Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 10, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Videos For Learning About The Scientific Method

We learn about the scientific method in IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and especially talk about its application in all areas of life – not just science. I’ve previously posted about this topic, and thought readers might find it useful to see some of the videos I use, depending on the time available. Feel free to suggest more!

Here’s another version:

March 12, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

First Grader Makes Rube Goldberg Machine (& Explicitly Connects It To Scientific Method)

A first grader created a Rube Goldberg Machine. That in itself makes this a neat video to watch. The “kicker,” though, is that he makes some explicit connections to the scientific method, too. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Rube Goldberg Machines.

June 22, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Using The Scientific Method In English & Social Studies

I’ve often used the scientific method in my English and Social Studies classes — both with English Language Learners and with mainstream students.

The MCREL blog just posted a nice related piece titled Generating and Testing Hypotheses is Not Just for Science that’s a good short read.

March 27, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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March’s “Best” Lists – There Are Now 1,690 Of Them

Here’s my regular round-up of new “The Best…” lists I posted this month (you can see all 1,690 of them categorized here):

All My BAM! Radio Shows About English Language Learners

The Best Random Acts Of Kindness Videos

The Best Videos For Learning About The Scientific Method

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources For Fighting Islamophobia In Schools

The Best Resources On The Latest Travel Ban By The Trump Administration

The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Action Research – Help Me Find More

The Best Practical Resources For Helping Teachers, Students & Families Respond To Immigration Challenges

The Thirty-Seven “All-Time” Best Lists

The Best Resources On Classroom Seating Strategies

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Virtual Reality In Education

The Oscars Are Awarded This Sunday – Here Are All My “Best” Lists Related To Movies

 

 

 

October 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Look Back: Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe

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Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

You might also be interested in A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009. and A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog.

I originally shared this post in 2011.   You might also be interested in some related “Best” lists I’ve published since then, including The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior” and The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching,

This month’s issues of ASCD Educational Leadership has just been published, and in itRobert Marzano reports on a study that may be the most important one that’s come out this year.

Here is a very simple summary of his study, which was a “meta-analysis” of hundreds of others: It found that “direct instruction” was a more effective instructional method than “unassisted discovery learning.” And it found that “enhanced discovery learning” trumped them both.

I personally think this idea of “unassisted discovery learning” is a bit of a “straw man.” It basically means that students have to learn on their own with very little assistance from a teacher. As example might be how I started a science lesson once on the scientific method — I gave students two cups — one half filled with water, and scissors and asked them to figure out how they would tell time with it. I call the issue a “straw man,” though, because I, and many other teachers, might start off a lesson like this (plenty of research has shown that the use of “novelty” like this is effective), I’m not convinced many would make the whole lesson “unassisted.”

What’s important, though, about the study, I think, is that it highlights that “enhanced discovery learning” was particularly effective.

Here’s how the study itself (you have to pay $12 to gain access to it) defined “enhanced discovery learning”:

…generation, elicited explanations, and guided discovery conditions. Generation conditions required learners to generate rules, strategies, images, or answers to experimenters’ questions. Elicited explanation conditions required that learners explain some aspect of the target task or target material, either to themselves or to the experimenters. The guided discovery conditions involved either some form of instructional guidance (i.e.,scaffolding) or regular feedback to assist the learner at each stage of the learning tasks.

That certainly sounds like the exact definition of inductive teaching and learning. a strategy which our school uses a whole lot, and about which I have written a great deal on this blog and in my books.

Plus, it gets the Marzano “imprimatur”!

What do  you think — am I exaggerating the potential importance of this study?

June 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Science Sites Of 2016 – So Far

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Here’s my latest my-year list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Science Sites Of 2015

The Best Science Sites Of 2014 – Part Two

The “All-Time” Best Science Sites

The Best Science Sites Of 2014 – So Far

The Best Science Sites Of 2013 – Part Two

The Best Science Sites Of 2013 – So Far

The Best Science Sites Of 2012 — Part Two

The Best Science Sites Of 2012 — Part One

The Best Science Sites Of 2011

The Best Science Sites Of 2011 — So Far

The Best Science Websites — 2010

The Best Science & Math Sites — 2009

The Best Science & Math Websites — 2008

The Best Science Websites For Students & Teachers — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Science Sites Of 2016 – So Far (not in any order of preference):

The Best Videos Explaining Gravitational Waves (In An Accessible Way)

Videos & Lesson On Rube Goldberg Machines From Our School’s Physics Teacher

The Best Resources On The Recent “Discovery” Of A Possible Ninth Planet

Who isn’t going to see “Finding Dory”? So, it’s likely that by the fall, many educators and students will have viewed it at least once, and will be more than eager to see it – or scenes from it – again when it comes out in DVD or streaming a few months later. Disney has published an extensive “Finding Dory” Educator’s Guidethat looks like it could be useful. It’s science-oriented, though I suspect there will be some opportunities to connect Social Emotional Learning to the film, too. And, speaking of Nemo and Dory, Film Education has an equally extensive series of science-based lessons for the original “Finding Nemo,” and Teach With Movies has a broader teaching guide.

bioGraphic is a “new-to-me” site from The California Academy of Sciences. It has great collection of accessible science articles and multimedia, and appears to be regularly updated.

Ice and Sky is an interactive describing the history of climate change. It’s a good complement to A Journey Through Climate History, a site I’ve previously shared.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change.

Apollo 17 is a multimedia interactive letting you experience – in real time – that moon-landing mission.

Mawahtale is an interactive on Ebola.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Ebola Virus.

How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2015? is a new NY Times interactive that shows how recent temperatures in over 3,000 cities compare with historical highs. I think it would be a better resource if the differences were displayed a bit more clearer than they are, but students should be able to figure it out with a little teacher guidance.

NBC Learn has created excellent free video resources for quite awhile. Their new resources are series on the Science of Innovation andMysteries of the Brain. But the new one I think will be really be useful is their new ten video collection titled When Nature Strikes: Science of Natural Hazards.

The Online Star Register takes you a virtual tour of outer space. It’s pretty impressive, especially if you click “Take A Tour” at the top. I like it better than Google’s Sky site.

The Curious Engineer offers free monthly video animation “explainers” about different topics.

Here are four free online science textbooks which all have lots of interactives that I added to The “All-Time” Best Science Sites this year:

CK-12, which I’ve described in a previous post (see “CK-12” Has Free Resources In All Subjects & Individual Student Progress Can Be Easily Tracked).

Science Book

Open Educational Resources from UEN, which also has a separate page for online science interactives.

Scott Foresman Science

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites To Learn About Trees, which I’ve also just revised and updated:

Lines Of Thought: Discoveries That Changed The World is a new online exhibit from the Cambridge University Library. You can read more about it at the NBC News article, 600-Year-Old Cambridge Library Offers Rare Glimpse of Collection, and watch a short video about it below:

I’m adding this info to The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of History’s Most Influential People, Events & Ideas.

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites For Learning About Human Evolution, which I’ve also just updated and revised:

When we study science in IB Theory of Knowledge, one of the ideas we consider is that not all scientific breakthroughs come through rigidly following the scientific method. NPR recently did a short series of videos examining just this: “modern examples of serendipity in science – happy accidents/mistakes/coincidences from the last few years that have led to discoveries and insights.” They’ll be useful in TOK class, and here they are:

Fig. 1 by University of California is a YouTube Channel offering short, accessible science animations with closed-captioning. Here are some samples:

Lines Of Thought: Discoveries That Changed The World is a new online exhibit from the Cambridge University Library. You can read more about it at the NBC News article, 600-Year-Old Cambridge Library Offers Rare Glimpse of Collection, and watch a short video about it below:

I’m adding this info to The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of History’s Most Influential People, Events & Ideas.

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites For Learning About Human Evolution, which I’ve also just updated and revised:

When we study science in IB Theory of Knowledge, one of the ideas we consider is that not all scientific breakthroughs come through rigidly following the scientific method. NPR recently did a short series of videos examining just this: “modern examples of serendipity in science – happy accidents/mistakes/coincidences from the last few years that have led to discoveries and insights.” They’ll be useful in TOK class, and here they are:

Fig. 1 by University of California is a YouTube Channel offering short, accessible science animations with closed-captioning. Here are some samples:

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