Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Our Teaching Mistakes & What We Learn From Them”

Our Teaching Mistakes & What We Learn From Them is the title of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, Roxanna Elden, Julia Thompson, Ekuwah Moses, Jenny Edwards, Kevin Parr and Leslie Blauman bare their souls to the world as they write about their biggest teaching mistakes.

I share mine, too, and teachers of English Language Learners might find it particularly interesting.

Here are some excerpts:






October 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Latest BAM! Radio Show Is On Our Biggest Teaching Mistakes


My Biggest Teaching Mistake and What I Learned from It is my latest ten-minute BAM! Radio Show.

Ekuwah Moses, Julia Thompson, Roxanna Elden join me in the conversation, which is a topic in one of my future Education Week Teacher columns.

You can find all my past shows at All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions.

October 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Excellent New Free Resource For New Teachers


Roxanna Elden, one of the wisest and most entertaining writers and speakers on life in the classroom, has just announced a great free resource for new teachers.

Here’s part of her announcement:

According to the US Department of Education, half of all new educators quit within five years. In lower-income schools, half quit within just three years. With teacher shortages growing in many states, it’s more important than ever to help rookies through the October-November low point known as “the Disillusionment Phase.” 

With this in mind, Roxanna Elden, author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers, has created a new tool: the “Disillusionment Power Pack.” 

Teachers who sign up will receive emails for one month beginning the day they subscribe. The emails include journal pages from the author’s first year of teaching, stories behind the stories she now tells in speeches, and insights meant to help teachers through the time frame when new teachers’ great ideas are falling apart and kids are no longer on their best behavior, but the end of the school year is nowhere in sight.

New teachers often feel like the weak link, but are too self-conscious to voice their self-doubt to mentors or colleagues. Even meetings meant to support new teachers can feel competitive, with participants more eager to share successes than confess mistakes. Says Elden, “For better or worse, there is no good way to ‘out’ yourself as a struggling teacher your first year. And yet, what teachers need most is for someone to be straightforward about how tough teaching can be. Especially when you feel like the weak link. Especially when everyone around you is sharing success stories.” Elden has addressed this issue before, including in her TED-style talk on The Myth of the Super Teacher, viewed over 40,000 times internationally, and in an NPR interview on how teachers can survive the October Blues.

She says that in October of her own first year, she needed to hear not from another rookie or award-winning master teacher, but from someone who’d powered through self-doubt and low points to become a successful teacher. In other words, she needed to hear from a future version of herself.

“The Disillusionment Power Pack is the series of emails I’d send to the first-year-version of myself, the teacher crying in a Burger King parking lot wondering if my students would be better off with someone else in front of the room.”

You can read more about it here.

You might also be interested in The Best Advice For New Teachers.

July 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Advice To New Teachers From Veterans”

Advice To New Teachers From Veterans is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, five veteran educators — Valeria Brown, Julia Thompson, Roxanna Elden, Sean McComb and Megan Allen — share advice they wish they thought they had at the beginning of their careers.

Here are some excerpts:






June 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions


As regular readers know, I’ve been doing a weekly ten-minute online BAM! Radio Show for the past year-and-a-half. In each show, I’ve interviewed guests who have contributed to one of my Education Week Teacher columns. They’ve been pretty popular, with nearly 30,000 downloads each month.

I thought readers might find it helpful if I put links with descriptions to each show in one place:

5 Ways Teachers Can Work Around an Awful Textbook
with Mary Ann Zehr and Christopher Lehman

Teacher Leadership: What It Is, What It Is Not with Aubrie Rojee and Regie Routman

Force-Fitting Technology Into Your Classroom: Pros, Cons and Surprises with Suzie Boss and Ken Halla

What Are the Unique Challenges Female Educators Face? with Rusul Airubail, Shanna Peeples, and Megan Allen

My Biggest Teaching Mistake and What I Learned from It with Ekuwah Moses, Julia Thompson, Roxanna Elden

If You Have ELLs in Your Class, but No Curriculum, Do This… with Annie Huynh and Wendi Pillars

Teaching and Learning Without Reflection is Like… with Barry Saide and Mary K. Tedrow

What Is Grit? Can Grit Be Taught? Who Is Responsible for Grit? with Ebony McGee, Kristi Mraz, Christine Hertz

Personalized Learning: Another Buzzword or a “Must-Know” Teaching Strategy? with Allison Zmuda, Diana Laufenberg, Pernille Ripp.

Closing the Teacher Diversity Gap: What It Takes with Dr. Travis Bristol

Three Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Teaching with Val Brown, Julia Thompson

Overwhelmed: Help for Those of Us Whose Lives Are Out of Balance with Debbie Silver

Would These 5 Tips Make You More Open to New Teaching Practices? Sally Zepeda, Bill Sterrett, and Pete Hall

Encouraging Other Teachers Who Work with English Language Learners with Sonia Nieto, Alicia Lopez

The Three Best Ways Teachers Can Encourage Support for English Language Learners with Jennifer Connors, Diane Staehr Fenner, Sydney Snyder

Teaching Strategies 2.0: What Is a Digital Portfolio? Why It Matters with Rusul Alrubail, Michael Fisher

The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Professional Development with Rick Wormeli

Why Some Teachers Stay, While Others Quit with Sharon Jacobs

A Second Look: Teacher Attrition at High Poverty Urban Schools Karen Baptiste, Pia Wong, Yvette Jackson

How Small Learning Communities Create Powerful Climates for Academic Success with ReLeah Cosette-Lent, Ted Appel

How Are Common Core Standards Impacting Teaching Math to ELLs? with Ben Spielberg, Denisse R. Thompson, Gladis Kersaint

Exploring the Difference Between Student Participation and Student Engagement with Jennifer Gonzalez, Bill and Pérsida Himmele

Fitting Technology Into the Common Core Standards: Do This, Don’t Do That with Michael Fisher, Andrew Miller

What Are Good Examples of Reading Lessons Aligned to Common Core Standards? with Cheryl Dobbertin

What Are the Differences Between Project-Based, Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning? with Jeff Wilhelm, Suzie Boss

What Are the Best Ways to Teach Literature in the Age of Common Core? with Nancy Steineke, Sean McComb, Bill and Pérsida Himmele

Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs): Five Strategies That Work with Judie Haynes, MaryAnn Zehr

The 10 Best Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary in the Classroom with Katie Brown, Marilee Sprenger

Maker Movement, DYI, 3D Printers: New Fad or Real Path to 21st Century Skills? with Laura Blankenship

What Is Your Advice to Educators Who Want to Write a Book? with Marjorie McAneny, PJ Caposey, Alan Sitomer

Differentiated Instruction and Tracking Students: Is It Time to Reconsider? Laura Robb, Regie Routman

Effective Classroom Management: Do This, Not That with Pernille Ripp, Dr. Bryan Harris

How Can We Increase the Ranks of Teachers of Color? with Gloria Ladson-Billings

Are Caring and Relationship Building Compatible with Implementing Common Core Standards? with Mai Xi Lee, Sean Slade

How Can Teachers Meet Common Core English Standards with English Language Learners? with Maria Montalvo-Balbed, Debbie Zacarian

Can We Effectively Evaluate Teachers Based on Factors Teachers Completely Control? with Ben Spielberg and Ted Appel

Student Engagement Versus Student Compliance: How Much Does It Really Matter? with Debbie Silver, Dr. Bryan Harris

What Are the Myths and Misconceptions Around Formative Assessment? with Nancy Frey

How Can We Help Students Appreciate the Value of Learning Geography? Elisabeth Johnson, Kelly Young

Close Reading: What It Is, What It’s Not with Chris Lehman

Accountability: What are the Alternatives to Using Test Scores for Teacher Evaluations? with Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D., Ben Spielberg

How Can We Make Math More Engaging and Accessible to Students? with Dr. Anne M. Collins, Sue O’Connell

What Is the Best Way to Train Student Teachers? with Emily Geltz, Linda Rief

How Can Teachers Best Manage Race and Class Issues In Schools?  with P. L. Thomas, Ashanti Foster

Second Thoughts: Teacher Attire, Does it Really Matter? with Roxanna Elden, Renee Moore

How Is Globalization Changing How and What You Teach? with  John Spencer, Diana Laufenberg

How Can Teachers Meet the Common Core Requirement for Complex Reading? with Amy Benjamin, Wendi Pillars

What Are We Losing By Eliminating Arts From the Curriculum? with Virginia McEnerney, David Booth

What Can We Do to Develop a Culture of Success in our Classrooms? with Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Chris Lehman

How Can History Teachers Make the Curriculum More Engaging? Peter Pappas, Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez

What Are the Best Ways for Teachers to Work With School Counselors? with Leticia Gallardo, Mindy Willard

How Can We Help Students (And Ourselves) Stay Organized? with Julia Thompson , Ariel Sacks

How Can Administrators Help Create an Engaging Curriculum with Anne Reeves, Kelly Young

Dissecting Grades: What Do They Mean, What Are They Worth? with Rick Wormeli

How Can We Help Students Handle Loss and Grief? with Mary Tedrow, Stephen Lazar

How Can We Differentiate Instruction More Effectively? with Carol Tomlinson

What Are the Real Benefits of a 1:1 Program? What Are the Biggest Challenges? with Alice Barr, Dr. Troy Hicks

How Can We Get All Students in Our Classes Thinking and Learning All the Time? with Bill and Pérsida Himmele, Jim Peterson

What Are the Five Best Practices to Promote Better Student Learning with Diana Laufenberg, Jeff Charbonneau

What Do We Need to Do to Better Support English Language Learners? with Karen Nemeth, Judie Haynes

How Can We Reduce Teacher Attrition at High-Poverty Schools? with Barnett Berry, Ilana Garon

Why Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools? with Angel L. Cintron Jr. and Paul Bruno

What Are the Habits of Lifelong Readers, How Do We Instill Them? with Donalyn Miller

What Are the Basics Every Teacher Should Know About the Maker Movement? with Sylvia Martinez, Tanya Baker

Character, Grit, Perseverance: Magic Bullet? with Jason Flom and Debbie Silver

How Do We Increase Involvement Among Parents Who Are Already Overwhelmed? with Darcy Hutchins and Mai Xi Lee

June 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

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

Teachers ‘Seek Relevance & Choice’ In Professional Development is my latest Education Week Teacher post.

It includes responses from Roxanna Elden, Sally J. Zepeda, Christopher Lehman, Jennifer Abrams, PJ Caposey, Patricia Reynolds, and Sharon Milano. In addition, I’ve highlighted comments from readers. All make suggestions about how to make professional development more effective learning experiences.

Here are some excerpts: