Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 24, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Nice Critique Of Lectures

I’m not a fan of giving or listening to lectures – either in K-12 or on the college level.

In fact, I’ve compiled a fair amount of research on why and how it doesn’t work at The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy.

Alfie Kohn has just published a useful critique titled Don’t Lecture Me!

Here’s an excerpt:

I’ll be adding this to that “Best” list…

June 23, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study On Cellphones Helpful To Teachers Everywhere

Earlier this year I posted Here Are Two Activities I’ll Be Doing With My ELL Students The Day We Come Back From Break, which I included a lesson I did with students sharing research on how having cellphones out hurt cognitive performance.

It ended up being quite effective, probably more so than anything else I’ve done around cellphones. With periodic reminders of the research when students had their phones our when we weren’t using them for class, it seemed to reduce inappropriate phone use and reduced classroom tension (it’s nicer for me to say “Remember what we learned about leaving phones on the desk” instead of “Please put your phone away.”)

Now, another study has found similar results.

You can read about it at The mere presence of your smartphone reduces brain power, study shows.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Student Cellphone Use In Class — Please Contribute More.

(Here’s another report on the same research: Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?)

June 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Using The “Curiosity Gap” To Enhance Student Motivation

It’s no secret to teachers that student curiosity can enhance student motivation (see The Best Posts On Curiosity and The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students).

Yet another study has reaffirmed that it does work, and you can read about those recent experiments at The Emotion That Does Motivate Behaviour After All.

Here’s an excerpt:

I think that I don’t necessarily use this idea of a “curiosity gap” as much as I should.

What are ways you use it in the classroom?

June 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Good Reminder About How To Give Constructive Feedback

The advice offered in the new article, Good managers give constructive criticism—but truly masterful leaders offer constructive praise, won’t be new to anyone familiar with the growth mindset concept, but it’s a good reminder, nevertheless.

Here’s an excerpt:

Its goes on to say:

General compliments like “Awesome job on that presentation,” or “You’re a great writer” may make an employee feel good, but they rarely shape long-term behavior and competency. When praising a colleague, it’s essential to single out the specific behavior or trait you observed and when you observed it, says Zenger. For example: “In last week’s meeting, I noticed you were willing to question the CEO’s vision for our pod’s sales goals—I really appreciate your confidence.”

It also includes useful links to research.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

June 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Study Suggests That Simple Writing Exercise Gets Big Results

Stanford researcher Geoffrey Cohen and others have conducted several experiments over the years having students do a simple writing exercise about their values that has resulted in increased academic achievement over the course of a year.

I’ve written in detail about what they’ve done and how I regularly replicate the exercise in my classroom. You can read about that process in these two pieces, one here in my blog (Useful Writing Exercise For Helping Students Develop Self-Esteem) and the other a guest post at The New York Times Learning Network (Guest Post | Helping Students Motivate Themselves).

These same researchers have been tracking these middle school students who have done these exercises and have found that these academic improvements apparently last for years, with them choosing to take more academically rigorous high school classes and being more likely to attend college.

You can read a summary of these new results at Ed Week, How a Simple Writing Exercise in Middle School Led to Higher College Enrollment.

Unfortunately, the link to more information about the study that’s within that article doesn’t work, but you go directly to the research itself here. Happily, it’s not behind a paywall!

June 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is Interesting: Hattie Says Jigsaw Strategy Hits a Homerun

Katrina Schwartz has written an excellent article over at MindShift headlined How Do You Know When A Teaching Strategy Is Most Effective? John Hattie Has An Idea.

She’s done a masterful job of explaining a fairly undecipherable study Hattie and a colleague wrote last year (undecipherable, that is, to those of us not familiar with academic jargon). I wrote about that report when it came out highlighting its most useful part – a great list of learning strategies (see Monster Study On Learning Strategies Released).

Katrina has combined her willingness to dig into the report with her presence at a recent Hattie presentation where he discussed its findings.

Her entire piece is worth reading. After she reviewed Hattie’s “learning model,” though, I was particularly struck by how enthusiastically he endorsed the jigsaw instructional strategy, which is one that I use often. Here’s that portion:


I’m adding this info to:

The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On John Hattie’s Research

The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas

June 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Intriguing Research On How To Increase Intrinsic Motivation


Be Better at Life by Thinking of Yourself Less is a very interesting piece at New York’s Magazine’s “Science of Us.”

It shares research, and interesting stories, of how thinking about the impact of our effort and success could have others enhances our motivation.

I’m thinking that one way to use this idea in the classroom is just to ask students to list the people they know who would be pleased and/or inspired by their academic success – and why. Maybe following that up with creating posters or writing a short essay?

One idea to consider for next year…

I’m adding this info to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On Students Having A “Purpose For Learning”

Skip to toolbar