Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Play-Doh & IB Theory Of Knowledge: Student Hand-Out & Videos

We just finished studying Art in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes and, as always, the last day was spent on a “Play-Doh Project.”

Here are the students instructions (you can download them here), followed videos of their creations. Please give me ideas on how to make it better:

Play Doh Project

1) Get a blank sheet paper to put on your desk.  Please only use the Play Doh on the paper so it doesn’t get on the desk.

2) Open your can of Play Doh.

3) You have fifteen minutes to create a piece of art that is classroom appropriate.

4) At the end of fifteen minutes,  look through your notes on the Arts unit and answer the following questions:

* Why is your creation art?  Review your notes and materials and write an ABC paragraph responding to this question (Answer the question; Back it up with a quote as evidence; make a further Comment or Connection to elaborate on your position.

* How were Ways of Knowing involved in creating your art and how will they be involved when others view it?

5) You will share your piece of art with others through the “speed-dating” process.   First, you will ask your partner to tell you what they think it is and why.  Then you will tell them what you intended it to be and share your answers to the previous two questions.

Tok sixth period

Tok real fifth period

Tok fifth period- PlayDoh art

January 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

A Look Back: “What My Students Say About Teachers Mispronouncing Their Names”

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 originally appeared in 2016:

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I’m a big advocate of teachers making a point to pronounce student names correctly (see The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names).

I always do a lesson on names as part of the Language unit in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes (see The Best Places For Students To Learn About…Their Names) and this year decided to add this question:

Write about a time a teacher mispronounced your name (if that has happened to you) and how it made you feel or about a time a teacher clearly made an effort to learn how to pronounce it and how that made you feel.  You do not have to give the name of your teacher.  If you haven’t had either of these experiences, write about a time you’ve seen a friend have their name mispronounced.  If none of these apply to you, just write that on the paper.

Out of the ninety students in my TOK classes, about a third said they’ve never experienced a problem with teachers mispronouncing their names; another third said they had experienced that problem but it never bothered them; and a third said that it had happened to them and they didn’t like it.

If I am not absolutely confident about how to pronounce a student’s name when I first meet him/her, I ask how it’s pronounced and write it phonetically on my seating chart.  If I think it’s still possible that I might mispronounce it, I apologize in advance, tell them that they deserve to have their name said correctly, and ask them to please correct me.  I usually don’t make the mistake more than once, and students are always respectful in helping me learn from my mistakes.

A third of students is a sizable number.  It’s probable that the percentage is lower in schools where there are fewer students from different ethnicities but, after seeing these responses, I think most readers agree that since this is one action entirely within our control, we should make sure we correctly pronounce student names:

Here are some student comments:

I remember when several teachers mispronounced my name and it made me feel different.  When a teacher tried making an effort in trying to pronounce my name it made me feel like they actually care.

Yes, teachers had made an attempt to correctly pronounce my name when I do inform them that they had mispronounced it.  It made me feel like they are sincere enough to actually want to pronounce it properly, which give me a message that they are showing respect.

Yes, he mispronounced it and it made me feel awkward.

When they make an effort to pronounce my name correctly it makes me feel respected.

Everyday my teachers pronounce my name incorrectly and I feel disrespected.

I didn’t really care if a teacher didn’t pronounce my name right.  But it does feel better when a teacher actually tries to learn your name.

A teacher before mispronounced my name wrong and I got angry because people started repeating it.

My seventh-grade teacher kept on mispronouncing my name and I felt a little bit ashamed.

One of my teachers always mispronounces my name.  It sort of makes me feel sad because I’ve lost part of my identity.  It want to be a soft and kind person, but it’s hard when someone doesn’t pronounce it thoroughly.

It gets on my nerves.  Even when I tell them it’s like they don’t listen.

January 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On The Women’s March

It seems like an amazing day around the world today.

I’ll be adding new useful classroom resources to this list as more become available.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About Protests In History.

Here’s what I have so far – please suggest more in the comments section:

Women’s March on Washington: A sea of pink-hatted protesters vows to resist Donald Trump is from The Washington Post.

Organizers Hope Women’s March On Washington Inspires, Evolves is from NPR.

The Women’s March on Washington has spread to 57 countries around the globe is from Vox.

Where Women’s Marches Are Happening Around the World is a NY Times interactive.

Women’s Marches Go Global: Postcards From Protests Around The World is from NPR.

Women’s anti-Trump march clogs Washington streets is from Reuters.

Pictures From Women’s Marches Around the World is from The NY Times.

How the Women’s March compares to other women-led rallies on the Mall is from The Washington Post.

Worldwide, people rally in support of Women’s March on Washington is from The Washington Post.

Photos of the Women’s Marches Around the World is from The Atlantic.

Overhead Shots Show Massive Women’s March Crowds in Cities Across America is from Slate.

January 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Four 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 2016 – Part Two

Here are this week’s choices:

Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff comes from Teaching Tolerance.

The Artistry of Teaching and Arts Integration: Why Your ELs Need You to Embrace Both is from Paridad. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Using Art As A Way To Teach & Learn English – Help Me Find More.

Goal-setting with Students (including FREE worksheet!) is from The Best Ticher. I’m adding it to Best Posts On Students Setting Goals.

I previously posted about a great Jimmy Fallon activity he calls Mad Lib Theater.  Teacher Daniel took the idea and “ran with it” – he created some great student hand-outs and a lesson plan that I’m looking forward to trying in my class next week!

Here’s a nice post on Interactive Student Notebooks Set Up. It’s for a Spanish class, but can certainly be modified for an ELL classroom.

Don’t Forget The Library is by Wendi Pillars. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Teach ELL’s About Libraries.

Report: Innovative science instruction boosts academic performance among English learners is from Ed Source. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching The Next Generation Science Standards To English Language Learners.

Strengthening Teaching and Learning for ELLs is from The Teaching Channel, and it’s accompanied by some new videos (they only have primary school ones now, but say high school segments are on the way).

California Prepares to Resume Bilingual Education is from Voice of America. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California.

Desk Olympics is a good post and a must-watch video from Carol Salva.

Five simple games for teaching vocabulary is by Mike Astbury. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

How schools are helping refugee children to succeed is from The Guardian.

January 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“‘A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish'”

‘A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. It’s the third post in a four-part series.

In it, Cindi Rigsbee, Lisa Westman, Jenny Edwards, and Margaret Searle offer their thoughts on student goals and learning.

Here are some excerpts:

January 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

More New Inauguration Resources

Here are more new additions to The Best Sites For Learning About The Presidential Inauguration – 2017:

Our School Is Not “Flush With Cash” & Our Students Are Not “Deprived Of All Knowledge”

Photos of the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump is from The Atlantic.

How Trump’s inaugural address compares to his predecessors, charted is from The Washington Post.

The Worst Presidential Inaugurations, Ranked is from The Atlantic.

How Trump’s inaugural speech differed from past presidential addresses is from The Washington Post.

January 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “Pres. Obama Provides Great Analysis Of Key Organizing Adage: Do You Want To Be Right, Or Effective?”

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 originally appeared in 2016, and I thought reposting it today, on his last day in office, would be good timing:

Regular readers know that I was a community organizer for nineteen years, and a key organizing adage goes something like this: Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective?

I’ve written a lot about that perspective at The Best Posts & Articles About Compromise and at The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change.

Today, President Obama provided that same analysis as the central part of his commencement speech today at Howard University, and it was excellent.

Here’s a short excerpt:

And-democracy-requires

You can read the entire transcript of his remarks here, and it’s worth the time.

Here’s the video of his speech:

In addition to adding this post to the “Best” lists I’ve previously mentioned, I’ll also be putting it on The Best Commencement Speeches list.

Addendum: Here a good NY Times article about his speech.

January 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Little Bird Tales” Is An Excellent Web 2.0 Tool For Beginning English Language Learners

My Beginning English Language Learners have been spending much of their time this year on the computer “consuming” content (see “All-Time” Best Web Tools For English Language Learners). That has been, and continues to be, extremely valuable.

However, “creating” content is obviously also important for many reasons, so we’ve been experimenting with different tools. This process includes faces many barriers, including older tech, District content filters, ease-of-use, and ensuring that tech brings an added value to what we’re doing.

I’ve found that Little Bird Tales is a good site to help overcome many of those barriers.  For $29, a teacher can create a virtual classroom that enables students to create E-books that they can narrate.  Happily, unlike many other sites, their recording feature actually works with out tech and District content filters. Students can also use it for free without being part of a virtual classroom.

Here’s an example of a book one student created (you can see others at our class blog):

It’s easy to use, and students like and can benefit from it. Students say they hate (but really enjoy) playing it for the class and having other students read/listen to their creations.

“Little Bird Tales” has been on The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English list for quite awhile.

I’m adding this post to The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners.

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