Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Boy, There Are Sure A Lot Of Numbers To Mull Over In This NY Times Column…

It’s going to take me a long time to dig into the numerous studies and statistics cited (and linked to) by Thomas Edsall in his lengthy NY Times Op-Ed today headlined How Do We Get More People to Have Good Lives?

He looks at income equality, Social Emotional Learning Skills, pre-school education — just to name a few topics he covers.

Here’s a short excerpt from it:


For now, I’m just adding it to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

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May 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

If You Haven’t Read It Already, “The Teaching & Learning Toolkit” Should Probably Be On Your Summer Reading List


Last year I briefly referred to a study done in the United Kingdom evaluating what teaching strategies work best.

A recent post by John Tomsett prompted me to revisit that meta-analysis from The Education Endowment Foundation, and it’s clearly worth exploring deeply (it’s official title is “The Teaching and Learning Toolkit).

The report provides a John Hattie-like list of various interventions, along with their costs, the quality of evidence supporting each one, and the number of learning months research has showed it to gain for students. Though I say it’s Hattie-like, some of its findings seem to conflict with his. I’m very impressed with the UK analysis, and am planning on digging into it over the summer.

In fact, if you haven’t checked it out already, I’d say it should be a must-read over the summer for just about every educator.

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May 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “Do” Is Better Than “Don’t”

I’ve previously written about how I apply research that shows using “positive-framed” messages instead of “loss-framed” ones.

Here’s an excerpt of what I’ve written earlier about researchers learning:

that “loss framed messages” (if you do this, then something bad will happen to you) really don’t have the “persuasive advantage” that they are thought to have. In fact, positive-framed messages (if you do this, all this good stuff will happen to you) are more effective, particularly in changing people’s health behaviors.

Researchers suggest the reason is because people “don’t like to be bullied into changing…behavior.” This is similar to the reason why incentives don’t work to increasing behavior that requires higher-order thinking — people don’t want to feel like mice in a maze (I heard that in a podcast interview with Daniel Pink a few months ago).

It certain reflects my experience with classroom management. I’ve had much better success talking with students about how changing their behavior will help them achieve their goals (passing a class, graduating from high school, going to college, etc.) than with threatening negative consequences (though, admittedly, in a few circumstances, that might work and I’ve used it).

A new study released today reinforced these same findings. Here’s an excerpt:


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May 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license:

I often write about research studies from various fields and how they can be applied to the classroom. I write individual posts about ones that I think are especially significant, and will continue to do so. However, so many studies are published that it’s hard to keep up. So I’ve started writing a “round-up” of some of them each week or every other week as a regular feature.

By the way, you might also be interested in My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – Part Two.

Here are some new useful studies (and related resources):

Generation Deaf: Doctors Warn of Dangers of Ear Buds is from NBC News. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teens & Hearing Loss.

Most students struggle to take effective lecture notes. Here are two ways to help them is from BPS Research Digest.

Poverty shapes how children think about themselves is another report from BPS about an intriguing study.

Is Reading Recovery like Stone Soup? is an important critique of a recent study lauding the Reading Recovery Program. It’s written by Greg Ashman. Be sure to read the comments section.

The uses and abuses of evidence in education is not a research study, but a guide to evaluating research. It’s by Geoff Petty. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Five psychological findings every history teacher should know by Harry Fletcher-Wood summarizes a number of studies, several which I’ve discussed in previous posts and books. It’s still worth reading, though.

Kids with ADHD must squirm to learn, study says is from Eureka Alert.

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep for helping people absorb new information, new research reveals is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep.

Irregular sleeping pattern may affect how teens eat is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to the same list.

How quality of sleep impacts academic performance in children is from Eureka Alert. I’m adding it to the same list.

Don’t worry, be happy: Just go to bed earlier is from Science Daily. And, yup, it goes to the same list.

Is It Safe? Young Teens Look to Older Kids, Not Adults, for Advice on Risky Situations is an Ed Week report on an intriguing study.

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May 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Cornucopia Of Useful Social Emotional Learning Resources

I’m hopelessly behind on important resources to share, particularly ones related to Social Emotional Learning. Thanks to Karen HuxtableJester and to Vipula Sharma for some of the links. I’ll be adding this post to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources:

The Educator and the Growth Mindset is from Jackie Gerstein and Metacognition Curriculum is an older post from Frank Noschese.

Test Your Mindset is an online interactive from Carol Dweck that I think would be useful to offer to students.

Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential with the Growth Mindset is by Dan Winkler and provides a pretty good, and short, definition of a growth mindset.

I’m adding all the previously-mentioned links to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Teaching Teenagers to Develop Their Emotional Intelligence is from, of all places, The Harvard Business Review.  Though I’m a bit skeptical of making these kinds of connections, here was a particularly interesting sentence (and link) from the article:

a cost-benefit analysis released last month concluded that for every dollar schools spend on SEL, there is an average of $11 worth of benefits to society, including costs associated with healthcare and educational attainment.

Here’s an Ed Week article on that particular study.

How to Be Emotionally Intelligent is from The New York Times.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control:

High Schools That Walk the Social-Emotional Walk (and Don’t Just Talk the Talk) is from Ed Week.

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May 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Study Finds That Rewards For School Attendance Make Things Worse

In yet another addition to the long line of research showing problems with extrinsic motivation, the results of a new study designed to reduce school truancy was announced (How Do You Motivate Kids To Stop Skipping School?).

Researchers offered a reward to students for school attendance over a month-long period. Most students increased their attendance during that time, but then, as most previous research has demonstrated would happen, they immediately reverted to their previous attendance rate once the reward system was gone.

However, sixty percent of the students who had the lowest attendance rates at the beginning not only did not improve enough to gain the reward — after the reward system ended their attendance got a lot worse. In fact:

They were now only about one-fourth as likely to show up for class as they had been before the reward scheme was introduced.

Here’s how the NPR report ends:


I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

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May 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Somewhat Interesting Video: Duckworth & Yeager Talk About Their New “Grit” Paper

A few days ago, I wrote a somewhat popular post titled Measurement Matters….Maybe Not So Much. It was about the new paper written by Angela Duckworth (of “grit” fame) and David Scott Yeager (a researcher of “growth mindsets”). The paper is titled “Measurement Matters:Assessing Personal Qualities Other Than Cognitive Ability for Educational Purposes.”

Emily Hanford shared a video the two of them made talking about the paper, which I’ve embedded below. There’s nothing particularly new about it if you’ve read their paper, but it was somewhat interesting to hear them talk about it.

I hadn’t seen videos like this before where researchers talk about a paper that has just been published. Maybe it’s a common practice but, if it isn’t, it seems like it would be a nice way to help laypeople gain a better understanding of research.

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