instruction.

Useful Collection Of “Growth Mindset” Animations

Adventures with gallery critique is by Andy Tharby. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

Last year I briefly referred to a study done in the United Kingdom evaluating what teaching strategies work best. A recent post by John Tomsett prompted me to revisit that meta-analysis from The Education Endowment Foundation, and it’s clearly worth exploring deeply (it’s official title is “The Teaching and Learning Toolkit). The report provides a John Hattie-like list of various interventions, along with their costs, the quality of evidence supporting each one, and the number of learning months research has showed it to gain for students. Though I say it’s Hattie-like, some of its findings seem to conflict with his. I’m very impressed with the UK analysis, and am planning on digging into it over the summer.

Google’s New “Expeditions” Looks Like An Insanely Cool Way For Students To Take A Virtual Field Trip

Read This: “Teachers More Likely to Label Black Students as Troublemakers” is by Renee Moore.

A Teacher’s Role in Fighting Racism is from Education Week.

Uncomfortable Conversations: Talking About Race In The Classroom is from NPR.

History Lesson: Giving Students Freedom to Create Their Own Projects is by Brison Harvey at Ed Week. One point he makes that I think is particularly intriguing is letting his students develop individualized rubrics for their independent projects.

Tips for Using iPads in the Classroom is from Edudemic.

Why I Prefer Pre-Teaching to Remediation for Struggling Students is by Justin Minkel.

Here’s My Chapter On Elements Of A Successful Lesson, Along With Student Hand-Outs THEY Use To Teach

“Quizizz” Is A Great Game-Playing & Game-Creating Site For Classes!

Justin Baeder at Principal Center Radio interviews me about student motivation and my new book, Building A Community Of Self-Motivated LearnersIt was a fun conversation, and you might find it interesting…

Thanks to reader Vincy Murgillo for letting me know about the Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune. It provides daily news stories, with the same one edited several times for different reading levels. The stories also have self-scoring quizzes and provide decent “critical thinking” questions that students can respond to in the comments. On top of that, teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor it all, as well as moderating student comments. And it’s all available for free!

Reading Strategies, Student Engagement, & The Question Of “Why?”

Help Students Close Read Iconic Images is an excellent post by Frank Baker in Middleweb.

Concise and Precise Micro-writing is from Alex Quigley, and offers some very good suggestions.

Here Are Some Examples Of Using “Concept Attainment” In Writing Instruction

Goal-Setting Lesson Plan

The Limits To The Power Of A Growth Mindset (& The Dangers When We Don’t Recognize Them)

Three Useful Growth Mindset Resources

I’ve previously posted about Reading Teacher, a great site for beginning readers that’s been around for awhile, but just stopped charging for its use (see “Reading Teacher” Is A Good Site For Very Beginners). At that time, though it was free for individual use, you still had to pay if you wanted to create a virtual classroom. They recently announced that it’s now free to create a virtual classroom of 30 students to track their progress. The site says that if you have more students, you can just create another free account using a different email address to create a second virtual classroom.

Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK–12 Teaching and Learning is a brand-new report from the American Psychological Association (APA). Though there’s nothing in it that regular readers of this blog wouldn’t already know, it nevertheless provides what might be the best readable compilation of important strategies around Social Emotional Learning Skills, assessment, and classroom management that can be found anywhere.

Apps, Apps Everywhere: Are Any Good, You Think? is the title of my article in ASCD Educational Leadership. In it, I share my choices for the best eleven mobile-learning apps out there.

“Edueto” Has Got To Be One Of The Best Teacher & Web 2.0 Sites Of The Year

Hands-Off Teaching Cultivates Metacognition is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Metacognition.

Teaching MS History: Themes or Timelines? is from Middleweb.

Every Teacher’s Guide to Assessment is from Edudemic. I’m adding it to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.

The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More

Two Good Pieces Of Simple Writing Advice For Students – Share Your Own

The Question-Asking Exercises I Did With My Students Last Week (Hand-Outs Included)

Two “Must Use” Resources From The UK On Education Research

Here’s an exceptional older post by UK educator/blogger Alex Quigley. It’s titled Questioning – Top Ten Strategies and, as you’ll see, it has to be one of the best and most practical list of recommendations out there. I suspect that many educators, including me, are going to be referring to it often.

8 HABITS OF CURIOUS PEOPLE is from Fast Company, and could be a very accessible article for students to read. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Curiosity.

The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong

Managing Student Cellphone Use In Class

Options, Options, Options….

The Purposeful Pause: 10 Reflective Questions to Ask Mid-Lesson is by Angela Stockman.

The Best Resources On – & Advice For Using – Donors Choose (Please Share Your Experiences!)

The Best Commentaries On “Teach Like A Champion” – Help Me Find More

3 Tips to Make Any Lesson More Culturally Responsive (and it’s not what you think!) is by Zaretta Hammond.

You Can Read The Entire Ed Week Chat We Did On Classroom Management

I have previously posted about Richard Byrne’s fabulous search engine for video sites other than YouTube (see If You Don’t Have Teacher Access To YouTube At Your School, Then This Search Engine is a “Must”). He’s just updated it. Now, with the limitations YouTube’s Safety Mode is putting on teachers whose schools have been allowing YouTube, his search engine will be a “go-to” tool for many of us who haven’t needed it previously. You can read about the Safety Mode issue at my unfortunately very popular previous post, Our District Just Activated Awful YouTube Safety Mode – What’s Been Your Experience?

Thinking Creatively About Homework is from John Spencer. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

3 Simple Ways to Differentiate Instruction in Any Class is by A. J. Juliani. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction.

Lesson On Importance Of Asking Good Questions

American Educator, the quarterly magazine of the American Federation of Teachers, always has interesting and useful articles in it, and this Spring edition is no different. The most useful one to teachers, though, is clearly the one by Daniel Willingham. For The Love Of Reading: Engaging Students in a Lifelong Pursuit is a must-read article for every educator. It’s adapted from his new book, Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading.

Here’s A New Strategy I’m Trying To Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation

Good Videos On A Growth Mindset, The Importance Of Learning From Mistakes & A Lot More

The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!

It’s “Question Week” – Here Are All My Related “Best” Lists In One Place

The Best Resources On The Educational Value Of Doodling

The Best & Most Useful Free Student Hand-Outs Available Online – Help Me Find More

Expeditionary Learning has created a number free, and good, curriculum units for English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. You can download them here, and read more about them at Middleweb.

(Not) Blooms. is from The Agility Teaching Toolkit(@ASTsupportaali), and offers a unique perspective on explaining Bloom’s Taxonomy to students. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom.

10 Intriguing Photographs to Teach Close Reading and Visual Thinking Skills is an excellent post from The New York Times Learning Network. I’m adding it to the close reading list and also toThe Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

Three-Two-One Is A Simple & Effective Summarizing Strategy

Quote Of The Day: “There Was A Misunderstanding” About CCSS & Non-Fiction Texts

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using With “Smartphones Don’t Make Us Dumb”

Great Article On “Being The Best At Anything” & How I’m Using It In Class

Ways To Prioritize Social Emotional Learning Without Grading It

Should Teachers Be Allowed to Touch Students? is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Posts About The Power Of Light Touches In The Classroom.

Amy Mayer has created what I think is an excellent visual about student choice, and has given me permission to publish it here. You can see/read more of her at work at the FriEdTechnology blog and follow her on Twitter at @friEdTechnology. I originally saw the visual on a tweet by Aaron Brengard.

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

I’m going to add this post to two “Best” lists:

The Best Posts & Articles About Providing Students With Choices

The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students

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May 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Here Are The Results Of Anonymous Class Evaluations From My English Language Learner History Class

Project 365 #231: 190810 The Proof Of The Pudding from Flickr via Wylio

© 2010 Pete, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

As regular readers know, I have my students regularly, and anonymously, evaluate our classes and me, and then share the results – warts and all – with administrators, colleagues and readers of this blog. You can see previous results, and resources, at The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

My two IB Theory of Knowledge classes won’t be doing their evaluations until next week, but students in my two English Language Learner courses (a combination U.S. and World History class; and a combination Beginnner/Intermediate/Geography one) completed theirs last week.

Here are the results from my combined history class. I’ll post results from the other in a day or two. Feel free to chime in!

You can see the form I used here.

1. I did my best in this class… All but one said “most of the time.” I think that’s generally accurate, though I’d probably add two-or-three more students to that one who said “hardly ever.”

2. I liked this class… sixty percent said “most of the time” and forty percent said “some of the time.” I would have predicted that a slightly higher percentage would have said “most,” but I can live with this result.

3. Circle the activities that you felt helped you learn the most… Writing about the text book was number one by far. Students write a short summary and an interpretative question (we spent a lot of time learning about higher-order questioning) for each page or two pages in the textbooks; a vocabulary poster where they list five or seven words that are new to them, along with a definition in their own words and a picture; and a 3-2-1 poster for each chapter. Then, in addition to discussing the chapter, students teach their classmates about what they learned and wrote (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More).

Going to the computer lab came in second. One of the main tasks we do there are using the terrific, and free, interactives developed by SAS Curriculum Pathways.

Far below those two activities came clozes and data sets (for inductive learning) that I created (actually, I didn’t create most of them — prior student teachers did, and I suspect that’s why they weren’t a big favorite. It think it’s time for me revisit and revise them).

Tied for last place was “reading the textbook.” That’s a bit surprising to me, since students chose writing about the textbook as their number one most useful learning task. I think it’s a good book (Great Source Access World History). Because of this answer, and a few others, I’m creating a follow-up anonymous evaluation. One of the questions on it will be asking about the textbook.

4. Rank how much you learned in this class on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning you didn’t learn much and 5 meaning you learned a lot…  Sixty percent of the class ranked it a 5, and most of the rest said 4. I would have obviously preferred a higher percentage at 5, but I can live with it.

5. Rank how hard you think Mr. Ferlazzo worked to prepare and teach the class on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning he didn’t work very hard and 5 meaning he worked very hard… Seventy percent gave me a 5 and the rest gave a 4. I think students recognized that teaching two different classes simultaneously (U.S. History students were in the front of the classroom, World History in the back) took a lot of work.

6. Rank how good of a teacher you think Mr. Ferlazzo is on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning he’s a terrible teacher and 5 meaning he’s a great teacher…  Everyone gave me a 5. I was slightly surprised by the unanimity of that response, but pleased. However, this universally positive response resulted in me being perplexed by the results of question nine.

7. Rank how patient you think Mr. Ferlazzo is on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning he is not patient at all and 5 meaning he’s very patient… Forty percent ranked me at 5, forty percent at 4, and twenty percent at 3. I have to admit there were a few times that I felt I let my frustration show a little too much, so this is an area where I certainly can improve.

8. Rank how much you think Mr. Ferlazzo cares about your life outside of class,with 1 meaning he doesn’t care at all and 5 meaning he cares a lot… Fifty percent said 5, thirty percent said 4, and twenty percent said 2. I suspect that the lower numbers came from students who were doing quite well in and out of school. I, like many teachers, end up putting most of our time into students who are experiencing lots of challenges and less time with the ones who seem pretty stable. It’s another reminder to me to regularly touch base with everyone.

9. Would you want to take another class taught by Mr. Ferlazzo… Here’s the most surprising result — seventy-five percent said yes, but twenty-five percent said no. I don’t quite understand how everyone in the class can give me the highest rating as a teacher, but several then say they wouldn’t want me as a teacher again. I’m going to try to gain a better understanding of this in the follow-up evaluation I’ll be giving, and am very open to hearing theories from readers.

10. Do you think having the two classes combined was… Seventy-five percent said it didn’t make a difference, fifteen percent said it was bad and five percent said it was good. This is another point I’m going to ask students to elaborate on in a follow-up evaluation — I’d like to know why those who thought it was bad or good felt that way.

11. Do you think it is important to study history? If yes, why; If no, why not? Please try your best to write an answer to this question and give examples…  This was the only questions that required students to write their own response, and I was disappointed. In retrospect, I shouldn’t be because I didn’t offer a good model. Everyone said they thought it was important to study the past but, except for two or three, no one provided a reason.

Here are the ones that did:

Yes, because history let you know how people live, survive and face challenge. Learn history help you learn from the past to help yourself. Example, reading about tactics from China long ago can help newer tactician plan better.

Yes, because if we study history we will know what happened in past and what’s gonna happen in future.

Yes, because it will help you know about history like if someone ask you about your country you will be able to tell him.

In the short follow-up evaluation I’ll be asking students to complete, I’m going to ask them to try responding to this question again and, this time, offer a model.  I should have known better.

Comments are welcome (including if you have suggestions about questions I should include in my follow-up evaluation)