Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Owl Eyes” Lets Students Read & Annotate, Plus Teachers Can Create Free Virtual Classrooms

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Owl Eyes lets teachers easily (and at no charge) create virtual classrooms for students to be able to read books from the site’s library. Students can annotate the text, and teachers can create quizzes for their students.

The texts appear to be mainly ones that out-of-copyright, so the site could be particularly helpful to educators teaching the “classics.” However, there are also books that some of my students in the past have chose to read for pleasure reading, like Sherlock Holmes mysteries and books by Jack London.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

June 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Epic!” Provides 15,000 eBooks, Plus Virtual Classrooms, For Free

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Epic! lets educators create a free virtual classroom with up to thirty students. They can then access any of the 15,000 eBooks that are available on the app (via PC, laptop, tablet or phone) and teachers can monitor what is being read and by whom.

Families have to pay if they want access to the site at home, though it’s unclear to me how Epic! can tell where students are when they are reading. Perhaps it’s based on the time of day it’s being used?

Regardless, it’s another good resource that students and teachers can use for either independent or classwide reading.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

June 26, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: A Problem With Book “Leveling”

Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan published a very useful post today titled Further Explanation of Teaching Students with Challenging Text.

Here’s an excerpt:

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I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Why Book “Leveling” Is A Bad Idea.



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May 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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NY Times Learning Network Announces Summer Reading Contest

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The New York Times Learning Network has just announced The Seventh Annual New York Times Summer Reading Contest.

It’s super simple — every week students just have to leave a comment saying what they found most interesting in The Times that week and why. Parents can encourage their kids to participate and teachers could do something like what I do – arrange for students to receive extra credit in their following year’s class.

You might also be interested in:

Here Are The Eleven Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”

The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide”

May 12, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Software Makes Text Easier To “Read”

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A Better Way to Read is the headline of an intriguing new article in The Atlantic.

It’s about a new app/browser plugin called Beeline that supposedly makes text easier to read. You can see an example of what it does in the image at the top of this post, and see lots more at its site.

It seems like it has some potential. Some research shows that its more effective cognitively to read off paper than screens, but I wonder if this kind of “text-engineering” (that’s a term I learned during the process of writing my latest book on teaching English Language Learners) might change this equation.

Coincidentally, one of my Education Week columns appearing later this month is on this exact topic of which medium is best for reading comprehension.

April 26, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Colts’ Quarterback Andrew Luck Begins Book Club For Kids & Adults

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It’s not unusual for me students to tell me that they don’t have to worry about reading and writing well because they are planning on being a professional basketball player, skateboarder, etc, which is why I’ve published The Best Videos & Articles Where Athletes Explain How Reading & Writing Well Has Helped Their Career – Help Me Find More.

Thanks to Donalyn Miller, I’ve learned about a related story – Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck has just begun a book club for kids and adults (the image of him at the top of this post is from his Stanford career).

You can learn all about it at The Andrew Luck Book Club and/or watch this video:

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