Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Self-Control, Grit & All That Stuff

Marshmallows from Flickr via Wylio

© 2007 rjp, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Regular readers know that I’m a big advocate of teaching Social Emotional Learning skills in the classroom (see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources), but that I also am wary of how it is being viewed by some as almost a cure-all (see my Washington Post piece, The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning).

There have recently been some interesting articles and research about the topic that I thought readers might want to know about…

The MindShift blog writes about a new study by “grit” researcher Angela Duckworth that has tried to update the famous self-control marshmallow experiment for the digital age. She calls it a “diligence test” and you can read about it at Measuring Students’ Self-Control: A ‘Marshmallow Test’ for the Digital Age. You can see a demo of the online test here, though it won’t make much sense until you read the MindShift post. The post says she’s going to put the test online for people to take for free, and that might be useful. The key point to remember, though, is to tell students what I tell mine before they take her online “grit” test — it’s just one more piece of information they might or might not find useful and they should feel free to ignore the results if they don’t agree with them.

Speaking of her grit test, I was prompted by the post to see if her diligence test was online yet and found that, other than the demo, it wasn’t. However, I did find that she upgraded her website, and the online grit test is now better designed. In addition, multilingual versions are available.

And, speaking of The Marshmallow Test, The New York Times has published an article about its originator, Dr. Walter Mischel. It’s headlined Learning How to Exert Self-Control.

I’ve previously written a lot about Dr. Mischel, and you can read my interview with him on Sunday in Education Week Teacher.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit” and to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

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September 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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 2013 and My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far.

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

Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification is by Alfie Kohn and appeared in Ed Week. I’m adding it to My Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses is a very interesting piece from The Pacific Standard. I’m adding it to the same list.

Keeping 9th Graders on Track Can Move Grad Rate, Research Finds is also from Ed Week.

Report: Technology benefits at-risk students is from Ed Source. I’m adding it to The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools.

‘Grit’ May Not Spur Creative Success, Scholars Say is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit.”

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September 10, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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How Can A Parrot Help Students Develop Self-Control?

Previous readers of this blog and my blogs are familiar with much of my writing about helping students develop self-control, including lessons using the famous Marshmallow Test (see The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control). In fact, in about ten days you’ll be able to read at my Ed Week Teacher column an interview I recently did with Dr. Walter Mischel, originator of that experiment.

One of the key elements of any of my self-control lessons is highlighting the different techniques that children used to avoid eating the marshmallow (looking away, etc.) and how students can apply them in class. In that “The Best” list, you’ll be able to see a fun Sesame Street video where The Cookie Monster demonstrates those same successful strategies, and my high school students love watching it as a refresher later in the school year after we learn about the Marshmallow Experiment in September.

And this leads me to parrots….

Researchers have found that some parrots, unlike other non-human species, also have a capacity for self-control, and created a version of the Marshmallow Experiment for them. You can read more about it at a Slate article titled A Parrot Passes the Marshmallow Test.

It’s very interesting but, as far as I’m concerned, the most useful part of the article is this short video. I plan showing it to students later in the year as another fun “refresher” — students can watch and identify the strategies used by the children and the parrot to reinforce their self-control.

I’m adding this info to my Best list on self-control.

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September 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Study: “Asking for Advice Makes You Seem More Competent, Not Less”

New York Magazine (and a bunch of other news outlets) recently reported on new research which found, as the headline of the magazine article and this post says, that “Asking for Advice Makes You Seem More Competent, Not Less.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Across-five-studies-a

I’ve certainly found this to be true, and often ask parents and students for their teaching advice, and definitely never hesitate asking the same of my colleagues.

This seems to be a variation of The Ben Franklin Effect, which I’ve previously discussed on more than one occasion.

The “Effect” goes:

You grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate people you harm.

And, as I said in that previous post, a classroom version is:

Many teachers know that an effective classroom management move to turn a disruptive student into an ally is by giving him/her responsibilities in the classroom — tutoring another student, offering them a key classroom job, etc.

How has advice-seeking worked for you?

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September 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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 2013 and My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far.

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

How a Bigger Purpose Can Motivate Students to Learn is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

Memories of errors foster faster learning is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.

Science Confirms It: If You Want To Succeed, You Have To Screw Up is from Co-Create. I’m adding it to the same list.

Inside the teenage brain: New studies explain risky behavior is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

Reacting to personal setbacks: Do you bounce back or give up? is from Eureka Alert. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit.”

What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep.

New Research: Students Benefit from Learning That Intelligence Is Not Fixed is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

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September 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Big Surprise — NOT!: Study Says Students Are More Successful With “Active Learning” Than With Lectures

I’ve written a lot about how active learning is more effective than lectures (see The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy).

A big New York Times article headlined Active Role in Class Helps Black and First-Generation College Students, Study Says discusses yet another study that reinforces that view.

Here is how it begins:

The trend away from classes based on reading and listening passively to lectures, and toward a more active role for students, has its most profound effects on black students and those whose parents did not go to college, a new study of college students shows.

Active learning raised average test scores more than 3 percentage points, and significantly reduced the number of students who failed the exams, the study found. The score increase was doubled, to more than 6 percentage points, for black students and first-generation college students.

For black students, that gain cut in half their score gap with white students. It eliminated the gap between first-generation students and other students.

I’m adding it to the “Best” list mentioned at the beginning of the post.

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August 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Resources On Students & Sleep

August 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Excellent “Reading Research Summary” From Scholastic

open1

Scholastic has just unveiled a new website focused on the joy of reading. It includes a number of materials, including videos and a free downloadable book with contributions from educators about their own reading experiences.

In my mind, though, the most valuable part of it is a Reading Research Summary on the “Joy and Power of Reading.” I don’t think you’re going to find a better compilation anywhere.

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

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August 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“A shocking statistic about the quality of education research”

Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post picked up my original post on the lack of replication in education research (This Is Interesting & Depressing: Only .13% Of Education Research Experiments Are Replicated) and wrote a much more complete piece on it. She titled it A shocking statistic about the quality of education research.

I think it’s quite important, and worth a “read.”

I’m adding her post to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

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August 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

This Is Interesting & Depressing: Only .13% Of Education Research Experiments Are Replicated

You know all those education ideas that people, including me, write about as being research-based?

Well, a new study has been published finding that only .13% of education research experiments are actually replicated by anybody else (that’s not a typo — it’s not 13% — it’s .13%. My original post mistakenly said the former percentage). And, of that .13%, sixty-eight percent were successfully replicated. However, that percentage dropped 54% if you only included replication efforts that didn’t include the original authors as part of the new team.

So, if you take that data into account, it’s even worse…..

Here are links related the paper:

The press release: Study Details Shortage of Replication in Education Research

Here’s the entire paper itself: Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences

And here are the final sentences of the paper:

Although-potentially

I’m adding post The Best Resources For Understanding How Interpret Education Research.

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August 8, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Important Study: “Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall”

Findings-suggest-that

I’m a big proponent of students teaching their classmates using presentations, “jigsaws,” creating learning objects like clozes and sequencing activities, and many online tools to create materials for authentic audiences. You can read more about these ideas at The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates.

Now, new research finds what we teachers who have been making this kind of an activity a priority have known all along — students will put a whole lot of energy into learning what they have to teach others. In fact, the research finds students will employ more effecting learning strategies in this kind of teaching situation than if they are preparing for a test.

You can read the entire study here.

Here are a two more related “The Best” lists reader might find helpful:

The Best Resources On The Value & Practice Of Having Older Students Mentoring Younger Ones

The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience” (I probably need to update this one, but most of the resources listed there should still be usable)

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July 31, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

More Resources On The Connection Between Exercising & Learning

July 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

More Resources On Sleep & Teenagers

July 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

It Doesn’t Matter If It’s “Effective” If Students Won’t Do It

An article in District Administration Magazine raises issues about the effectiveness of Booktrack, a website and app that provides a “soundtrack” of music, street sounds, etc. to a book (students can also create their own sounds). Some question research (funded by Booktrack) that suggests it improves comprehension.

I’ve previously posted about Booktrack, and think highly of it. I’ve seen some of my least interested readers regularly get very engaged in a book they can read on their phone using Booktrack.

And that’s the key — engagement. I’m not sure if students using Booktrack would score better than a control group not using it on a comprehension test.

But I also don’t care.

What I do know is that students who wouldn’t read are going to score a lot less on a comprehension test than those who did (not that test scores are the be all and end all of assessments).

It gets to an issue of previously written about a few times.

Research might be able to identify the best ways to get things done, but it doesn’t really matter if people won’t do those things.

Research can’t exist in a vacuum, especially where our students are concerned.

You can read these past posts (and don’t miss the comments section with them) for further discussion on this issue:

How Reading Strategies Can Increase Student Engagement

The “Best Learning Techniques” Are Useless If Students Won’t Do Them — A Critical Take On A Well Done Study

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July 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Big New Study On Deliberate Practice

As you may have heard by now, a new study was recently released raising questions about the importance of deliberate practice to success. Here are some articles about the study. I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice.

There’s little question that Talent vs. Practice: Why Are We Still Debating This? by Scott Barry Kaufman is the best piece on the study. It appeared in Scientific American.

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Talent is from The New York Times.

Does practice really make perfect? is from Science Daily.

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July 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Study Reinforces Previous Ones Showing SEL Lessons Need To Be Short & Simple

As regular readers of this blog and my books know, I’m an advocate of teaching Social Emotional Learning skills — and that I think they need to be simple so that individual teachers can integrate them easily with their regular classroom instruction.

Previous research has also found that using that strategy is the best way to go (see Social Skills Training Report Is Even More Interesting Than I Thought…).

Now, another study has been released finding the same results — that the programs that were most simple got the most positive results. You can read about it at NPR, Teaching 4-Year-Olds To Feel Better.

It gives me just a little more incentive to complete the third book in my student motivation series, which will include even more short and sweet SEL lessons. The manuscript should be done by September 1st, and Routledge should have it published by next spring.

I’m adding this post to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

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July 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

Can You Help Me Find Research On How Writing Strengthens The Brain?

I’ve written a lot about how learning in general strengthens the brain and reading’s effects on the brain (see The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning).

In addition, I’ve written a lot about recent research finding how handwriting in particular helps brain development (see The Best Resources For Learning About Handwriting & Learning).

Now, I’m looking for research documenting how writing of any kind might strengthen the brain.

Does anyone have suggestions?

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July 8, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Useful Article: “How to Read Education Data Without Jumping to Conclusions”

How to Read Education Data Without Jumping to Conclusions is a good article in The Atlantic by Jessica Lahey & Tim Lahey.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Here’s an excerpt:

Correlationdoes-not

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June 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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 2013 and My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far.

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

This is Your Brain on Writing is a New York Times story on a pretty interesting study examining what happens in our brains when we write.

George Washington Trumps Pinocchio When It Comes to Promoting Honesty in Kids is from The Pacific Standard. Its subtitle is: “Researchers find the classic tale in which the future president admits to bad behavior encourages at least some kids to confess a lie.”

Brain imaging shows enhanced executive brain function in people with musical training is from Science Daily.

Books in the Home Are Strongly Linked to Academic Achievement is from Pacific Standard. I’m adding it to My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.

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June 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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 2013 and My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far.

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

iPads In Special Ed: What Does The Research Say? is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools.

Sleep after learning strengthens connections between brain cells and enhances memory is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep.

We all know that students learn more effectively if they can connect new information to prior knowledge. How the brain builds on prior knowledge is a report on a new study that saw how different parts of the brain actually do it.

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Handwriting & Learning.

A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop is from Scientific American. I’m adding it to the same list.

Feeling Impulsive? Head for the Forest is from The Pacific Standard. It reports on a study finding that people seeing pictures of nature increased their self-control. Maybe an idea for classroom decorations? I’m adding it to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

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