Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 5, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2015

As regular readers know, I do an annual “The Best…” list on the “words of the year” that various organizations name. They usually don’t start making the announcements until the last few months of the year, but one group has already announced their words for 2015.

So, I figured I’d get a head start on the list, post it now, and add links as new announcements are made.

Here’s the first announcement:

Hashtag is ‘children’s word of year’ is from The BBC.

And here are links to my previous annual lists:

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2014

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2013

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2012

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2011

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2010

Print Friendly

June 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best TV/Movie Scenes Demonstrating A “Growth Mindset” – Help Me Find More

This post originally was a request for help to find clips, and now I’ve turned it into a “Best” list sharing the ones readers have recommended.

Last week, readers were very responsive to my request for help in finding TV and movie scenes that demonstrated metacognition, and you can see them all at The Best Movie/TV Scenes Demonstrating Metacognition – Help Me Find More.

Now, I’m looking for clips showing characters demonstrating a growth mindset.

I’ve got plenty of great clips and animations that explicitly explain what a growth mindset it, and you can see them at The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

But video clips from TV and the movies are obviously more engaging to students, so I’d like to have a few in the mix.

You might also be interested in:

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

The Best Video Clips Demonstrating “Grit” – Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips On Goal-Setting — Help Me Find More

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best Videos For Teaching & Learning About Figurative Language

Here are The Best TV/Movie Scenes Demonstrating A “Growth Mindset”:

Moshe Mittelman recommends this great one from Back To The Future:

Mrs. Waters suggests these first two:

Judith Dubois recommends this one:

Here’s one suggested by Reed Gillespie – I just wish it didn’t convey that the teacher would get the student “there.” Instead, I wish it conveyed more clearly that the student would get “there” more on his own – with some assistance from the “teacher.”

Here’s one that sort of relates to a growth mindset, but is more just inspirational:

Jen Marten suggests this from Meet The Robinsons:

Fred Delventhal made these recommendations:

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

Paul Sinnett says, “I like this one as it shows that you don’t always realize how much you have learned. I worry about using Star Wars because The Force is repeatedly described as something you are born with, not something you learn. It comes from a very fixed mindset perspective:

Print Friendly

June 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case


The Supreme Court has just made a terrible decision to hear the Friedrichs case which, if they rule in favor of the plaintiffs (the likely outcome) will eviscerate public employee unions, including our teachers associations.

And those are not the only ones who will be affected. As I said in a tweet earlier today:


I thought readers might find these resources on the case helpful (you might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning Why Teachers Unions Are Important):

The End of Public-Employee Unions? is from The Atlantic.

Activists look to courts to weaken grip of California teachers union is from The Sacramento Bee.

What AFT members need to know about the ‘Friedrichs’ case is from The American Federation of Teachers.

Teachers ask high court to hear union dues case is from Ed Source.

Justices take up dispute over union fees is from The Associated Press.

Supreme Court to Reconsider Key Precedent on Teachers’ Union Fees is from Ed Week.

Joint Statement on Public Service Workers on Supreme Court Grant of Cert in Friedrichs v. CTA

Supreme Court to hear case challenging compulsory fees to CTA is from Ed Source.

Guest Post: Scalia May Be Critical Vote in Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Ass’n is from “On Labor.”

Supreme Court Case Poses Threat to Teachers’ Union Financing is from Ed Week.

Print Friendly

June 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Effective Note-Taking Strategies – Help Me Find More

As recent readers know, I’ve been doing research on metacognition as part of developing a new lesson plan. Effective note-taking could be an effective metacognitive strategy, and I thought I’d start a list of some resources and invite readers to contribute more:

If you need it, here’s a simple explanation of the Cornell Notetaking System.

4 Popular Note Taking Strategies is from Exam Time.

Note Taking Skills for 21st Century Students is by Vicki Davis.

Learn To Take Better Notes – 3 Note Taking Strategies Compared

Note taking Strategies for ELL Students in Content Area Classrooms

Visual Notetaking in the Classroom is by Wendi Pillars.

How English-Language Learners Have an Edge is by James Boutin.

Print Friendly

June 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Movie/TV Scenes Demonstrating Metacognition – Help Me Find More

This post was originally just a request to readers for suggested videos.  Though I continue to look for more, I immediately received a number of great recommendations and have turned this post into a “Best” list including videos.

I write a lot about metacognition on this blog (see The Best Posts On Metacognition) and in my books, and help my students develop metacognitive strategies. I’d like to use short clips from TV shows and movies that demonstrate metacognition in action, and was hoping that readers might help me find some.

This post includes several reader-suggested clips – and  can always use more!  Here are links to a few other similar Best video lists on different learning topics, like:

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

The Best Video Clips Demonstrating “Grit” – Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips On Goal-Setting — Help Me Find More

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

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

Here are The Best Movie/TV Scenes Demonstrating Metacognition:

Paul Bruno shared this perfect one:

Here’s one from Krissy Venosdale:

Jim Windisch recommended Sherlock’s “Mind Palace.” Here’s a link to a good clip (it’s not embeddable).

Leigh Woznick suggests this scene from The Princess Bride:

Leigh also suggests this scene from The Big Bang Theory when Sheldon teaches Penny physics. The most useful part is at about the 4:00 minute mark when Penny tells him she needs for him to slow down:

Metacognition researcher Steve Fleming suggests this Big Bang Theory clip:

I’m wondering if the Beatles song “Help” might work as an example, too:

Print Friendly

June 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About Juneteenth

Juneteenth this year is being used in many communities to remember the nine people murdered in Charleston yesterday.

Here are a few resources on the day, and please feel free to share additional ones:

Juneteenth celebration resonates in wake of Charleston, S.C., tragedy is from USA Today.

The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t is from Slate.

Juneteenth Is for Everyone appeared in The New York Times.

Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day is from The Root.

What Happened After the First Juneteenth is from TIME.

What Is Juneteenth? is by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Print Friendly

June 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Summaries/Reviews Of Research On Social Emotional Learning – Let Me Know What I’ve Missed

So much has been written about Social Emotional Learning – see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

But, really, who has time to read all of it? What’s a one-stop shop where you can get a pretty good overview of what it is, why it’s important, and how it might work in the classroom?

Here are a handful of recent reviews/studies that I think are pretty good. Let me ones you think should be added to the list:

The Need to Address Noncognitive Skills in the Education Policy Agenda is from The Economic Policy Institute.

Teaching Adolescents To Become Learners: The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance: A Critical Literature Review is from The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth — Full Series is from Stanford.

The impact of non-cognitive skills on outcomes for young people is from The Education Endowment Foundation in the UK.

Here’s new report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research titled Foundations for Young Adult Success. You can read more about it at Ed Week.

Everyone Starts With An A is from RSA.

Print Friendly

June 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions


As regular readers know, I’ve been doing a weekly ten-minute online BAM! Radio Show for the past year-and-a-half. In each show, I’ve interviewed guests who have contributed to one of my Education Week Teacher columns. They’ve been pretty popular, with nearly 30,000 downloads each month.

I thought readers might find it helpful if I put links with descriptions to each show in one place. I won’t be starting them up again until September, but will continue to update this list when I do…

Three Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Teaching with Val Brown, Julia Thompson

Overwhelmed: Help for Those of Us Whose Lives Are Out of Balance with Debbie Silver

Would These 5 Tips Make You More Open to New Teaching Practices? Sally Zepeda, Bill Sterrett, and Pete Hall

Encouraging Other Teachers Who Work with English Language Learners with Sonia Nieto, Alicia Lopez

The Three Best Ways Teachers Can Encourage Support for English Language Learners with Jennifer Connors, Diane Staehr Fenner, Sydney Snyder

Teaching Strategies 2.0: What Is a Digital Portfolio? Why It Matters with Rusul Alrubail, Michael Fisher

The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Professional Development with Rick Wormeli

Why Some Teachers Stay, While Others Quit with Sharon Jacobs

A Second Look: Teacher Attrition at High Poverty Urban Schools Karen Baptiste, Pia Wong, Yvette Jackson

How Small Learning Communities Create Powerful Climates for Academic Success with ReLeah Cosette-Lent, Ted Appel

How Are Common Core Standards Impacting Teaching Math to ELLs? with Ben Spielberg, Denisse R. Thompson, Gladis Kersaint

Exploring the Difference Between Student Participation and Student Engagement with Jennifer Gonzalez, Bill and Pérsida Himmele

Fitting Technology Into the Common Core Standards: Do This, Don’t Do That with Michael Fisher, Andrew Miller

What Are Good Examples of Reading Lessons Aligned to Common Core Standards? with Cheryl Dobbertin

What Are the Differences Between Project-Based, Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning? with Jeff Wilhelm, Suzie Boss

What Are the Best Ways to Teach Literature in the Age of Common Core? with Nancy Steineke, Sean McComb, Bill and Pérsida Himmele

Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs): Five Strategies That Work with Judie Haynes, MaryAnn Zehr

The 10 Best Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary in the Classroom with Katie Brown, Marilee Sprenger

Maker Movement, DYI, 3D Printers: New Fad or Real Path to 21st Century Skills? with Laura Blankenship

What Is Your Advice to Educators Who Want to Write a Book? with Marjorie McAneny, PJ Caposey, Alan Sitomer

Differentiated Instruction and Tracking Students: Is It Time to Reconsider? Laura Robb, Regie Routman

Effective Classroom Management: Do This, Not That with Pernille Ripp, Dr. Bryan Harris

How Can We Increase the Ranks of Teachers of Color? with Gloria Ladson-Billings

Are Caring and Relationship Building Compatible with Implementing Common Core Standards? with Mai Xi Lee, Sean Slade

How Can Teachers Meet Common Core English Standards with English Language Learners? with Maria Montalvo-Balbed, Debbie Zacarian

Can We Effectively Evaluate Teachers Based on Factors Teachers Completely Control? with Ben Spielberg and Ted Appel

Student Engagement Versus Student Compliance: How Much Does It Really Matter? with Debbie Silver, Dr. Bryan Harris

What Are the Myths and Misconceptions Around Formative Assessment? with Nancy Frey

How Can We Help Students Appreciate the Value of Learning Geography? Elisabeth Johnson, Kelly Young

Close Reading: What It Is, What It’s Not with Chris Lehman

Accountability: What are the Alternatives to Using Test Scores for Teacher Evaluations? with Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D., Ben Spielberg

How Can We Make Math More Engaging and Accessible to Students? with Dr. Anne M. Collins, Sue O’Connell

What Is the Best Way to Train Student Teachers? with Emily Geltz, Linda Rief

How Can Teachers Best Manage Race and Class Issues In Schools?  with P. L. Thomas, Ashanti Foster

Second Thoughts: Teacher Attire, Does it Really Matter? with Roxanna Elden, Renee Moore

How Is Globalization Changing How and What You Teach? with  John Spencer, Diana Laufenberg

How Can Teachers Meet the Common Core Requirement for Complex Reading? with Amy Benjamin, Wendi Pillars

What Are We Losing By Eliminating Arts From the Curriculum? with Virginia McEnerney, David Booth

What Can We Do to Develop a Culture of Success in our Classrooms? with Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Chris Lehman

How Can History Teachers Make the Curriculum More Engaging? Peter Pappas, Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez

What Are the Best Ways for Teachers to Work With School Counselors? with Leticia Gallardo, Mindy Willard

How Can We Help Students (And Ourselves) Stay Organized? with Julia Thompson , Ariel Sacks

How Can Administrators Help Create an Engaging Curriculum with Anne Reeves, Kelly Young

Dissecting Grades: What Do They Mean, What Are They Worth? with Rick Wormeli

How Can We Help Students Handle Loss and Grief? with Mary Tedrow, Stephen Lazar

How Can We Differentiate Instruction More Effectively? with Carol Tomlinson

What Are the Real Benefits of a 1:1 Program? What Are the Biggest Challenges? with Alice Barr, Dr. Troy Hicks

How Can We Get All Students in Our Classes Thinking and Learning All the Time? with Bill and Pérsida Himmele, Jim Peterson

What Are the Five Best Practices to Promote Better Student Learning with Diana Laufenberg, Jeff Charbonneau

What Do We Need to Do to Better Support English Language Learners? with Karen Nemeth, Judie Haynes

How Can We Reduce Teacher Attrition at High-Poverty Schools? with Barnett Berry, Ilana Garon

Why Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools? with Angel L. Cintron Jr. and Paul Bruno

What Are the Habits of Lifelong Readers, How Do We Instill Them? with Donalyn Miller

What Are the Basics Every Teacher Should Know About the Maker Movement? with Sylvia Martinez, Tanya Baker

Character, Grit, Perseverance: Magic Bullet? with Jason Flom and Debbie Silver

How Do We Increase Involvement Among Parents Who Are Already Overwhelmed? with Darcy Hutchins and Mai Xi Lee

Print Friendly