Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 31, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Which Is Best – Reading Digitally Or Reading Paper?


More and more attention is being paid to the advantages and disadvantages of reading digital texts compared to texts on paper.

Here is a beginning list of articles exploring this question. Please feel free to contribute more:

I ran a two-part series on this question at my Education Week Teacher column:

* Reading Digitally vs. Reading Paper

Daniel Willingham, Kristin Ziemke, Lester Laminack and Kimberly Carraway explore that topic of reading digitally compared to reading on paper in this post.

* ‘Children Need Both Paper Books & Digital Texts’

Katie Keier, Stacy Nockowitz, Barbara Paciotti and many readers share their thoughts on the debate between reading digitally or on paper.

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens is from Scientific American.

Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing is from PRI.

Books vs. e-books: The science behind the best way to read is from CBS News.

Why Digital Reading Is No Substitute for Print is from The New Republic.

Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right. is from The Washington Post.

The case against e-readers: Why reading paper books is better for your mind. is from The Washington Post.

Another Tech Tool Claims To Make Online Text More Accessible

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.

August 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — 2016


Every year for the past 48 years, Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup have done a Poll On Education issues (you can see my posts from previous years here). This year’s poll results were just released, though I haven’t had time to thoroughly review them yet.

One finding that clearly stands-out is that respondents overwhelming feel that schools should not be closed (see The Best Posts & Articles On The Impact Of School Closures — Suggest More!).

Here are what seem to me to be the most thoughtful reflections on the survey by those who have had a chance to review it (I’ll add more as they come in):

Of course, you’ll want to start off by visiting the PDK site itself and, at least, review its summary.

Vast Majority of Americans Want Failing Schools Fixed, Not Closed, Poll Finds is from Education Week.

Four charts reveal what Americans think about the biggest education fights, including school closures and opt out is from New York Chalkbeat.

What’s the Purpose of Education? Public Doesn’t Agree on the Answer is from NEA Today.

August 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2016


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.

Before I start listing picks for 2016, here are links to my previous “Best” lists:

The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2015

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

Okay, now for this year’s picks:

500 Words: Refugee is Children’s Word of the Year is from The BBC.

August 24, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?


The beginning of the year is often the time when teachers cough up the most cash for supplies – I know it’s when I do! During the rest of the year, most of the rest of the money I spend is on having students pick books off of Amazon that I buy for them.

Here is the data out there on what teachers spend. I tend to think most of the data lowballs our outlays. I know I’m certainly in the $1,000 range.

How about you? Tell me in the comments or on Twitter and I’ll write up the results in a future post:

Vox published a number of very good charts on the same topic (I’d encourage you to check out Most teachers spend hundreds to pay for supplies, special projects, even field trips).

They presented, in a much less “busy” form, information from a Horace Mann survey (they also included info from other surveys). You can see the entire Mann survey here, but here’s a particularly interesting chart:


Ellen heaps prizes on teacher who pays for class supplies out of her own pocket is an article in The Washington Post about a Ellen DeGeneres’ effort to give teachers gift cards.

Here’s an interesting statistic from the article:


Teachers Spend Way Too Much Of Their Own Money On School Supplies, And Here’s Proof is from The Huffington Post.

August 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About “Learning Strategies”


Self-efficacy, or the feeling of competence that you have the skills and ability to accomplish a task, is a critical element behind developing intrinsic motivation (see Creating the Conditions for Student Motivation).

One of the ways to help our students develop this kind of self-efficacy in academic endeavors is to help them become knowledgeable about learning strategies and skills that they can use, particularly when they come up against a concept, word, or problem that they might be having trouble understanding.

I thought I’d bring together a few related resources and please contribute additional ones in the comments section:

Metacognition, Learning Strategies And Student Autonomy is the title of one of my Teaching English – British Council posts.

The Best Posts On Metacognition

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

Learning Strategies, Not Learning Styles is from Peter DeWitt.

Teaching learning strategies to ELLs: What, why, when, how is an excellent article from Multi Briefs.

The Best Resources On The Value Of Positive “Self-Talk”

The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It

Defining and Organizing Language Learning Strategies is a piece that I reprinted, with permission, in my first book on teaching ELLs.

Hattie’s Index Of Teaching & Learning Strategies: 39 Effect Sizes In Ascending Order is from TeachThought.

Do Students Know Enough Smart Learning Strategies? is an important post at MindShift that describes a recent Australian study.

The Best Resources On “Close Reading”

Monster Study On Learning Strategies Released

August 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The “All-Time” Best Sources Of Online Images


I have nearly 1,600 “Best” lists and, though they’re all categorized and regularly updated, they can be pretty overwhelming – even to me!

That’s one reason why I have a small number, but growing, newer category of lists call “All-Time Best” ones. You can see All Of My “All-Time” Best Lists In One Place!

This post is another attempt at bringing a little more sanity to these lists.

I’ve just revised and updated The Best Online Sources For Images, but it’s still pretty massive – plus there are a zillion comments with even more recommendations from readers.

Here are my choices of the best – and easiest – sites to use for legally obtaining free images. They’re the ones I use the most. The links on this list are either direct links to the sites or links to my blog posts about the resources. In the case, those posts include the direct links:

“Photos For Class” Is My Favorite Site For Finding Images

“Unsplash” Is A Great Source Of Public Domain Photos & Just Got A Lot Better!

Getty Images Has Just Become The Number One Source For Images In Social Media — Choose From 40 MILLION!

You Can Now Embed Images From Imgur With Automatic Attribution

Pixabay is a good source of public domain images. Here’s a post from Richard Byrne some suggestions on how to use it.

ELT Pics is a project initiated on Twitter to collect photos helpful to English Language teachers.

Feel free to let me know if you think I’m missing any obvious ones that should be on this “all-time” list.


August 13, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On The Study Finding That Reading Books Makes You Live Longer


There’s been a lot of attention, both in this blog and elsewhere, on a recent study finding that reading books can extend your life.

I thought readers might find it useful if I put the best articles/videos about it together in one spot. And, since I’ll be preparing a lesson about it, a “Best” list will help me, too!

You might also be interested in The Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.

Here are the resources (the first two are links to previous posts on this blog):

Statistic Of The Day: Reading Helps You Live Longer

Video: “Reading books could help lengthen your life”

New research shows that people who read a lot live longer is a great differentiated lesson for English Language Learners from Breaking News English.

Readers Live Longer, Plus 4 Other Science-Backed Benefits to Turning Pages is from People Magazine.

Study: Reading May Extend Lifespan is from Voice Of America.

The best reason for reading? Book lovers live longer, scientists say. is from The Washington Post.

Read Books, Live Longer? is from The New York Times.

Do Bookworms Live Longer? New Study Links Reading More Books To Longer Lifespan is from Tech Times.

Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds is from The Guardian.

August 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Students Having A “Purpose For Learning”


There has been some useful recent research on the importance of students having a “purpose for learning,” and I’ve also previously posted about the topic. I thought it would be useful to bring them all together.

Here’s how the Mindset Scholars Network talks about it:

Students value their schoolwork when they believe it is relevant to their lives and/or will help them connect to a purpose that is bigger than themselves—whether it is a contribution to their family, their community, society at large, or something else.

Here’s what I have so far:

The Best Resources For Doing A “One-Sentence Project”

Another Interesting Finding On The Value Of Having A “Purpose For Learning”

The Power Of Having A “Purpose For Learning” In The Classroom

A Simple Writing Prompt To Accompany Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Essay, “The Purpose Of Education”

Purpose & Relevance is from The Mindset Scholars Network.

Important New Study Looks At Assets, Not Deficits, Of Teen “Defiance”

I’m adding this post to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources 

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