Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Woolly Mammoths & Inductive Learning

 

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of inductive learning (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching).

Today, I did a simple inductive lesson in my English Language Learner World History class that I thought readers might find useful – not necessarily for the particular lesson itself, but because it provides a pretty good example of how inductive learning can work.

We’re studying prehistoric times, and the chapter in our textbook briefly mentioned the woolly mammoths and showed an artist’s drawing of one.

We took a break from the book and I showed this video:

 

Then, I said that scientists are trying to bring a mammoth back to life.  I asked if anyone had seen a Jurassic Park movie (many had).  We talked about “genes” (as well as “jeans”), and how scientists could take some from a frozen mammoth like the one in the video and use them to create a new one.

I then showed this video:

Next, we read this cloze, also known as a gap-fill (see The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills) ).  You can download the cloze here.

I first read it aloud, saying “ummmm” where the blanks were located, and then students completed it. We went over it, and then I asked students to work on their own to use the cloze to figure out the rule about when to use “they” and when to use “them.”

All of them came up with something like “they comes before the verb and them comes after the verb” or “they comes at the beginning of a sentence and them later.”

It went well, and is a textbook example of how to merge content knowledge with language instruction, and to have students “create” their own knowledge.

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”

Surprise, Surprise – New Research Finds Lectures Aren’t The Best Way To Teach

How To Teach With The Concept Attainment Model is from Teach Thought.

Examples Of Student Work From My ELL History Classes

Here’s A New Phonics Activity I Did Today

Teachers Might Find My “Concept Attainment – Plus” Instructional Strategy Useful

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

Pattern learning key to children’s language development is the headline of a report on a new study. It just reinforces the value of inductive teaching with ELLs.

Here’s good background on the Concept Attainment Model.

More good info on concept attainment.

Two Quick Examples Of Concept Attainment

Why I Love This Strategy to Introduce Concepts is from Middleweb.

This page from Sacramento State University is a good resource on concept attainment.

Guided Discovery in Teaching Essay Writing is from Clare’s ELT Compendium.

How My ELL Students Used Padlet To Create A “Picture Data Set”

Woolly Mammoths & Inductive Learning

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….

October 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2017 – Part Two

 

Here’s one more in my series of end-of-year “Best” lists (you can see all 1,700 of the lists here).

You might also be interested in these previous posts:

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2017 – So Far

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2016 – Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2016 – So Far

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2015 – Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2015 — So Far

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2014 — Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2014 — So Far

The “All-Time” Best Social Studies Sites

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2013 – Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2013 – So Far

All My 2013 “The Best…” Lists (So Far) Related To Social Studies In One Place

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2012 — Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2012 — Part One

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2011

The Best “The Best…” Lists Related To Social Studies — 2010

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2010

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2009

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2008

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2017— Part Two (I’ll begin by sharing links to recent “Best” lists on Social Studies-related topics):

The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About The Santa Rosa Fires (& How To Help Victims)

The Best Sites For Learning About Weather

The Best Videos Explaining “Intersectionality”

The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About The National Anthem Protests

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Little Rock 9”

The Best Resources For Learning About The Rohingya Refugee Crisis

The Best Resources For Examining “Privilege”

The Best – Or, At Least, The Most Interesting – Resources About Ben Franklin

The Best Resources For Learning & Teaching About Malcolm X

A Beginning List For Learning About The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

A Beginning List For Learning About The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

The Best Resources For Teaching About Confederate Monuments

The Best Sites Where Students Can Transcribe Historical Texts

The Best Resources For Learning About Proposed Changes To U.S. “Legal” Immigration Policy

The Best Resources For Learning About Hurricane Harvey

The Best Ways To Help Victims Of Hurricane Harvey

Resources For Learning About #Charlottesville

Woolly Mammoths & Inductive Learning

U.S. History Students Creating A “Buffalo Hide Painting” – Lesson & Student Hand-Out

Here’s What My ELL Students Are Reading & Writing About Columbus

Important Advice For White Educators (& Others)

The New York Times shares some wild charts showing the economic “inequality is out of control.” You can check them at out at Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart. Here’s an excerpt from the column:

I’m adding it to The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality.

At The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of Influential People, Events & Ideas, I share what the headline says, plus resources on the “most important” documents and “objects. Now, The Atlantic has come up with an interesting addition: What Was the Most Important Letter in History? They have a number of nominations, ranging from the obvious (“Letter From Birmingham Jail”) to the not-so-obvious (“The “Groans of the Britons” letter, sent circa 450 a.d. by ancient Britons”).

ProPublica has used a recent study on immigration and created a a very useful interactive called The Immigration Effect. With it, you can modify immigration policy and see it’s impact on the U.S. economy. Here’s an excerpt from their article about the study:

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States.

Sacred Places, Sacred Ways is a nice interactive map to five places “revered” by some of the world’s key religions.

I have several interactive maps at The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day that show the flow of refugees around the world. They tend to be confusing – at least, to me. The University of Zurich, though, has developed a new one called Refugee Movements which is clean, clear and easy to use.  The screenshot at the top of this post shows its interface, and the site has a slider at the bottom that lets you change the years.

Google has supported the development of a brand-new site created by the Equal Justice Initiative called Lynching In America. It includes multi-media resources and maps, along with discussions on how it relates to criminal justice today. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.

Thanks to Renee Moore, I learned about the video of a 1967 address Martin Luther King, Jr. gave to junior high school students in Philadelphia. It’s titled “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” and I haven’t been able to find a full transcript on line.  Here’s a very partial one, but much is missing.  A full transcript apparently is available in a book. It’s impressive, to say the least, and would be very useful in class:

I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King.

Stanford has a new impressive climate change curriculum.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Google have created an interactive Searching For Syria site providing an excellent overview of the Syrian War and its refugee crisis.  You can read more about it at TechCrunch. I’m adding it to:

The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day

The Best Resources For Learning About What’s Happening In Syria

September 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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September’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).

You can also see my all-time favorites here. I’ve also been doing “A Look Back” series in recognition of this blog’s tenth anniversary this past February.

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). There are a lot of them this month:

Woolly Mammoths & Inductive Learning

New Study Suggests That Motivation & Growth Mindset Are Most Important Factors For Student Success

My Growth Mindset Lessons Usually Go Well, But What I Did Today Was The Best Yet (Student Hand-Outs Included)

“‘White Educators Must Sharpen Their Humility’ Before They Discuss Race”

Slideshow For ELLs: “Cline” or “Spectrum” On Temperature

My New BAM! Radio Show Is On How Teachers Approach Race & Implicit Bias

“Simplish” Automatically Simplifies And/Or Summarizes Text

Another Study Finds That Learning By Doing Works….

“Apps 4 EFL” Looks Like An Excellent Site For English Language Learners & Their Teachers

Here’s What My ELL Students Are Reading & Writing About Columbus

Study Finds Adding More Periods Of Instruction That Didn’t Work In First Place Doesn’t Help High School Readers

Using “Spot The Difference” Pictures With ELLs

“New Teachers Should ‘Leave Gossip for Tabloids & Reality Shows’”

Here’s The Cover For Our Next Book On Teaching English Language Learners

U.S. History Students Creating A “Buffalo Hide Painting” – Lesson & Student Hand-Out

Yet Another Study Documents The Long-Term Harm Of Short-Term Extrinsic Motivation

Space X Releases Video Of All Their Failures – Perfect For Teaching The Value Of Making Mistakes

“Annotator Tool” Is A Good…Tool For Online Annotation

“Internet Polyglot” Is A Very Useful Site For English Language Learners

Nice Sign Welcoming All Students At Our School Today

New Short Video: Daniel Pink On Motivation & Schools

Good NY Times Piece On Empathy’s Role In School Discipline

“Time.Graphics” Is A New, Free & Useful Tool For Creating Online Timelines

A Message From A Houston Teacher

“Management [& Teaching] Is Much More Than a Science”

 

August 1, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Teaching Students The Differences Between A Good & Bad Slide

We’ve all seen lots of student and adult-created very bad slides.

Here are some resources I’ve used to help teach students to improve their quality (You might also be interested in The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations):

I’m going to start off with a slideshow that Katie Hull Sypnieski and I use with our classes use the Concept Attainment instructional strategy (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching).  We explain the lesson in detail in our upcoming book on teaching English Language Learners, which will be out next March:

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