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”

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

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….

April 25, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included

teach

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of students teaching their classmates, and tons of research backs-up the value of that practice (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More).

This past week was the most recent time I applied this idea in my classes.

I simultaneously teach World History and U.S. History English Language Learner classes (fortunately, this year I have the help of a student teacher – it gets a bit hectic when one is not around). World History students learned about World War I a couple of weeks prior to the U.S. History class getting there. So the World History students divided into pairs to prepare a short unit made-up of a cloze (also known as a “gap-fill” or “fill-in-the-blank” – see The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills)); a data set, which is a series of short texts that students categorize and supplement with more information they find (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching); and a “Make-and-Break,” a term coined by my friend and mentor Kelly Young to describe a simple sequencing activity.

Here is the entire prep and planning packet used by my World History students, which also included a requirement to prepare teaching “moves” and a lesson plan. The process is easily adaptable to just about any topic or subject area. It’s somewhat similar to a lesson you’ll find in one of my student motivation books.

I gave students four days to prepare the unit, including making a master packet and multiple copies of student hand-outs for when they taught. Here is an example of one of the master packets prepared by a group of students.

Fortunately, we were able to use the library for our three days of teaching. U.S. History students were divided into seven groups, as were the World History students. Each group was assigned to a table, and each day the World History group taught one of the three lessons. At the end of each day, the U.S. History students would do some reading in their textbook for a few minutes while I met with the World History class to review the lesson for the following day.

It all went very well. The U.S. History students are eager now to “turn-the-tables,” and both classes will be using the same process on a historical topic of their choice for part of their final “exam” – a “Genius Hour” version (see The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” (Also Known As “Genius Hours”) To Schools).

Here are a few reflective comments by my World History students:

When I teach, I liked to tell what I learn and know about the lesson.

When I teach, I learned be a teacher was not easy so we have to be nice to our teacher.

I learned about to be more patient and pay attention to others.

I like about taught other people what I know. I like the way they focus and hard-working what I’m teaching.

What I liked about this project is that I could help my “students” understand what we were doing.

What I learned about teaching is that it could be hard work if the student does not focus.

Teaching is a responsible profession that you need to carry with you because the future of your students depends on you.

I learned how to explain something to the students.

February 26, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Explicit Teaching Of Grammar Is Not A Winner – What Do You Think Is?

Regular readers of blog know that I’m not a big fan of explicit grammar instruction outside of students using online grammar practice sites for reinforcement (see The Best Sites For Grammar Practice, which I recently updated and revised).

However, I do use Concept Attainment for grammar instruction in the classroom. You can see several posts explaining that process at The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching, including these two extremely popular recent posts:

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

I’m prompted to share this info because Education Week published an interesting piece today titled Will the Common Core Step Up Schools’ Focus on Grammar?

I was struck by this paragraph:

A-2007-metaanalysis-of

Our English Department is exploring instructional ideas to effectively strengthen our grammar instruction.

Any ideas?

February 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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I Did A Presentation Today On The Concept Attainment Instructional Strategy – Here Are My Materials

concept

I’m a big fan of using Concept Attainment in teaching grammar and writing, and have shared many examples in blog posts and in my books. You can see previous posts at The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching.

I gave a short presentation about it to some of my school colleagues this afternoon. I thought readers might find it useful to see the materials I prepared.

First off, though, here’s a quick description of the strategy that comes from our forthcoming book, Navigating The Common Core With English Language Learners:

Another form of inductive learning we use with ELLs to improve their writing is the use of examples and non-examples, known as Concept Attainment. This strategy, originally developed by Jerome Bruner and his colleagues, involves the teacher identifying both “good” or “Yes” and “bad” or “No” examples of the intended learning objective. As the teacher shares the “Yes” and “No” examples with students, they are encouraged to develop the reasoning which supports why an example is a “Yes” or a “No.” This inductive learning strategy is a great way to teach multiple elements of writing including sentence structure, grammar, development, and organization.

This first example, which includes all examples of student writing (that’s one of the keys to success of this strategy) is focused on teaching when to use “is” and when to use “are.” The paper is put on the overhead, with all sentences except for the first one under “yes” covered. The teacher then uncovers the first “no” example, asks students to think for a minute, talk to a partner, and see if students can figure out why one is under “Yes” and the other under “No.” We can continue this process until students have come to a conclusion. They then re-write the “no” examples correctly and formulate a “rule.”

is and are

The next sheet I shared was the one at the top of this post and is designed to teach when to use “have” and when to use “has.” The same process is used.

Those first two are model for how to use concept attainment to teach simple grammatical concepts.

The next example I used shows how to use it to teach more sophistical grammar and writing strategies, and I previously published those examples in an insanely popular post titled Teachers Might Find My “Concept Attainment – Plus” Instructional Strategy Useful.

That post describes in detail the process I developed and which I call “Concept Attainment – Plus.” Here are sheets I used in the three-step process that is designed to teach the even more sophisticated “I Say, They Say” essay framework, as well as verb tense agreement.

verbtenseone

verbtensetwo

verbtensethree

Lastly, I shared even more sophisticated examples of using Concept Attainment to teach the “PQC” – Point, Quote, Comment and “ABC”- Answer the Question, Back it up, make a Connection. You can find those examples at my post, Here Are Some Examples Of Using “Concept Attainment” In Writing Instruction. My talented colleague, Lara Hoekstra, prepared those examples.

I remain convinced that there are no more effective and engaging instructional strategies to teach grammar, and few others that are equally successful in developing successful writers.

Let me know experiences you’ve had using this strategy in your classroom in the past or in the future….

February 9, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My All-Time Favorite Posts!

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As regular readers know, this month marks the ninth anniversary of this blog (you can see a list of the “all-time” most popular posts during that time here).

And many readers are familiar with my regularly updated lists of “all-time” favorite sites (you can see them at All Of My “All-Time” Best Lists In One Place!).

Every six months, I also make lists of my favorites posts and articles during those periods (you can see them all here).

I thought it would be appropriate for me to take a look at those favorite lists and share “my favorites of my favorites.”

First off, here are my favorite “Best” lists (you can see all 1,600 of them here):

The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Knowing What You Don’t Know

The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change

The Best Fun Videos About Books & Reading

The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven”

The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing

The Best Posts & Articles About Compromise

The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers)

The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students

A Collection Of The Best “Laugh While You Cry” Videos.

The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

The Best Movie Scenes, Stories, & Quotations About “Transfer Of Learning” – Help Me Find More!

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

My Best Posts On Writing Instruction

Next, here are my favorite “non-Best list” posts:

How To Recover From A Classroom Train Wreck….

“What I Cannot Create, I Do Not Understand”

Ducklings Video Demonstrates Great “Differentiated Instruction”

Is This The Most Important Research Study Of 2012? Maybe

An Effective Five-Minute Lesson On Metacognition

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

Collective Punishment In The Classroom

What Can We Learn About Classroom Management From Abraham Lincoln?

Emphasizing What Students Can Do, Instead Of What They “Can’t”

A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits is just about my favorite lesson plan.

“Mr. Ferlazzo, I Need My Post-It, Too” is about one of my favorite classroom moments — ever!

The Fifteen Tech Tools & Non-Tech Resources I Use Most Often With My Students

Deliberate Practice & Red Herrings

“How Can I Better A Better Teacher For You?”

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

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

“Oh, I Get It! If You Send Me Out, Then I’m Being Bad; If I Send Me Out, Then I’m Being Good!”

It Doesn’t Matter If It’s “Effective” If Students Won’t Do It

How To Turn A Negative Consequence Into A Positive Classroom Management Strategy

Classroom Management Strategy: “Sometimes The Only Thing Worse Than Losing A Fight Is Winning One”

Classroom Management Strategy: Here Are Three Things I Want. What Are Three Things You Want?

Irritation Vs. Agitation

Knowledge Isn’t Power — “Power is Power”

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

I hope you find this list useful!

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