Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 29, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Michael Sandel: Should we pay children to read?”

I’ve written a lot about the work of Harvard Professor Michael Sandel.

Here’s short video where he’s considering the question “Should we pay children to read?” He gets to the crux of the matter in the final couple of minutes:

I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

It’s particularly timely because of this past week’s release of a study on paying students to work harder on tests, which I’ve written about at:

Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools? Don’t They Have Enough Other Things To Do?

Part Two Of “Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools?” — My Worst Fears Realized

September 6, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far

As regular readers know, I teach an International Baccalaureate “Theory of Knowledge” class. Our school structures our IB program a bit differently from many others by having a whole lot of students take individual IB classes and we have relatively few who are taking all IB classes in order to get the IB diploma. I really like this set-up, and it opens up my TOK class to a lot more students.

As I’ve said before, I can’t think of a high school class that would be more fun to teach or more fun to take…

You might also be interested in:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

Here are my choices for The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far:

My collection of resources for IB Theory of Knowledge classes has grown to 1200 categorized links.  TOK teachers and students might also find our class blog useful.

“much of what seems real to us is governed by our own perceptions”

The TOK Oral Presentation is a key part of all Theory Of Knowledge classes, and Jeff Taylor, who I assume is a TOK teacher, has created an amazingly helpful Prezi slideshow on TOK Presentation Tips.  I’ve embedded it over at our Theory of Knowledge class blog.

‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy is a terrific interview of Harvard professor Michael Sandel about his new book, “What Money Can’t Buy.” It appeared on the PBS News Hour tonight (Part Two will be online tomorrow and I’ll post it here). I’ve embedded the video below, though I don’t know if it will show up in an RSS feed. If you go to the previous link you can also read the transcript. I’ve previously written about Professor Sandel’s new book and what he has to say about schools. I also use his work when we study ethics in our IB Theory Of knowledge class.

Watch ‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

The Stories We Think We See Are Not Always The Real Ones

“Let’s Play ‘History As A List’” Is A Fascinating Idea

Teaching Students To Teach (& What School Reformers Are Missing)

“Facial Coding For Super Bowl Ads”

NPR’s Robert Krulwich Provides Another Excellent Idea For A History Lesson

Creating An Internet Meme With Makr.io

Thinking “Inside Out” — How Could I Use This In A Lesson?

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

Good Video Series On Critical Thinking

VERY Useful Analysis Of Bill Nye’s Video On Creationism

“Teenage Philosopher Defends Missing Her Curfew” is a must-read, very funny piece from McSweeney’s Magazine. It is perfect for an IB Theory of Knowledge class! I’m going to have students read it, and then work in pairs to find the meaning of each philosophical allusion in the article. It will be a fun activity near the end of the school year, and I’ll probably even make it a contest (I’m obviously not a fan of extrinsic rewards, but, in this case, I’ll make a very silly one).

I titled the post where I published this comic “There Are Dangers To Always Doing What You’re Told To Do….”:

Source: gocomics.com

Additional contributions are welcome!

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 900 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

August 20, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Videos For Educators In 2012 — So Far

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m doing mid-year lists to make it easier for me to do my end-of-year final lists.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Videos For Educators In 2011

Part Two Of The Best Videos For Educators — 2010

The Ten Best Videos For Educators — 2010

And you might also want to see The Best Funny Videos Showing The Importance Of Being Bilingual — Part OneThe Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner and The Best Fun Videos About Books & Reading.

Here are my choices for The Best Videos For Educators In 2012 — So Far:

Here’s a short video demonstrating Bloom’s Taxonomy through scenes from the movie, “Finding Nemo.” It only has still scenes for each level with a description, but it would be easy enough to show the scenes from a DVD or via Netflix and use this video as a guide:

And here’s Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) According to Homer Simpson. I’ve embedded the video below, though if it doesn’t show up on an RSS Readers you might have to click through to see it. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom, where it joins similar videos using clips from Star Wars, Seinfield and Pirates of the Caribbean to provide a similar light-hearted, but educational, perspective.

I’ve written a lot about the work of Harvard Professor Michael Sandel. Here’s short video where he’s considering the question “Should we pay children to read?” He gets to the crux of the matter in the final couple of minutes:

I titled this video “Sometimes You Just Have To Take The Risk, Jump In, & Grab An Opportunity Because It May Not Be There For Long…”:

First, congratulations to LeBron James on his first NBA Championship.

Second, thanks to LeBron for spending so much reading and making it so public.

Here’s a video on why and what he’s reading, and an ESPN article about it — LeBron James, open book.

Justin Reich posted Don’t Use Khan Academy without Watching this First, and it’s a very important post where he shared this video two teachers (and an important commentary about it), Dave Coffey and John Golden, created:

Bill Ferriter found this video and wrote a must-read commentary about it — Learning about Grading from the Baljeatles.

Let’s not turn our students into this, please. This video make a great case for why we need to help our students develop intrinsic motivation.

This really is an extraordinary video, and is tailor-made to use in an ESL class — it’s extremely engaging and has lots of different activities that students can describe and discuss. In fact, it’s engaging for anyone…. Unfortunately, it’s also a commercial for Coke, but the advertising part is very small at the end:

PBS released this wonderful remix of Mister Rogers:

Thanks to an excellent post by Jennifer Brokofsky, I learned about this short video of Sir Ken Robinson. He makes an excellent point about the importance of helping students motivate themselves (and I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students):

“Farmers and gardeners know you cannot make a plant grow….The plant grows itself. What you do is provide the conditions for growth. And great farmers know what the conditions are and bad ones don’t. Great teachers know what the conditions for growth are and bad ones don’t.”

In this video, some ducklings were able to get over the curb on their own. However, several found that it was just too high. Look at how someone provides assistance to those having trouble, and how he doesn’t tell them what to do. Instead, he offers it as an option, as a choice they can make. It’s an example of an old community organizing axiom, “If you don’t give people the opportunity to say no, you don’t give them the opportunity to say yes, either.”

Diane Ravitch calls this video clip the “greatest single commentary on flaws of data-driven school reform today.” It is pretty darn good, I have to agree:

Perpetual Ocean is a NASA video showing ocean currents over a two year period. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Oceans.

Check-out the just-released Symphony of Science video about dinosaurs. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Dinosaurs:

This is a very good short video on how our brain learns. It also reinforces the importance of deliberative practice. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning:

This is a hilarious video using the often-used Hitler video clip to comment on school testing. I’m adding it to A Collection Of The Best “Laugh While You Cry” Videos. Thanks to Bill Ferriter for finding it.

We Are All Connected is a great one minute film from The World Wildlife Fund.

You could have English Language Learners say/write what is happening in the film, compare the two screens, and explain how they are similar.

Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, shared this video from Kathy Collins of Choice Literacy:

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 900 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

June 11, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy”

‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy is a terrific interview of Harvard professor Michael Sandel about his new book, “What Money Can’t Buy.”

It appeared on the PBS News Hour tonight (Part Two will be online tomorrow and I’ll post it here). I’ve embedded the video below, though I don’t know if it will show up in an RSS feed. If you go to the previous link you can also read the transcript.

I’ve previously written about Professor Sandel’s new book and what he has to say about schools. I also use his work when we study ethics in our IB Theory Of knowledge class.

Watch ‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

May 23, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Great Example Demonstrating The Pitfalls Of Extrinsic Rewards

Regular readers of this blog are well aware of my concerns about using extrinsic rewards.

Here’s another great example of why they can be so damaging…

Michael Sandel has recently written a book about the values of the market invading all aspects of our lives (see “What Isn’t for Sale?”). I have it on my nightstand, but haven’t gotten to it yet.

The Boston Globe published a short excerpt
today — it’s worth reading the whole post. Here’s the excerpt:

For years, Switzerland had been trying to find a place to store its radioactive waste…. One location designated as a potential site was the small mountain village of Wolfenschiessen (population 2,100). In 1993, shortly before a referendum on the issue, economists surveyed the residents of the village, asking whether they would vote to accept a nuclear waste repository in their community if the Swiss parliament decided to build it there. Although the facility was widely viewed as an undesirable addition to the neighborhood, a slim majority (51 percent) of residents said they would accept it. Apparently their sense of civic duty outweighed their concern about the risks. Then the economists added a sweetener: suppose parliament proposed building the nuclear waste facility in your community and offered to compensate each resident with an annual monetary payment. Then would you favor it?

The result: support dropped to 25 percent. What’s more, upping the ante didn’t help. When the economists increased the monetary offer, the result was unchanged. The residents stood firm even when offered yearly cash payments as high as $8,700 per person, well in excess of the median monthly income.

March 21, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

“What Isn’t for Sale?”

What Isn’t for Sale? is an article by Professor Michael Sandel that appeared in The Atlantic over the weekend. It’s an excellent companion piece to my Washington Post column today, Bribing students: Another ‘magical solution’ that doesn’t work. In fact, he refers to the same Dallas study that I cite about paying students to read books.

I would strongly recommend reading his article (it’s not that long). Here are a few excerpts:

The most fateful change that unfolded during the past three decades was not an increase in greed. It was the reach of markets, and of market values, into spheres of life traditionally governed by nonmarket norms. To contend with this condition, we need to do more than inveigh against greed; we need to have a public debate about where markets belong—and where they don’t…..

….we should hesitate to put everything up for sale is more difficult to describe. It is not about inequality and fairness but about the corrosive tendency of markets. Putting a price on the good things in life can corrupt them. That’s because markets don’t only allocate goods; they express and promote certain attitudes toward the goods being exchanged. Paying kids to read books might get them to read more, but might also teach them to regard reading as a chore rather than a source of intrinsic satisfaction.

…. some of the good things in life are degraded if turned into commodities. So to decide where the market belongs, and where it should be kept at a distance, we have to decide how to value the goods in question—health, education, family life, nature, art, civic duties, and so on. These are moral and political questions, not merely economic ones.

…without quite realizing it—without ever deciding to do so—we drifted from having a market economy to being a market society….The difference is this: A market economy is a tool—a valuable and effective tool—for organizing productive activity. A market society is a way of life in which market values seep into every aspect of human endeavor. It’s a place where social relations are made over in the image of the market.

The great missing debate in contemporary politics is about the role and reach of markets. Do we want a market economy, or a market society? What role should markets play in public life and personal relations? How can we decide which goods should be bought and sold, and which should be governed by nonmarket values? Where should money’s writ not run?

And, since I began this post talking about my article in today’s Washington Post, I refer to the use of “magical solutions” that end up making things worse as a hallmark of many school reform efforts, and use Disney’s animated classic “Fantasia” as a metaphor (allegory?). Here’s the scene from the movie I write about:

May 17, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
8 Comments

The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students

'Motivation quote' photo (c) 2010, photosteve101 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

(NOTE: You might also be interested in my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges.)

And check out its sequel, Self-Driven Learning.

Q & A Collections: Student Motivation brings all my Ed Week posts on student motivation together in one place.

I’ve put the word “motivating” in quotation marks for this post because I hate the word. Here’s how I put it in a previous post:

Anytime I hear or read about “motivating students,” I cringe a bit.

An organizing truism (one that I learned during my twenty-year community organizing career) is that you might be able to bribe, cajole, badger, or threaten somebody to do something over the short-term (I’ve certainly done my of that, and I’ve written about the negative results). But I don’t think you can really “motivate” anybody to do anything beyond a very, very, very short timeline, after which the initial enthusiasm quickly dissipates.

 

However, you can help another person find what will motivate themselves.

The posts in this “The Best…” list more of my thinking around this perspective.

You might also want to check-out articles I’ve written on this topic for other publications (some have similar titles, but different content):

The Washington Post: Bribing students: Another ‘magical solution’ that doesn’t work.

The New York Times: Helping Students Motivate Themselves

Education Week: Helping Students Motivate Themselves

Education Week: Several Ways To ‘Motivate’ the Unmotivated To Learn

Washington Post: Helping students motivate themselves

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career and My Best Posts On Students Setting Goals.

In addition, check-out The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning.

Here are My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students:

I’ve Never “Motivated” A Student

The Problem With “Bribing Students”

A Few Reflections On Daniel Pink’s New Book, “Drive”

My Thoughts On A Very Intriguing Video On Motivation & Incentives

The Difference Between Praise & Acknowledgment

How Do You Think Working Hard & Learning Everything You Can In This Class Might Help You Now & In The Future?

“Now I Know My Brain Is Growing When I Read Every Night”

On Rewards & Classroom Management

“What Drives Motivation in the Modern Workplace?”

Now This Is The Way To Make Academic Talks Accessible — Great Examples Of Graphic Note-Taking (this post contains a link to a graphic representation of Daniel Pink’s book, “Drive.”)

Cooperative Learning

Updates On Some Classroom Lessons & Research I’ve Been Doing

“Will Sleeping More Make Me Smarter?” — A Lesson I’m Trying This Week

“Mental Imagery” & Success

“Motivating Students Via Mental Time Travel”

Very Important Study On Learning & The Brain

Another Important Study On Motivation

Exceptional Interview With Daniel Pink

Hilarious Video Clip On Motivation, Alfie Kohn, & “The Office”

Some Wisdom From “This American Life”

More Evidence That Bribes Don’t Work For Actions That Require Higher Order Thinking Skills

Good Short Interview With Daniel Pink

Very Useful Articles On Motivation

“Relevance” & Student Learning

What Does Learning From Mistakes Do To Your Brain?

“Carrots and sticks: Procrastination fix?”

The Best Short Summary I’ve Seen Of Daniel Pink’s Book, “Drive”

“You Gotta’ Practice”

Motivation & Rewards

How Incentives Can Be Productive (But Not In The Way You Might Think)

The Best Articles On The New Study Showing That Intelligence Is Not “Fixed.”

How To Take Better Advantage Of Brain Plasticity

Daniel Pink On Grades, Autonomy & Inquiry

“How Does Our Brain Learn New Information?”

“When Students Focus On Tests, They Are Not Taking The Time To Think About Why They Are Learning”

“Words Speak Louder Than Money”

Highlights Of Twitter Chat With Daniel Pink

Does being reminded of money make you an uncooperative jerk or an independent thinker? is a blog post by Daniel Pink on some a new study. Even though it’s not my post, I’m adding it here because it’s probably the best place for it.

Is This The Strategy We Really Want To Use To Change Student Behavior?

Important Posts On Motivation

What Do New Studies Say Happens If You Are Treated Unfairly And/Or Feel Controlled?

“Does money really motivate people?”

Every Day I Discover How Little I Know — Here’s Another Example

A Great Example Demonstrating The Pitfalls Of Extrinsic Rewards

CEOs and the Candle Problem is a new article describing an old experiment about motivation and the ineffectiveness of incentives.

“You Cannot Make A Plant Grow — You Can Provide The Conditions For Growth”

Even More Evidence That “outside incentives can undermine the intrinsic motivations”

Classroom Leadership: Rewards Are Like Crack is by John T. Spencer.

“First Year Highlights: Student Motivation”

Starting the Conversation on Rethinking Awards Ceremonies is by Chris Wejr.

A Couple Of Posts On Motivation

Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools? Don’t They Have Enough Other Things To Do?

Part Two Of “Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools?” — My Worst Fears Realized

“Michael Sandel: Should we pay children to read?”

Toilet-Training, Incentives & Merit Pay

I’ve previously posted about The Progress Principle, a book by Professor Teresa Amabile. Here’s a short video interview with her:

 

Series Of Good Dan Pink Videos To Use With Students

“Reward Undermining”

Here’s What I Do During My Favorite Time Of The School Week


Is This The Most Important Research Study Of 2012? Maybe

Dan Pink was interviewed on CBS, and it really gets at some key elements of motivation and goal-setting. There’s nothing new there for people familiar with his work, but it’s a great piece to show to colleagues and to students. I’ve embedded it below, though am not sure if it will show-up in an RSS Reader:



Short, Sweet & Effective Advice On Helping Students Motivate Themselves


Surprise, Surprise: Study Finds That Relationships Promote Perseverance & Cash Bonuses Do Not

“Teachers As ‘Persuaders’: An Interview With Daniel Pink”

Links To The Entire Six Week Twitter Chat On Helping Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation

Media Coverage Of Mayo Clinic’s Research On Paying People To Lose Weight — Not Seeing The Forest For The Trees

How Did I Not Know About This National Academy Of Sciences Report On Student Motivation?

Need More Evidence About The Dangers Of Extrinsic Rewards? Here It Is From The Harvard Business Review


Infographic: “How to Motivate Employees” (& Maybe It Says Something About The Classroom, Too)

The More We Try To Control, The Less Chance Of Getting Our Preferred Outcomes

Quote Of The Day: Stop Telling Your Employees (& Students) What To Do

Quote Of The Day: “No One Likes To Be Changed”

This video demonstrates both the disadvantages of extrinsic motivation and the importance of helping our students develop creativity:

The Unengageables is a must-read post by Dan Meyer. It’s specifically talking about math, but much of what he says (and links to) related to motivation issues across all classes.

How Incentives Demoralize Us is by Barry Schwartz.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently is by Heidi Grant Halvorson and appeared in the Harvard Business Review. What makes it particularly useful in class is an online assessment people can take on it — The 9 Things Diagnostic.

Student Motivations and Attitudes: The Role of the Affective Domain in Geoscience Learning is the very long title of a very useful page on motivation research.

Quote Of The Day: “Why Paying Kids to Do Homework Can Backfire”

14 Videos for Starting Dialogue on Rethinking Rewards, Awards is a must-see post from Chri Wejr.

Sandy Millin has a good post titled Motivation Stations (including student hand-outs) that is specifically geared to motivation for learning a second language.

When 3+1 is more than 4 is Harvard report on a new study that reinforces previous research findings that rewards only “work” if they are unexpected gifts.

Finding Drive is an article in Language Magazine about motivation in learning a second (or third) language.


Start Off The New Year With This Excellent Classroom Advice

Motivation Revisited is by David Deubelbeiss.

What does neuroscience research say about motivation and the brain? is by Judy Willis.

PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know includes some very useful information, including this:

How to Harness Your Brain’s Dopamine Supply and Increase Motivation is from LifeHacker.

The Power Of Interest is by Annie Murphy Paul.

How to “Bake” Intrinsic Motivation: A Holiday Recipe for Your Classroom or School is from Sam Chaltain and Kim Farris-Berg.

Q-and-A with author Dan Pink: Using motivational questioning and more in the classroom is at Smart Blog on Education.

Three Things That Actually Motivate Employees is from the Harvard Business Review.

If You Weren’t Able To Attend Our Workshop On “Developing A Self-Motivated Student Culture,” These Tweets Have It Covered

When Classroom Culture Conflicts With EdTech appeared in Larry Cuban’s blog. I particularly like the first half, which provides an insightful critique of the tech tool, ClassDojo.

Another Study Demonstrates The Ineffectiveness Of Extrinsic Motivation, But Also Something More….

Language learning: what motivates us? is a very interesting article in The Guardian.

“Knowledge Motivates Preschoolers More Than Stickers, Study Says”

Why Incentives Don’t Actually Motivate People To Do Better Work is from Business Insider.

How To Motivate People – 4 Steps Backed By Science is from Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

My New British Council Post: “Creating The Conditions For Self-Motivated Students”

Classes of Donkeys is by David Truss, and offers some thoughtful commentary on the popular Class Dojo behavior management tech tool.

On Using And Not Using ClassDojo*: Ideological Differences? is by Larry Cuban. Motivating is from ELT Reflections, and is also on Class Dojo.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 450 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

December 23, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

TED Talks Adds Great New Feature Today

Today, TED Talks announced a great new feature called Best of The Web.

Here’s an excerpt from their announcement:

“…these talks don’t come from TED or any of our partner conferences. These talks come from all over the Web. We’ll draw from any source — from lectures at little-known forums to famous speeches that made history — so long as the video is available for free, and so long as the talk meets our most important benchmark: that it’s an Idea Worth Spreading. Over the next weeks and months, you’ll see the Best of the Web collection grow to include a large variety of great talks on technology, entertainment, design and all the other topics you can find on TED.com.”

The first talks in this feature include ones from Michael Sandel and Steve Jobs.

This looks like it will, indeed, be a great feature. They could make it even greater, though, if they were able to show them without the YouTube “imprint.” Even though they’ll be hosted on TED Talks, it appears that they will still be blocked by school content filters since — at the least the first few — are taken directly from YouTube.