Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

I Like “ThinkCERCA” For ELL Reading Practice In Free Virtual Classrooms


ThinkCERCA lets you set-up free virtual classrooms for monitoring student practice and assign a large variety of short, engaging, articles along with comprehension questions. Even better for English Language Learners, audio support is provided for the text. The reading passages are assigned a range of grades that they are supposedly appropriate for but those grade levels don’t show-up in the student view. This is a particularly important feature for ELLs who are often reading far below grade level, but don’t need to be reminded of it all the time.

Think Cerca’s premium version provides what looks like some intriguing supported writing extensions for their reading passages, but it doesn’t indicate the cost for those features. Fairly or unfairly, I’m always suspicious when sites don’t clearly state their prices and instead ask you register for a “demo.”

I’ll certainly be having my ELL students try the site out after we return from break — it’s simple for teachers to create multiple classrooms and even easier for students to register for them.

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

I learned about the site through a post at the Gates Foundation, which you can read if you’d like to learn more about their premium features.

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March 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!

Grant Wiggins recently wrote what is clearly the best piece out there on reading comprehension research: On reading, Part 2: what the research REALLY reveals.

He’s promised to write a Part Two soon, also, which I — and I’m sure, many other educators — are looking forward to seeing (he just has – On reading, Part 4: research on the comprehension strategies – a closer look).

On literacy and strategy, part 6: my first cut at recommendations is another great post by Grant Wiggins.

I figured that his post would make a “Best” list like this timely.

In addition to his first post and his soon-to-be-published next one, here are a few others that I think belong on this list. I hope that readers will share more in the comments:

I’ll being with other related “Best” lists I’ve published:

My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them

The Best Posts & Articles About Why Book “Leveling” Is A Bad Idea

The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading

The Best Resources On “Close Reading” — Help Me Find More

My Best Posts On Metacognition

Here are two other related posts I’ve published:

How Reading Strategies Can Increase Student Engagement

Great Website “Into The Book” Updated

How to help English learners read more quickly is from The British Council.

Reading Strategies, Student Engagement, & The Question Of “Why?”

I’ll be updating this list with other resources I find and others that people suggest…

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March 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Excellent Article By Dan Willingham On Reading

American Educator, the quarterly magazine of the American Federation of Teachers, always has interesting and useful articles in it, and this Spring edition is no different.

The most useful one to teachers, though, is clearly the one by Daniel Willingham. For The Love Of Reading: Engaging Students in a Lifelong Pursuit is a must-read article for every educator. It’s adapted from his new book, Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading.

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March 6, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

What Books Do You Recommend For Beginning & Intermediate ELLs?

A reader recently contacted me asking about book suggestions for Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners (reading for pleasure, not textbooks), and I realized that I don’t have a very lengthy list of suggestions.

I have some related “Best” lists, which I’ll share in a moment, but other than the Capstone Graphic Nonfiction series, I don’t have particular suggestions for ELL-accessible books, and basically make due with whatever I can scrounge.

So, I’d like to invite readers of this blog to leave suggestions in the comments section — individual titles or, even better, series. I’ll put them all together into a future “Best” list and, of course, give credit to those suggested the books.

In the meantime, here are other related “Best” lists:

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February 9, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: Research Supports Independent Reading

Donalyn Miller has written a a great post titled I’ve Got Research. Yes, I Do. I’ve Got Research. How About You?

In it, she shares research, and invites others to share their resources, that support the classroom practice of student independent reading.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading.

Here’s an excerpt from her post:


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