Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: Have You Ever Wondered How Many Decisions We Teachers Need To Make Each Day?

In an excellent post awhile back, Larry Cuban summarized research related to how many decisions a teacher has to make each day:

*Researchers Hilda Borko and Richard Shavelson summarized studies that reported .7 decisions per minute during interactive teaching.

*Researcher Philip Jackson (p. 149) said that elementary teachers have 200 to 300 exchanges with students every hour (between 1200-1500 a day), most of which are unplanned and unpredictable calling for teacher decisions, if not judgments.

Now, a new study (thanks to Dan Willingham for the tip) has identified the number of research-based options we have to choose from when we make these decisions:


There’s certainly no reason why someone with just a few weeks training shouldn’t be able to handle teaching a class, wouldn’t you say?

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February 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “The Dangers of Certainty”

The Dangers of Certainty: A Lesson From Auschwitz is an excellent (though somewhat meandering) column in today’s New York Times, written by Simon Critchley.

I think it relates a lot to what I’ve written about teaching and “school reform” in a Washington Post piece titled The importance of being unprincipled. I’ll also be using in my IB Theory of Knowledge class — I always begin the course by sharing quotations questioning the value of absolute certainty.

Here’s an excerpt, followed by a video accompanying the column:


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February 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “We Must Always Take Sides”

Tobey Steeves tweeted quote from Elie Wiesel, which I discovered came from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.


We’re just beginning a unit on Nelson Mandela in our ninth-grade English classes, and I’m thinking of using the quote with a short writing prompt:

What is Elie Weisel saying about what we should do when we see injustice? What do you think of his view? To develop your position, be sure to include specific examples. These examples can come from his short quote and what you know of Weisel, anything else you’ve read, and/or your own observations and experiences.

I’d also include short bio of Weisel:

Elie Weisel is a writer, teacher and activist who survived being in Hitler’s concentration camps. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for organizing against violence and racism.

I’m adding post to My Best Posts On Writing Instruction because that’s where I’ve also been collecting writing prompts.

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January 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “Does it take more strength to restrain yourself or does it take more strength to fight back?”

Public Radio International just aired an interview with the first Hmong-American judge in U.S. history.

They titled it First Days: The first Hmong American judge didn’t always acknowledge his roots.

Here’s an excerpt when he’s talking about being ridiculed by classmates:

This is a particularly useful article and quote for our school, since our student population is about one-third Hmong.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control and also to The Best Websites To Learn About The Hmong.

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January 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “2014 Resolution: Stop Watching Feel-Good Teacher Movies”

2014 Resolution: Stop Watching Feel-Good Teacher Movies is an excellent article in The Atlantic.

I have several other similar indictments of how teachers are often portrayed in film that can be found at The Best Places To Learn About (And View Video Clips Of) Teachers In The Movies, but Joshua John Mackin really does do an exceptional job in this article (including making ed policy connections).

Here’s an excerpt:


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December 31, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow”

Diana Laufenberg sent out a tweet of this great quote from the scientist Rachel Carson of Silent Spring fame.

She found it in a Brain Picking post about an earlier book by Carson.

I was particularly struck by it echoes a comment by Sir Ken Robinson in his discussion of the importance of helping students develop intrinsic motivation.

First, I’ll share the Carson quote, followed by Robinson’s comment:



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December 21, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Must-Read Column By Joseph Stiglitz In NY Times: “In No One We Trust”

I’ve written a lot about the importance of trust in education. In fact, I have a list titled The Best Posts About Trust & Education.

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz puts that issue in a broader context in New York Times, while at the same time making the connection to education. In No One We Trust is a must-read.

Here’s an excerpt:


You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea.

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December 6, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “A Second Look at iPads in Los Angeles”

Larry Cuban has published an insightful critique of the the iPad disaster in Los Angeles, A Second Look at iPads in Los Angeles.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding it to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

I’m also adding this article to the same list:

Mixed reaction to iPad rollout from L.A. teachers and administrators is from The Los Angeles Times.

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December 1, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best “Quotes Of The Day” In 2013 – Part Two


A few months ago, I begin periodically posting “quotes of the day.”

In addition, I regularly highlight quotes from guests writing at my Education Week Teacher column.

Here are my favorites since I published The Best “Quotes Of The Day” In 2013 – So Far six months ago:

The Myth of Teachers Not Changing is a post by Larry Cuban.

Here’s an excerpt:


Close Reading and Far-Reaching Classroom Discussion: Fostering a Vital Connection is a paper written by Catherine Snow and Catherine O’Connor for the International Reading Association.

It offers some important warnings for all educators. Here’s an excerpt:


Do student test scores provide solid basis to evaluate teachers? is an article from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education that reports on new research by Edward Haertel, emeritus professor of education. The professor recently published a report on the use of Value Added Measures.

Here’s an excerpt:


Why Do Teachers Quit? is an interesting article in The Atlantic.

Here’s an excerpt:


Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose child was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year, had a guest column published in Education Week — A Sandy Hook Parent’s Letter to Teachers.

Here’s an excerpt:


The Associated Press published Facts, figures as students return to the classroom.

Here’s an excerpt:


The New York Times published a number of responses to an article on teacher “churn” in charter schools (see An Eye-Opening Article On Charter School Teacher Turnover).

Carol Burris’ response is phenomenal.

Here’s an excerpt:


NPR interviews several educators, including Rafe Esquith, at More Than A Number? Educators On What Standardized Testing Means.

Here’s an excerpt from the NPR interview:


I’m a big believer in the use of storytelling in teaching (see The Power Of Stories for more details on how I do it).

Once Upon A Time At The Office: 10 Storytelling Tips To Help You Be More Persuasive
is a good article from Fast Company on the same topic.

Here’s an excerpt:


The article also mentioned this nice quote from Ira Glass:


Peter Bregman wrote a good, short post for the Harvard Business Review titled “A Question That Can Change Your Life.”

Here’s an excerpt:


In light of the big Washington Post news earlier this year , Dan Pink tweeted out a link to Jeff Bezos commencement address at Princeton. Here’s an excerpt:


When Can You Trust a Data Scientist? is a very thoughtful article that I’d recommend to all teachers and, particularly, to anyone doing research in the education field.

It includes several criteria to consider when deciding if one should trust a “data scientist” or anyone who does research. Here are two:


Practical Tips for Overcoming Resistance is a post from The Harvard Business Review.

Here’s an excerpt that shares the best classroom management advice anyone can give — and listen to:


‘There Is No Such Thing As An Unmotivated Student’ is the title of one of my posts over at Education Week Teacher. The “line-up” of contributors is impressive, with guest responses from Cris Tovani, Josh Stumpenhorst and Eric Jensen.

Here’s an excerpt:


Response: Helping Students Develop a Desire To Read At Home is another post over at Education Week Teacher. It includes responses from Donalyn Miller and Myron Dueck, and I throw in my own ideas.

Here’s an excerpt:


Response: The Best Advice On Doing Project-Based Learning is yet another post over at Education Week Teacher. Suzie Boss provides the primary guest response, along with many suggestions from readers.

Here’s an excerpt:


You might be interested in exploring the other 1,200 “The Best…” lists…..

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