Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Movie Scenes, Stories, & Quotations About “Transfer Of Learning” – Help Me Find More!

I’ve been doing some thinking and writing about the idea of “transfer of learning” — helping students be able to apply what they learn in one situation to other contexts. I’ve previously posted The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More.

I think I have a pretty good understanding of it now as I prepare a lesson plan. However, I’d like to spice it up with videos of movie or TV scenes, stories from real-life or from literature, and pithy quotes and hope readers will contribute suggestions.

Obviously, this science from Apollo 13 and other clips from The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More could apply, but I’m hoping for a lot more.

Have any ideas?

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July 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
5 Comments

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

Earlier today, I posted Weird Al Weird Al Yankovic’s new funny video teaching grammar (I’ve also posted it below). Then, Heather Wolpert-Gawron showed me another funny one, that’s also posted below. I figured there have got to be more out there, so I invite readers to contribute the ones you know about — I’ll post them here and, of course, give you full credit. These can certainly be useful in the classroom!

Chana at GCFLearnFree shared their fun and corny videos that are probably more categorized as easily confused words than grammar-related, but I’m still adding the series to this list.

You can see them all here.

Here’s one of them, and I have the video set as a playlist so you can automatically see them all, too…

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July 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Video Clips On The Benefits Of Writing Well — Help Me Find More

I’m working on a lesson about the value of writing well, and am developing a collection of video clips that might be useful.

Here are the ones I’ve come up with — I hope readers will contribute more:

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July 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning”

When the last Race To The Top applications came out, its focus on the idea of “personalized learning” prompted me to create a The Best Resources On “Race To The Top” (& On “Personalized Learning”) list.

Now, though, I think it’s time to make the topic a “Best” list of its own…

I’ve got a number of concerns, and a fair amount of skepticism, about what’s passing as “personalized learning” these days, and this collection reflects it. Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments:

“Personalized Learning,” Race To The Top & Putting Even More Lipstick On A Pig

Another Good Take On “Personalized Learning”

Personalization is by Chris Lehmann.

Dan Meyer On Personalization is by…Dan Meyer.

‘Personalized Learning’ Varies for Race to Top Districts is from Education Week.

Quote Of The Day: Personalized Learning

The Soaring Promise Of Big Data In Math Education is by Dan Meyer.

Gates and Murdoch “Personalize” Learning with Larger Classes and Big Data Systems is by Anthony Cody at Education Week.

Rebirth of the Teaching Machine through the Seduction of Data Analytics: This Time It’s Personal is by Philip McRae.

This Time It’s Personal and Dangerous is by Barbara Bray.

 

The History of “Personalization” and Teaching Machines is by Audrey Watters.

Betting Big on Personalized Learning is from Education Week

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July 9, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Learning About Balanced Literacy & The “Reading Wars”

The so-called “reading wars” on how best to teach literacy are back in the news with the recent announcement that “balanced literacy” is back on the approved list for New York City schools to use.

It should come as no surprise to readers that I’m a big supporter of Lucy Calkins and the balanced literacy approach, as my recent tweet demonstrates:

Here are some more useful resources on the topic. Let me know what else I should add to the list:

New York Schools Chief Advocates More ‘Balanced Literacy’ is from The New York Times.

The Reading Wars Again (or Still) is by Marc Tucker at Ed Week.

How Lucy Calkins, literacy guru and Fariña ally, is fighting to define Common Core teaching is from Chalkbeat.

Balanced Literacy Is One Effective Approach is by Lucy Calkins and is one of several columns on the topic published by The New York Times as part of their “Room For Debate” series.

Here’s a Prezi that might be worth a look:

A Return to ‘Balanced Literacy’? is from Education Week.

Again, please send me more suggestions of resources to add to this list….

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July 4, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Learning About The Children Refugee Crisis At The U.S. Southern Border

I’ve previously shared articles on the children refugee crisis (and, make no mistake — it is a refugee crisis, not an immigrant problem), but thought it would be useful for me to collect them all in one list. Feel free to offer additional suggestions in the comments section:

 

U.S. Schools Gear Up for Surge of Young Immigrants is from Ed Week.

Wave Of Guatemalan Migrant Children Presents Unique Challenges is from NPR, and provides another perspective on the child migration tragedy.

Surge of Unaccompanied Minors Crossing Border Presents Education Challenges is from Education Week. You might also be interested in 13 facts that help explain America’s child-migrant crisis from Vox (which they just updated).

Murrieta protest over immigrant kids exposes political divisions is from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Children at the Border Raise Question of Who Is a Refugee is from NBC News.

The awful reason tens of thousands of children are seeking refuge in the United States is from Vox.

The Town Where Immigrants Hit a Human Wall is from The New York Times.

These two maps show the violence driving Central American children to the US is from Vox.

Child immigration crisis is a photo gallery from CBS News.

The Children Crossing Our Border Just Want a Better Life—Let’s Treat Them as Our Own is by Jose Luis Vilson.

Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to U.S. Border is from The New York Times.

Book Drive Seeks To Give Immigrant Kids Chance To ‘Daydream’ is from NBC News. You can also access a special section they have on all their stories about the refugee crisis.

What happens when deportation separates parents from their kids? is from Vox.

Here’s a short video explainer from Vox:

Shame on you, Murrieta, for blocking immigrant detainee buses is from The L.A. Times.

Migrant children describe fear of facing protesters is a news report from an ABC affiliate in Southern California.

A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis is from The New York Times.

The So-Called Immigration Border Crisis Is Neither is from The Daily Beast.

Vox has just published a very useful list of organizations that are helping the child refugees in the Southwest, and ways people can help them.Check out What you can do to help the US’ 52,000 child migrants.

Schools a haven for kids who crossed border alone is from The Associated Press.

Beware John Cornyn’s ‘Humane’ Immigration Act is from The New York Times.

The U.S. Border Crisis is a series of infographics from Reuters.

Surge in unaccompanied children at the border is an infographic from The Washington Post.

The process Congress wants to use for child migrants is a disaster is from Vox.

What’s Causing The Latest Immigration Crisis? A Brief Explainer is from NPR.

Border Crisis: When Has the U.S. Provided Refuge for Kids in the Past? is from NBC News.

Pope Says Children at U.S. Border Must Be ‘Welcomed and Protected’ is also from NBC News.

A Central America expert explains the root causes of the migrant crisis is from Vox.

The Myth of the Diseased Immigrant is from TIME.

Towns Fight to Avoid Taking In Migrant Minors is from The New York Times.

US communities diverge on child migrant response is from The Associated Press.

Unaccompanied migrant children in the United States: Research roundup is from Harvard. Thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip.

Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island: And no, we didn’t just send them packing. is from Mother Jones.

White Rage in Murietta, Oracle… and Little Rock is from The Nation.

Make the Border Kids Americans is from Politico.

New York Communities Prepare for Influx of Unaccompanied Minors is from Ed Week.

Q. and A. Children at the Border is from The New York Times.

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July 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts & Articles About OECD’s Survey Of Teacher Working Conditions

The OECD’s 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey was recently released, and I thought I’d bring together a few good commentaries on it.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions, since those working conditions are the focus of the OECD survey.

Let me know if you have suggestions for other articles I should include:

U.S. teachers have harder job than counterparts in industrialized world — survey is by Linda Darling-Hammond and appeared in The Washington Post.

Creating the conditions for teachers to be effective is by Barnett Berry.

Survey: Teachers Worldwide Seek More Opportunities for Collaboration is from Ed Week.

Three Stories Hidden in OECD Survey of U.S. Teachers by Emily Richmond is another story on the same survey.

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June 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My Favorite Posts In 2014 — So Far

'faves' photo (c) 2005, sheldonschwartz - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Every year I identify my personal favorite posts, and it’s time for my mid-year selection.

You can see my choices for each of the past seven years here.

Here are My Favorite Posts In 2014 — So Far:

Here are some of my favorite “The Best…” lists from this year (by the way, the total lists I’ve published reached 1,300 this year):

The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech

The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners (I did a number of these “all-time” lists — you can see links to all of them within that post).

I’ve published weekly posts at The New York Times — each one including a student interactive and teaching ideas for English Language Learners.

And I’ve published two-to-three posts each week at my Education Week Teacher advice column – over this summer I’ll be putting together my annual posts bringing together links to those that share a common theme, as well as sharing a list of the most popular ones. My suspicion is that Response: ‘The Grading System We Need to Have’ and Response: Ways to Cultivate ‘Whole-Class Engagement’ will top that list.

I also began publishing a monthly post over at the British Council about teaching English Language Learners.

And I’ve had a lot of fun doing a weekly ten minute radio shown for BAM!, where I’ve been interviewing guests who have contributed responses to my Ed Week column.

I’ve written several articles for other publications over the past few months. My favorites are probably The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning, which was published at The Washington Post (my title for it was “Let Them Eat Character”) and Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs at ASCD Educational Leadership.

Here are some favorite blog posts divided by category:

Education Policy

This Is One Of The Best Pieces I’ve Read On Teacher Evaluation: “The Problem with Outcome-Oriented Evaluations”

I Am Tired Of “School Reformers” Using The Civil Rights Movement Legacy To Support Their Agenda

The Problem With Including Standardized Test Results As Part Of “Multiple Measures” For Teacher Evaluation

“The Education Department’s strange new report on teaching”

Classroom Instruction

John Lewis: “You Must Find A Way To Get In Trouble”

More TOK & ELL Student Instagram Videos

“Sentence Navigator” Is Jason Renshaw’s Gift To ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers Everywhere!

Excellent (& I Mean EXCELLENT!) Post On Asking Questions

More “What If?” History Projects — Plus, What Students Thought Of Them….

Classroom Management

Study: Gratitude Increases Self-Control

How To Turn A Negative Consequence Into A Positive Classroom Management Strategy

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June 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2014 — So Far

'Miss A Writes a Song' photo (c) 2012, Denise Krebs - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In addition to the thousands of posts I’ve written in this blog (and in my parent engagement blog) over the past seven years,  my six books, my weekly posts for Education Week Teacher and The New York Times, and my monthly posts for the British Council, I’ve also written well over one hundred articles for different publications.

You can access all of them here.

You can also see what I think are The Fourteen Best Articles I’ve Written About Education.

Here are The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2014 — So Far:

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June 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

All Of My “Best Of 2014 – So Far″ Lists In One Place!

June 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Science Sites Of 2014 – So Far

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Well, this should be the last of my mid-year lists….

It’s a fairly small list this year, though there are certainly tons of good resources from previous ones.

You might also be interested in:

The “All-Time” Best Science Sites

The Best Science Sites Of 2013 – Part Two

The Best Science Sites Of 2013 – So Far

The Best Science Sites Of 2012 — Part Two

The Best Science Sites Of 2012 — Part One

The Best Science Sites Of 2011

The Best Science Sites Of 2011 — So Far

The Best Science Websites — 2010

The Best Science & Math Sites — 2009

The Best Science & Math Websites — 2008

The Best Science Websites For Students & Teachers — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Science Sites Of 2014— So Far (not in any order of preference):

The Best Resources For Learning About The Blood Moon

How to put a human on Mars is from the BBC.

Here’s the premiere episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s remake of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”:

You might also want to check out the show’s website, as well as a New York Times article about it.

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On California’s Drought

The Best Sites For Learning About The International Space Station

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June 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – So Far

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This list focuses on sites that ELL students would use directly. Of course, many other sites on my other lists can also be used effectively with ELL’s.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2013 – So Far

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2012 — Part One

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2011

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2010

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2009

The Best Internet Sites For English Language Learners — 2008

The Best Internet Sites For English Language Learners — 2007

The Best Web 2.0 Applications for ESL/EFL Learners — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – So Far:

Thanks to Richard Byrne, I recently learned about Quill.

It provides well-done interactive exercises to reinforce grammar exercises and the real advantage is that you can create virtual classrooms to track student progress.

And, it’s free.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Grammar Practice and to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

The San Francisco Symphony has just unveiled a newly redesigned website that’s pretty extraordinary.

There’s so much there, and it’s so accessible — music, instruments, and you can even compose your own, play it, and share your creation with the world.

The text is probably at a high-Intermediate English level. About the only way they could have made it better is if they had provided a feature to have audio-narration of the text — that would make a big difference for English Language Learners.

Because of that shortcoming, I don’t feel like I can add it to The Best Music Websites For Learning English. However, ELLs can certainly compose their own music and explain what they want it to communicate. That’s always a nice language-learning activity.

I’ve been effusive in my praise for the mobile language-learning app Duolingo — my English Language Learner students love to use it both in class and outside of it.

It just got a whole lot better…

As TechCrunch reports:

The new version features courses to learn English for Chinese and Japanese speakers….As part of this update, the service now also features English courses for Hindi speakers…While the addition of these new languages is one of the highlights of this launch, the other is the launch of a number of new game-inspired learning modes, including a multi-player feature that allows people to compete with each other in real time (or you could always play against a bot, too).

They’ve added more features, too, and you can read about them at TechCrunch.  It’s important to note that it appears that TechCrunch made an error — the Chinese version doesn’t seem quite ready yet.

They are going be very popular and helpful to my students!

I’ll add this update to The Best Mobile Apps For English Language Learners.

Citizen Sort creates free online video games where players sort and identify items as part of a serious science investigation. One of their series of games is called “Happy Match” where you have to describe various images.  It appears to me that it could be useful for English Language Learners to learn some vocabulary, plus learn a little science, too. They have some other games on the site, and say they’re coming out with another one that looks particularly interesting called “Mark With Friends” that might also have ELL potential.

“Connect With English” was produced by Annenberg a number of years ago, and is a great video series for English Language Learners. The series has been free to watch via the web, but you’ve had to purchase student exercise books. I’ve previously  posted our own “worksheet” that we developed for students to use.

Though the videos are just beginning to show their age a bit, they’re still wonderful resources.

What’s even better, though, is that Annenberg has just unveiled a new free Connect With English site with tons of interactive exercises for students to use.

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June 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far

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

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 some, 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 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 2014- So Far:

What Does A Good Common Core Lesson Look Like? is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Most Useful Resources For Implementing Common Core.

24 Assessments that don’t suck… is from Paul Bogush. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

How My Students Evaluated Me This Year

I apologize if I’m blowing my own horn, but I’ve got say that my Education Week Teacher advice column is a treasure trove of practical advice offered by scores of educators on countless classroom issues.

I think the same can be said about my BAM! Radio Show, where I interview guests who have contributed written responses to the column.

What Are Education Tests For, Anyway? is from NPR, and gives excellent short and sweet definitions of terms related to assessments. I’m going to add it to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.

The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech

Just Completely Revised & Updated My Bloom’s Taxonomy “Best” List

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

How I Incorporate Reflection Into Semester Summative Assessments

#IRA14 — Useful Tweets From The International Reading Association Convention

Using Instagram, Bloom’s Taxonomy & Student Interest As A Fun Part Of A Semester Final

Five Teaching Tips for Helping Students Become ‘Wild Readers’ is by Donalyn Miller, and appeared in Ed Week.

12 Ways to Learn Vocabulary With The New York Times is a nice collection. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics has created the ¡Gradúate! Financial Aid Guide to Success (Guide). You can read more about it here, and download it in English and Spanish.

The Smithsonian has a series of one-minute “Ask Smithsonian” videos that answer questions on a variety of topics. They’re short, sweet and interesting to watch. But I plan on using them for something else, too… Next year, I’ll be teaching a number of Social Studies classes to English Language Learners — Geography, World History, U.S. History. I could definitely see showing these videos and, as we study different themes, develop a simple template for them to use in creating similar short videos answering a question of their choice. You might also be interested in The Best Online “Explainer” Tools For Current Events.

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using As Part Of My Final For Ninth-Grade English

New Writing Prompt For My U.S. History Class

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using For My Geography Class

Class Activity: Setting A Goal For The Last Six Weeks Of School

Book Reviews – & Shakespeare – In Three Panels

Updated Personalization vs. Differentiation vs. Individualization Chart Version 3 is from Personalize Learning.

Grit, Failure & Stuff Like That

Simple “History Of Anything” Project

Another Good Writing Prompt: Reconciliation

“Tools for flipping your class”

The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More

The Best (Or, At Least, The Most Interesting) Posts On Teacher Attire

Excellent (& I Mean EXCELLENT!) Post On Asking Questions

Here’s One More Small Thing I’m Doing To Help Students See The Importance Of Social Emotional Learning

The “All-Time” Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators

The Best Video Clips & Full-Length Movies For Helping To Teach Persuasive Techniques (Help Me Find More)

Teach UNICEF is an excellent resource for lesson plans and materials on social topics. I haven’t quite figured out the exact way to navigate it — it has an organized collection here, and then they have “Global Citizen Brief” like this one on Syria that appear to be elsewhere on the site.

The lesson materials are top-notch and provide versions based on grade-levels. Some of the student questions in the lesson plans themselves seem a little too UNICEF oriented, so I suspect most teachers will modify them.

Excellent Post: “This Brilliant Math Teacher Has a Formula to Save Kids’ Lives”

Great Chart: “the differences between teaching writing and teaching writers”

Tweets From My “Integrating Social Emotional & Brain-Based Learning Into Instructional Strategies” Workshop

If You Weren’t Able To Attend Our Workshop On “Developing A Self-Motivated Student Culture,” These Tweets Have It Covered

How To Turn A Negative Consequence Into A Positive Classroom Management Strategy

Free Resources From All My Books

I’m adding this to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”:

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June 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

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Another day, another  “The Best…” list…..

You might also be interested in:

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 2014 – So Far:

Helping language learners visualise their linguistic development: growing learning is by Lizzie Pinard. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Metacognition. She wrote another great post on metacognition and language-learning, and you can find that link within that post. She also shared My top ten learner autonomy and metacognition resources..

I’ve often written about the Picture Word Inductive Model, my favorite teaching strategy for Beginning English Language Learners. I’ve published a post at The British Council with a more detailed explanation on how to use it in the classroom. You might be interested in all my previous posts there, which you can find here.

I’ve written over forty posts for The New York Times
that each include a student interactive and teaching ideas for English Language Learners.

Flashcards in the Classroom: Ten Lesson Ideas is from ELT Experiences. I’m adding it to The Best Tools To Make Online Flashcards.

Videos: Using Art As A Language-Learning Activity

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

Geography Instagram Videos By English Language Learners

Stanford University has released a treasure trove of resources about teaching ELLs.

The Image Bank is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

Six ways teachers can stay energized is another one of my monthly posts at Teaching English at the British Council.

Here’s an excerpt:

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Last year, I wrote about a fun game for English Language Learners that I learned from late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon (see Jimmy Fallon Comes Up With A Great Game For English Language Learners).

Today, I learned another one…

He calls it Word Sneak, and it’s a simple one — two people are given five words that they have to fit into a conversation.

Obviously, it’s very funny the way he uses it in this video clip, but it can also be used a nice interactive exercise for students.

I’m assuming that some other teacher has used this kind of game before so, if you have, and have some good additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments….

I’m adding this idea to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English, where I’ve also been listing classroom speaking activities.

Good language teachers, as seen through the eyes of teachers and learners is by Adam Simpson. There’s a lot of substance there, and I would label it as a “must-read.”

Drawing Dictations is by Sandy Millin. I’ve started adding all dictation resources to The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners.

Teaching mixed ability – some tips is from TEFL Reflections. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teaching Multilevel ESL/EFL Classes.

Experimenting with English (Part 2) – Activities for learners to do outside the classroom [26 and counting!] is another excellent post by Lizzie Pinard. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

McGraw Hill has a ton of online videos showing ELL teachers in action. I’m adding it to The Best Online Videos Showing ESL/EFL Teachers In The Classroom. Thanks to Judie Haynes for the tip.

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ESL/EFL teachers who have been around awhile know of Jason Renshaw, who at one point had what I thought (and continue to think) was the best resource on the Web for ESL teachers — English Raven. Unfortunately, he took it off-line a few years ago, and now describes himself as a “former Tesol teacher, textbook author and web resources developer, now learning designer and elearning developer in higher ed (Open Universities Australia).”

Jason has continued his blog — with a somewhat different focus — and he has fortunately kept his huge archive there on TESOL available. His Open Source English resources, accompanied with his screencasts on how to use them, are a treasure trove.

One of my favorite inventions of his is called a “Sentence Navigator.” A screenshot of one small example is at the top of this post. It’s sort of a complex multiple choice exercise — I use some of the ones Jason produced, I create originals, and also have students make them for their classmates.

Jason explained them in an older article as:

a sentence navigation grid: five slots each containing three words. It will be up to the student to “navigate” this grid in order to build an appropriate answer to the question. The student will do this by circling the correct word in each slot and then referring to the teacher for feedback. Once all of the correct words have been circled, the student will be permitted to write the full answer in the space beneath.

Jason was kind enough to let me upload up two full units of Sentence Navigators to this blog so that any teachers can download them to use in class:

Sentence Navigator One

Sentence Navigator 2

Plus, he sent over a Screencast he had made explaining how to use them:

If you’re not using these already in your classroom, I hope you can start and see how useful they can be…

Thanks, Jason!

Play It Again And Again, Sam is from NPR and, I think, may help explain why jazz chants are effective in language instruction.

MusiXmatch is a free Chrome extension that will provide karaoke-style lyrics to most YouTube music videos. It can be used very easily on desktop and mobile devices.

Using songs, and using lyrics karaoke-style, is a longstanding and effective language-learning strategy, and you can read about many of them at The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

The Best Posts & Videos About Sugata Mitra & His Education Ideas

The What Works Clearinghouse at the U.S. Department of Education has released an updated Guide for Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School.

The recommendations are good ones, and it’s always nice to be able to tell one’s administrator that you’re following the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Education .

Even though they say it’s for elementary and middle school, I think it’s safe to say the ideas make sense in high school, too.

I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.

Creating The Conditions For Self-Motivated Students is another of my posts at the British Council Teaching English website. It includes specific suggestions for teaching English Language Learners, but most of what I write there is applicable to all students.

Here’s an interview with Ann Foreman and Paul Braddock, the key people behind the extraordinarily popular and helpful Learning English British Council Facebook page for teachers.

“The Image Story” Is A Nice Site & Provides An Even Better Classroom Idea

My colleague Katie Hull-Sypnieski and I wrote wrote a lengthy and, if I say so myself , excellent article that has been published by ASCD Educational Leadership.

It’s titled Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs, and it discusses very practical ways to teach writing to Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced English Language Learners — especially in light of the new Common Core Standards. But I think it offers helpful advice even if you’re teaching in a country not using CCSS.

I’m adding it to The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays and to My Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

Origami & The Language Experience Approach

English Language Learners Design Their Own “Ideal” Neighborhoods

Our Latest Response From A Sister Class — This Time From South Africa!

We’re In The Middle Of My Favorite Unit Of The Year — Comparing Neighborhoods

Getting to grips with project based learning and I’m interested in project based learning but I don’t know where to begin! are two good posts by Adam Simpson discussing PBL and English Language Learners. I’m adding them to The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas.

Four questions to ask before using an Ed Tech tool is yet another one of my posts over at Teaching English-British Council.

Borrowed Words is a net interactive that shows from which languages English has borrowed the most words from during which periods of time.

Activate – Games for Learning American English is from the American English site of the U.S. Department of State. It’s a useful and free downloadable book. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom. Thanks to Barbara Sakamoto for the tip.

My colleague and co-author, Katie Hull Sypnieski, and I published a post over at Edutopia titled English-Language Learners and Academic Language.

Using “Dvolver Moviemaker” With English Language Learners

How My ELL Students Evaluated Me At The End Of First Semester

“Thinglink” Announces Free Virtual Classrooms

Creating Instagram Video “Book Trailers” With English Language Learners

Assessing English language learners is yet another of my posts at The British Council’s TeachingEnglish site.

Hot Spot Interview — Report From Venezuela

The Best Mobile Apps For English Language Learners

 

 

 

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June 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far

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As regular readers know, I teach an International Baccalaureate “Theory of Knowledge” class (and, next year, I’ll teach two of them!). Our school structures our IB program a bit differently from many others by having a whole lot of students take individual IB classes; we have relatively few who are taking all IB classes in order to get the IB diploma. I really like this set-up, and it opens up my TOK class to a lot more students.

As I’ve said before, I can’t think of a high school class that would be more fun to teach or more fun to take…

You might also be interested in:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part One

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

Here are my choices for The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far:

Here Are Some Instagram Videos My Theory Of Knowledge Students Created

Here’s The Outline My Theory Of Knowledge Students Will Be Using For Their Essay

TED Talks has unveiled a new site called “Ideas.Ted.com”.

Here’s how they describe it:

ideas.TED.com is built to celebrate this: to track ideas that began decades ago and are now forging our current reality. And to follow new ideas that are still little more than crazy thoughts in their inventors’ heads.

Our goal is to provide useful context, relevant backstories and fresh, thought-provoking ways of looking at ongoing challenges. We’ll provide a smart, friendly space for discussion of the issues worth discussing.

I think it might be useful for TOK

The Internet was awash in discoveries made by Tyler Vigen, who wrote a computer program that discovers strange correlations and publishes them on his blog. I’m definitely adding this info to The Best Online Resources For Teaching The Difference Between Correlation & Causation, which is an important lesson to teach, especially in IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

The old Abbott and Costello “Who’s On First?” routine is used by Theory of Knowledge teachers around the world to illustrate how language can be used to discourage understanding. Jimmy Fallon also did a remake with famous comedians. You can see them both here.

The New York Times recently shared a sad, but funny, video, What Is A Photocopier?, that can be used for the same purpose:

It reminded me of the famous Bill Clinton deposition during the Monica Lewinsky scandal about the meaning of “is.”

You can read about it here and see the famous few seconds in the first video below. I’ve embedded a second video that provides a little more context, though the video itself is of poor quality:

The Onion humor magazine has published a wonderful piece titled Top Theoretical Physicists, R&B Singers Meet To Debate Meaning Of Forever. It’s perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes. In fact, it would be a fun model to use and then challenge students to come up with their own parody on TOK topics.  You might also be interested in The Best Education Articles From “The Onion.”

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

The Best Posts On IB Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations

The online bookmarking tool Delicious no longer provides the number of links that are bookmarked in a particular category, but I guesstimate that I must be up to 1,700 or so categorized ones related to the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge class.

You can see them all here.

Those are just the ones I’ve bookmarked. If you want to contribute to an even bigger, more “universal” collection, you, too, can use Delicious and add the tag “#TOK” to helpful sites and articles.

Here Is The Simple Outline I’m Having My TOK Students Use For Their Oral Presentation

“Unknown Unknowns” & The Potential Of An Exceptional Theory Of Knowledge Lesson

“The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld (Part 2)” Is As Good As Part One!

Recent Student Projects From My Theory Of Knowledge Class

TED Talks has unveiled a new animation titled “The Long Reach Of Reason.”

Here’s how Chris Anderson at TED describes it:

Two years ago the psychologist Steven Pinker and the philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who are married, came to TED to take part in a form of Socratic dialog. Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: The long reach of reasonSteven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: The long reach of reasonShe sought to argue that Reason was a much more powerful force in history than it’s normally given credit for. He initially defended the modern consensus among psychologists and neurologists, that most human behavior is best explained through other means: unconscious instincts of various kinds. But over the course of the dialog, he is persuaded by her, and together they look back through history and see how reasoned arguments ended up having massive impacts, even if those impacts sometimes took centuries to unfold.

They turned it into a “talk in animated dialogue form.” I’ve embedded it below, and you can read more about it here.

Here’s a great video created by an organization in Norway to raise awareness of the plight of Syrian refugee children. TOK students studying ethics can discuss what they would do….

You can see videotaped examples of Oral Presentations from my students here.

I’m sure most IB Theory of Knowledge teachers use this famous and terrible scene from Sophie’s Choice when discussing ethics and moral dilemmas. However, I realized I never posted it on this blog, and thought it might be useful to others (and to me) to have it here:

I thought IB Theory of Knowledge teachers might be find this Bill Nye clip useful — I use it as part of teaching about pseudo-science:

Emotions Of Sound is a neat interactive that plays different sounds, along with images. You’re then show several different “emotional” words and have to pick the one that the sound and image elicits from you. After each answer, results are shown for how many people have chosen each word. At the end of the all the questions, the site tells you, overall, how alike or different your responses were from others visiting the site.

It’s a great site for English Language Learners to use for learning feelings-related vocabulary, and would be a fun interactive for IB Theory of Knowledge students to use when studying perception.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn “Feelings” Words.

The Dangers of Certainty: A Lesson From Auschwitz is an excellent (though somewhat meandering) column in today’s New York Times, written by Simon Critchley.

I think it relates a lot to what I’ve written about teaching and “school reform” in a Washington Post piece titled The importance of being unprincipled. I’ll also be using it in my IB Theory of Knowledge class — I always begin the course by sharing quotations questioning the value of absolute certainty.

Here’s an excerpt, followed by a video accompanying the column:

For-Dr-Bronowski-the

 

More “What If?” History Projects — Plus, What Students Thought Of Them….

Here’s What My IB Theory Of Knowledge Students Are Doing For Their Semester “Final”

Here’s A Cartoon: “Try To See Things From The Other Person’s Perspective”:

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created by Abstruse Goose

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

I’m adding this to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes.

This Year’s “What If?” History Presentations

 

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June 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

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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.

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

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

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

Okay, now here are my choices for The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 — Part One:

Thanks to Edutopia and Amy Erin Borovoy, who published Five-Minute Film Festival: The Best Cat Videos for Educators, I found this great video that English Language Learners could watch and then describe verbally & in writing:

This is a great video for English Language Learners — there’s no dialogue, but it’s engaging and funny. ELLs can watch it and then describe in writing and verbally what happened in it:

This is a great video of a voice actor making 30 animal sounds. Even better, the name of the animal is displayed after each sound.

One way I reinforce new vocabulary is by playing sound effects games where I play sounds representing words we have recently learned (water dripping from a faucet, door opening, etc) and have students use small whiteboards to get points (that are just for fun) for the correct word. I use it when we learn animals, too. It’s easy to find these sound effects online, but playing a video like this and stopping it prior to the name showing up on the screen could be a lot more fun.

Having English Language Learners put words in the mouth (or thoughts in the mind) of puppets, animals, or photographs of people is a common activity in the classroom. It can be fun and less-threatening when it’s something/someone else who’s talking (or, at least, it can feel that way to the student).

You can learn specific strategies to use at:

The Best Resources For Using Puppets In Class

The Best Sites For Online Photo-Editing & Photo Effects, which includes a number of sites where you can choose photos and add “speech bubbles” to them.

The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English, which includes sites you can use online to actually provide audio to images or animations.

Another engaging strategy is show short animal videos and have students develop a dialogue or a series of sentences the animals might be thinking.

There are lots of suitable videos online, and you can start at The Best Video Clips Of Sneaky Critters. Students can simply act them out when showing videos on a screen with the sound turned-off, or you can be more sophisticated and dub the videos themselves.

Here’s an example that an environmental campaign created (several others will play through if you want):

I’ve previously posted about The Action Movie Kid and how they are great clips to show English Language Learners and have them describe what they see.

Their creator has just put all of them into one video. Here it is:

Here are several more fun short videos that English Language Learners could watch and then describe what they saw verbally and in writing:

Show English Language Learners this video and have them describe what they see — but be sure to warn them to try this at home!

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June 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Learning About Freedom Summer

'Foner (Thomas) Freedom Summer papers.' photo (c) 2012, Mississippi Department of Archives and History - license: https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

It’s the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer:

Freedom Summer was a 1964 voter registration project in Mississippi, part of a larger effort by civil rights groups such as the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to expand black voting in the South. The Mississippi project was run by the local Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), an association of civil rights groups in which sncc was the most active member. About a hundred white college students had helped cofo register voters in November 1963, and several hundred more students were invited in 1964 for Freedom Summer, a much-expanded voter registration project.

On June 15, 1964, the first three hundred arrived. The next day, two of the white students, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both from New York, and a local Afro-American, James Chaney, disappeared. Although their badly beaten bodies were not discovered for six weeks, certainty that they had been murdered swept the country and helped precipitate the passage of a long-pending civil rights bill in Congress

You might also be interested in:

The Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King

The Best Resources To Remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s Death (& Life)

The Best Sites For Learning About The Martin Luther King Memorial

The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History

The Best Sites To Learn About The Greensboro Sit-Ins (It’s The Fiftieth Anniversary)

The Best Places To Learn About President Obama’s Life

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Freedom Riders”

The Best Resources About The March On Washington

A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning About The Birmingham Church Bombing

The Best Posts, Articles & Lesson Plans On The Jordan Davis Tragedy & Verdict: Our “Classrooms Are Full Of Him”

The Best Resources For Lessons On Trayvon Martin

The Best Commentaries On The 60th Anniversary Of Brown vs. Board Of Education

I Am Tired Of “School Reformers” Using The Civil Rights Movement Legacy To Support Their Agenda

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About Freedom Summer (and I’m sure I’ll be adding more during the next couple of months):

Freedom Summer is from the History Channel.

50 Years Ago, Freedom Summer Began By Training For Battle is from NPR.

50 years ago, ‘Freedom Summer’ changed South, US is from the Associated Press.

PBS will be showing a movie titled “Freedom Summer” later this month. The movie’s site has lots of resources.

Here are related teacher resources from the Smithsonian.

Here’s the Freedom Summer segment from “Eyes on the Prize.”

Still Learning From The ‘Pearl Harbor’ Of The Civil Rights Movement is from NPR.

In anniversary ceremony, historic church is center for Freedom Summer lessons is from The Hechinger Report.

People came together 50 summers ago to transform education’s trajectory – let’s finish the job is also from The Hechinger Report.

The Tragic Success of Freedom Summer is from Politico.

You might be interested in my 1,300 other Best lists….

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June 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy

'Lectures' photo (c) 2013, AJ Cann - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

There has been a fair amount of recent research documenting the ineffectiveness of lectures as an instructional strategy. I thought I’d bring articles about the research together in one place.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior.”

Let me know what I’m missing here:

A study was just announced a couple of years ago claiming — surprise, surprise — that integrating pair work and small groups in teaching is more effective than straight lectures. Science Daily reported it in an article titled Interactive Teaching Methods Double Learning in Undergraduate Physics Class. The study’s author’s also seem to make a big deal of using “clickers” for student response, but when I actually read the study they said they only used them an average of 1.5 times each class, so it’s difficult for me to imagine they had that big of an impact. Based on my reading, though, the big difference seemed to be pair and small group work. You can access the study here, but it does cost fifteen dollars. Surprisingly — at least to me — the study was immediately attacked by a many other scientists, including Daniel Willingham, in a New York Times article. I don’t really understand what the big deal is — tons of other studies have shown similar results over the years.

Thanks to a post at The Engineer’s Pulse, I learned about Harvard Professor Eric Mazur. He’s done a lot of work — perhaps it could be called teacher action research — on the advantages of peer work over lecturing as an effective instructional tool. You can read more about his work at a Harvard Magazine article titled Twilight of the Lecture. I’ve also embedded below a talk by him about his work.

Improve grades, reduce failure: Undergrads should tell profs ‘don’t lecture me’ is from Science Daily.

Stop Lecturing Me (In College Science)! is from Scientific American.

Lectures Aren’t Just Boring, They’re Ineffective, Too, Study Finds is from Science Magazine.

University lectures are ineffective for learning, analysis finds is from The PBS News Hour.

Are Lectures On The Way Out? Harvard Professor Proposes A Better Way To Teach is from Boston’s NPR station.

You can see all 1,300 “The Best” lists here.

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June 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“The Best Posts On The Migration Policy Institute Report On Engaging Immigrant Parents”