Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

May’s (2015) Best Tweets — Part Four

'Twitter' photo (c) 2010, West McGowan - license:

Every month I make a few short lists highlighting my choices of the best resources I through (and learned from) Twitter, but didn’t necessarily include them in posts here on my blog.

I’ve already shared in earlier posts several new resources I found on Twitter — and where I gave credit to those from whom I learned about them. Those are not included again in post.

If you don’t use Twitter, you can also check-out all of my “tweets” on Twitter profile page.

You might also be interested in The Best Tweets Of 2014 — So Far and The Best Tweets Of 2014 — Part Two.

May 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Update On My “Practical Example Of Trust, Self-Control & Choice In The Classroom” & What I’m Doing Next

Earlier this week, I published A Practical Example Of Trust, Self-Control & Choice In The Classroom. It described a process I used in my Theory of Knowledge classes where students volunteered if they would or would not have the self-control needed to just use their phones to work on an essay while I was gone for a couple of days. Fifteen students from the two classes said they would not and asked to be put on a list for the sub saying they could not use their phone and had to watch a movie. The rest said they could be trusted.

Well, I came back today and had students who said they had enough self-control to use their phone only on their essay respond anonymously if they were able to keep to their word.

The results: 70% said yes in one class; 90% said yes in the other one.

Now, it’s time for the really interesting part of the experiment. I’m going on another field trip next Thursday and, again, taking the following day to recover. I’m going to use the same process, and this time ask students to first reflect on their experience from this week. Will those who were not able to stick to their word learn from what happened this week and realize they should be put on the “no phone list” next week?

I’ll let you know….

May 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“In My Ideal School, I Would Hire Teachers Who Believe…”


One of the units taught in our tenth-grade English classes is called “A Place Called School.” It was developed by the exceptional literacy consultant Kelly Young at his Pebblecreek Labs.

The above photo, from my colleague Lara Hoekstra’s classroom, shows students’ responses to a lesson in the unit where students finished the sentence: “In my ideal school, I would hire teachers who believe…”

May 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Nice Online “Summer Reading Challenge” From Curriculet


Curriculet is is a site I’ve sometimes used for advanced ELLs and mainstream students. It provides higher level stories, books, and “units” in English and Social Studies, and ready-made exercises and quizzes. You have to choose which ones you want to add as assignments to a free virtual classroom One very nice advantage to this site is that they provide you a unique url address that students click on in order to register — it makes it very easy.

It’s on The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress list.

They recently added high-interest articles from USA Today, but you have to pay extra for them. However, they just announced a free Summer Reading Challenge that lets students read the USA Today articles for free during the summer, and lets teachers track their progress. They are also offering daily and weekly prizes to students, which I’m obviously not-too-thrilled about, but who am I to judge — after all, even with my deep belief in cultivating student intrinsic motivation, I still offer extra credit to my ELL students who read over the summer. I guess I’ll try just about anything to encourage teenage immigrant students who have so little time left in school, and who have little academic experience in their own country, to read during vacation.

You can read other strategies and sites I’m using over the summer with my students at my latest New York Times post for English Language Learners.

May 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Here’s My Chapter On Elements Of A Successful Lesson, Along With Student Hand-Outs THEY Use To Teach

I’m a big advocate and practitioner of creating opportunities for students to be teachers (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates).

I’ve previously posted about how I specifically apply this to my International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge classes (though I do it in other courses, too). That post explains the process I use in detail but, simply, students read a chapter from from my first book on student motivation that’s about the key elements of a successful lesson and then teach a short one to a small group. The teaching group prepares a simple lesson plan; the “students” fill-out an evaluation; and the teaching group also completes a self-evaluation.

However, in that previous post, I did not include the chapter itself or the forms.

I was pleased to learn that my publisher, Routledge, has made the chapter freely available for download.

And, since they’ve done that, I figured I might as well make those three forms freely available, too. You can download them here. Though they are specifically geared toward TOK, they are easily adaptable to other classes.

Let me know what you think, including how I can make the forms better!

May 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Quizizz” Is A Great Game-Playing & Game-Creating Site For Classes!


I’m a big fan of sites that let you create virtual private rooms where students can compete against each other in learning games and see their constantly changing results. Of course, for these to be successful learning experiences, you have to have helped create a culture that everyone feels like they’re winners. In my English Language Learner classes, I’m pretty confident that we have this kind of environment and students realize that much of people’s success in the classroom is primarily due to how long each person has been studying English — not because anyone is “smarter” than anyone else.

Unfortunately, because of relatively recent changes in our District’s Web filter, most of the sites that I’ve used before and which can be found on The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms” list are now blocked.

Today, though, thanks to The Edublogger’s Weekly Round-Up, I learned about Amy Kincaid’s post talking about Quizizz.

Quizizz, which is free, lets you access tons of previously-created learning “quizzes” and also lets you create your own. Once you as the teacher joins, which takes seconds, you pick a quiz; are given a code for a virtual room; then give the code to your students, who just log in with the code and a nickname (they don’t have to register with the site). When all your students are set, you click “start game.” You see the leader board as do the students as they’re progressing through the quiz.

In a number of ways, it’s similar to Kahoot. However, the key advantage that Quizizz seems to have over Kahoot is that with Quizizz, students see the questions, answers, and their leaderboard on their devise. With Kahoot (and please correct me if I’m wrong), students’ devices only show the answers and they have to look at an overhead to see the questions. In antiquated computer labs like the ones at our school (and, I suspect, at many others), we don’t have the capability of projecting a screen for students to see it.

I’m hoping that Quizizz is not blocked for students when I try it out tomorrow at school.

I’m adding this post to the previously-mentioned Best list on sites where students can play in private virtual rooms, as well as to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.