Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

February 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

immersion

The WIDA Consortium tweeted out a short clip to a 12 minute film titled “Immersion,” which was unknown to me. The film also has it’s own website.

Fortunately, I was able to find the full film online at Snag Films, and have embedded it at the bottom of this post. Unfortunately, it’s on automatic play.

There are so many good things to say about it and how it provides a glimpse into the challenges facing our English Language Learners. The film was made a few years ago and, with luck, changes made by The Every Student Succeeds Act (see The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners and The Best Resources For Understanding The Every Student Succeeds Act) and future changes here in California (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California) may help mitigate some of the problems portrayed in the film.

However, no matter what happens with those laws, the key points made by the film will remain important.

I’m adding it to The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners and to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes.

And you can bet I’ll be showing it to students in my Sac State teacher credential program class!

February 11, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

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I often write about the importance of student/teacher relationships (see The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students) and plenty of research has documented its importance. One of the many steps I take to build them is having students complete a short-and-simple survey (you can download it at Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”) on the first day of school.

I don’t really pay much attention to what students write in the surveys for awhile since I’m preoccupied just trying to remember all their names in the first week or two of school, but after that I find them useful as excuses to initiate conversations with students who I’m beginning to feel might be experiencing a number of challenges. “Walk-and-Talks” are really my key “go-to” strategy for building relationships, and I learned that strategy from our principal, Jim Peterson (see his guest post, Guest Post: “Walk & Talks” Are Extremely Effective Way To Connect With Students – Here’s A “How-To” Guide).

Now, to the research I refer to in the headline of this post:

There’s been a fair amount of hullabaloo online about a new study from the American Enterprise Institute titled Creating Birds of a Feather: The Potential of Similarity to Connect Teachers and Students (Ed Week has a nice summary headlined Study: Class Getting-to-Know-You Exercise Can Help Close Achievement Gaps).

Basically, the researchers had teachers and students take a survey near the beginning of the school year and told each five items that they had in common with each other. It didn’t have any impact on how students seemed to see their teachers. But it appeared to have a substantial impact on how teachers related to their African-American and Latino students, and that resulted in a reduction in the “achievement gap” (let me know if you think I’m misinterpreting the results). As a result, the researchers created a free online survey tool that teachers could use with their students, and are touting it as low-cost way to reduce educational inequities.

That sounds good, you might say, so what’s the “problem with education research” I refer to in the headline of this post?

Well, according to the study, the teachers that did this  only had an average of 12.6 students each in their class. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that aware of many teachers who have that kind of class-size.

At the beginning of a school year, I, too, would be able to remember who I had what in common with almost immediately. Larger student numbers would make that challenging, and middle-and-high-school numbers would make it impossible.

I’m all for research that reinforces the importance of building student/teacher relationships. I just wish recommended interventions lived in the real world.

For example, it would be very useful to know what kind of impact this kind of intervention would have in the middle of a school year if a teacher was having problems with a particular class (see Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got “Out Of Control”?). Could a survey like this help in that kind of situation?

What do you think – am I being too harsh?

I’m going to add this post to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

February 10, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

Several years ago, I wrote a post that received many comments titled How Much “Content” Knowledge Do You Really Need To Be An Effective Teacher?

I think it’s worth checking out, and here’s how I ended it:

The dictionary says the definition of power is “the ability to act.” Some say that information is power. I don’t agree. I think it’s what you do with that information is what determines if you have power — what actions you take. And, in the context of being an educator, it’s not the information I know that determines how much power I have — it’s my ability to share it, to help others want it, and to help them figure out how they can also get it on their own so they can be life-long learners.

A study that came out last week seems to have reinforced my position. You can read about it at Education Week’s post, Study: Improving Teachers’ Math Knowledge Doesn’t Boost Student Scores.

Here’s an excerpt:

fourth-grade-math

As I said in my original post on the topic, I don’t think it has to be an either/or decision, but I continue to be concerned about “alternative credentialing” programs that put a primacy on subject knowledge and a lower priority on instructional skills.

What do you think?

February 9, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

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As regular readers know, looking at our students through the lens of assets and not deficits is very important to me (see Getting Organized Around Assets ;A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits and many more posts).

Amanda Ripley published an article in The New York Times today highlighting another excellent example of this view point.  It’s headlined Can Teenage Defiance Be Manipulated For Good? I’m not a big fan of the headline, but the research is very intriguing. Basically, after students learned about how food marketers tried to manipulate them to buy junk food, students chose to buy less junk food:

“We cast the executives behind food marketing as controlling adult authority figures, and framed the avoidance of junk food as a way to rebel against their control,” explained the researchers, led by Christopher Bryan at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and David Yeager at the University of Texas at Austin.

The researchers used a similar strategy to a classroom management move I wrote about it in “Why Do You Let Others Control You?”

I haven’t read the full study, and don’t know exactly what the researchers did and said. However, it seems to me that the same point could be made by having students read some articles and then respond to thoughtful questions. If that’s “manipulation,” then it’s what good teachers do everyday.

But whether you call it manipulation or not, Ripley does point out the key takeway:

what-i-like-about-this

She then goes on to talk about other studies relate to helping students develop a purpose for learning (see The Best Resources On Students Having A “Purpose For Learning”) can be looked at through a similar lens.

I’m not sure if the research really points to specific changes in instructional strategies teachers can use.

I look at it more along the lines that I think Ripley writes about it — it provides ammunition to help teachers further reorient themselves to look at the assets, and not the deficits, of our students. And I don’t think any teacher can have too much of that kind of ammunition.

February 8, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

Group work can harm memory is the headline of a widely circulated summary of a new study. I believe a good number of the people (though not all) doing the circulating are ones who have in the past expressed skepticism of group work in classrooms.

I think many miss a key failing of the study (and many similar ones) and its most important conclusion.

First off, part of the research compares the memory of those working together to remember information with those who are working on trying to remember it alone. It ignores the fact obvious to any teacher in the classroom that many students – left alone – may very well not try to learn it in the first place! The engagement generated by group work for many is a prime motivating factor for learning. Widely accepted research finds that “relatedness” – connecting with others who you like and/or respect – is one of four key factors in developing intrinsic motivation.

I’ve written about this blindspot in education research before:

It Doesn’t Matter If It’s “Effective” If Students Won’t Do It

The “Best Learning Techniques” Are Useless If Students Won’t Do Them — A Critical Take On A Well Done Study

That’s objection “one.”

More important, however, is the final conclusion of this new study:

the-study-also-compared

It doesn’t find group work less effective.

It finds “cooperative” group work less effective, but finds “collaborative” work more effective.

Collaborative work – when students have done individual thinking and then bring that to the “table” for revision – is clearly what we should be doing in the classroom, and is the kind of work promoted by the Common Core Standards. “Cooperative” learning – “get into your group to do this” with no prior work – is clearly inferior (except for, perhaps, community-building activities).

I’ve written about the in Edutopia, Collaborative Writing, Common Core, and ELLs.

This study is a boost, not an arrow-to-the-heart, to group learning….

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites For Cooperative & Collaborative Learning Ideas (which I have to edit due to this relatively recent distinction between cooperative and collaborative.

February 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

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KQED Mindshift hosted a Facebook Live session with me this afternoon on “10 Strategies to Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation to Write.”

I’ve embedded the forty-minute video below. It seemed to go well and received quite a few positive comments. I kept it very practical. Feedback is welcome!

I’m adding this to The Best Posts on Writing Instruction.

February 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Later this month, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Last August, I re-started a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ve been posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

Here are some compilations from past years:

 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

This post originally appeared in 2016:

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I’ve written several previous posts about how I use variations of a 3/2/1 strategy that I first learned about from educator Ekuwah Moses (see The Best Ways To Use “3-2-1” As An Instructional Strategy).

I mainly use it in my English Language Learner history classes, but it’s adaptable to just about any course.

I have students write what they think are the most important concepts or facts they learned about in a chapter and why they think they are important; two phrases and why they think they are important; a sentence and why they think it is important; and draw an image. Then, of course, they share their poster with the class in various ways.

Here is the scaffolded instruction sheet students use. Let me know how I can make it better!

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