Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Check Out Roxanna Elden’s New Children’s Book: “Rudy’s New Human”

roxanna elden

Roxanna Elden, one of the best education writers on the planet (and whom I’ve written about a lot), has just published a children’s book titled Rudy’s New Human.

Here’s a guest post from her where she introduces the book, shares an exciting and unique opportunity to let readers see a previous draft, and provides suggestions to all of us who want to write our own children’s book in the future:

Roxanna Elden is a National Board Certified Teacher and the author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. Her first children’s book, Rudy’s New Human, comes out this week.

In teaching, there is no such thing as a final draft. Teaching requires a non-stop series of judgment calls in real time; even with good material, there will always be places the plot slows down, clumsy descriptions, lines of dialogue we wish we’d been able to edit out. 

Authors, on the other hand, always write multiple drafts of their work. In fact, if you go to bookstore events, chances are you’ll hear authors express embarrassment about their first drafts. That’s because they’ve had the opportunity to ask themselves, as many times as necessary, “Is this what I want to say? Is this how I want to say it?” 

I got a big reminder of this contrast over the past year, while working on my first children’s book: RUDY’S NEW HUMAN. The book is narrated by a canine-narrator named Rudy and inspired by the real-life experience of my real dog Rudy as he adjusted to having a baby in the house. The pictures are by supremely talented illustrator Ginger Seehafer, who is also a mom to two humans and two cats.

Here’s where the contrast kicks in: It took more than a year for this 30-page book to go through all the stages of editing, proofreading, and other quality control that led to publication. By publishing industry standards, this was a pretty quick turnaround.

For teachers used to living in permanent rough draft mode, this may be one of the most surprising aspects of the publishing process.

But there’s another thing about the publishing world that’s an adjustment from teaching: The silence.

The flip side of permanent rough draft mode is that teachers are used to getting immediate feedback. A class full of students will let you know right away when the plot slows down or a line of dialogue lands wrong. As a hopeful author, there’s no one to let you know how you’re doing. You write the best draft you can, revise endlessly, research possible agents, email your material out with a personal note, and then…. Wait.

No one puts their head down or checks their phone or starts a side conversation in an outdoor voice to let you know your material isn’t clicking for them, but the sense of rejection can be just as deafening. For more about the publishing process, here is my post entitled, Three Answers to the Question, “So, How Do I Get Published?”

As a nod to the rough-draft nature of teaching, Ginger and I are also offering a secret look at some rough draft pages of RUDY’S NEW HUMAN to anyone who pre-orders the book before the official release date, January 5. 

To get the bonus material, pre-order the book from any retailer before January 5, then email a copy of your receipt to You’ll get an email back with our first-draft of the text, notes, and early sketches, all of which you’re welcome to share with your colleagues and students. Plus, you’ll get a whole new understanding of why most authors hide their first drafts from the world. 

I’m adding this post to So, You Want To Write A Book? Here’s The Best Advice…


September 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Mistakes new Teachers Make & How to Avoid Them”

Mistakes new Teachers Make & How to Avoid Them is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, Michael Janatovich, Sarah Thomas, Roxanna Elden, Kristi Mraz, Christine Hertz, and Julia Thompson explore….common mistakes made by new teachers and how to avoid them.

Here are some excerpts:

May 29, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Ten Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2017 – So Far


As regular readers know, I do a ten-minute weekly BAM! Radio show to accompany my Education Week Teacher columns. They’ve become quite popular, with over 65,000 downloads each month.

I thought readers might be interested in my choices for the best shows I’ve done in 2017 – So Far (from the last six months).

I’m adding this post to All Mid-Year 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place.

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

You might also be interested in:

My Twelve Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2015

My Ten Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2016 – So Far.

My Ten Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2016 – Part Two

Here are My Ten Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2017 – So Far (they are not in any particular order):

Teaching Student to Transfer Learning to New Problems with Nancy Frey, PhD and Adeyemi Stembridge, PhD.

Five Ways to End the School Year Well with Pernille Ripp, Jeremy Adams and Al Gonzalez.

The Most Practical Ways to Get Students to Lead Their Learning with Yvette Jackson, Veronica McDermott, Rebecca Mieliwocki, and Gallit Zvi.

How I Handle the Toughest Teaching Moments with Cindi Rigsbee, Roxanna Elden and Robert Ward.

Great Uses and Misuses of Taxonomies in the Classroom with Meghan Everette, Dr. Rebecca Stobaugh, and Michael Fisher.

Using the First Language of English Language Learners with Melissa Eddington, Wendi Pillars, and Tracey Flores.

Encouraging Students to Set Their Own Goals with Dr. Sanée Bell, Rita Platt, and Kevin Parr.

What I Learned from My Most Difficult Teaching Moments with Lorena German and Tom Rademacher.

Protecting Good Education Ideas from Bad Implementation with Cathy Beck, Kathleen Neagle, and Dan Rothstein.

Four Ways Teachers Can Encourage Student Creativity with Lorena German, John Spencer, and Laura Gibbs.

BONUS NUMBER ELEVEN: Is Extending the School Day or Year Really a Good Idea? with Christine Brandt, Matthew A. Kraft and Barry Saide.

April 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“End the Year With Moments ‘Students Will Remember'”

End the Year With Moments ‘Students Will Remember’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, Pernille Ripp, Alfonso Gonzalez, Jeremy Adams, Roxanna Elden, Ann Mausbach, Kim Morrison, Michael Haggen, and Maia Heyck-Merlin contribute their ideas on how to end the school year well.

Here are some excerpts, as well as a reminder of the Facebook Live discussion that I’ll be hosting on the topic this Wednesday:

I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong.

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