Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Ways To Talk With Someone Who Disagrees With You

People On Internet Argue About Dress Colour

Creative Commons License studio tdes via Compfight

It’s holiday time, which means many of us might be with family members who have different political views. One way to handle that situation is to avoid potentially controversial topics.

Another possibility, however, might be to be strategic in how we handle the issue.

I have some related resources in The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change (as well as in The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics), but I thought a separate “Best” list might be useful – both for lessons with students and for our own conversations.

Here’s what I have so far:

Good Advice On Talking With Anyone (Including Students & Colleagues) About Doing Something Differently

5 Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree is very accessible and is from Teen Health.

4 tips for talking to people you disagree with is from TED.

Here’s a TED-Ed lesson on the topic.

10 Tips for Talking to People You Can’t Agree With is from Psychology Today.

How to Safely Talk Politics During the Holidays is from City Lab.

The Post-Trump Thanksgiving is from Slate.

Your Uncle Said What? How to Talk About Social Justice With Your Family During the Holidays is from Yes!

Of course, another option is to just play an Adele song, as they did in this famous Saturday Night Live sketch about a Thanksgiving dinner family discussion:

November 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

What Is The Best Education-Related Book You Read In 2017?

 

Every year, I ask readers of this blog to share – either in the comments section or on Twitter – the title and author of their favorite education-related book, along with one or two sentences explaining why they chose it.

It’s that time again!

Please share them with me no later than December 15th. Then, I’ll compile them in a post to share. With luck, I’ll publish it before everyone has done their holiday shopping so you can put some of them on your gift list!

Here are posts from previous years:

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2016

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2015

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2014

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2012

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008

November 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2017 – Part Two

 

I continue these end-of-year “The Best…” lists…

I’m adding this post to All 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place.

You might want to explore The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2017 – Part Two, too.

The title of this “The Best…” list is pretty self-explanatory. What you’ll find here are blog posts and articles this year (some written by me, some by others) that were, in my opinion, the ones that offered the best practical advice and resources to teachers this year — suggestions that can help teachers become more effective in the classroom today or tomorrow. Some, however, might not appear on the surface to fit that criteria, but those, I think, might offer insights that could (should?) inform our teaching practice everyday.

For many, the headlines provide enough of an idea of the topic and I haven’t included any further description.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2017 – So Far

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2011

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2010

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2009

In addition, you might find these useful:

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice In 2011

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2010

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2017- Part Two:

I’ve got to start off with by suggesting readers check out the posts at my teacher advice column at Education Week Teacher.  Hundreds of top teachers have provided guest responses to just about every imaginable education question, and they’re all categorized and easy to access.

A related resource are the eight-minute radio shows that accompany each Ed Week post.  Those are not behind Ed Week’s paywall, and you can find them at All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions.

The Best Interactive “Copy-Edit This!” Grammar Quizzes In The New York Times

I’ve shared a lot about the importance of pronouncing students’ names correctly, including sharing commentaries from my students on the topic (see The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names). Recently, Ed Week ran a good op-ed on the subject, Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly Should Be a Big Deal.

The Best Resources For Learning About “Nudges” In Schools

When Faced with Conflict, Try an Introspective Approach is a new Harvard Business Review article by Elizabeth Grace Saunders is a good summary of the approach I try to take when I have a conflict with a student or anyone else. And it’s worked out well, I think, for my students, colleagues, family members and me…I’m adding this info to Best Posts On Classroom Management.

Three Specific Actions I’m Taking This Year To Support Student Academic & SEL Development

The Best Advice For Student Teachers & Their Collaborating Teachers

New Metacognition Study & How I’m Thinking Of Applying It In My Classes – Feedback Welcome!

The Best Resources For Learning About Retrieval Practice

George Saunders Wins Literary Prize – Here Are Past Posts About His Work & How I’ve Used It In Class

The Annenberg Institute has published a pretty impressive two-part series of practical articles on performance assessment:

Performance Assessment: Fostering the Learning of Teachers and Students

Performance Assessment: A Deeper Look at Practice and Research

And, if those don’t contain enough info for you, I’ll be adding them to The Best Resources For Learning About Performance Assessment.

Brainpop videos are good, and I have a teacher’s subscription to them. But you have to pay in order to see them. Simple History is a YouTube channel that provides a decent selection of comparable – and in some cases, better – animations. They don’t offer the extras, like quizzes, offered by Brainpop. And if your school or district pays for Brainpop, the additional student creation options are great. However, if you’re in a school that doesn’t pay for it, and you’re already spending your money on a ton of other school-related resourced (see The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?), then Simple History is worth a look.

Now that Katie Hull are “done” with our third book on teaching English Language Learners (I put “done” in quotation marks since we still have to review the copy editor comments and then the final galley sheets before it’s published in April of next year), it’s time for me to start working on my next one. That one will be my tenth book overall, and the fourth in my series on student motivation. The first three were (each link leads to a ton of free resources):

Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges

Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation

Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners: Strategies To Help Students Thrive In School and Beyond

This fourth installment will be published by Routledge either in the Spring of 2019 or 2020, depending on how ambitious I am next summer 🙂In the meantime, you can access tons of free resources from all nine of my books here.

Empatico is a new site designed to help teachers have their students connect with other classes online. There are a lot of others out there trying to do similar things (see The Best Ways To Find Other Classes For Joint Online Projects). Empatico seems a bit more structured than some, though, and that might make it more attractive to certain educators and less so to others. You might also be interested in Links To The Joint Projects My ELL Geography Class Did With Classes Around The World.

How Do You Make Kids Love Reading? is by Timothy Shanahan. Here’s an excerpt that makes an important point, though I do think it’s a false choice – you can do both:

If you want kids to love reading, then make reading important in your students’ lives.

Instead of providing free reading time during the school day, pose academic and social problems for the kids to solve (or, better, let them pose their own); problems that reading can help address.

Harvard Business Review Publishes Yet Another Excellent Guide To Classroom Management

I know that many educators have read the book “Made To Stick,” by by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Here’s a nice summary of it:

The National Day Of Writing Is On Oct. 20th – Here Are 36 Related “Best” Lists

My Growth Mindset Lessons Usually Go Well, But What I Did Today Was The Best Yet (Student Hand-Outs Included)

Impressive Fall Slate Of Free Webinars From NY Times Learning Network

Former high school teacher Clint Smith has a a good – and short – essay in The New Yorker today headlined James Baldwin’s Lesson for Teachers in a Time of Turmoil. He talks about Baldwin’s “A Talk To Teachers,” which you can read in its entirety here.

Another Study Finds That Learning By Doing Works….

Resources For Talking About Race In The Classroom

The Best Resources For Learning About School Dress Codes

Resources From All My Blogs

SAS Curriculum Pathways, my favorite online site (see I Really Like How SAS Curriculum Pathways Site Incorporates Knowledge Transfer In Social Studies and SAS Curriculum Pathways, Just About The Best Online Ed Site, Has Gotten Even Better…) has unveiled a ton of new free online interactives. The new exercises are for just about every subject, and they’re too numerous to list here. You can see them all here.

Can I Still Rely on the National Reading Panel Report? is an excellent post from literacy expert Timothy Shanahan. I certainly still rely on it, and it was great to read that follow-up studies have found that its recommendations work for English Language Learners, too. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!

The Best Resources For Planning “Learning Stations” – Please Add More

I’ve written and shared a lot about differentiated instruction (see The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction) I read an interview with author Kim Scott where I think she hit on a key to successful differentiation (you can read the full interview at Lead by Caring and Challenging: An Interview with “Radical Candor” Author Kim Scott). Here’s the “money” quote:

Whether it’s knowing how students will react to classroom management strategies, the different styles of error correction, or if they’re having a bad day and want to do their work alone in the library, the idea of a platinum rule is good point to keep in mind.

The Benefits of Saying Nice Things About Your Colleagues is a new article in the Harvard Business Review that offers a lot of good advice about how we talk about, and to, our colleagues and our students.

Here’s an excerpt:

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

The Best Resources For Teaching Students The Differences Between A Good & Bad Slide

Overcome Resistance to Change with Two Conversations is a very good Harvard Business Review article.

I particularly like the four ground rules (check out the article itself for elaboration on each “rule”) it suggests for “Talking With Resistors:

Forget efficiency

Focus on listening

Be open to change yourself

Have multiple conversations

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change.

The Best Resources On Developing A Sense Of Community In The Classroom

I was recently interviewed by Val Brown on parent engagement.

It was part of the Center for Teaching Quality “microcredential series.”

If you find it useful or interesting, you can read and/or listen to other commentaries I’ve done on the topic.

Great Strategy For Interacting With Art!

The Best Harry Potter Teaching & Learning Resources

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.

The Best Suggestions On Ways Teachers Can Sanely Approach PD Over The Summer & Still Have Time To Relax

Good Reminder About How To Give Constructive Feedback

A Beginning List For Learning About The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

A Collection Of Resources On “Tricky” Teacher Topics

What Are Your Rules About Students Eating In Class?

The Best Resources For Examining “Privilege”

Harvard Business Review Lays-Out A Good Three-Step Process To Introduce A Lesson

This Is Interesting: Hattie Says Jigsaw Strategy Hits a Homerun

Now THIS Is An Example Of Writing For An Authentic Audience: Writing For History

“Words Without Borders” Looks Like An Excellent New Source Of International Texts & Teaching Ideas

November 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – Part Two

 

Another day, another end-of-year “The Best…” list…..

I’m adding this post to All 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place.

I used to publish a separate list for ELL students, but just didn’t have it in me to continue doing so a couple of years ago.  You can see links to all those past posts at The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – Part Two.  I’ve included resources that I would ordinarily put in that list in this post, instead.

Don’t forget to look for our next book on teaching ELLs, which will be published in the Spring of 2018.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2016 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers of ELLs in 2016 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – So Far

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s — 2010

The Best Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2017 – Part Two:

“The Newcomers” Looks Like An Incredible Book – How Could I Have Not Known This Was Coming Out?!

Carol Salva has begun a new podcast for ELL teachers!

The Best Advice To Content Teachers About Supporting English Language Learners

I’ve previously shared about how teachers can create music clozes (gap-fills) for students to complete while they listen to – and watch – popular music videos at LyricsGaps (see Create Customized Exercises & Monitor Student Progress At “LyricsGaps”). Now, though, you can -in seconds – assign any existing exercise on the site. All you have to do is click the “Share This Exercise” button (see screenshot at the top of this post). My students have to do five hours each week of homework from any of the sites at The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions.  I’m sure that LyricsGaps will now become a very popular option.

3 Tips for Supporting ELLs Through Co-Teaching & Collaboration is from The Teaching Channel. I’m adding it to The Best Online Videos Showing ESL/EFL Teachers In The Classroom.

Does English-Language-Learner Classification Help or Hinder Students? is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs.

Here are four new additions to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites:

    • I’ve previously posted about E-Learning For Kids. They’ve added many additions online activities for math, English, Science and other subjects since that time.
    • EduTeach has lots of excellent video stories with closed captions.
    • These next two have a zillion animated stories perfect for ELLs.  And they’ve been awhile for a while.  However, I’ve been somewhat reluctant to share  or have my students use them because I know that similar sites have hosted the same stories after having stolen them.  Most of those sites that I know about have shut down, and these two have stayed around for many years. I don’t know if that’s because they host the stories lawfully, or because they may be hosted in China, which sometimes does not enforce intellectual property rights very forcefully.So. I’m adding them now, though will remove them if I learn they are stealing the stories from elsewhere.  Let me know if you have any information:  News 060s and E-Yep English Stories

USA Learns is on many “Best” lists, including The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions. It’s an excellent – and free – resource with several interactive courses for different levels of English Language Learners. They’ve just added a new feature – a course to prepare users for the U.S. Citizenship test. Not only is it great for students who are studying for that test, but it also would be helpful to those who are in U.S. History classes. I’m adding this particular addition to The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship.

6 Things We Should Never Say to Our ELLs is by Valentina Gonzalez and appeared in Middleweb.

Helping English Learners Build Vocabulary is by Jana Echevarria. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL and The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons:

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Food

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Christmas

One Of My Favorite – & Easiest – ELL Activities To Practice Speaking (Links & Recordings Included)

When ELs Make Oral Errors, What Can Teachers do? is from Tan Huynh. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On ESL/EFL/ELL Error Correction.

The Minneapolis Public School District has a nice Newcomer Toolkit.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember who originally shared it on Twitter.

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Home

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Family

Anthony Schmidt has written two important posts about written corrective feedback for ELLs: Written Feedback – Does it Work? – Part 1 and Written Feedback – Does it Work? – Part 2. I’m adding them to The Best Resources On ESL/EFL/ELL Error Correction.

Second-Language Learners’ Vocabulary and Oral Language Development is from The International Literacy Association and was written by Jana Echevarria, California State University, Long Beach and Claude Goldenberg, Stanford University.

ESSA & English Language Learners is the headline of one of my Education Week Teacher columns. In it, Margo Gottlieb, Sarah Said, Catherine Beck, Heidi Pace, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, and Lindsey Moses share their thoughts about how The Every Student Succeeds Act will affect English Language Learners.

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Holidays

What Do You Know About “Differentiated Grading” For ELLs?

I’ve known that helping students – both those proficient in English and English Language Learners – develop their oral reading fluency was important and had a positive impact on reading comprehension (see The Best Resources On Reading Fluency (Including How To Measure It) ). However, reading literacy expert Timothy Shanahan’s post, Round Robin by Any Other Name… Oral Reading for Older Readers, really brought home to me how important it is:

Based on those studies, many ELLs would be closer to the larger percentage. Take my advice – you’ll want to read his entire post!

Four ways to give ELL students feedback on their writing is the headline of my latest Teaching English – British Council post. You can see a list -and links – to all my previous British Council posts here. I’m adding this post to:

The Best Resources On Getting Student Writers To “Buy-Into” Revision – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students

ELLs: Try These 5 Scaffolds in Any Subject is from Valentina Gonzalez and appeared in Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Advice To Content Teachers About Supporting English Language Learners.

Cognitive Load and Language Teaching – What Teachers Need to Know is by Anthony Schmidt.

The British Council shared this crowdsourced list of ELL class games. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

Made with Padlet

 

Exploring the Impact of ESSA on English Language Learners is the topic of one of my eight-minute BAM! Radio Shows. I’m joined by Heather Wolpert-Gawron; Margo Gottlieb, Ph.D.; Cathy Beck; and Sarah Said.

What Would Your Ideal Classroom For English Language Learners Look Like?

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Halloween & The Day Of The Dead

How many new words should you teach per lesson? is by Gianfranco Conti. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

Using tasks in a Communicative Language Teaching classroom is from The English Teaching Professional, and I think it’s pretty interesting.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Resources On The Idea Of “Wait Time”:

Authentic Shared Revising & Editing is from Valentina Gonzalez.

Here’s The Thematic Schedule I’m Using In My ELL Beginner’s Class

Slideshow For Teaching About Colors & Sizes

I’m not sure how long they’ve had it, but the Al Jazeera news site has a very impressive tool for providing audio support for text – perfect for English Language Learners. It’s called “Read To Me,” and can be found at the top left of many, if not all, of its news stories. What makes it even more impressive is that each word is highlighted when its spoken, which makes it even more valuable. Yes, I know there are some concerns about Al Jazeera’s objectivity. However, I’ve never seen any issues with the articles I’ve used and shared. Teaching students how to be a savvy news consumer, of course, is another skill we have to teach (see The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More). I’m adding it to The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners.

The question of how to best support Long-Term English Language Learners is one that many schools are considering, including ours….I’ve previously collected a number of related resources at The Best Resources On Supporting Long-Term English Language Learners,and we’re exploring those resources. We’re discussing lots of options, including creating a special classes that LTELL’s could take along with their regular mainstream English class, which appears to be a common recommendation. What does your school do to support Long-Term ELLs? Do you have special support classes? If so, what is your curriculum?

Thanks to the National Writing Project, today I learned about Define American. Immigrants are invited to share “what you think makes a person a part of this country” by recording a short video or uploading an image and providing voice narration. I’m adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Tell Their – And/Or Their Families – Immigration Story.

Earlier this year I sang the praises of the iSL Collective (iSLCollective Appears To Be A Jackpot For ELL Student Hand-Outs & Interactive Videos). I’ve continued to use the site as a wonderful resource for student hand-outs. However, for some reason, I didn’t really “bother” with their interactive videos. Then, I read about them again at Michelle Henry’s site, and explored them further. Boy, what a goldmine! Yes, you can create your own, and I’ll get around to doing that. But, for now, there are an amazing number of engaging, short videos that teachers can project and, as I do, have student with mini-whiteboards respond to questions when the video stops. The videos are searchable by lots of criteria, and there are already four hundred alone at the Beginner Level! Registration is free, but you don’t even have to sign-in to be able to use the videos (you do in order to create ones). Between their hand-outs and their videos, I’ve decided to move the site to an elite level – in my eyes. So I’m adding them to The Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers (which now makes four).

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Computers – Help Me Find More

Still images and language learning is a very interesting post by Nick Bilbrough. I think his ideas are very creative. They are a nice complement to a project we did last year: The Mannequin Challenge, ELLs & A Frozen Tableau.

Woolly Mammoths & Inductive Learning

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Months, Seasons & Days Of The Week

Here’s a new video from Education Week.

I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current ELL/ESL/EFL News & Research.

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Numbers

I’m a big fan of the “ReadWorks” site (see “ReadWorks Digital” Came Online Today & It Looks Great!). They’ve now gotten even better. Now, many of their texts have “StepReads” versions, which they describe as:

Less complex versions of our nonfiction and literary Articles [that are]Lovingly handwritten by our authors, who preserve all of the important knowledge of the original article, as well as the key academic vocabulary, rich syntax, word count, and beauty of writing​.

I’m adding the info to The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”

Boys Are Not Defective is about boy and girl students in the Middle East, and it’s also very useful for those of us who are teaching refugees here.

WORDLESS VIDEOS FOR ELT is from Svetlana Kandybovich. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

The New Kahoot App – You’ve been Challenged! is from Carol Salva.

Critical Thinking and Beginning Writing Skills is from ELT Research Bites. I’m adding it to The Best Scaffolded Writing Frames For Students.

Using a Strengths-Based Approach with ELs: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress is from Colorin Colorado. I’m adding it The Best Ways For Responding To Student Trauma – Help Me Find More.

Slideshow For ELLs: “Cline” or “Spectrum” On Temperature

“Simplish” Automatically Simplifies And/Or Summarizes Text

Thanks to Nik Peachey, I learned about an excellent free site called Apps 4 EFL. The site has a huge variety of ready-to-use interactives and games for English Language Learners. In addition, teachers can use the site’s tools to create their own. Even better, teachers can create free virtual classrooms where students can enroll. You can read more about it in Nik’s post. I’m adding this info to:

The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress

The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

Here’s What My ELL Students Are Reading & Writing About Columbus

Using “Spot The Difference” Pictures With ELLs

I’ve completed updated and revised The Best Sites For Learning How To Tell Time. I’m adding it to All My Thematic “Best” Lists For Beginning ELLs – In One Place!

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Clothes

How to Create Culturally Responsive Classrooms is by Valentina Gonzalez and appeared at Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Resources About “Culturally Responsive Teaching” & “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy” – Please Share More!

The case for translation in foreign language instruction is by Gianfranco Conti. Some of my previously posts that are peripherally related to this topic are The Promise & Peril Of Using Google Translate In The ELL Classroom – Share Your Ideas and The Best Resources Explaining Why We Need To Support The Home Language Of ELLs.

A Guide for Engaging ELL Families: Twenty Strategies for School Leaders is from Colorin Colorado. I’m adding it to The Best Parent Engagement Resources For Immigrant Families.

3 Indicators of Effective Co-Teaching is by Tan Huynh. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Co-Teaching With ELLs – Please Suggest More.

U.S. History Students Creating A “Buffalo Hide Painting” – Lesson & Student Hand-Out

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About The Weather

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn Colors

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn Vocabulary About The Human Body

ADDING A PARAMETER TO COLD CALL is by Doug Lemov. He shares a simple suggestion that could help ELLs, and all students, respond to teachers’ questions better. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English (and I have to rename that list one of these days, since it includes recommendations for classroom practice as well as websites).

A Quick-Start Guide for Teaching English-Language Learners is an excellent piece by Wendi Pillars.

Internet Polyglot is a simple site that is very good for Beginning English Language Learners. It teaches vocabulary in many different languages. It’s particularly helpful for the many Farsi-speaking refugees coming into my classes – Duolingo doesn’t have a Farsi course, and the Voice of American shut-down the excellent Farsi/English online site they used to have… I’m adding it to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites.

Helping Beginning ELLs Learn About Adjectives

 

It was nice to see this sign greeting students at our school earlier this year. It’s part of our district’s “safe haven” effort (see Sacramento City Unified School District Launches Campaign To Assist Undocumented Students). Good timing, considering that it was the same day Trump Makes Terrible Decision To End DACA.

A Message From A Houston Teacher

Four Surefire Techniques for Engaging English Language Learners is an excellent article by Valentina Gonzalez.

Guest Post: Gif Lingua Is An Excellent Resource For ELL Students & Teachers

Resources From All My Blogs

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About School

Make Back-to-School A Positive Experience for English Learners is by Jana Echevarria. I’m adding it to Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”

Twinkl looks like a fantastic site to find and/or create learning resources. I learned about it from Monika ‘Mona’ Kisala. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets.

Eight listening-research findings every teacher should be aware of and their implications for teaching and learning is by Gianfranco Conti. I’m adding it to The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners.

10-step guide to teaching effective conversation classes is from Teach English Spain. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English. You might also be interested in Here’s A Plan For An Oral Skills Class Next Year – Please Help Make It Better!

Can I Still Rely on the National Reading Panel Report? is an excellent post from literacy expert Timothy Shanahan. I certainly still rely on it, and it was great to read that follow-up studies have found that its recommendations work for English Language Learners, too. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!

The Best Resources For Planning “Learning Stations” – Please Add More

Advocating For ELLs is a relatively new Facebook Group you might be interested in exploring and/or joining (I’m a member!). Here’s how Valentina Gonzalez describes it:

This group serves as a resource for educators who work with English Language Learners. It is a place for the members to collaborate and share information.

Is a New English-Proficiency Test Too Hard? Educators and Experts Debate. is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

The Best Examples Of ELL Student Writing

Resources For Spanish-Speakers Not Literate In Their Home Language

Eight Free Downloadable Children’s Books In Khmer – More On The Way (Maybe In Other Languages, Too)

The Best Parent Engagement Resources For Immigrant Families

The Backseat Linguist has speaks some truth about a new study: Academic Vocabulary Instruction: Does Word Generation Really Teach You Two Years’ Worth of Words in 22 Weeks? I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.

Guest Post: “Co-Teaching Dos and Don’ts”

Guest Post From An English Language Learner Student

The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions

Guest Post: “PD in your Pjs: How to navigate #EllChat_BkClub on Twitter”

Gianfranco Conti, one of the sharpest minds around in the language teaching world (I’ve previously shared many of his posts) has just begun a Facebook group called Global Innovative Language Teachers that includes teachers of all languages, including ELL/ESL/ELT educators. He was kind enough to write this description:

Global Innovative Language Teachers is a support group whose mission is to bring together language teachers from all over the world in the hope to go beyond insular views of language teaching pedagogy created by national curricula, imposed methods and theories and individual school policies and micro-cultures. 

Speaking of Gianfranco, check out his post, Eight narrow reading techniques that will enhance your students’ vocabulary and reading skills.

Ana Cristina wrote a post about an intriguing site called Word Booster. Paste in the url address of any online article and it will immediately provide you with several free PDFs of the article that has been displayed in a reader-friendly way, a word list, and a vocabulary test. I’m generally skeptical of sites that automatically create learner materials. I’ve got to say, though, that my experiments with Word Booster have resulted in some decent sheets. I still wouldn’t generally use them in my lessons. However, I think I will try it out next year by having students pick any article of their choice online and create their own sheets to complete. It might be interesting to see how it goes. I’m adding this info to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

I’ve previously sung the praises of CommonLit (see “CommonLit” Now Lets Teachers Create Free Virtual Classrooms). They’ve now made their site even more accessible to English Language Learners. Read about it at their article that has a somewhat over-reaching headline: Transformative Tools for ELLs and Struggling Readers

Thanks to Carol Salva, I learned about a NY Times column headlined What Is America to Me? In it, writer Margaret Renkl tells about her experience working in an ELL classroom in Nashville, and the challenges facing students – especially after the election of President Trump.

Using “Wrote My Way Out” From Hamilton With Students (Including Writing Prompt)

Guest Post: Advanced ELLs Write About Their Summer School Experience Tutoring Newcomers

Here are some nice collections of printable academic sentence-starters that I’m adding to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary:

Let me know what I’m missing!

The Best Resources & Ideas For Using Sound Effects In ELL Lessons

Phonics for English Learners? What Do You Think? is a post by literacy expert Timothy Shanahan, and is the best piece I’ve ever read on phonics and ELLs. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually recommend how best to teach phonics, but I guess you can’t have everything. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Sites For Teachers & Students To Learn About Phonics.

RTI and English Learners: 4 Considerations is by Jana Echevarria. I’d like to particularly recommend her seven questions “to distinguish between disability and language difference.” I’ m adding it to The Best Resources On Assisting ELLs With Special Needs – Help Me Find More.

Bingo! There Are Issues With This Study On Grit & ELLs, But I Am Sure Going To Use It With My Students

The Best Sites For ELLs To Practice Online Dictation

The Best Videos For Content Teachers With ELLs In Their Classes – Please Suggest More

This website has an incredible collection of short narrated slideshows where immigrants share their stories. You can also view and/or download transcripts. They would be great models for students to use to create their own. Thanks to Damaris Gutierrez for sharing it on Twitter.

Teacher & Student Friendly Resources On Phonemic Awareness – Please Suggest More

Wordsmyth seems like an exceptional online dictionary that lets you create several different types of vocabulary quizzes. Teachers can get accounts for free. The site has many other features, as well. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Tests. However, Bob Parks (its creator) tells me that they “are developing new functionality for teachers, including a full vocabulary study system.” When that happens, I might also add it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

The Best Resources On Co-Teaching With ELLs – Please Suggest More

I Am Learning Inglés: A Dual-Language Comic is a comic from NPR.

Carol Salva writes about the many ways teachers can use the Kahoot game with ELLs.

I’ve Found These Decent Online Exercises To Teach Paraphrasing – Can You Suggest More?

Drawception is an online site where users play a weird but fun combination of Pictionary and the Telephone game. It’s been around for awhile, but they now finally added the ability to create private virtual rooms so that you can control who you get to play with – a must if teachers are going to use it with students. I’ve added it to The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms” and just updated the entire list.

Eight Characteristics of Effective (& Awesome) ESL Teachers is from Valentina Gonzalez.

Here’s a video from Carol Salva:

Your Walls as a Co-Teacher is a great post from Carol Salva.

Video(s): My #VirtuEL17 Session On SEL & ELLs (Plus Supporting Links) & Everyone Else’s Session, Too!

Video: New “Ferdinand” Movie Trailer Released

I Suspect That Many ELL Teachers Will Want To Use These Personal Stories As Models For Their Students

The Best Resources For Learning About The Seasons Of The Year

I’m a big fan of StoryCorps and have written about them many times. They’ve recently begun producing a “weekly broadcast” described as “Stories from Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs.” These are short and simple videos with images and the transcript appearing as the words are spoken. You can see all of them at this YouTube playlist.

A “must-read” piece is Brookings’ post, English learners and the growing need for qualified teachers. It’s filled with useful info and links.

Here’s What I’m Doing As “Part Two” For My ELL Beginner Finals

November 18, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“The Newcomers” Looks Like An Incredible Book – How Could I Have Not Known This Was Coming Out?!

Thanks to Alexander Russo, I just learned about a brand-new book titled The Newcomers, and it looks phenomenal.

I’m trying to arrange an interview with both the author, Helen Thorpe, and the teacher of the class she observed, Eddie Williams.

Here’s how the publisher describes the book, and it’s followed by several links to book excerpts. If you’re an ELL teacher – trust me, you’ll want to read those excerpts:

The Newcomers follows the lives of twenty-two teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado, in a beginner level English Language Acquisition class. Speaking no English, unfamiliar with American culture, the students face the enormous challenge of adapting. The newcomers are between fourteen and nineteen years old, and they come from nations convulsed by drought, famine, or war. Many arrive directly from refugee camps. Some enter the U.S. alone, having left or lost every other member of their original family.

At the center of The Newcomers is Mr. Williams, the dedicated and endlessly resourceful teacher of South’s beginner English Language Acquisition class. If he does his job right, the newcomers will leave his class at the end of the year with basic English skills and new confidence, their foundation for becoming Americans and finding a place in their new home. As the students blossom in his care, the book becomes funny, poignant, and uplifting. The story shows us the refugee crisis as a whole, but it is more importantly a galvanizing example of how to respond in a moral fashion to a troubled world by doing good at human scale, one family at a time.

With the US at a political crossroads around questions of immigration, multiculturalism, and America’s role on the global stage, The Newcomers presents a transformative take on these timely, important issues. Readers are changed and see the world through different eyes after experiencing this book.

A Denver Classroom Helps Refugees Navigate A New Language And A New Culture is from Colorado Public Radio.

How one word bound together a classroom of Denver high school students learning a new language — and a new country appeared in Chalkbeat.

The True Story of Refugees in an American High School appeared in Long Reads.

November 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Guest Post: “The Worst Moments In Teaching Aren’t Always Dramatic”

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Roxanna Elden)

Roxanna Elden is the author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. She is also the author of the Disillusionment Power Pack, a free, thirty-day email series that helps new teachers through their toughest days.

The following piece is an adapted excerpt from The Disillusionment Power Pack, a free, thirty-day email series that helps new teachers through their toughest days. Often, these days fall in the period between mid-October and Thanksgiving break, a time frame so hard on new teachers that the New Teacher Center calls it “The Disillusionment Phase.”

One of the many lessons I learned the hard way as a new teacher was this.

Sometimes moments that are objectively bad – like a fight in your classroom – are not the ones that make you feel the worst. In fact, if you feel you’ve handled a crisis correctly, it can even boost your confidence.

Other times, an event that would seem like no big deal to anyone else drags your faith through the mud in such an unexplainably horrible way that all you can do is stand there, blinking.

A lot depends on context.

Here is an example of a moment from my first year of teaching that was not dramatic but was still quite horrible.

The big, important state test was coming up. The students in my fourth-grade, English Language Learner class were nowhere near ready. We were doing test prep. So… much… test prep…

I knew that doing non-stop practice tests wasn’t good teaching. But I also wasn’t sure what else to do. The whole school was doing test prep, and if my kids didn’t pass the test they wouldn’t pass fourth grade. So I did it, too. But even with the soul-crushing repetition of test-taking strategies, and even after using every bribe and threat I could think of, it seemed like I just couldn’t get my students to pass the practice tests. Couldn’t get them to start essay paragraphs with anything besides firstlysecondly, and thirdly. Couldn’t tighten any of our screws any tighter.

At some point in the middle of one of these days, we took a bathroom break. This meant lining the class up and heading into the hallway, where we’d collectively wait for each kid to go into the bathroom, come out, use the hand sanitizer from the supply baskets, line up in the other direction, and then go back to class. I couldn’t stop pacing back and forth. Maybe because I was so nervous about the test. Maybe because I was on my second or third Red Bull of the day.

When got back into the classroom, there was suddenly a huge commotion. It turned out to be about whether one the boys had – get this – used the hand sanitizer from the girls’ bathroom supply basket.

I couldn’t believe the kids were getting hung up on this little detail. The test was so close. The test! So I said, in a voice that communicated my sense of urgency (also referred to as yelling): “IS THIS REAAAALLLLYYY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT RIGHT NOW?!?!?!?!” 

Every single one of the kids turned toward me and yelled back, with an equal sense of urgency: “YESSSSSS!!!!”

A quick side note here: I have told this story to other people they usually think it’s funny. At this point, I think it’s kind of funny, too. But at the time, this moment felt like proof that I had used up every single idea I could think of to motivate my students and they still didn’t care. What had ever made me think I would be good at this? It wasn’t the first time I had wondered.

Then, I looked over at the hand sanitizer bottles in bathroom supply baskets. The bottle in the boys’ basket was empty.

Which made me realize I hadn’t bought any new hand sanitizer for a very long time.

Which made me realize that both bottles should have been empty.

Which made me realize the only reason the girls’ hand sanitizer was full was because the girl in charge of carrying supplies had been refilling it with water from the bathroom sink.

In other words, on top of all my other failures as a teacher, every kid in my classroom had toilet germs all over their hands. They had been “sanitizing” with bathroom sink water for weeks.

The worst moments as a teacher aren’t always the most dramatic.

The good news?

The best moments aren’t, either.

November 16, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

There Are Now Exactly 1,800 “Best” Lists

 

With the posting of my most recent “Best” list yesterday, their total number reached 1,800 exactly!

That’s a lot of lists!

You can see them all categorized here: My Best of Series!

You can see them in chronological order here: Websites of The Year

I’m always adding to all of them and, in addition, I’ve been trying to systematically overhaul the lists, as well.  I’ve been able to do those complete revisions on almost four hundred of them, so far.

You might also be interested in The Thirty-Seven “All-Time” Best Lists.

I hope readers have found the lists helpful!

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