Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 17, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Free Resources From All My Books

Every few months, I reprint this post so that new subscribers learn about these resources.

I have many free resources, including excerpts and student hand-outs, available from all my books. Clicking on the covers will lead you to them (and look for two new forthcoming books – another one on ELLs that Katie Hull and I are writing, and a fourth in my student motivation series):

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Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Problems.
 

 

January 17, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Look Back: “Study Reviews 25 Years Of Research Into What Helps Students Graduate – Here’s What They Found”

In 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 

 A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2011’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2012’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2013’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2014’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2015’s Best Posts From This Blog

This post was originally published in 2016:

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Paul Bruno tweeted out a link to an important new study (that is, unfortunately, behind a paywall) titled Factors that Promote High School Graduation: a Review of the Literature, by Jonathan F. Zaff, Alice Donlan, Aaron Gunning, Sara E. Anderson, Elana McDermott, Michelle Sedaca.

I read it, and here’s my summary:

First off, I’d strongly recommend this study be read side-by-side with last year’s report by American’s Promise Alliance, which examined why students drop-out (see New Survey On High School Drop-Outs Is Depressing, If Accurate). I think both studies complement each other – with this new one focused on what helps students stay, while the earlier one targets why they drop-out. They’re similar in many ways and different in a few others.

This new report reviewed:

research from the past 25 years on high school graduation, focusing on longitudinal, US-based studies of malleable factors that predict graduation. Through this systematic search, we identified 12 assets in individual, family, school, peer, and community contexts, which predict high school graduation…

I don’t think anyone is going to be too surprised by what they found.  I’m listing them in the order they are discussed in the study.  However, I don’t believe the researchers list them in order of importance.  I might be wrong on that, but I can’t find anything in the article that suggests there was a strategic plan for what was discussed at the beginning, middle and end:

1. Student motivation, particularly intrinsic motivation: No big surprise to me, especially since I’ve written three books on the topic. Also, see  Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

2. Student engagement: They identify it as “behavioral (e.g., attending class, completing assignments), emotional (e.g., identification with school, liking school), and/or cognitive (e.g., taking a strategic approach to learning, intellectual curiosity).” See The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement.

3. Youth expectations for “attainment”: In other words, do they expect that they are going to college. See The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career.

4. Do students feel that they are in control of their own destiny: “Youth who believe they control their academic outcomes (i.e., internal locus of control) tend to do better in school and persist when they encounter difficulties.” This reminded me of Maria Konnikova’s recent article in The New Yorker where see writes that resilient people see themselves as “the orchestrators of their own fates.” It may also speak to the importance of maximizing the use of choice – see The Best Posts & Articles About Providing Students With Choices.

5. “Parental Academic Involvement”: This includes both parents helping with homework or talking with their kids about school at home, as well as participating in activities at the school itself. See my fifty “Best” lists related to parent engagement here.

6. “Parent-Child Connection”: Do the parents and their children communicate well and regularly with each other?

7. “Positive Peer Norms”: Are students hanging-out with friends who are more likely to graduate or drop-out?

8. “Positive Student-Teacher Relationships”: See The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students.

9. “Small Schools”: I think big schools can apply this idea through developing Small Learning Communities, as we have done in our school. See The Best Resources For Learning About Small Learning Communities.

10. Participation in School-Based Extracurricular Activities

11. Career and Technical Education opportunities

12: Access To Community-Based “out-of-school” activities like Outward Bound

Obviously, some of those factors are outside of the teacher and school’s control, but we can impact quite a few of them.

What do you think?

January 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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I Can’t Imagine Why Anybody Teaching Shakespeare Would NOT Use “Shakespeare’s World”

Shakespeare’s World is part of Zooniverse, a crowdsourced research platform (see “Zooniverse” Is One Of The Coolest Ed Sites On The Web – I Can’t Believe I’m Just Hearing About It!).

At the site, users can “Transcribe handwritten documents by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and help us understand his life and times. Along the way you’ll find words that have yet to be recorded in the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary, and which will eventually be added to this important resource.”

This project is really neat, as are all of the features at Zooniverse. You don’t have to transcribe sentences or pages – you can just identify words that seem obvious to you.

I can’t imagine a more engaging addition to a unit on Shakespeare then having students give it a go.

I heard about this new project today when reading an article in The New Yorker about it, Crowdsourcing For Shakespeare.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Teaching Shakespeare To English Language Learners.

January 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

You might also be interested in The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – Part Two and The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2016 – Part Two.

Here are this week’s picks:

Why I Love This Strategy to Introduce Concepts is from Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching.

How to Have Better Student Discussions is by Pernille Ripp. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Sharing The Best Practices For Fruitful Classroom Discussions.

Justice and Equality are Topics for Every Course is from Pear Deck. I’m adding it to The Best Teacher Resource Sites For Social Justice Issues.

How to give writing feedback to students efficiently is by Ray Salazar. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

Under Pressure is from The Until I Know Better blog, and has lots of good student engagement ideas. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement.

From Brexit to Trump: should teachers talk politics in the classroom? is from The Guardian. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics.

January 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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President Obama On The Role Of Stories In Developing Relationships & Making Change

Transcript: President Obama on What Books Mean to Him appeared in today’s New York Times. There’s a lot there to talk about, but I was particularly struck by his talking on more than one occasion about the key work of community organizers (I was one for nineteen years) the importance of eliciting people’s stories.

Here’s one excerpt:

I’ve previously written about that key strategy and how to apply it in the classroom:

English Language Learners and the Power of Personal Stories

Get Organized Around Assets

Students Remember More When They Tell Stories

In one of those pieces, here’s how I described the same organizing perspective that President Obama talked about:

In my twenty years as a community organizer, my job was to listen to people’s stories, then use those stories as a way to light fires.

The process was usually the same: first I encouraged the people I worked with to share their stories publicly and find commonalities with the stories of others, perhaps considering new interpretations along the way. I then challenged them, often collectively, to take action in response to what they frequently discovered were common issues. The final step was always to encourage reflection on the whole process. How could what they learned be applied to future problems?

It’s one of the key skills needed in successful organizing and, I think, can also be very effective while working with students.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change.

January 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Look Back: “I Did A Presentation Today On The Concept Attainment Instructional Strategy – Here Are My Materials”

In 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 

 A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2011’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2012’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2013’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2014’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2015’s Best Posts From This Blog

This post was originally published in 2016:

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I’m a big fan of using Concept Attainment in teaching grammar and writing, and have shared many examples in blog posts and in my books. You can see previous posts at The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching.

I gave a short presentation about it to some of my school colleagues this afternoon. I thought readers might find it useful to see the materials I prepared.

First off, though, here’s a quick description of the strategy that comes from our forthcoming book, Navigating The Common Core With English Language Learners:

Another form of inductive learning we use with ELLs to improve their writing is the use of examples and non-examples, known as Concept Attainment. This strategy, originally developed by Jerome Bruner and his colleagues, involves the teacher identifying both “good” or “Yes” and “bad” or “No” examples of the intended learning objective. As the teacher shares the “Yes” and “No” examples with students, they are encouraged to develop the reasoning which supports why an example is a “Yes” or a “No.” This inductive learning strategy is a great way to teach multiple elements of writing including sentence structure, grammar, development, and organization.

This first example, which includes all examples of student writing (that’s one of the keys to success of this strategy) is focused on teaching when to use “is” and when to use “are.” The paper is put on the overhead, with all sentences except for the first one under “yes” covered. The teacher then uncovers the first “no” example, asks students to think for a minute, talk to a partner, and see if students can figure out why one is under “Yes” and the other under “No.” We can continue this process until students have come to a conclusion. They then re-write the “no” examples correctly and formulate a “rule.”

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The next sheet I shared was the one at the top of this post and is designed to teach when to use “have” and when to use “has.” The same process is used.

Those first two are model for how to use concept attainment to teach simple grammatical concepts.

The next example I used shows how to use it to teach more sophistical grammar and writing strategies, and I previously published those examples in an insanely popular post titled Teachers Might Find My “Concept Attainment – Plus” Instructional Strategy Useful.

That post describes in detail the process I developed and which I call “Concept Attainment – Plus.” Here are sheets I used in the three-step process that is designed to teach the even more sophisticated “I Say, They Say” essay framework, as well as verb tense agreement.

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Lastly, I shared even more sophisticated examples of using Concept Attainment to teach the “PQC” – Point, Quote, Comment and “ABC”- Answer the Question, Back it up, make a Connection. You can find those examples at my post, Here Are Some Examples Of Using “Concept Attainment” In Writing Instruction. My talented colleague, Lara Hoekstra, prepared those examples.

I remain convinced that there are no more effective and engaging instructional strategies to teach grammar, and few others that are equally successful in developing successful writers.

Let me know experiences you’ve had using this strategy in your classroom in the past or in the future….

January 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

More Useful Educational Resources On Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here are new additions to The Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King:

This is a great quote to have students respond to in writing – What do they think he means by it? Do they agree? Support your position with your experiences, observations and other readings

King appears to have actually adapted and modified it from both the Bible and a Langston Hughes poem

January 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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NBC News Visits Classroom Of My Friend & Co-Author To Learn About Letters Students Wrote To Trump

Katie Hull, my good friend and co-author, had her students write letters to President-Elect Trump late last year.

NBC News is doing a segment on what she did on Monday night, and shared this preview on Facebook today:

You might also be interested in the letters my students also wrote: ‘Dear President-elect Trump’: Immigrant students write letters asking for ‘the opportunity to demonstrate we are good people.’

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