Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Videos About The Famous “Trolley Problem”

The famous trolley problem is one that I suspect all IB Theory of Knowledge classes consider during the year.

Here are a variety of useful videos that address it. I particularly like the first one, which is really the first in a series of four from the PBS (they all automatically start when one ends), and the second from the BBC:

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May 5, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

In This Month’s ASCD Education Leadership: Read My Choices For The Best Eleven Mobile-Learning Apps

Apps, Apps Everywhere: Are Any Good, You Think? is the title of my new article in ASCD Educational Leadership.

In it, I share my choices for the best eleven mobile-learning apps out there.

It will be free to view for the next three months — after that, it goes behind a paywall.

Here’s an excerpt:



You might also be interested in The Best Mobile Apps For English Language Learners.

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May 4, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best “Sound Maps” & Webcams For Teaching Geography

Over the years, I’ve posted about various “sound maps” (sites that share audio — live and/or recorded — from around the world) and webcams (sites that show live video, also from around the world).

To tell the truth, I haven’t developed any specific lesson plan for using them. Usually, I either just show or play them from areas we’re studying in geography or, for the ones that make it through our content filter to be available to students, I might give them a period to just explore and write a little bit about what they found most interesting and why. I’d certainly love to hear from readers who have development more engaging lessons, though!

I thought it would be useful to readers, and to me, to put them all in one place.

I was prompted by seeing a Google Maps Mania post today that shared some “Sound Maps,” including ones I’ve posted about before. So, first, here’s a list of “sound maps,” followed by a list of webcam sites:


Locustream SoundMap is a new one shared in the Google Maps Mania post. It provides live audio samples from around the world, though there aren’t that many of them.

I’ve previously posted about Nature Soundmap, which is a very nice site featuring recorded…nature sounds.

GBIF Soundscape  is another site from The Google Maps Mania post.  It has an interesting twist that you can read about there.

Sound Transit is the most intriguing “sound map” site.  You pick places you want to travel to in the world and, in addition to showing you your “route” on a map, you hear audio from those places.  It would certainly add a “twist” to my Geography class, though I haven’t tried it in this way yet —  English Language Learners could email the url of the “trip” they “booked,” post it on a website or blog, and then write a description of it.

Open Sound New Orleans is a fun Google Maps “mashup” with sounds from different areas of the city — ranging from music to birds.

PBS has a nice site that gives a Sound Map of China — it shows a map of China with various places to click.  When you click on the spot on the map, you see a picture of the place and a simple explanation, plus you hear audio from that location.

Open Sound New Orleans is a fun Google Maps “mashup” with sounds from different areas of the city — ranging from music to birds.


There are many live webcam sites, but I’ve found these to be the best ones:

For nature and animal views, nothing beats

Earthcam has a wide selection of views, and is particularly good for cities and famous landmarks.

Let me know what I’m missing!

I’m adding this post to The Best Geography Sites For Beginning & Intermediate English Language Learners.

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May 2, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More

We’ve begun implementing some restorative practices at our school, and I’ll be posting about the topic on a future Education Week Teacher column.

Here are a few resources that seem helpful, and I hope that readers will share more in the comments section:

Opening Up, Students Transform a Vicious Circle is from The New York Times.

Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools is from Edutopia.

Restorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools is from Opportunity to Learn.

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: ‘Circle Up!’ is from NPR.

What Eva Moskowitz gets wrong about restorative discipline is from Chalkbeat.

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April 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Advice On Creating Materials For ELLs (& Other Students) – Help Me Find More

Some great posts have been written this past week from the IATEFL Conference about writing materials for students. They’ve been obviously geared towards English Language Learners, but I think a lot of the advice is useful for hand-outs and online lessons we create for non-ELLs, too (and when we have students create learning materials for classmates).

I hope readers will contribute other resources in the comments.

Here’s a beginning list:

Sandy Millin has written a great summary, and I learned about other resources from that post, too.

Lizzie Pinard has written several posts, and I think her first and third ones are particularly useful.

Olya Sergeeva also wrote an excellent summary.

I know lots of others have offered good advice over the years — what should I add to this list?

Since a lot of this advice could apply to those who are writing books, I’m also adding a link to this post to So, You Want To Write A Book? Here’s The Best Advice…

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April 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong

Wow, the school year has gone by fast, and it’s time to start thinking about how to end it well.

I’ve written and/or published a number of related resources over the years, and thought it was time to bring them all together — for your benefit and for mine.

Feel free to leave suggestions for additions in the comments section.

Here goes:

Finishing the School Year Strong is an excerpt from one of my books. That link is to its site on Education Week. Edutopia also republished it.

Ideas for English-Language Learners | Celebrating the End of the School Year is a piece I co-wrote for The New York Times Learning Network a couple of years ago.

Ideas for E.L.L.s | Celebrating the End of the School Year is Part Two topic of that New York Times post.

Here’s The End-of-Year Goal-Setting Activity I’ve Done With English Language Learners – Including Worksheet & Video

Here’s The Latest Reflection/Goal-Setting Sheet I’m Using With Students

What Do You Do To Keep Students (& You!) Focused Near The End Of The School Year?

What Do You Do On The Last Day Of Class? (Part Two)

Here is a two-part series over at my Education Week Teacher column:

Ways to Use Class Time During the Last Two Weeks Of School

This post offers suggestions from two exceptional teacher authors: Roxanna Elden and Donalyn Miller.

Ideas for the Last Two Weeks of School — Part Two

This piece includes responses from three great educators: Chris Wejr, Alice Mercer and Bill Ivey.

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April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

All Of My Theory Of Knowledge “Best” Lists In One Place!


As regular readers know, I teach a very wide variety of classes, and they include the International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge course.

I know that quite a few TOK teachers read this blog, and thought it would be helpful to them if I put all of TOK-related “Best” lists together in one place.

These don’t include some excellent resources I have recently posted (though, those will be included in my next mid-year “Best” list, which will be added to this collection). You can also check out the TOK category on my site for those latest posts.

In addition to these “Best” lists, you probably want to check out my Nearly 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes.

Now, here goes:

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”

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April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

All Of My “All-Time” Best Lists In One Place!