Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 24, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Organizing & Maximizing Field Trips – Both “Real” & “Virtual”

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I’m a big fan of field trips — the “real” kind, where we take students out of the classroom. I also believe, though, that “virtual” trips can be useful.

Here are resources, including past posts, about how to organize and maximize both types of field trips (and why they’re important):

Fewer field trips mean some students miss more than a day at the museum is from Brookings.

Field Trips Leave Indelible Memories is by Walt Gardner.

Google Expands Its “Expeditions” Virtual Field Trips For Schools (that post includes links to several other pieces I’ve written about Google’s Expeditions program)

The Best Resources For Finding And Creating Virtual Field Trips

The Best Sites Where Students Can Plan Virtual Trips

Why the much-maligned field trip really matters is from The Washington Post.

Successful Field Trips with English Language Learners is from Colorin Colorado.

Skype Connects Classrooms With Field Trips Around the World is from Ed Tech Magazine. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Find Other Classes For Joint Online Projects.

Smithsonian’s “Our Story” Is A Valuable Resource For Teachers & Parents (nice forms to use on field trips to any museum)

Learning from Live Theater is from Education Next and reviews research on the value of taking students on field trips.

English Language Learners Design Their Own “Ideal” Neighborhoods discusses a field trip I do every year.

How Field Trips Build Critical Thinking Skills is a post from MindShift about a recent study.

Here’s What Students Did On Our Field Trip To The Zoo

The Best Web Applications That Lets Multiple People Upload Their Photos To One Place

The Fabulous Field Trip Guide: Mobile Learning and QR Codes is from Shelly Terrell.

What am I missing?

June 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2016 – So Far

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It’s time for another “Best” list to add to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

I’ll also be adding this post to All Of My Theory Of Knowledge “Best” Lists In One Place!
Here are my previous TOK-related “Best” lists:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Commentaries On The New IB Theory Of Knowledge Teaching Guide

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Movies For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes – What Are Your Suggestions?

The Best Posts On IB Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Posts On Teaching TOK “Knowledge Questions”

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2015 – So Far

Here are my picks from the past six months:

Atul Gawande gave the commencement address at CalTech this month, and The New Yorker published his speech under the headline “A Mistrust Of Science.”

Here’s an excerpt:

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The whole piece would be useful in IB Theory of Knowledge classes when discussing science. I especially like his discussion of pseudoscience (you might also be interested in Video: Bill Nye On Pseudo-Science.

TOK Connection: “Pearls Before Swine” Does Another Version Of “Who’s On First?”

Here’s What My Theory Of Knowledge Students Will Be Doing For Their “Finals” – What Are You Doing?

I’ve described in one of my New York Times posts how I use illusions with English Language Learners, and I obviously use them in IB Theory of Knowledge classes when studying Perception. I learned from Michelle Henry about a series of illusions created by Mexican painter Octavio Ocampo who, I’m embarrassed to say, was not familiar with prior to seeing this work. Go take a visit — they’re amazing!

Police Body Cameras: What Do You See? is a new very impressive interactive at The New York Times. After first soliciting the reader’s general feelings about the police, the interactive shows several staged police encounters from different cameras and angles – asking you to judge what you think you saw. Then, those judgments are compared to other what others said and their feelings about the police. It’s extraordinarily useful to just about any class, and will be a superior addition to my Theory of Knowledge lesson on perception,Videos: Here’s The Simple Theory of Knowledge Lesson On Perception I Did Today. That post shares several other videos showing the same event from different angles.

Over 2,500 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes

You may, or may not, be familiar with the BBC’s “A History of Ideas.” It’s a show with 72 one-hour podcasts and 48 accompanying short video animations about philosophy. You can access all the podcasts and videos on the BBC site, which is particularly nice since a lot of the other material on the BBC won’t play in the United States. All the video animations are also on YouTube.

Lesson Plan | I Remember: Teaching About the Role of Memory Across the Curriculum is from The New York Times Learning Network, and is great for IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

NPR Videos On Serendipity In Science

Great Idea From Adam Grant: Student Mini-Talks That Challenge “Conventional Wisdom”

Five Videos Demonstrating The McGurk Effect

Videos On Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments – Not Blocked By YouTube Safety Mode

A Handy Compendium of 2015 TOK posts, downloadable is a series of posts by Eileen and Theo Dombrowski. Eileen is co-author of one of the most popular IB Theory of Knowledge textbooks.

I think TOK teachers might find these next two links particularly helpful:

Oral Presentation Suggestions For IB Theory of Knowledge Classes

Part Two – Oral Presentation Suggestions For IB Theory of Knowledge Classes

Here’s a new video on the famous ethics “trolley problem.” I’m adding it to The Best Videos About The Famous “Trolley Problem.”

Here’s A Nice Lesson I Did On Ethics In My Theory Of Knowledge Class

Killing Baby Hitler & Student “What If?” Projects

The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave

My 2014 post, New “Fillable” PDF Forms For IB Theory Of Knowledge Presentations & Essays, has been very popular, with TOK teachers from around the world not wanting to brave the IB website just to download some simple forms. Instead, they’ve just gone to that post, and I haven’t heard any objections from IB about my making them available. In January, though, I heard from TOK teacher Vladi Stanojevic that, in their infinite wisdom, IB  decided to make some changes to the Presentations form (the Essay form appears to be the same):

Here’s the new “fillable” PDF Presentations form.

It’s very similar to the old one, except it doesn’t have space for the candidates names. It does seem odd that they have entirely removed any space for student names, but I’ve given up trying to figure out IB decisions….

I’ve previously posted a lot about the work of Harvard professor Michael Sandel. Here’s an older video clip of an interview he did on NBC. I use it in my IB Theory of Knowledge class when we’re studying Ethics.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I’ve previously written about the great work of Professor Philip Tetlock, and you can find my past posts about him at The Best Resources On The Importance Of Knowing What You Don’t Know. The Washington Post published an article about his recent work – check out The secrets the world’s top experts use to make really good predictions. As far as I’m concerned, here’s the “money quote” from that piece, and it’s perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

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June 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2016 – So Far

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This particular “Best” list is a newer  one.

I have regularly published The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers lists, and will continue to do so.

However, last year I began publishing a regular Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week post. I thought, because of that new feature, it made sense to just publish a list highlighting the best from that series, in addition to the regular “Practical Advice” one. That latter list will include many other resources.

The Best Resources On Class Instruction – 2015 was the first edition of this new series.

I’ll be adding this post to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2016 – So Far:

Rethinking the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model is from The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, but I think all teachers can gain by looking at it.  Here is his Part Two.

Teaching Evolution Isn’t About Changing Beliefs is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics.

Do Smartphones Have a Place in the Classroom? is from The Atlantic and is by Paul Barnwell. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Student Cellphone Use In Class — Please Contribute More.

20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

The Spring, 2016 issue of The American Educator has several important articles on performance-based assessment. I’m adding them to The Best Resources For Learning About Performance Assessment.

Questioning That Deepens Comprehension is a great post by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey. It appears in Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “Close Reading” — Help Me Find More.

10 Surefire Ideas to Remove Writing Roadblocks is by Regie Routman at Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

We’re Thinking About ADHD All Wrong, Says A Top Pediatrician is a useful NPR article for teachers to review. It’s also worth checking out at least some of the several hundred comments left at the site, too.

Josie Mingay has a great multi-part series on metacognition in the classroom. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Metacognition.

Dunning-Kruger and the curse of knowledge by Greg Ashman offers some ideas worth thinking about by teachers.

What is ‘Breaking the Plane’? is by Doug Lemov. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies is by Jennifer Gonzalez. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Sharing The Best Practices For Fruitful Classroom Discussions.

 

 

June 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – So Far

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I continue my mid-year “The Best…” lists…

I’ll be adding this post to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

You might want to explore The Best Resources On Class Instruction – 2015, too.  I’ll be publishing a mid-year 2016 edition of that series soon.

The title of this “The Best…” list is pretty self-explanatory. What you’ll find here are blog posts and articles this year (some written by me, some by others) that were, in my opinion, the ones that offered the best practical advice and resources to teachers this year — suggestions that can help teachers become more effective in the classroom today or tomorrow. Some, however, might not appear on the surface to fit that criteria, but those, I think, might offer insights that could (should?) inform our teaching practice everyday.

For many, the headlines provide enough of an idea of the topic and I haven’t included any further description.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – Part Two

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

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2011

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2010

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2009

In addition, you might find these useful:

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice In 2011

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2010

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016- So Far:

Here’s a piece I wrote for The Washington Post:  Teacher: What happened when my students’ behavior took a ‘major turn for the worse’

I’ve got to include my BAM! Radio shows and my Education Week Teacher advice column.

“Grit” is all over the news lately, and I’ve previously shared a number of related resources (see The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”). In fact, there’s been so much written about it, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start or who to believe. But that won’t be a problem anymore because Dan Willingham has clearly written the best (and most accessible) analysis of grit that I have seen – and, believe me, I’ve seen a lot of them! (and this is one day after he gave the best advice you’ll see on students listening to music in the classroom!). It’s in this summer’s issue of the American Educator under the title of “Grit” Is Trendy, but Can It Be Taught? and it’s freely available online. He provides an excellent analysis of the research, along with reviewing common critiques.

The Best Videos About The Importance Of Practice – Help Me Find More

It’s been awhile since I shared this resource – a full (and free) downloadable chapter from my book, Helping Student Motivate Themselves. And it’s titled What Are the Best Things You Can Do to Maximize the Chances of a Lesson Being Successful? In addition to being useful to teachers, I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students read it in preparation for the lessons that they periodically teach their classmates.

The Best Social Media-Created “Syllabuses” About Current Events

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names

The Best Resources About “Culturally Responsive Teaching” & “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy” – Please Share More!

I’ve published many useful resources on the musical Hamilton (see The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”). But I don’t thing anything is as engaging as the new Wall Street Journal’s feature, How does ‘Hamilton,’ the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap’s master rhymes to blur musical lines? The multimedia piece compares Hamilton lyrics with those of other musicals and hip hop artists. The kicker is that you can paste your own lyrics in and the site will analyze them for rhymes and repetitions.

Calm Down, Everybody – Group Work & Class Discussions Can Work Just Fine

Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”

“FoxType” Looks Like A Very Versatile Writing Site

How My University Students Evaluated Me Spring Semester

I’ve previously posted about ReadWorks as a source of excellent reading passages for use in classes (see “ReadWorks.org” Looks Like A Good Source Of Free Reading Passages For Social Studies). They recently unveiled ReadWorks Digital, a free site where teachers can create virtual classrooms for students to interact with their excellent texts online, including digital assessments.

Education Week has just published one of their typically excellent special reports, and the title of this one is Next Draft: Changing Practices In Writing Instruction. It’s composed of eight separate articles, including “As Teachers Tackle New Student-Writing Expectations, Support Is Lacking,” “Remodeling the Workshop: Lucy Calkins on Writing Instruction Today,” and “Students in My Math Classes Next Year Will Do a Lot of Writing. Here’s Why.” I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

“Bloom’s Taxonomy According To The Big Bang Theory”

I have pinned over  16,500 visual resources on my Pinterest Boards, and over 9,500 of them are ones I haven’t shared here on my blog or on Twitter. You might find some of them useful…

I have often shared classroom management advice from Marvin Marshall, and he wrote another gem recently:

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I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

The “Constraints Principle” Revisited

Good Advice On How To “Outsmart Your Next Angry Outburst”

How to create digital homework that students love is an excellent “how-to” post about using TED-Ed with students.

The Best Links For Helping Students Learn How To Write “Leads” or “Ledes”

The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills

Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included

There’s a lot of food for thought in Tim Shanahan’s post, Should I Set Reading Purposes for My Students?

The Peace Corps has a nice collection of lesson plans for all subjects — they’re not about the Peace Corps, but are lesson plans they and their volunteers developed for teaching around the world. I wouldn’t say they’re the most sophisticated ones around, but many seem to offer some interesting perspectives you won’t find elsewhere. Because of that “freshness,” I’m adding it to The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet.

Why Teachers Need To Know The Wrong Answers is an intriguing story over at NPR.

Harvard Business Review Criticizes Trump’s Negotiating Skills & Provides Excellent Classroom Management Advice At Same Time

Kevin Durant On “Hard Work” & How I’m Using It In Class

The Secret of Effective Feedback is the lead article in the new issue of ASCD Educational Leadership, and may be the best article you’ll ever read on giving effective feedback to students. It’s certainly the best piece I’ve ever read. And, it’s not behind a paywall! It’s filled with numerous insights and very practical suggestions – a number that I haven’t read anywhere else. I’m certainly adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

I’ve previously written in my books and here on my blog about writing scaffolds like “ABC” (Answer the Question; Back it up; make a Comment/Connection) or “PQC” format (Point/Quote/Connect). You can see Here’s An Example Of How I Scaffold A Short Writing Prompt for more details. Teacher Meghan Everette recently wrote an excellent post on Scholastic about her school’s version of this kind of scaffold, which they call “RACE” (Restate, Answer, Cite the Source, Explain/Examples). In her post, Responding to Text: How to Get Great Written Answers, she shares helpful examples. I’m adding this info to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

The Best World Poetry Day Resources – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning”

The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It

Adam Grant On Failure & How I’m Using What He Says In Class

New Study Reviews 25 Years Of Research Into What Helps Students Graduate – Here’s What They Found

What Are Creative & Effective Ways You’ve Used Multiple Choice Exercises?

Guest Post: “Walk & Talks” Are Extremely Effective Way To Connect With Students – Here’s A “How-To” Guide

Short & Simple Writing Prompt On Effort & Perseverance

Do Your Students Slouch Back In Their Chairs? Here’s A Writing Prompt On It I’m Using In Class

The “Best” Lists Of Recommendations About What “Effective” Teachers Do

Thoughtful Learning has a great collection of model texts in multiple genres and grade levels. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement, where you can find other collections of writing examples.

New “Open eBooks” App Unveiled By White House Looks Like A HUGE Benefit To Students & Schools

Student Instructions For How They Can Create A Cloze (Gap-Fill)

I Did A Presentation Today On The Concept Attainment Instructional Strategy – Here Are My Materials

The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

How My Students Evaluated Me This Semester

Here’s An Example Of How I Scaffold A Short Writing Prompt

Here’s What My Students Think Of A Growth Mindset

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

“Ask A REL” Archives Are Some Of The Most Accessible Education Research Sites Around…

The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of Prior Knowledge (& How To Activate It)

 

June 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2016 – So Far

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Another day, another mid-year “The Best…” list…..

I’ll be adding this post to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

Ordinarily, I also publish a separate list for ELL students, but just didn’t have it in me to do that this month.  You can see links to all those past posts at The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – Part Two.  I’ve included resources that I would ordinarily put in that list in this post, instead.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – So Far

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s — 2010

The Best Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2016 – So Far:

I’m going to start off with several excerpts that have been published from our new book, Navigating The Common Core With English Language Learners:

Jossey-Bass is making all the lesson plans and student hand-outs from our Navigating The Common Core With ELLs book available for free online – you don’t even have to register to get them! Just go to our page on the publisher’s site and download away!

And I think teachers will find my weekly posts at The New York Times helpful:  All My NY Times Posts For English Language Learners – Linked With Descriptions.

Elementary Podcasts are from The British Council. There are tons of English-learning podcasts out there, but this one stands out because each one includes web-based interactive exercises. I’m not aware of any other one like it – am I missing them? I’m adding it toThe Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners.

One of my most popular posts is The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels.” It’s filled with free sources where you can get the similar versions of the same text that have been edited for different levels of readers. For some reason, however, I have neglected to put the modified readings from the great British Council on that list, and I am fixing that oversight now. They have a number of readings in three or four levels each. They seem to have them in two different places — stories in three levels here and four levels here.

Statistic Of The Day: Numbers of Immigrant Students Will Continue To Grow is a post I wrote about a recent study that shares some useful and, in one case, alarming statistics.

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2016 – So Far

The Seven Best Silent Short Films for Language Teaching is from Kieran Donaghy. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

Immigrant and Refugee Children: A GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF is from The American Federation of Teachers.

Ways to Help ELLs Learn Pronunciation is the headline of one of my Education Week Teacher columns. In it, Wendi Pillars, Paul Boyd-Batstone, Ivannia Soto, Judie Haynes, Diane Mora, Eugenia Mora-Flores, and many readers offer suggestions on how to help English Language Learners develop good pronunciation skills.

The 10 Best Places to Find ELT Listening Materials is from Adam Simpson.

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names

Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”

The Seven Best Short Films for ELT Students is from Kieran Donaghy.

Steve Smith has written a series of posts about learning strategies in learning a new language. Here are Parts One, Two, Three and Five.

Nine major shortcomings of L2 grammar instruction and how to address them is from The Language Gym. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Grammar Practice.

I’ve previously posted about ReadWorks as a source of excellent reading passages for use in classes (see “ReadWorks.org” Looks Like A Good Source Of Free Reading Passages For Social Studies). They recently unveiled ReadWorks Digital, a free site where teachers can create virtual classrooms for students to interact with their excellent texts online, including digital assessments.  Many of their articles are accessible to Intermediate ELLs.

I, and many ELL teachers, use The Story Of Ferdinand in class. It’s particularly useful when teaching the “story” genre (I use it, as well as Teacher From The Black Lagoon, as part of a modified unit from The WRITE Institute). I just learned that the director of the Ice Age movie is doing a full-length version of Ferdinand, and it’s supposed to be out next year. Disney did this cartoon version in the late 1930’s:

Many of you may know this, but it’s new to me that it was a very controversial story when it came out prior to World War II and was banned in in countries for it’s alleged promotion of pacifism.

Guest Post: “The Benefits of Genius Hour for ELLs”

Education Week published the video of our Webinar on ELLs & The Common Core, which we did in conjunction with the publication of our new book, Navigating The Common Core With ELLs.

 

Education Week released a special report on teaching English Language Learners that is a must-read for anybody interested in ELLs, and it will remain one for a long time to come. The Ed Week report includes many articles and, my hat is off to them on this, there are Spanish-language versions of all of them.

The differences among ESL program models is from MultiBriefs.

Four Excellent Sites for Online Dictations is from Blog de Cristina. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners.

Dave Stuart Jr., who provides the most accessible materials out there on the Common Core Standards, did a thirty-minute interview with me about teaching English Language Learners. He’s now put it online, along with a short summary.

Can Duolingo Crush the TOEFL? is from Slate.

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California

The Best Resources For Teaching Shakespeare To English Language Learners

Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included

We Did A Great ‘Growth Mindset’ Lesson With Our ELLs This Week – Here’s The Lesson Plan

The online publication Quartz published a piece about an amazing new interactive ad campaign that encourages people to repeat phrases as part of an online video story. Fine, you might be thinking, so what’s the big deal? Well, the recorded phrases then go into a VoiceBank that supplies audio for people who must use a device to communicate. Can you think of many other things that could be more motivating to an English Language Learner to try to get as close to perfect pronunciation as that? All you have to do is go to the Voice of Goldivox and follow the story along. The phrases are short and very accessible. I wouldn’t use it with Beginners, but would think Intermediates and Advanced could do it with a little practice. Here’s a sample video, though you have to to the Goldivox link to watch it all and record:

I don’t know how long this campaign will last but, because it’s so cool, I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Learning English Pronunciation.

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration inthe United States is from The Migration Policy Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current ELL/ESL/EFL News & Research.

Effective Strategies For ELL Error Correction is the headline of one of my Education Week Teacher columns.

Teachers of English Language Learners, and researchers (see No Surprise In This Study: Language Learners Retain Vocabulary Better When Connected To Gestures & Images), have known for a long time that drawing  pictures of words enhances memories of them. A new, and exhaustive, study seems to have confirmed that understanding. You can read a summary of the research here and also watch a video summary in the short video embedded below (I wish more researchers would make videos like this one). In a pleasant surprise, the study itself is available for free online.

NPR has been run a three-part series on how “gifted” English Language Learners, particularly Latinos, are overlooked for admittance into advanced classes in schools. Of course, that’s no surprise to most of us — it’s common that even many teachers confuse not speaking English with not being intelligent. It’s great that this problem is finally getting some public attention. We’re lucky at our school that some of us who also teach English Language Learner classes also teach courses in the International Baccalaureate program so, for instance, I recruited four of my ELL students for my IB Theory of Knowledge class this year and have twelve slated to attend next year. Why Gifted Latinos Are Often Overlooked And Underserved is the link to one of the stories.

Reader Susan recommended I check-out the Big Learners site, and I’m glad she did. It has thousands of worksheets for elementary grades that you can print-out for free with no registration required. The English ones I looked at seemed pretty decent and could certainly be used with Beginning and Low-Intermediate English Language Learners to reinforce concepts that have been initially taught in more engaging ways. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets.

Let’s Learn English is a new course for English learners. It’s a series of 52 lessons with online resources, student printables and teacher lesson plans and is from the Voice of America.

New Geography Videos From Our Latest Sister Class – In Guatemala!

WordSift came out several years ago as a great tool to help English Language Learners develop academic vocabulary knowledge. Mary Ann Zehr wrote an excellent description of it at Ed Week, and I put it on The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary. It was created by Stanford Professor Kenji Hakuta. Then, it seemed to disappear. I started getting requests from educators for alternatives. Now, it’s back! WordSift 2 has launched. Paste in a text, and you get all sorts of stuff in return — word clouds sorted in various categories, images of words to enhance understanding, sentences showing the words in context, word webs, and more!

Successful Field Trips with English Language Learners is from Colorin Colorado.

The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners

The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs

tiching, an organization of teachers in Spanish-speaking countries,  did an interview with me on student motivation. You can read it – in Spanish – at Larry Ferlazzo: “Ofrecer autonomía es clave para desarrollar la motivación.” Fortunately, even though I did most of the interview in Spanish, they made me sound far more fluent than I actually am :) I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

“One-Sentence Project” Audio Slideshow From My English Language Learner Class

David Duebelbeiss has written two good posts: “Best” Videos for ELT Player and Video Lessons. I’m adding both to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them).

Judie Haynes has a very useful TESOL post titled 10 Online Resources to Improve EL Literacy that’s worth reading. One resource she mentions that I thought was particularly good was from National Geographic. They have quite a few simple “Listen & Read” nonfiction stories that would be great for English Language Learners. You can find them here and here. I’m adding them to The Best Websites To Help Beginning Readers.

Vocabulary building and revision tools is from Adam Simpson. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

Sounds Like A Story is from ELT Cation. I’ve used sound effects to help students learn vocabulary, but this blog post describes a cool lesson that takes that idea several steps further.

The Seven Best Film and Video Resource Sites is by Kieran Donaghy. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

Collaborative writing activities is by Rachael Roberts. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Collaborative Storytelling, which I’ve just updated and revised.

Ways to Support ELLs With Special Needs is the title of one of my Education Week Teacher posts.

English My Way has lots of teacher resources if you’re working with Beginners.

Study: Extrinsic Rewards Reduces Long-Term Learning Of New Languages & Other Knowledge

The Best Free Online Tools For ELLs To Use For Assessing Their Language-Level

Statistic Of The Day: Explicit Teaching Of Grammar Is Not A Winner – What Do You Think Is?

Last September, Google introducing the ability to type by voice to Google Docs, and I wrote about its possibilities for language learning (see The New Voice Typing Feature In Google Docs Is Great – I Wonder If ELLs Can Use It For Pronunciation Practice?). Google recently announced an expansion of those features, and you can read about it at TechCrunch’s post, You Can Now Edit And Format Your Google Docs By Voice. You can also see the official list of available commands at Google.

Not Hangman Again is a PDF full of classroom games, shared by the British Council.

Student Instructions For How They Can Create A Cloze (Gap-Fill)

I Did A Presentation Today On The Concept Attainment Instructional Strategy – Here Are My Materials

How My Students Evaluated Me This Semester

High Schools With College-Bound ELLs Share Common Practices, Study Finds is from Education Week.

Bilingual Kids Are Way Better At Thinking Outside The Rules is from Fast Company.

This Student Presentation Is An Example Of Why The “KnowMe” App Is Perfect For ELL Teachers

A Useful Lesson When Teaching Problem/Solution Essays – & Other Topics

“Drawing Out” Book Is Excellent For ELL Beginner Homework

Here’s An Example Of How I Scaffold A Short Writing Prompt

The New York Times has just launched a Spanish-language site. It offers both articles translated from English versions and original content. Having good Spanish translations of their English articles can be great tools for English-language development, and the Spanish articles can also be used by ELLs to help develop background knowledge on a specific topic being studied. I’m adding this info to The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, & Science.

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

ASCD’s monthly “Educational Leadership” magazine is usually great, but it was even more special in February with a special issue titledHelping ELLs Excel. Usually, I provide a brief review of a few of the articles that aren’t behind a paywall and which I think are particularly worth reading. However, I’d recommend you go and read all the ones that are freely available AND pay a few bucks to read all the others (if you aren’t already a subscriber).

Teachers Might Find My “Concept Attainment – Plus” Instructional Strategy Useful

Building Relationships With Families of ELLs is the title of one of my Education Week Teacher columns.

Here’s The Writing Prompt I Used With My Intermediate ELLs Today

New ELL History “What If?” Projects

“KnowMe” Has Immediately Become The Most Useful iPhone App In My Classroom

The Latest Videos From Our Sister Class Geography Project — This Time, From Greece!

Here’s A New Phonics Activity I Did Today

Top-Notch English Site, USA Learns, Unveils Rebuilt Version

Simple Exploration Project With ELL History Class

Teaching ELLs That ‘Science is a Verb’ is another of my Education Week Teacher columns.

“WordsEye” Is A New Cool Tool That Could Be A BIG Help With Language-Learning

Increasing Motivation Through Students Setting Goals is the title of one of my Teaching English – British Council posts.

The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of Prior Knowledge (& How To Activate It)

 

 

June 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My Ten Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2016 – So Far

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As regular readers know, I do a ten-minute weekly BAM! Radio show to accompany my Education Week Teacher columns.

I thought readers might be interested in my choices for the best shows I’ve done in 2016 – So Far.

I’m adding this list to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

You can see all my shows at All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions.

You might also be interested in My Twelve Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2015.

Here are My Twelve Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2016 – So Far (they are not in any particular order):

Epic Classroom Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them with Gianna Cassetta and Karen Baptiste.

Bridging the Cultural Barrier with Immigrant Parents with Rusul Alrubail, Anna Bartosik and Jordan Lanfair.

Ed Tech Problems: Avoiding Those You Can, Managing Those You Can’t with Anne Jenks, Larissa Pahomov, and Jared Covili.

Teaching: If I Knew Then What I Know Now… with Roxanna Elden, Dave Stuart Jr., and Julia Thompson.

The Look and Feel of Culturally Responsive Instruction with Django Paris.

The Best Principal I’ve Ever Seen… with Ted Appel and Cathy Beck.

How Great Principals Help Teachers Grow: They Do This, Not That with Mark Estrada and Diana Laufenberg.

Why the Death of Paper Books May Be Greatly Exaggerated with Dan Willingham and Kristin Ziemke.

Student Grades Are In, Time to Reflect on Them with Kristina Doubet and Myron Dueck.

What Are the Best Ways to Assess Student Work? with Andrew Miller, Suzie Boss, and Meg Riordan.

June 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2016 – So Far

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I use short, funny video clips a lot when I’m teaching ELLs, and you can read in detail about how I use them in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them). In short, there are many ways to use them that promote speaking, listening, writing and reading (including having students describe – in writing and verbally – a chronological description of what they saw).

I’ve posted a few of them during the first half of this year, and I thought it would be useful to readers — and to me — if I brought them together in one post.

I’m adding this list to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

I’ve also published quite a few during the previous nine years of this blog. You can find those in these lists:

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 – So Far

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 – Part One

The Best Videos For Educators In 2014 – So Far

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2013 — So Far

The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2012 (Part Two)

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2012 (Part One)

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2011

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2010

Part Two Of The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2008

The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development

The Best Funny Videos Showing The Importance Of Being Bilingual Or Multilingual — Part One

The Best Pink Panther Fight Scenes For English Language Learners

The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner

The Best Sports Videos To Use With English Language Learners

The Best Video Clips Of Sneaky Critters

The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More

The Best Fun Videos To Teach Language Conventions — Help Me Find More

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Movie Scenes For Halloween

The Best Christmas Videos For English Language Learners – Help Me Find More

Okay, now here are my choices for The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2016 — So Far:

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites To Learn About Pandas:

Video clips of sneaky critters are great ones to show to English Language Learners to get them to describe — verbally and in writing — what they see. I also use them to in my IB Theory of Knowledge class for a discussion about if animals have ethics:

Astronaut Scott Kelly at the International Space Station filmed himself in a gorilla suit chasing Tim Peake:

The Present from Jacob Frey on Vimeo.

Desert Critters from Li Wen Toh on Vimeo.

A Small Escape from David Sandell on Vimeo.

Every Best Visual Effects Winner. Ever. from Burger Fiction on Vimeo.

The humor exhibited in this Darth Santa spoof would be a big hit for many teenage boys who are English Language Learners, and I suspect others would enjoy it, too (note that there are a few seconds showing him drinking). Students can watch it and describe verbally and writing what they saw:

June 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – So Far

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It’s time for another of my mid-year  “Best” lists (you can see all 1,600 “The Best…” lists here).

I’m adding this one to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – So Far

The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2014 – So Far

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2013 — Part Two

All My 2013 “The Best…” Lists (So Far) On Education Policy In One Place

All My 2012 “The Best…” Lists On Education Policy In One Place

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Polcy In 2011 — Part One

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010

The “Best” Articles (And Blog Posts) About Education Policy — 2009

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2008

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – So Far (let me know what you think I’m missing) – these are not listed in any order of preference (I’m starting off with links to “Best” lists I’ve posted over the past few months that relate to ed policy):

The Best Resources For Understanding The Every Student Succeeds Act

The Best Resources On Student Absenteeism

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California

The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs

The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning”

The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It

The “Best” Lists Of Recommendations About What “Effective” Teachers Do

The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners

The Best Education “Year-In-Review” Round-Ups For 2015

The Best Education Predictions For 2016

The Best Articles For Beginning To Understand Zuckerberg’s Announced $45 Billion “Charitable” Gift

The Best “Fair Isn’t Equal” Visualizations

Slate is published an impressive series of twelve long articles on race and schools – all in one week – and called Tomorrow’s Test. You can access all of them at the bottom of that introductory article.

Does Teaching Experience Increase Teacher Effectiveness? A Review of the Research is from The Learning Policy Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

Why so many people are worried about teacher diversity, in two charts is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism.

Competing Strands Of Educational Reform Policy: Can Collaborative School Reform and Teacher Evaluation Reform Be Reconciled? is a new and important paper from The Shanker Institute. It raises more questions than provides answers, but they’re very important questions.

School Funding Maps:  Hot on the heels of NPR publishing an impressive interactive on school funding across the United States, The New York Times unveiled one that looks even more impressive. Go to their Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares page, pop in the name of your school district, and it will vividly demonstrate how students in that district compare with others in academic achievement, school funding, and ethnic make-up of the student population.

Advancing Deeper Learning Under ESSA: Seven Priorities is from Stanford. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning.”

When School Districts Get Deliberate About Desegregation is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More.

Another Flaw In Using Value-Added Measurement For Teacher Evaluation is a post I wrote about an important recent study.  My blog post itself is not really worthy of inclusion in this list, but the study combined with the little context I give is important.

The Harvard Business Review – of all places – has published what I think is the most thorough and devastating critique that I’ve seen of performance pay – see Stop Paying Executives for Performance. It’s targeting executive pay but, with a few minor changes in wording, the article can be applied to teacher pay and evaluation, as well as student assessment. It’s short, and definitely worth the read.

“Throwing money at the problem” may actually work in education is from The Washington Center For Equitable Growth. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

A Community Organizer’s Definition Of Leadership – How Can It Be Applied To Education? (Part One) is a post I wrote that people might find useful.

Stop Humiliating Teachers is a great new essay at The New Yorker. I’m definitely adding it to The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy.

Comparing Paper-Pencil and Computer Test Scores: 7 Key Research Studies is an important article over at Education Week (Report: Kids who took Common Core test online scored lower than those who used paper is a similar one at The Washington Post).

Stop repeating nonsense about ‘bad’ teachers. Just. Stop it. is from Icing On The Cake. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Chicago Public Schools teachers and students need more than loveis by Ray Salazar.

Help wanted: California school districts scramble to hire teachers is a nice article by reporter Diana Lambert appearing in The Sacramento Bee today. It features how our school supports student teachers (created by Jim Peterson and Ted Appel), and you can read more about it at thethree-part series at my Education Week Teacher column on…how to support student teachers.

Ranking Is Not Measuring is by Peter Greene. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

New Study Suggests That Teacher Observations Should Focus More On Teacher Inputs, Less On Student Outcomes is a post I wrote that is on this “Best” list primarily because of some of the context it provides to links in it.

New Report: Does Money Matter in Education? Second Edition is from The Shanker Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

New Study Finds Big Results From Ethnic Studies Classes

Statistic Of The Day: How Much Do Teachers Spend Out Of Their Own Pockets For Supplies?

Video: Jonathan Kozol On Savage Inequalities

The Myth of Unions’ Overprotection of Bad Teachers: Evidence from the District-Teacher Matched Panel Data on Teacher Turnover is a new research paper I learned about through The Shanker Institute. Here’s an excerpt:

The data confirms that, compared to districts with weak unionism, districts with strong unionism dismiss more low-quality teachers and retain more high-quality teachers. The empirical analysis shows that this dynamic of teacher turnover in highly unionized districts raises average teacher quality and improves student achievement.

Study Finds Teachers Whose Students Achieve High Test Scores Often Don’t Do As Well With SEL Skills

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