Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “Here’s My Entire ELL Beginners Seven-Week Unit On Writing A Story (Including Hand-outs & Links)”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

My previous post, Here Are The Ten Downloadable Graphic Organizers I Use With ELL Beginners To Write A Story, was very popular, so I thought readers would find it useful if I shared my entire seven-week unit on writing a story. I hope you can suggest ways I can make it better.

After a simple “Word Splash” (words that I pre-teach like “setting,” “theme,” “protagonist,” and “antagonist”), I use very modified versions of the WRITE Institute’s story unit as we read two books together: The Story Of Ferdinand and Teacher From The Black Lagoon. You can purchase a supplementary copy of that unit from the WRITE Institute for $20 here. We have copies of their full unit, but I only use a three of their graphic organizers (a protagonist/antagonist sheet, a sheet for listing words related to the five senses and a story map) – I’m sure you could create or find other versions (lots of story maps are here, a five senses sheet here, and protagonist/antagonist graphic organizers are here).

So, the first week we do the word splash, then I read The Story of Ferdinand from the doc cam while students have their own copies. As you may remember, Ferdinand has his “favorite spot” in the story. At that point, I provide students with this sentence starter: “My favorite spot is ____________________________ because _________________________.” They create posters and share with the class. Every six pages or so we stop, students are paired-off, given small whiteboards and markers, and they take turns reading the story to each other while the other writes the words down on the board (if necessary, students can “cheat” by looking at the book). The “reader” checks the accuracy of the “writer.”

Afterwards, we complete a story map. The most difficult part of that process is helping students understand “theme” and, to a lesser extent, protagonist/antagonist. So, after the story map is done, students create a poster identifying three of their favorite movies or stories and identify the theme and the protagonists and antagonists.

Next, we read Teacher From The Black Lagoon using a similar process, without the “favorite spot” activity. Then we create a Story Map, without following-up with the theme poster.

Next, students write their own stories, and that’s where my previously posted ten graphic organizers come in.

After they complete handwriting their story, I have a short individual conference to provides simple suggestions (read about my thoughts on error correction at my British Council post, ESL/ELL error correction – Yes, No or Maybe?), and then students type it in Word – the red indicator of errors is obviously very helpful. We conference again, and then students copy and paste it into our class blog. You can see them all here.

Then, students record their stories using Speakpipe’s Voice Recorder. It says they only keep the recording online for a few months, but it’s the only stand-alone voice recorder that gets through our district’s content filters. Students record, past them onto our blog, and then I manually copy and paste them that night so it’s on the same comment as their story.

Students then read each other’s stories and leave a comment. I fell down on the job here and didn’t originally do as much pre-teaching on commenting as I should have, and it shows. I followed-up the next day with more explicit support, which resulted in a better comment like this.

Unfortunately, because of student absences, time constraints and the fact that I was out of class for a couple of days with district meetings, we couldn’t continue with the improved comments (they’ll have another chance later).

Instead, at that point I provided students with this guide for their writing a second and longer story. I gave them the option of either revising their first story or starting from scratch.

Students worked on their revisions/new stories, but we couldn’t get enough time in the computer lab for them to post all their creations on the blog – yet, at least.

Now, we’re moving onto a series of fable lessons. These appeared in my latest book, Navigating The Common Core With ELLs. Fortunately, the publisher has made the lesson plan and all the hand-outs available for free download – no registration required!

Just go to the book’s website, scroll to “Downloads” and click on “Fables Lesson Plan.” It teaches fables inductively and leads to students writing their own. I’m in the middle of doing these lessons now. The only change to the book’s lesson plan is that I have three more advanced beginners who, after having done part of the lessons, are now creating a collection of fables from their home countries that we’ll also study.

Student-created fables will be posted on the class blog and we’ll try commenting again. Here’s the graphic organizer I’m having students use to create their own fables.

So, that’s what we’re doing. Let me know how you think it can be improved!

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites For Learning To Write A Story.

Addendum: See Video: Trailer For New Animated Move Based On “The Story Of Ferdinand”

August 18, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “What ‘Scarcity’ Does To The Mind & Why Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

I’m a big advocate of Social Emotional Learning (see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources), but I’m also concerned about it being “over-sold” and used to short-circuit needed policy changes.

I’ve written about those concerns in my Washington Post piece, The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning.

I’ve also shared many pieces on those concerns at The Best Resources Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough.

Among those articles are several talking about some specific research finding that poverty causes a lack of self-control and perseverance and it’s not the other way around. In other words, we have just a certain amount of “cognitive bandwidth” which can be overwhelmed by worry and concern related to “scarcity.”

Recently, NPR did an interview with one of the authors of that study, and you can read and listen to it at How The ‘Scarcity Mindset’ Can Make Problems Worse.

Here’s an excerpt:

Another quote from the piece – this one from the NPR host – says:

To be clear, it’s not that poor people focus on immediate needs because that’s all they want to think about. It’s all they can think about. Scarcity captures the mind. In fact, the tunnel vision produced by scarcity can actually lower how you perform on an IQ test.

As I’ve said before, SEL has its place, but it also has to be kept in its place. Yes, we should help our students develop self-regulation skills. But we should also organize for better public policies that can Outside Of School Factors That Impact  Student Achievement.

And, of course, want to help equip students with the skills so that they can also effectively advocate for themselves.

August 17, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “Google’s ‘AutoDraw’ Is Likely To Become A Favorite Place For Those Of Us Who Are Artistically-Challenged”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

Google has unveiled AutoDraw, a free site that uses artificial intelligence that provides a series of guesses about what you are drawing. You can choose the right “guess” to pretty-up your artistic creation, write up some description, and then download it or share the link. The image above is an example.

This is perfect for English Language Learners – instead of spending tons of time getting their drawing “just right,” they can, instead, have fun drawing quickly and spend more time on the language part of the exercise.

And it’s great for ESL teachers, too – no more working hard trying to draw images of scenes for vocabulary items to support language acquisition. Now just draw a few lines, project it onto the screen, and you’ll be able to show a masterpiece.

I’m adding this info to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

You can read more about AutoDraw at Technology Review article, Google’s AI Turns Your Crappy Doodles Into Proper Pictures.

August 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “Animated Video I’ve Done With Ed Week – “What Is ‘Transfer of Learning’ & How Does It Help Students?”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

I worked with Education Week to create an animated video on the topic of transfer of learning, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

I’ve written a lot about transfer, including devoting a chapter in one of my books to the topic (see an excerpt from that chapter published by The Washington Post, The real stuff of schooling: How to teach students to apply knowledge) and publishing a popular “Best” list – The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More.

In my book I give credit to the late Grant Wiggins for an example of how to promote transfer through generalizing.  He used the example of students learning about the qualities of a successful social movement from analyzing the women’s movement.  I also use that example in the video but, because of a miscommunication, credit to him , unfortunately, doesn’t appear.  You can see links to several articles by him on the topic at my “Best” list.

Here’s the video:

July 27, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “Guest Post From Lorin W. Anderson, Co-Author Of The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

 

Editor’s Note: Lorin W. Anderson, one of the co-authors of the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, left a comment on my post earlier this week, “Knowledge” & Bloom’s Pyramid.  He graciously agreed to expand on this thought for this guest post.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom.

Lorin W. Anderson received his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1973, having studied with Benjamin S. Bloom.  He spent 33 years on the faculty of the University of South Carolina, retiring in 2006.  He currently holds the rank of Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus and is a member of the International Academy of Education.

Let me make a couple of points about the material in the post, “Knowledge” & Bloom’s Pyramid:

1.  The triangle does not appear anywhere in either Taxonomy.  The triangular representation was quite likely designed by someone as part of a presentation made to educational practitioners (e.g., teachers, administrators).  I believe that the triangular representation was developed in order to indicate that, in the original Taxonomy, the six categories formed a cumulative hierarchy.  That is, it was believed by the authors of the original Taxonomy that mastery of each lower category was necessary before moving to the next higher category.  For example, you have to comprehend something before you can apply it.

2.  The triangular representation of the revised Taxonomy is particularly inappropriate for several reasons.  First, the revised Taxonomy contains two dimensions, not one. The authors believed that knowledge was sufficiently important to be a separate dimension.  They also believed there were different types or forms of knowledge: factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive.  Second, the nouns in the original Taxonomy were replaced by verbs,  In this process, remember replaced knowledge at the lowest “level” of the second dimension, termed “cognitive processes.”  If you read the text of the original Taxonomy, the equation of “knowledge” with “recall” and “recognition” is quite evident.  Remember was followed by understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.  Third, the categories (verbs) in the cognitive process dimension did NOT form a cumulative hierarchy.  Rather, they were considered to be “tools in a toolbox.”  Thus, it was possible (and often quite useful) to apply in order to understand or to evaluate as you apply.

3.  In your blog post, Dylan William’s representation, entitled “Bloom’s taxonomy, as it should be” is a far better representation of the revised Taxonomy than the triangular representation.  In fact, if you change the nouns to verbs (other than knowledge), add Remember to the list in the upper row, and realize that knowledge is multi-faceted (as I mention above) he has almost reconstructed the two-dimensional table of the revised Taxonomy.

4.  Finally, after 40+ years in the business, I am greatly dismayed that many educators get their information from oral presentations and secondary (and in some cases tertiary) sources. This practice tends to result in passing along half-truths and misinterpretations.  In this regard, I think you could do a great service by directing the readers of your blog to original sources (even if they won’t read them).  With respect to the revised Taxonomy, it would be helpful for anyone who is interested in writing about or making presentations on the revised Taxonomy to take 15 to 20 minutes to read the excellent overview written by David Krathwohl in the journal, Theory into Practice.

July 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “ASCD Educational Leadership Publishes My Article On Personalized Learning”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning is the headline of my fairly lengthy article in recent issue of ASCD Educational Leadership.

In it, I discuss various personalized learning strategies for both English Language Learners and English-proficient students. I also include a list of recommended free resources.

I’ll be adding it to my list of published articles here.

I’m also adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning”.

July 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

A Look Back: “What ELLs Taught Our School In A Week-Long Empathy Project”

This summer, I will be taking a break now-and-then from blogging to both take some R & R and to also finish-up our next book on teaching English Language Learners.

During those short breaks, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite posts of 2017 so far.

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

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

Editor’s Note: My talented colleague Pam Buric led an extraordinarily successful – on a number of levels – project at our school this month. She agreed to write about it in this guest post. I’ve added a few comments and links that might be helpful if you’d like to do something similar at your school.

Pam Buric has been teaching at Luther Burbank High School for 18 years and has teaching English learners for most of that time. In addition to teaching, she is the lead teacher of a small learning community and the multilingual coordinator for the school site.

A few weeks ago, my EL students were given the opportunity to share their stories with the “mainstream” students at our school.  The idea was dropped in my lap by administration as a means to promote empathy, our school social-emotional learning focus for the month of March.  I was slightly annoyed by the short turn-around time, the fact that my seniors would have to postpone their work on senior projects, and that it was a great idea that wasn’t mine.  I took a deep breath, adjusted my attitude and embarked on one of the highlights of my teaching career.

 “…We are not rich.  My mom doesn’t have a job. What matters most is to have something to eat before going to school….I don’t care if I go to school with an empty stomach.  I can survive a day without meals.  But to my brother, I do care.  He’s just six years old and that’s too young to go to school starving.  I would go to my friends’ houses and ask them if they have any spare food for my brother.  They always help.  But asking someone for something is what I don’t like. I don’t want to owe people.  I don’t have anything to give back.”  — Erisa, Marshall Islands

The stories of the lives of my students are heart-wrenching, poignant, incomprehensible.  They are stories of the harshness of this world and the resiliency of the human spirit.  To observe these students, you would never know… They laugh, they tease each other, they come to school, they work…. On the outside, the seem to be “normal” kids, but they have lived bigger lives than most of us. Almost all of the students expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to receive an education that could lead to endless possibilities.

“Almost every child is involved with the gang…. At this time, if I was in El Salvador, maybe I will not exist anymore in this world…. It was hard coming here.  I had to cross three borders walking, sometimes in a car, but I had a lot of difficulties in Guatemala and in Mexico with immigration.  But this country gave me a lot of opportunities to go to school to prepare me if I want to be something…. I want to change everything to a better life for my family and make them proud of me.” — Ronald came to the US alone at the age of 14.

For one week, my students shared their stories during our class period.  We organized this in the library.  My students sat one-on-one with students from other classes for about seven minutes, then, they moved to another table and another group of students.  During the class period, they told their stories six or seven times. It was gruelling, and we were asking a lot from them.  Their vulnerability and transparency took an emotional toll, and by Friday, a few of them bowed out.  I couldn’t blame them.  Every day, they had been asked to relive tragic and painful memories, and express them in a language that is not the language of their hearts.

(Editor’s Note: Our colleague Nichole Scrivner prepared very useful note-taking sheets for listeners, as well as a prep sheet for teachers of the visiting listeners).

“There were some people who put poison gas around the school, and no one knew about it. After a few minutes, I smelled a really hurtful smell.  And I started feeling dizzy, and all the students were the same as me.  A few minutes after this happened, I was in a situation that I wasn’t able to see around me and I fainted.  When I opened my eyes, I was in the hospital with other students.  I started crying, and I felt really afraid.  My mom was there, and she hugged me.” — Maria, Afghanistan

The effect the students’ stories had on their listeners was profound.  As students and teachers interacted with my students, many wiped away tears as they listened.  The conversation didn’t stop with the ending of the story.  The listeners asked questions that lead to more questions that lead to connections to their own lives.  Everyone involved, storytellers and listeners, came away with a better understanding of the humans at our school.

After the students’ week of telling their stories to students who are not English learners, they had the opportunity to teach the beginning English learners how to write their own stories.  They enjoyed passing on what they had learned and helping the beginners to put their stories into English. After they told their stories to the beginners, my students helped the beginners with scaffolding in the form of sentence starters. After the beginners wrote their own stories, they had the opportunity to read them one-on-one to the students in my class in a rotation similar to the one we used in the library.  

(Editor’s Note: You can see all the stories written by the Beginners at our class blog. Here’s the graphic organizer they used to plan their stories.).

As the teacher of these courageous students, I was blown away.  I know that they participated so readily because I asked this of them.  They trusted me that their stories would be heard with respect and that they would be protected.  They trusted that the students who were listeners would be prepared for what they would hear.  They trusted that their stories would make a difference.  I am humbled by my students’ trust in me.

(Editor’s Note: I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Helping To Build Empathy In The Classroom – Help Me Find More)

ADDENDUM: Here are all the personal stories written by Pam’s Intermediate students…

February 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: 2016’s Best Posts From This Blog

In late 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

Here is a a collection of my favorites from 2016:

A Look Back: Every Teacher Who Has An ELL In Their Class Should Watch This “Immersion” Film

A Look Back: How Much “Content” Knowledge Do You Really Need To Be An Effective Teacher?

A Look Back: Important New Study Looks At Assets, Not Deficits, Of Teen “Defiance”

A Look Back: The New Study Headlined “Group Work Harms Memory” Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

A Look Back: Video – “10 Strategies to Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation to Write”

A Look Back: Here Are Downloadable Scaffolded Instructions For Students To Create A “3/2/1” Poster

A Look Back: “The Endless Loop Of Negative Attention”

A Look Back: “KQED Interviews Me About Saul Alinsky & His Connection To Teaching”

A Look Back: “Ways A Mainstream Teacher Can Support An ELL Newcomer In Class”

A Look Back: Remembering “Breaking The Plane” Solved My Classroom Problems This Week

A Look Back: “The Elephant In The Room In The Talent vs. Practice Debate”

A Look Back: “Wash. Post Publishes Letters From My Students To Trump (ELL Sentence Frames Included)”

A Look Back: No, Most Educators Are Not “Fueling Student Anxieties” – Trump Is Handling That On His Own

A Look Back: “Video: Big Bang Theory Shows (Sort Of) How Close Reading Is Supposed To Work”

A Look Back: “Opportunities & Dangers Of Big New Growth Mindset Study”

A Look Back: “Finding Dory,” Growth Mindset & Grit

A Look Back: “Two New Useful Resources On Teaching Writing – And An Old One”

A Look Back: “Here’s A Narrated Version Of My Slide Deck On SEL & The Common Core”

A Look Back: “New Study Says Teacher-Student Relationship In Fifth Grade Sets Stage For Future Behavior”

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

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

A Look Back: Best Resources On Culturally Responsive Teaching

A Look Back: “A Community Organizer’s Definition Of Leadership – How Can It Be Applied To Education?”

A Look Back: “Zootopia Movies Highlights Importance Of Grit, But Also Its Limitations”

A Look Back: “Study Reviews 25 Years Of Research Into What Helps Students Graduate – Here’s What They Found”

A Look Back: “I Did A Presentation Today On The Concept Attainment Instructional Strategy – Here Are My Materials”

A Look Back: “I Did My Best Job Teaching A “Growth Mindset” Today – Here’s The Lesson Plan”

A Look Back: “Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included”

A Look Back: “Ideas for ‘Close Reading’ with ELL Students”

A Look Back: “Download All Lesson Plans & Student Hand-Outs From Our ELLs & Common Core Book – For Free!”

A Look Back: “Ofrecer autonomía es clave para desarrollar la motivación”

A Look Back: Sacramento Bee Video Of Me Sharing Tips For New Teachers

A Look Back: “Common Core Writing and ELLs”

A Look Back: “How to Cultivate Student Agency in English Language Learners”

A Look Back: “Using The “Green Eggs and Ham hypothesis” To Help Students Develop Creativity”

A Look Back: “Useful Writing Scaffold For A Classroom Wall”

A Look Back: New Study Shows Intervention Has Big Impact On “Achievement Gap” – Also Shows Shortcomings Of Ed Research

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