Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 3, 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):

Common Core or Something Else? A Map of State Academic Standards is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to A Collection Of My “Best” Lists On The Common Core.

Sorry, Walmart: Charter Schools Won’t Fix Poverty is from The American Prospect. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

High school exit exam may be suspended immediately is from Ed Source out here in California. Good riddance! I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Why High School Exit Exams Might Not Be A Good Idea.

Beware of Superintendents Who Push for Too Much Reform is by Rick Hess at Ed Week. There’s a lot of wisdom here.

Guest Post: Scalia May Be Critical Vote in Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Ass’n is from “On Labor.” I fear it’s wishful thinking, but I’m still adding it to The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case.

Supreme Court Case Poses Threat to Teachers’ Union Financing is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

Colorado Court Rules Use of Public Funds for Private Schools Is Unconstitutional is from The New York Times.

The Whole Child Snapshots from ASCD are an amazing resource, providing reports on each state.

This was a reasonable question and I thought readers might find the question and response useful:

July 2, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post: Growth Mindset Memes

I’ve invited Laura Gibbs to contribute this guest post about a creative project she’s doing and inviting others to join, too. I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Laura Gibbs is an online instructor who teaches mythology and folklore at the University of Oklahoma; find out more at

Growth mindset: this a term familiar to many teachers, but it’s even more important for students to learn what the growth mindset can mean for them. You can tell students about Carol Dweck’s research that shows how learning results from effort over time, not simply from “brains” or raw talent. You can provide details about neurobiology, and you can talk about potential, persistence, and other abstract notions. But how can you really reach students, especially younger students, with these ideas? Here’s a possibility: growth mindset memes!

By combining text and images, memes are able to make a powerful impression, often conveying complex ideas in just a few words. The brevity of memes makes them a great option for student composition, and free online tools like Cheezburger and Automotivator (to name just two) make it easy for everyone — students and teachers alike — to create memes and share them on the Internet.

So, after a great presentation on growth mindset by Laura Slade at the Upgrading Online conference on June 24, 2015, I decided to create a blog where I could publish and collect growth mindset memes while also inviting others to share and contribute. You can see the blog here: Growth Mindset Memes.

Another teacher has joined in, too: Susan Strickland has started her own Cheezburger Board of Latin LOLCat memes to promote the growth mindset with her Latin students.

We hope that others will want to contribute either by creating your own blog of growth mindset memes, or perhaps a Cheezburger Board like the one by Magistra Susan — or even just by sharing your memes with the #growthmindset hashtag at Twitter. There are lots of possibilities; here are some ideas about How to Contribute.

And to give you an idea of what the memes can do, see what you think of these LOLCats with a growth mindset (made with Cheezburger):

I love a challenge!


The bigger the challenge, the more you stretch.


You can even make animated gifs for multilingual memes like this Spanish-Latin-English LOLcat (animation done with GIMP):

Si puedes soñarlo, puedes hacerlo.
Si potes somniare, facere potes.
If you can dream it, you can do it.


Any type of meme can work, of course — it’s not just about cats. For example, here are some motivational poster memes (made with Automotivator):

They wouldn’t make erasers if we didn’t make mistakes.


Fall down seven times, get up eight.


So, if you are a teacher with an interest in growth mindset (and it’s valuable for teachers of all subjects at all ages), see what kinds of memes you can invent, and then set your memes in motion by sharing them online. To learn more about growth mindset and what it can offer both students and teachers, be sure to check out Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and you can also follow the #growthmindset hashtag at Twitter.

July 2, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Video Clips Demonstrating A Growth Mindset In Action

Here are new additions to The Best TV/Movie Scenes Demonstrating A “Growth Mindset” – Help Me Find More. I can always use more!

Jen Marten suggests this from Meet The Robinsons:

Fred Delventhal made these recommendations:

I’d follow up that last video with this one:

Keep your suggestions coming!

July 1, 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:

English Worksheets Land has a lot of free decent worksheets suitable for English reinforcement. You don’t have to register before gaining access to them. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets.

Test Your Vocab is an online tool where learners can get a rough estimate of how many words they know in English. I think it could be a useful tool for students to periodically use to measure their progress and get re-energized when they see how much they’re making. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary. I discovered it through Nina English’s blog, which I learned about through David Deubelbeiss, founder of the great EFL Classroom 2.0.

Wendi Pillars shares what online tools she found helpful, and which ones weren’t, during her year of teaching high school English Language Learners.

US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more is from The Guardian.

Dual Language Learners Reader Post #8: What Do English-Only Laws Mean for DLLs/ELLs? is from Ed Central.