Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Focusing On The Impact Classroom Disruptions Have On Others, Not On The Students Doing The Disrupting

As many teachers already know, one of the most effective responses we can make to classroom management problems is by saying:

“I’m not feeling respected right now.”

Assuming you have good relationships with your students, I’m not really sure if there’s anything better we can say in the moment.

Of course, it’s also important for us to follow-up later with the main student or students who appeared to instigate the problem.

But what do we say to them?

The often-used phrase “Be curious, not furious” is a good guideline – asking the student(s) if they are doing okay, if anything is bothering them, that we’re surprised that they would do what they did, it didn’t make us feel respected, etc.

Today, I read about another idea to add into the mix.

When Kids Break Rules, Emphasize the Consequences for Others appeared in LifeHacker, and talks about research suggesting that instead of us telling students the consequences they might receive because of their behavior is much less effective than making them aware of the consequences their actions are having on others. As a headline in The Science of Us article summarizing the LifeHacker article says “Kids Listen Better When You Appeal to Their Sense of Morality.”

Here’s how the LifeHacker article puts it:

So, when I’m having that conversation with a student who had been disruptive, I should also add a comment like, “I’m sorry you’re having a hard day. Keep in mind, though, that when you act like that, you take away time from some of the other students who are interested in what we’re talking about. I wonder how fair that is to them.”

Just one more good piece of classroom management advice to keep in mind. You might also be interested in The Best Piece Of Classroom Management Advice I Ever Read.

This reminds me of some other recent research finding that thinking of our impact on others can have a major impact on strengthening our motivation to complete a task (see Intriguing Research On How To Increase Intrinsic Motivation).

I’m adding this info to Best Posts On Classroom Management and The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More.

July 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Study Finds That Social Emotional Learning Has Long-Lasting Effects

A new meta-analysis has been released showing that student benefits from Social Emotional Learning can be long-lasting in several areas, including academic improvement.

You can access the entire study here (it’s not behind a paywall).

Here’s an excerpt from Education Week’s summary of the research:

Programs that teach emotional intelligence in schools have lasting impact is the headline of another report on the study.

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

July 11, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Finds Students Less Motivated In School The More They Think Wealth & Income Inequality Is Stacked Against Them

Academic motivation suffers when economic mobility seems out of reach is the headline of a Eureka Alert report.

Here’s an excerpt:

A draft of the study is not behind a paywall and can be accessed. It’s titled Perceptions of Socioeconomic Mobility Influence AcademicPersistence among Low Socioeconomic Status Students.

Unfortunately, the authors don’t really provide any viable suggestions on what educators can do about this challenge.

Here are my ideas:

One, of course, is for teachers to work politically to reduce some of these inequality barriers (see The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality and A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More) and help our students develop the skills they need to effectively participate in public life (see The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship and The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change).

Another thing we can do in the classroom is to create opportunities within our classroom to help students build a sense of agency (see The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It).

Lastly, I’ve previously share this in The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career:

The Boston Globe has published a short report on a to-be-published study. The study found that:

Students whose career goals did not require education (e.g., sports star, movie star) spent less time on homework and got lower grades. The good news is that the researchers found it was easy to make education more salient, and thereby motivate kids. When students were shown a graph depicting the link between education and earnings, they were much more likely to hand in an extra-credit homework assignment the next day than if they were shown a graph depicting the earnings of superstars.

Here’s more information about that study.

July 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Finds That Punishment May Encourage The Behavior Being Targeted

In no surprise to teachers and parents everywhere, a new study finds that punishing someone for their behavior may actually result in an increase in the behavior that’s being targeted.

Science Daily published a summary of the study under the headline Motivation through punishment may not work.

Here’s an excerpt:

The experiment itself was a series of experiments where participants would get electric shocks by pressing on a particular key on a keyboard. The explanation is long and complicated. The paper is behind a paywall. I bought it, read it, and still don’t understand it.

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos Explaining Why Punishment Is Often Not The Best Classroom Strategy.

July 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Change “Employees” To “Students” & This Article Has Good Research & Advice On Building Trust

Want Your Employees to Trust You? Show You Trust Them is the headline of a new article in the Harvard Business Review.

Change the word “employees” to “students” and you’ll find a lot of good research about why trust is important in the classroom and good advice on how to build it.

Here’s an excerpt:


The article also includes seven good questions that teachers can ask themselves (again, just change “employees” to “students”:

Do I show my employees that I feel confident in their skills?

Do I show my employees that I care about their welfare?

Do I show my employees that I think they are capable of performing their jobs?

Do I give my employees influence over the things that affect them most on the job?

Do I give my employees the opportunity to take part in making job-related decisions that affect them?

Do I encourage my employees to take risks?

Do my words and deeds convey how much I trust my employees?


I’m adding this info to The Best Posts About Trust & Education.

July 4, 2017
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 2017 – So Far.

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

This Is What Happens to Your Brain When You Read Poetry is from The Science of Us. I’m adding it to The Best World Poetry Day Resources – Help Me Find More.

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas.

What Does Research Say Adolescent Readers Need? is from Lucy Calkins. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading.

Want To Teach Your Kids Self-Control? Ask A Cameroonian Farmer is from NPR. I’m adding it to Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

I’ve shared a number of posts and thoughts about Brain “Priming” In The Classroom. An example of brain priming is acting on studies that showed students did better on standardized tests if they either had to do some “sentence scrambles” that had positive messages or if they just wrote what they thought a scientist did in his/her life. There are important ethical issues related to taking those sorts of action. It was thought that telling people ahead of time that you were going to “prime” their brain by doing something in order to influence their action would negate the impact. However, more recent students have shown that you can get the same results even if you tell people ahead of time what you are doing. Another study just came out with the same conclusion, though related to medicine. It found that even if even if you tell people they are receiving a placebo, they tend to feel better.

I know that some educators are critical of using sarcasm in the classroom, but I use it a lot.  However, I’ve also seen teachers who have “weaponized” sarcasm, and that can obviously be damaging.  Done in the context of strong and caring relationships, I’ve found sarcasm to be helpful in creating a fun atmosphere.  Now, a study has found that using sarcasm can promote creativity in others.  I’m adding this info to The Best Sources Of Advice On Helping Students Strengthen & Develop Their Creativity.

Sacrificing sleep to get top grades doesn’t work, study finds is from The Telegraph. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep.

Why school should start later for teens is a TED Talk. I’m adding it to the same list.

July 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Study’s Conclusion Is Not As Useless As It Sounds: Low-Income Adolescents Are Less Likely To Attend College

Thanks to Pedro De Bruyckere, I learned about a recent study titled The influence of socioeconomic status on changes in young people’s expectations of applying to university (it’s not behind a paywall!).

It’s findings will come as no surprise to anyone connected to education, though its preciseness, it seems to me, is interesting and could be useful when trying to generate support to do something about it.

Here’s an excerpt:

Unfortunately, the paper offers zero ideas about how to combat this challenge. It does, however, link to this paper (also not behind a paywall), which does make a few suggestions.

That paper suggests parent engagement, mentoring, and extra-curricular activities but, more importantly, emphasizes that it’s critical to get to students before their expectations begin to dip and then maintain consistent support through the rest of high school. In other words, “one-and-done” programs and little pep rallies won’t do the trick.

It is interesting to me that the study targeted the ages of 14 through 17 as the key times these negative or positive shifts occur. In a related piece of info, Prof. James Heckman Says Adolescence Is Key Time To Teach (& Learn About) Self-Control & Perseverance.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career

July 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Wrong-Headed Criticism Of Medicaid Mirrors Wrong-Headed Criticism Of Schools

Critics of Medicaid, including, incredibly, the head of the agency that administers it, say that studies show that people with Medicaid fare no better than being uninsured. Therefore, there will be few problems with reducing access to it.

Today, The New York Times published an excellent critique of that thinking, Medicaid Worsens Your Health? That’s a Classic Misinterpretation of Research.

I’ll publish a few short excerpts. While you’re reading it, I think it’s easy to find some parallels with critiques that are sometimes made of many of our schools:

Our examination of research in this field suggests this kind of thinking is based on a classic misunderstanding: confusing correlation for causation. It’s relatively easy to conduct and publish research that shows that Medicaid enrollees have worse health care outcomes than those with private coverage or even with no coverage…..

…But that is not a proper interpretation of such studies. There are many other, more plausible explanations for the findings. Medicaid enrollees are of lower socioeconomic status — even lower than the uninsured as a group — and so may have fewer community and family resources that promote good health. They also tend to be sicker than other patients. In fact, some health care providers help the sickest and the neediest to enroll in Medicaid when they have no other option for coverage. Because people can sign up for Medicaid retroactively, becoming ill often leads to Medicaid enrollment, not the opposite.


You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research

The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement

The Best Online Resources For Teaching The Difference Between Correlation & Causation

The Best Resources For Learning How Repeal Of Obamacare Will Affect Students & Schools

The Best Articles Highlighting Parallel Critiques Of Increasing School & Health Care “Efficiency”

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