Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is Pretty Creative: Using Online “Escape The Room” Games To Teaching Scientific Reasoning


As regular readers know, I’m a fan of using online Escape The Room games as language-development exercises for English Language Learners. You can see articles I’ve written about it, as well as links to some of my favorite games, here.

I’ve even posted about an online tool that lets you create your own Escape The Room games.

I hadn’t thought these games could have any other academic purpose.

Until now.

Kelly Tenkely wrote a post about how one Escape The Room game called Scientific Detectives: Training Room Escape is used to teach scientific reasoning.

I think it’s pretty ingenious, especially if it’s paired with students creating their own using the game-creator I mentioned earlier in this post.

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September 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Play & Create Games With “Tiny Tap”


You an play lots of simple online educational games at Tiny Tap. You can create them, too, but for that feature you have to use their iPhone/iPad app – the games are playable on computers or mobile devices.

For a monthly cost, teachers can create virtual classrooms and monitor student progress, but everything else seems to be free.

I’m adding Tiny Tap to:

The Best Collections Of Online Educational Games

The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

I learned about Tiny Tap through a very good piece written by Shelly Terrell, titled 7 Ways Learners Can Improve Their English with Technology.

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August 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Jimmy Fallon Plays A NEW Game Applicable To The ELL Classroom

I’ve shared a number of games that Jimmy Fallon has played on The Tonight Show that I’ve adapted for my ELL Classroom (you can read about, and see, them at The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom).

Earlier this week, he played a new one (or, at least, it was new to me). He calls it “Word Blurt” and you can see a video of him playing it below.

Truth be told, I don’t think it’s as entertaining to watch, nor as useful in the classroom, as his previous ones. But I think it’s still a good one.

His version has some cards on a table between two people. When a card is uncovered, then both are supposed to say a word they feel is connected to it. It’s not a “game” of winners or losers — more, it’s to gauge how different or similar the two people are thinking.

The version that I plan to try out in the classroom is to have students be in small groups with whiteboards. I will call out a word, and each group has thirty-seconds to a minute to identify a word that is connected to it in some way AND write a sentence explaining that connection. I will give them a point if the connection they make actually makes sense.

I think it’s worth a shot, and I’m very open to hearing other ideas on how to modify it from readers.

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August 10, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

BBC’s “Skillwise” Has A Great Collection Of English-Learning Games


The BBC’s “Skillwise” site has a great collection of English games that would be accessible to Intermediate and Advanced English Language Learners.

I’m adding the link to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites, and am a bit surprised it isn’t already there.

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August 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Playbuzz” Is A Great Place For Creating Learning Games – If It Doesn’t Blocked By Your District’s Content Filters


Playbuzz lets you create a variety of online games and quizzes very easily – for free. You can embed them, too.

The only problem is that anybody can create them and, though I didn’t see any objectionable ones after taking a quick look, I’ve got a suspicion that some District content filters might block the site.

Here’s an example that somebody (I’d link to them, but it just leads to an “unknown” page) create for English Language Learners (it’s possible that their embedding option doesn’t work in WordPress. If that’s the case, go here to view the game):

I’m adding this post to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

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July 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“BrainRush” Expands Its Learning Activities To Play & Create


A couple of years ago, I posted about a new site called BrainRush.

It was just beginning then, and lets you created flashcard learning activities. Those, of course, are a dime-a-dozen. But what made BrainRush different was that you could create virtual classrooms and monitor student progress in mastering them. Plus, they said they would be adding more activities in the future. And, most importantly, it was free.

Well, today I saw a tweet from Johnny Kissko prompted me to check the site again. I saw that they have indeed added the kinds of activities you can create. Now, in addition to flashcards, you can develop sequencing activities, Buckets (a categorization interactive) and “hotspots” (a naming/placing tool). They all look good, as does the price :)

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July 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Learn About Music From Around The World With “World Music Composer”


World Music Composer is a nice tool from the National Museums of Scotland to learn about musical instruments and how they sound from around the world. You can mix-and-match them to create your own collection but, unfortunately, you can save it. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

I learned about it from Show Me, the recently refurbished site where many United Kingdom museums share their games and interactives. I’ve added that site to The Best Collections Of Online Educational Games.

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