Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 27, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Virtual Reality In Education

See Everything You Wanted To Know About How We’re Using Virtual Reality With ELLs, But Were Afraid To Ask

My student teachers and I have been making some initial attempts at trying out Google Cardboard with my English Language Learner students (I bought a few plastic ones from IMCardboard – the actual cardboard ones are just too flimsy for my high school classroom).

Unfortunately, the WiFi doesn’t seem up to the task of streaming VR videos. Until we work out that problem, we’re going to experiment with using photos.  One lesson we’re planning to try is to write up a list of the elements that make-up a good VR photo, explore two of them, and then have students write a short argument essay about which one is better (we’re in the middle of an argument essay unit).  Of course, we could do the same exercise with regular photos, but I suspect engagement will be higher doing it this way.

After that experiment is complete, we’ll start using it in our World and U.S. History classes.  I’m still trying to figure out what value-added benefit it gives if we can’t access the VR videos.  All suggestions are welcome (we also have a camera that can take 360 photos, and I’m trying to figure out how we can use that, too).

In the meantime, I thought it would be useful to bring together my past posts about Virtual Reality in education, along with new resources I’ve been collecting.  Feel free to offer your own suggestions.

You might also be interested in  The Best Resources For Organizing & Maximizing Field Trips – Both “Real” & “Virtual”

Here’s what I have so far:

Google Rolls-Out The Coolest Way – Ever – For Students To Take Virtual Field Trip

20 Best VR Apps for Google Cardboard from MakeUseof looks interesting.

Is virtual reality ready for school? is from Brookings.

Reader Idea | New York Times Virtual Reality in the Classroom is from The New York Times Learning Network.

5 Apps to Use with Google Cardboard is from Class Tech Tips.

Ripping Learning off the Page is from Edutopia.

Teachers eye potential of virtual reality to enhance science instruction is from Ed Source.

Coincidentally, later today, Richard Byrne is hosting a Google Hangout on this very topic. If you can’t make it, I assume it will be archived (it is, and you can find it here).

Kathy Schrock has a nice collection of resources.

February 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Practical Resources For Helping Teachers, Students & Families Respond To Immigration Challenges

Many teachers, students and families are understandably concerned about the impact of the Trump Administration’s changes on immigration will affect them: What can teachers do if ICE raids the schools? What are the rights of immigrant families if ICE agents knock on their door?

This “Best” list attempts to list useful resources, including multilingual ones, that can provide good advice.

For materials on the “bigger” issue of policy changes, please refer to:

The Best Resources For Learning About President Trump’s Executive Orders On Immigration & Refugees

The Best Resources On The Trump Administrations New Immigration Enforcement Policies

Here, now, are practical suggestions – please suggest more in the comments section:

Know your rights. Remain calm. is from the ACLU.

What immigrant advocates want you to do if ICE agents come to your door is from CNN.

Educators Guide for Immigrant and Refugee Children

Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff is from Teaching Tolerance.

The Boston Public Schools have put together a great BPS: We Dream Together site that offers excellent multilingual resources. You can read more about it in the Boston Globe, BPS launches website to provide aid to immigrants.

February 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Oscars Are Awarded This Sunday – Here Are All My “Best” Lists Related To Movies

With the Oscars happening tomorrow night, I thought it might be timely to bring links to all my movie-related “Best” lists together in one post:

The Best Places To Learn About (And View Video Clips Of) Teachers In The Movies

The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL

The Best Funny Movie/TV Clips Of Bad Teachers

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

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

The Best Tools For Creating “Word Frequency Charts” For Books, Articles & Movies

The Best Places To Find Theatrical Movies On Science, Math & History

The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development

The Best Places To Create Funny Subtitles For Silent Movies

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

The Best Movie Scenes For Halloween

The Best Sites That Use Movie Trailers To Teach English

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

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

The Best TV/Movie Scenes Showing Good & Bad Classroom Discussions

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

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




February 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On The Trump Administrations New Immigration Enforcement Policies

I have an already-lengthy Best Resources For Learning About President Trump’s Executive Orders On Immigration & Refugees, but the policies announced today are worthy of their own “Best” list.

One of my previous posts, Immigration Fears Appear To Become Reality, contains several links to legal advice for teachers, students, and their families about how to respond to ICE raids. These new policies will certainly increase the levels of fear and stress among many of our students. As The New Yorker article, in particular, points out, another effect is likely to be undocumented parents not accessing services they and/or their children are entitled to out of fear.

Here are useful articles to learn about today’s announcement:

The government just put out the blueprint for President Trump’s immigration crackdown from Vox is probably the most complete article out there.

New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions is from The New York Times, and has a link to a Spanish-language version.

Trump administration issues new immigration enforcement policies, says goal is not ‘mass deportations’ is from The Washington Post.

Millions targeted for possible deportation under Trump rules is from The Washington Post.

President Trump’s Fear-Based Immigration Orders appeared in The New Yorker.

Also, today, Politico reports on a related important story – The Trump administration is going to court to eliminate the right to a hearing before deportation of unaccompanied minors.

Could Trump Really Deport Millions of Unauthorized Immigrants? is a NY Times interactive.

February 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About The Spanish-American War

The U.S. Battleship Maine sank in Cuba on this day in 1898:

Here is a beginning list of related resources, which I’ll be adding to over time:

The Library of Congress has a simple introduction.

The Library of Congress also has a collection of video newsreels from the war.

Here’s a good interactive tutorial on the war.

Here’s a Choose Your Own Adventure where users play the role of either a U.S. or Spanish soldier.

Here’s a matching exercise of war facts.

Here’s a useful lesson plan from Stanford.

February 13, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Part Two: Tenth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts?

This blog is now ten-years-old, and I talked about it in Tenth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts? (Part One).

In that post, I also shared the twenty most popular “Best” lists from over the years.

Here, in Part Two, I’ll share the most popular non-“Best” lists posts:

1. Easily Make Your Own Unique (& Fake) CNN, NY Times, Etc. Website With “News Jack”

2. Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”

3. Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges

4. March’s Infographics & Interactives Galore – Part Four

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

6. Why Is It Important For Students To Learn About Bloom’s Taxonomy?

7. Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got “Out Of Control”?

8. How Students Evaluated Me This Year — Part One

9. What Is The Accurate Edison Quote On Learning From Failure?

10. Writing Letters To Students

11. This Is The Best Video I’ve Seen On Perseverance & Resilience: “There’s no dishonor in having a disability”

12. Here’s The “Growth Mindset” Article & Prompt We’re Using As Part Of Our Semester Final

13. A Good & Simple Collaborative Storytelling Lesson

14. “I Like This Lesson Because It Make Me Have a Longer Temper” (Part One)

15. A Simple & Effective Classroom Lesson On Gratitude

16. Reading Logs — Part Two (or “How Students Can Grow Their Brains”)

17. An Effective Five-Minute Lesson On Metacognition

18. Useful “Fixed” vs. “Growth” Mindset Worksheet For Students

19. Excerpt From My Book On Teaching English Language Learners

20. This Has Got To Be One Of The Most Useful Sites On The Web For ELL Teachers

February 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Tenth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts? (Part One)

I began this blog ten years ago.

Writing it has made me a better teacher for my students, and I hope it’s been helpful to others. It’s been an incredible gift to be able to connect with so many talented educators around the world.

I began writing it as a place for me to keep resources that I would use in the classroom in one place. Little did I know it would result in nearly 20,000 posts (including 1,675 “Best” lists), over ten million visitors, and over fifteen-thousand subscribers – and lead to eight books (with two more on the way).

I have also begun writing other blogs — my teacher advice column at Education Week Teacher, Engaging Parents In School blog, and others.

I appreciate the people I have met — online and in person — through this blog, and everything I have learned from you.

Thanks, and forward to another year!

In addition to the above few words, I thought people might find it interesting to see what have been the most popular posts since this blog began (you can also see a list of my personal favorite ones here and here).

I’m doing this anniversary post in two parts.  Today, I’m sharing the twenty most popular “Best” lists (which I regularly revise and update), and tomorrow I’ll list the twenty most popular non-Best posts (I’ve published that post, and you can see it here).

Here they are:

1. The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom

2. The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL

3. The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”)

4. The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures

5. The Best Sites For Online Photo-Editing & Photo Effects

6. The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

7. The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2012 — So Far

8. The Best Sites For Teaching About Latitude & Longitude

9. The Best Teacher Resources For “Foldables”

10. The Best Sites For Grammar Practice

11. The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English

12. The Best Sites For Learning Spanish Online

13. The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites

14. The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”

15. The Best Applications For Creating Free Email Newsletters

16. The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

17. The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development

18. Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Music Sites

19. The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography

20. The Best Websites To Help Beginning Readers

February 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

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

In late February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

You might also be interested in:

 A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009 

 A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2011’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2012’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2013’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2014’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2015’s Best Posts From This Blog

Here is a a collection of my favorites from 2016:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Look Back: Best Resources On Culturally Responsive Teaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Look Back: “Common Core Writing and ELLs”

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

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

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

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

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