Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Teach This Poem” Provides A Weekly Poem & Learning Activities To Teachers – For Free have announced a “Teach This Poem” program for this school year:

Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem will feature one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is curated by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and will be available for free via email beginning September 2, 2015

You can sign-up for it here.

You can also read this Ed Week article, Poetry Group Launches Weekly Poem Project for Teachers.

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“#TheEdCollab Gathering” Looks Like A Great Free Professional Development Opportunity


The #TheEdCollab Gathering looks like a great opportunity to access free online professional development on September 19th.

You can learn all about it here, and it includes presenters like Penny Kittle, Jennifer Serravallo, Kim Yaris, Kristin Ziemke, Lisa Eickholdt and many other key movers and shakers in the world of English Language Arts.

Even better, you don’t have to sign-up in advance, just show up when you can!

It’s sponsored by The Educator Collaborative, which is an education think tank founded by Christopher Lehman, the well-known and highly-respected literacy consultant and author.

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Q & A Collections: Teaching Math & Science”

Q & A Collections: Teaching Math & Science is the headline of my latest column in Education Week Teacher.

It contains links to all my Ed Week columns on math and science that have appeared over the past four years.

Here’s an excerpt from one of them:


I’m adding this post to All My Math-Related “The Best…” Lists In One Place.

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Amazing! CA Assembly Committee Adds Amendment To Bill Retroactively Waiving Requirement To Pass High School Exit Exam

You may have been following this summer’s California High School Exit Exam fiasco, which occurred when the state terminated the contract for giving the exam while thousands of students (including many English Language Learners) were still waiting to take it in order to graduate. This year’s problem was resolved earlier this week with Governor Brown signing “urgent” legislation that granted these students official diplomas immediately.

The backdrop of this fiasco was well-intentioned — the state wants to officially eliminate the Exit Exam requirement and create a committee to explore if there should be an alternative (see The Best Posts & Articles About Why High School Exit Exams Might Not Be A Good Idea).

The bill winding its way through the legislature to do just that had been interpreted by state Education officials to mean that anyone who didn’t pass the exit exam since it began in 2006 would have been retroactively given a diploma if they had met all other graduation requirements (see Wow! CA State Exit Exam Bill Could Eliminate Test Requirement – Retroactive To 2006).

However, that was only an interpretation, and not spelled out clearly in the legislation.

Today, however, the State Assembly Appropriations Committee added an explicit amendment to that legislation saying that each district would have the power to decide if they wanted to waive the exam retroactively or not. You can read about that in Ed Source’s article, Lawmakers consider retroactive diplomas for students who failed exit exam.

This could be huge boon to the thousands of English Language Learners who never passed the exit, which was a ridiculous requirement to begin with….

It seems pretty ridiculous, though, to leave it up to each school district, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that this flexibility would get challenged in court.

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

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 (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far.

Here are this week’s picks:

Back to School with Annotation: 10 Ways to Annotate with Students is by Jeremy Dean. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who originally shared it on Twitter. I’m adding it to The Best Applications For Annotating Websites.

Beyond the bubble in history/social studies assessments appeared in Kappan Magazine. I’m adding it to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.

Three Teacher-Tested Ways to Encourage Your Students to Follow Current Events This School Year is from The New York Times Learning Network. I’m adding it to The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners.

More than reading: Integrating art into your curriculum is from Multi Briefs. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Discussing The Importance Of Art In Education — Help Me Find More.

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Two years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2015 – So Far and The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – So Far.

Here are this week’s choices:

Critical Thinking About Technology: An ELT Activity is a nice lesson plan from TESOL.

Here is Katherine Bilsborough on no-prep activities at this British Council post.

Breaking Language Barriers: An Effective ELL Approach is from Ed Week.

Getting to Know Each Other Through a Single Word is from TESOL. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Planning The First Day Of School.

Critics Protest Opening of Houston Arabic Immersion Elementary School is from Ed Week.

First Steps for a New ESL Coach is by Elena Aguilar.

August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy Issues

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues (You might also be interested in The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – So Far):

2015 Superintendent of the Year: High-stakes testing is the ‘fool’s gold’ of accountability appeared in The Washington Post.

Teaching Teachers is from American Radio Works. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.

Sorry, I’m Not Taking This Test appeared in Mother Jones.

Why Vouchers Won’t Fix Vegas Schools is from The New York Times. See my post, Nevada Legislature Goes To Crazytown With New Voucher Law, for more information. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

TEACHERS OPEN UP ABOUT THE (MOSTLY LOUSY) ECONOMICS OF THEIR DREAM JOB has interesting reports from around the world. Thanks to David Deubelbeiss for sharing it.

The real reasons behind the U.S. teacher shortage is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Posts About The “Teacher Shortage.”

Want to Reduce the Teacher Shortage? Treat Teachers Like Professionals is from NEA Today. I’m adding it to the same list.

In Chicago, hunger strikers fight for a high school is from The Washington Post.

These students will have an easier time passing high school is from The Los Angeles Times.

The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover appeared in The New York Times.

How The World’s Biggest Education Company Will Spend The Next $2 Billion is from NPR.

Benioff takes hands-off approach with donations to S.F. schools is from The San Francisco Chronicle. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Five Things Successful Turnaround Schools Have in Common is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Four School Improvement Grant Models.

Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says appeared in The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality.