Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All Of My Theory Of Knowledge “Best” Lists In One Place!

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As regular readers know, I teach a very wide variety of classes, and they include the International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge course.

I know that quite a few TOK teachers read this blog, and thought it would be helpful to them if I put all of TOK-related “Best” lists together in one place.

These don’t include some excellent resources I have recently posted (though, those will be included in my next mid-year “Best” list, which will be added to this collection). You can also check out the TOK category on my site for those latest posts.

In addition to these “Best” lists, you probably want to check out my Nearly 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes.

Now, here goes:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Commentaries On The New IB Theory Of Knowledge Teaching Guide

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Movies For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes – What Are Your Suggestions?

The Best Posts On IB Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Posts On Teaching TOK “Knowledge Questions”

March 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Nearly 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes

As regular readers know, in addition to teaching various classes to English Language Learners and to mainstream ninth-graders, I teach the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course. I also regularly share TOK resources here on the blog, and I think it’s pretty popular among TOK teachers around the world.

In addition, I accumulate links to articles and resources on the Delicious bookmarking site, and now have nearly 2,000 categorized into the all the TOK “Ways of Knowing” and “Areas of Knowledge.”

You can find most of them here.

However, for some weird reason, not quite all of the “tags” are visible at that link. Here are direct links to the WOK and AOK resources not listed in the above link:

Logic and Reason (They’re separate, but all related. I think I first started using the logic tag and later switched to reason)

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Imagination

Intuition (though most are still in the Emotion category)

Human Sciences

February 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Student Examples From Theory Of Knowledge Project

Regular readers of this blog know that, in addition to teaching several classes of Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners, I also teach two International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge classes.

TOK teachers know that IB has made a number of changes recently (see The Best Commentaries On The New IB Theory Of Knowledge Teaching Guide) that has, among other things, increased the number of “Ways Of Knowing” (how we learn knowledge) and “Areas of Knowledge” (categories we use for that knowledge). Though it’s not required that we teach them all, it’s still important that we at least touch on them.

In fact, it’s impossible to adequately teach all of them — there just isn’t enough time in the school year. One way I have “touched” on two of the additional Areas of Knowledge is provide this assignment for Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Religious Knowledge Systems (clicking on those links will lead to the simple instructions and links, and you’ll find student presentations in the comments — most of my students will be uploading them to the blog on Friday but there are a few there now).

Basically, students are given three days to prepare short presentations covering these points:

What is this Area of Knowledge about?

What practical problems can be solved by applying this knowledge?

What makes this Area of Knowledge important?

Show the connections at least three Ways of Knowing have to this Area of Knowledge.

There are usually (I did a version of this last year) ten-to-fourteen groups (I use this as an opportunity for students to “try-out” if they want to do their major TOK oral presentation with their partners). I get the laptop cart, form and inner and outer circle with groups facing each other, and then groups have about five minutes each to present to each other, ask and answer questions, and then the outer circle groups move clockwise. We do this during a class period, evaluated the next day, and then begin to immediately start working on the formal TOK Oral Presentation.

It’s worked out well last year and this year — we cover to Areas of Knowledge, it’s a warm-up for the formal Oral Presentation, and people are fairly intrigued and engaged.

I’ve embedded a couple of examples below. I’m all ears for how I can make this assignment better….

Indigenous

More presentations from PAK

Religion

More presentations from PAK

January 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“What If?” Projects From My Theory Of Knowledge Class

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I’ve written a lot about annual “What If?” history projects I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students create (see The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons).

We only spend three days on it, and then students share their presentations with the class. Afterwards, I make arrangements for my TOK students to help my Intermediate English Language Learner history students to create their own. You can see lots of examples from both types of classes at my Best list.

I’m also sharing one from my TOK class at the bottom of this post. First, though, I thought readers might be interested in seeing what my TOK students wrote in their evaluation of the activity. They had to answer three questions:

1. What did you like about the project and why?

2. How could the activity be improved?

3. What did you learn about the idea/concept of history by doing this project?

Here are some of their responses. Obviously, the most important question is the third one.

1. What did you like about the project and why?

The responses here emphasized liking to be able to pick partners and events.

2. How could the activity be improved?

The responses here all focused on wanting more time. Also, some suggested they’d rather make a video than a slide deck.

3. What did you learn about the idea/concept of history by doing this project?

I learned that small events throughout history had a major impact and affected how things are today.

I learned that sometimes historians tend to believe something in history and have to go back and look for evdience in order to confirm if it is true or not.

From this project I learned that while many things are incorporated into history just one change could have made a dramatic impact on our lives today.

I learned that every event was caused by another event which was caused by another event. Therefore, history is a never-ending cycle, and that everything happens for a reason. By changing the course of history we better understand the course that history actually took.

I learned that history is very boring but has a huge impact on our present and future.

History wouldn’t be as harsh if we made better choices back then.

I learned that maybe things were meant to go the way they went because most of the alternate histories were bad.

The world could be completely different because a simple event did or did not happen. Those simple events can actually change the world.

December 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two

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As regular readers know, I teach an International Baccalaureate “Theory of Knowledge” class (in fact, this year I teach two of them!). Our school structures our IB program a bit differently from many others by having a whole lot of students take individual IB classes; 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 2014 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part One

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 2014 – Part Two:

As regular readers know, I’ve been accumulating teaching/learning resources for the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge class ever since I began to teach it a few years ago. The collection is now up to nearly 1,700 links that are categorized by Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge, and you can access them all here.

“Ways Of Knowing” Final Projects By My IB Theory of Knowledge Students

A New York Times column had an interesting “take” on the value of saving endangered languages. “In Why Save a Language?” John McWhorter questions the typical reasons used to support endangered languages and offers different ones.

Here’s the prompt I plan on using with this piece. It’s perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

What reasons does Mr. McWhorter say he formerly used to try and convince people about the value of saving an endangered language and what does he say now? To what extent do you agree with what his position? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or anything you have read, including this column.

Six Good Videos On Fallacies

Here’s The Form I Have Students Complete When They’re Listening To Their Classmate’s Presentations

Ask For Evidence is a very interesting new site based in the United Kingdom. Here is how it describes itself:

Ask for Evidence is a public campaign that helps people request for themselves the evidence behind news stories, marketing claims and policies.

We hear daily claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, treat disease or improve agriculture. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not.

How can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them or buy their products, then we should Ask for Evidence.

People come here to share their experiences of asking for evidence and to use the hub of resources and expertise to making sense of the evidence they receive.

It has potential to be an authentic audience for student projects, particularly for IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

Here’s a video that could be very useful in social studies classes and in IB Theory of Knowledge classes (it has a British focus, but can easily be used in the U.S., too):

“Pearls Before Swine” Shares Its Own Version Of “Who’s On First?”

The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado
discusses student protests of proposed changes in a history curriculum.

Teaching Plato’s Allegory of The Cave

Videos: Here’s The Simple Theory of Knowledge Lesson On Perception I Did Today

More Theory Of Knowledge Changes From IB

New Theory Of Knowledge Resources: 2015 Essay Titles & A Cool Diagram

New “Fillable” PDF Forms For IB Theory Of Knowledge Presentations & Essays

“If you’re observant about things happening around you, there are insights waiting to be discovered”

“The History Project” Is A Great Resource For Teachers Everywhere

The Greatest Interactive Video Ever Made For A Philosophical Discussion On The Existence Of Santa Claus

Wondering How To Handle A Controversial Topic In Class? What We Did This Week Worked Out Very Well

Eileen Dombrowski is the co-author of the newest IB Theory Of Knowledge textbook, and has previously written guest posts on this blog. She’s now writing her own blog, which is a “must-follow” for any TOK teacher. Here’s her description:

Eileen Dombrowski, lead author of the IB Theory of Knowledge Course Companion (OUP, 2013), has recently launched a TOK blogsite that complements the course overview of the TOK book with regular fresh comments on ideas and events in the news. In the traditional spirit of TOK educational sharing, the blog and associated resources are free. It’s also easy to sign up to follow the blog by email to receive fresh posts as they are added. Check it out: Activating TOK: thinking clearly in the world

Studies abound on the lack of confidence in eyewitness testimony, and teaching about it is a staple in International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge classes when we cover “perception.” The Pacific Standard published a useful related article titled See Eyewitness Testimony Fail—Right Before Your Eyes that contained this great video the I used in my TOK class:

Here’s a useful infographic for IB Theory of Knowledge classes when they’re studying perception:

Ways Companies Use To Increase Sales

Designed by: http://alternativesfinder.com/ Author: Kate Stephens

December 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Ways Of Knowing” Final Projects By My IB Theory of Knowledge Students

Last year, I shared what my students did for a final “Ways Of Knowing Project” in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course.

This year’s students did something similar. You can see many PowerPoints, along with several videotaped short presentations, at our class blog.

Here’s a sample PowerPoint:

TOK presentation

More presentations from Raquel Palma

October 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Videos: Here’s The Simple Theory of Knowledge Lesson On Perception I Did Today

As regular readers know, in addition to teaching classes for English Language Learners, I also teach International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge courses.

One of the “Ways Of Knowing” in the class is Perception. Today, I did one of my regular lessons, and thought I’d bring all the videos together in one post for readers who might be interested (though the truth is that I wanted to put them all in one post so it will be easier for me to teach again).

I begin by having students number a sheet of paper one-to-six, with several lines for each number. I explain that we’re going to watch six short videos. After the first five videos students will be given a couple of minutes to answer this question:

What does this video have to do with perception, and what does it say about how perception can help or hinder our search for knowledge?

I explain that students will then share their response with the student next to them; I’ll then call on a couple of people to share; and then alternate rows will rotate so that students switch partners after each sharing.

Here are the videos I show:

Here’s more information on the Selective Attention Test video.

I end with this next video by asking students to “write down what happened in the picture” (which was the original prompt by researchers). After students watch the video, I ask how many told a story and then share parts of this analysis.

The lesson always goes well, though, as usual, I’m interested in hearing suggestions from readers on how to make it better….

September 11, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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1,700 Categorized Links For IB Theory Of Knowledge Course

As regular readers know, I’ve been accumulating teaching/learning resources for the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge class ever since I began to teach it a few years ago.

The collection is now up to nearly 1,700 links that are categorized by Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge, and you can access them all here.