Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Contradicts Past Ones – Music Does Not Appear To Hurt Studying

My personal experience, and several past studies, have found that listening to music can hurt studying (see The Best Research On Listening To Music When Studying).

Maybe not…

Edutopia reports on new research in their article, Multitasking Harms Recall—Music, Not So Much.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m also adding this info to The Best Resources On The Dangers Of Multitasking.

October 2, 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):

A Marked Improvement: A review of the evidence on written marking is from The Education Endowment Foundation. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

Research in 100 words are great summaries of…research from CHRIS MOYSE.

EEF and the Royal Society publish review of the evidence on the science attainment gap is a useful report:

The researchers found that the strongest factor affecting pupils’ science scores is how well they understand written texts.

Critical thinking skills are more important than IQ for making good decisions in life is a summary of a recent study.

Insufficient sleep may be adding to your waistline is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep.

September 30, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Useful Recommendations For Reducing Drop-Out Rates

The Institute of Education Sciences has just released an important new – and freely available – report on Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools.

You can see the four primary recommendations in the graphic at the top of this post. If you go to their site, you can get many more details about each recommendation.

You can learn more about the background of the report here.

When I think about how the four recommendations apply to our school, it seems to me that:

We’re improving at “Monitor the progress of all students, and proactively intervene when students show early signs of attendance, behavior, or academic problems.” We have some great staff and outside community groups helping make this happen. However, we are a large urban high school and, like many others, we have lots of students facing challenges and the needs can sometimes be overwhelming.

It’s a resource challenge to “Provide intensive, individualized support to students who have fallen off track and face significant challenges to success.” We’re trying.

I think we’re doing a decent job at “Engage students by offering curricula and programs that connect schoolwork with college and career success and that improve students’ capacity to manage challenges in and out of school.” We can always do more, but I think we have a fair amount of classes and support that help us implement this recommendation.

We have been doing a great job, and continue to be doing a great job, at “For schools with many at-risk students, create small, personalized communities to facilitate monitoring and support.” I think we’re national model for having a large school divide into multiple “small learning communities,” and you can read more at The Best Resources For Learning About Small Learning Communities.

Of course, implementing any of these recommendations requires money.  You can’t “squeeze blood out of a rock.”

It would be nice if decision-makers who control the purse-strings would also read this report.  I noticed that a recommendation to use vouchers was nowhere to be seen (see The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea).

September 27, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Suggests That Motivation & Growth Mindset Are Most Important Factors For Student Success

McKinsey & Company, who doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to education-related studies, just came out with a new study examining PISA results from around the world.

It’s titled How to improve student educational outcomes: New insights from data analytics.

They suggest that student motivation and having a growth mindset are the most important factors related to student success:

They even make this claim, which I think is somewhat questionable (see The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement):

Our conclusion: after controlling for all other factors, student mindsets are twice as predictive of students’ PISA scores than even their home environment and demographics (Exhibit 1). This finding, and its magnitude, is consistent across all five regions, which amplifies its importance.

Nevertheless, even if they are over-stating their case, this research provides more evidence to those of us who support helping students develop intrinsic motivation (see  Best Posts On “Motivating” Students) and a growth mindset (see The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” ).

September 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Study: Teachers Have Fewer Good Relationships With “immigrants and adolescents of color”

A new study has found that things are not looking too good for some teacher/student relationships in U.S. high schools.

Here’s an excerpt from a summary of the research:


I’m adding this info to The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students.

September 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Study: Ninth-Grade ‘Grades’ Predict Graduation & College Attendance

The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, whose research I always respect, has just published The Predictive Power of Ninth-Grade GPA.

It reinforces previous studies which emphasize the importance of ninth-grade, which our school and many others are taking seriously.

Here’s an excerpt from the report’s summary:

September 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Another Study Finds That Learning By Doing Works….

Yes, the infamous “Cone of Experience” (“We learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we say or write…..[and] 90% of what we teach”) is made-up but, as I have pointed out, there is an extraordinary amount of research that learning by doing is much more effective than passive learning (No, The “Cone Of Experience” Is Not “Research-Based” & Yes, Some People Debunking It Have Way Too Much Time On Their Hands).

Another confirming study came out today and specifically focused on MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses). Here’s an excerpt from a summary of the research:


If you want to see other corroborating research, check out:

The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior”

The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy

“What I Cannot Create, I Do Not Understand”

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

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On MOOC’s — Help Me Find More.


September 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post or two containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

You might also be interested in The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – Part Two andThe Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2017 – So Far.

Here are this week’s picks:

BEYOND JUST A CELLS UNIT: What My Science Students Learned from the Story of Henrietta Lacks is from ReThinking Schools. You might also be interested in resources I’ve previously shared about Ms. Lacks.

The New York Times Learning Network began two excellent new regular series this week: What’s Going On in This Graph? and Country Of The Week.

Why Students Forget—and What You Can Do About It is from Edutopia.

Questions as Invitations, Not Inquisitions is from Russ On Reading. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions — Help Me Find More.

Cognitive biases can hold learning back – here’s how to beat them is from The Guardian. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Cognitive Bias.

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