Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

ASCD’s New “My TeachSource” Looks Useful


As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of ASCD’s resources — the huge number they have available for free, along with their premium content.

They’ve just unveiled a new feature called My TeachSource, which will be highlighting a new “Topic Pack” on important practical challenges facing educators each month.

The cost is $29 per year, but you can get a free two week subscription to check it out. Even better, though, you get it free (for now, at least) if you’re an ASCD member, which costs just $10 more. I think the money is worth it just to get access to the articles in the great Educational Leadership journal that are behind a paywall.

November 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Front Row” Lets You Create Virtual Classrooms & Monitor Student Progress In English & Math


Unfortunately, I don’t remember who shared Front Row on Twitter a few months ago. I finally got around to looking it over, and it seems like a useful site.

It provides tons of English and Math activities for students, and the ability for teachers to create virtual classrooms and monitor student progress. Unfortunately, in the free version for English, teachers can only assign five activities each month — you have to pay for more. I’m not sure what the math restrictions are…

I’m adding this info to both The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress and to The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Since the site also provides different levels of the same text, which is a particularly nice feature, I’m also adding it to The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”

November 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Resources On Refugees


I’ve previously posted about the hysteria gripping many in the U.S. around the tragedy of Syrian refugees (see Statistic Of The Day: “rejecting Syrian refugees won’t make America safer”). I added that post to The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day, and here are a few more additions to that list.

Refugees: That Time Everyone Said ‘No’ And Bolivia Said ‘Yes’ is from NPR.

Welcomed to Europe is a photo gallery from The Atlantic.

The Refugees Who Come Alone is from The Atlantic.

A perilous journey: Khalid’s flight to Europe from Syria – an illustrated account is a “comic book” from The Guardian.

Uncertain Journeys
is an interactive from The NY Times.

Thousands of Migrants Are Crossing the Balkans on Foot is a photo gallery from The Atlantic.

November 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Good Quote From Ta-Nehisi Coates On Writing & How I’m Using It In Class

Thanks to Mel Katz on Twitter, I learned about an interview The NY Time just published with Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m going to share that quote with my students, and ask them to respond to this writing prompt:

What does Ta-Nehisi Coates say is the best part of writing? To what extent do you agree or disagree with what he believes? To support your position, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction, where you can find many other prompts.

November 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

My ELL Gratitude Lesson – With Student Handout


I’ve previously posted about A Simple & Effective Classroom Lesson On Gratitude, one that I’ve done with my mainstream and Advanced ELL classes.

I’m modifying it this year for my Low Intermediate English Language Learner students.

I’ll first explain the Thanksgiving holiday, and the word “gratitude.”

Then, as in the “original,” I’ll be showing the Soul Pancake video that’s embedded below. The subtitles appear to be ones the video’s creators made and not the automatic ones YouTube generates, so that means they actually reflect what people are saying and not gibberish.

Next, I’ll go over this student hand-out. Here’s what it says:



Thanksgiving is a holiday in the United States.   Many use this time to think about what gratitude. Gratitude is feeling thankful about something or someone.

Close your eyes and think about someone who is important to you. You can think about more than one person, too.

Why is this person important to you?


I am grateful to have _______________________________________________________ in my life

because ___________________________________________________________________. He/she

makes me feel ______________________________________________________________. I would feel

________________________________________________________________ if he/she was not in my



I am grateful to have _______________________________________________________ in my life

because ___________________________________________________________________. He/she

makes me feel ______________________________________________________________. I would feel

________________________________________________________________ if he/she was not in my


I’ll model completing the form.

Next, I’ll call my wife, put her on speakerphone, and say what I wrote about her. I’ll invite students to do the same. As in previous years, I suspect a fair amount of tears will be shed.

We’ll end the lesson with students turning what they’ve written into cards to give the people they’ve written about, or posters we can use with a Shadow Puppet app narration that could also be sent to those in other countries.

Here’s the video I’ll be using:

Feel free to offer suggestions on how I can make this a better lesson.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On “Gratitude.”

November 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Three New & Good Vocabulary Resources


I’ve recently read some good posts on vocabulary instruction. I’m adding these to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary:

ROOT MAP: A Vocabulary Instruction Model is from Literacy SENse.

November 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

If You Ever Have Difficult Conversations With Students Or Colleagues, You’ll Want To Read This


How to Make Sure You’re Heard in a Difficult Conversation is a short article in the Harvard Business Review, and it’s a must-read for any teacher who sometimes has difficult conversations with students or colleagues.

And who doesn’t?

Here’s how it begins:

A difficult conversation has to be a two-way street. You’re unlikely to come to a resolution if you don’t hear the other person out. But equally important when addressing a conflict is getting your message across. So after you’ve thoroughly listened to your counterpart, increase the likelihood that they will see things your way by doing the following.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.