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
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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

Statistic Of The Day: Employers Want People Who Can “Recognize Patterns”

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
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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….

August 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Employers Want People Who Can “Recognize Patterns”

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of inductive learning and its focus on seeking patterns (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching). It’s also a big push in the Common Core English Language Arts Standards.

Fortune has published the results of an employer survey that identified five key qualities that they are looking for in new employees. The ability to see patterns was one of them:

One-of-the-essential

If you’re interested, the other four qualities were:

Intellectual Curiosity

Cultural Competence

Empathy

Adaptability

July 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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My Favorite Posts In 2015 — So Far

'faves' photo (c) 2005, sheldonschwartz - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Every year I identify my personal favorite posts, and it’s time for my mid-year selection.

You can see my choices for each of the past eight years here.

Here are My Favorite Posts In 2015 — So Far:

Here are some of my favorite “The Best…” lists from this year (by the way, the total lists I’ve published reached 1,450 this year):

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

All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions

The Best Movie/TV Scenes Demonstrating Metacognition – Help Me Find More

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

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

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

I also wrote quite a few posts for The New York Times on teaching English Language Learners (you can see them all here) that I think are quite useful. By the way, I’ll be writing for a fourth year starting in September and, insanely, I will be going back to doing it weekly instead of monthly.

I had several articles published elsewhere, including some excerpts from my latest book on student motivation that were surprisingly popular:

And here are a few other posts from this blog that I thought were particularly useful:

Jigsaw Puzzles As A Language-Learning Activity

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

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

All Student Hand-Outs From My New Student Motivation Book Now Online For Free

No, The “Cone Of Experience” Is Not “Research-Based” & Yes, Some People Debunking It Have Way Too Much Time On Their Hands

Last, but not least, I think this relatively short video of me talking about student motivation is one educators might find helpful:

July 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

You might also be interested in The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far.

Here are this week’s picks:

Homework Matters: Great teachers set great homework is by Tom Sherrington. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

How To Get Rid of Negative Thoughts is from PsyBlog, and offers good suggestions that teachers can use and also suggest to students.

Yes, Creativity Can Be Learned is from Canva. I’m adding it to The Best Sources Of Advice On Helping Students Strengthen & Develop Their Creativity.

Study: Feedback doesn’t always help students is from Chalkbeat. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching:

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