Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 18, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Resources For Reading Instruction


This is the seventh post in a weekly series I’m creating that will highlight the Best “Best” lists in a particular topic I have posted over the years.

The previous posts in this series have been:

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Tools For Learning About Art & Creating It

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Tools For Teaching About Economics & Jobs

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Resources For Teaching About Health

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Useful Multilingual Resources

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Online Learning Games

“Best” Lists Of The Week: Resources For Writing Instruction

These will be lists I’ve also recently reviewed and revised so they are up-to-date.

You can find all my nearly 2,000 continually updated “Best” lists here.


Here are the lists I’ve revised and updated that share resources on reading instruction (I’ll be publishing a separate collection on vocabulary instruction):


The Best Posts On Students Reading Aloud Individually In ESL Class — But I Need Your Help Finding Research On The Topic

The Best Websites To Help Beginning Readers

The Best Websites For Beginning Older Readers

The Best Websites For Intermediate Readers

The Best Sites To Teach ELL’s About Libraries

The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

The Best Sources For Free & Accessible Printable Books

The Best Sites For Creating Sentence Scrambles

The Best Resources On The Study Finding That Reading Books Makes You Live Longer

The Best Resources On Which Is Best – Reading Digitally Or Reading Paper?

Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them

The Best Collections Of Funny Signs (For Use In English Classes)

The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading

The Best Articles & Sites For Teachers & Students To Learn About Phonics

The Best Fun Videos About Books & Reading

A Beginning List Of The Best Folklore & Myth Sites

The Best Resources For World Read Aloud Day

The Best Resources For World Literacy Day

The Best Posts & Articles About Why Book “Leveling” Is A Bad Idea

The Best Resources On “Close Reading” — Help Me Find More

The Best Resources On Close Reading Paintings, Photos & Videos

The Best Resources For Banned Books Week

The Best Sites For Learning About The Alphabet

A Beginning List Of The Best Posts & Articles On Accelerated Reader

The Best Videos & Articles Where Athletes Explain How Reading & Writing Well Has Helped Their Career – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning About Balanced Literacy & The “Reading Wars”

The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!

The Best Resources On Reading Fluency (Including How To Measure It)





March 17, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Very Useful Twitter List For ELL/ESL/ELT Educators


Last year, I began a Twitter list of ELL/ESL/ELT educators and, as you can see from the above screenshot, it’s grown both in number of teachers on the list and in number of subscribers to it.

I think it’s very useful and, if you are an ELL educator, I’d encourage you to subscribe.  It’s very easy to do so if you’re on Twitter – it just takes a click.

And please let me know if you’d like me to add you to it, though be aware that I do check out people’s timeline and only add them if I see at least some tweets specifically related to ELLs.

March 15, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is So Cool! OK Go Teams Up With Google & Creates Classroom Materials For Their Videos

I’ve previously posted some of the group OK Go’s music videos, and was pleased to read today that they had teamed-up with Google to create the OK Go Sandbox, a collection of classroom activities connected to their music.

The lessons go along with these three videos (in the unlikely event you haven’t seen them already):

March 14, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post: Here’s The Lesson We’re Doing Prior To The Student Walkout

Editor’s Note: This is the lesson that my talented student teacher, Kelsie Burnell, will be using in our ELL U.S. History class today – right before the student walkout. Bear in mind that many of our students will not be familiar with the history of school shootings in the U.S. I thought readers might find it useful and she agreed to let me share it here.

You might also be interested in A Compilation Of Resources To Support Student Organizing.


Lesson Plan

Developed by Kelsie Burnell

Warm-Up Question:
What does it mean to be a citizen?  What does a “good” citizen do? Provide examples. Try to be specific.
  1. Call on students to share their anwers
  2. Discuss what it means to be a citizen. Definition from, “An inhabitant of a city or town.”
  3. Ask students, “What do you think we should all be doing as citizens of Sacramento?” “What could being an “active” citizen look like?”  “What should we not be doing?”
  4. Have students share with their elbow partners first
  5. Call on students to answer
-Introduce the idea of school shootings, pass out worksheet
-Show first video, ask students to write down their thoughts:

-Show second video

-Show third video


-Have students discuss what they saw and how they felt with their partner
-Explain the purpose of the walkout scheduled for today, and what it means for those seventeen lives lost
-Show the History of Protests video

-Students follow along during Read Aloud of President Obama’s 2016 Speech
-Students answer their questions on their worksheet about what it means to be a good citizen
-Students share with their partners and then share out as a class
-Show final video of Parkland students organizing


Brainstorm on the board:
-Ideas about how students can organize and show support for the students in Parkland and the safety of students and their families everywhere
-Ways to try to help avoid a school shooting on our own campus (What can students/parents/teachers/staff/administration do to make our campus safe?)

March 10, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s What I’ll Be Up To Over The Next Six Months


I thought readers might be interested in hearing some of the projects I’ll be working on over the next six months (and this post is also an excuse for me to begin to get a bit better organized, too!):

  • Our next book, The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students, will be published in the first week of April – three weeks from now!  Look for excerpts appearing in different places later this month. Katie Hull and I will also be doing a Facebook Live event with Education Week, along with a Twitter chat.  The book is filled with hundreds of practical ideas and over one hundred downloadable student hand-outs.  If you liked our previous two books, we think you’ll love this one (and we think you’ll also love the revised edition of our first book, The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide, which will be coming out in a couple of years)!
  • Diane Staehr Fenner is leading a webinar on March 19th on grading for English Language Learners, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts there, too.  You can read what Katie and I think at Grading English Language Learners – A Perspective From Two Teachers. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already registered for the free event, you won’t be able to participate because it maxed out at 500 teachers weeks ago.  Personally, I’m looking forward to doing more learning from others during the event than talking.
  • I’m working with fifteen ELLs to do a series of professional development sessions at our school.  Two have been completed and there are several more to go this spring.  You can read about it at Guest Post: Professional Development in Education – Involving Everyone, and I’ll be posted some videos from the trainings.
  • I’ll be planning an exciting class we’ll be piloting next year for Long-Term English Language Learners (see Here’s My Tentative Plan For A Support Class For Long-Term English Language Learners – Tell Me How I Can Make It Better).  It should be exciting!
  • This summer, I’ll be writing the fourth book in my series on student motivation. You can get tons of free resources from the previous three books in the series here.
  • Katie Hull and I are working with Education Week to create a series of video on differentiated instruction and on other topics (you can read some of our thoughts at an article we wrote awhile back: The Five By Five Approach To Differentiation Success. I’m thinking that the first ones might be out this summer.  You can see the first animated video I did with Ed Week here – it’s on transfer of learning.

It looks like I’ll be keeping busy!  Happily (for me, at least), I’ll be working with Katie on some of the major projects!

March 9, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Iris.ia” Seems Like A Very Useful Research Tool

I just learned about Iris.ia from Nik Peachey, who is always an excellent source of resources.

Iris.ia lets you paste the url address of any academic paper or TED Talk and then, in return, it provides you with a free interactive mosaic of related research papers.

I tried it with Dan Pink’s TED-Talk on motivation, and none of the papers that it linked to (and that I checked) were behind a paywall.

It seems like it would be very useful research tool.

And, in case you are looking for additional research tools, here are a few more that I’ve posted about in the past:

Author Path is a free tool to help university students write theses or journal articles. I had my daughter check it out (she just completed her Masters Thesis), and she says it would have been very helpful to her.

“Google Scholar” Alerts Could Be Very Helpful For Research

The Best Commentaries On Sci-Hub, The Tool Providing Access to 50 Million Academic Papers For Free

Sci-Hub Loses Domain Names, But Remains Resilient

“Unpaywall” Is New Tool For Accessing Research Papers For Free

Let me know what I’m missing!

March 8, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post: Professional Development in Education – Involving Everyone


Editor’s Note: Phil Taylor is a teaching colleague who is an exceptional educator and researcher.  He has been an educator for nineteen years.  After a recent professional development at our school, he shared some thoughts and I invited him to turn it into a guest post.  Video clips from the training he discusses will appear on this blog soon.  He also contributed a previous post last year, Guest Post: Teacher Action Research. I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.

I experienced a professional development (PD) recently that made me wonder, why don’t we do this all the time? It was a PD to help teachers understand how to address the needs of our English language learners (ELL). The teacher leading the PD was well-organized, well-researched and presented relevant, practical solutions to ongoing problems we were facing when working with mainstreamed English language learners (ELL) in our classes. This teacher also happens to be the author of this blog – Larry Ferlazzo. His position did not influence my thinking on his PD, however. Larry has been a peer of mine for some time, and he would have heard my complaints, as well as his peers if his PD fell short, despite his renowned status as an education blogger. We are a tough crowd here at Burbank!

In addition to being well-organized and well researched, Larry brought ELL students in to share their point of view about the solutions he presented. Students shared their experiences with teachers and classes who did, and did not use Larry’s solutions, and explained what kinds of techniques helped them to become more effective learners, and what teacher moves caused them to struggle. Teachers could ask follow up questions. It was engaging, relevant, and from an organizational standpoint, I felt it brought PD to a whole new level.

Not only did we benefit from hearing about relevant practices, we got to hear about and probe how such practices impacted the learners themselves. These ELL students also benefited from the experience of a high-pressure environment where their English language competence was on display. In this case, it was more powerful than any exam. Unlike an exam, the students were presenting meaningful, engaging information that was authentically useful to the teachers at their school. These kids were doing real professional work, as well as engaging in tasks that allowed them to prepare and practice their English for a high pressure, meaningful experience.

What if this is how we did PD? What if PD involved student reflection that highlighted and presented student experiences and struggles? In this way, PD would not only more effectively educate teachers about how to improve their practice, but would allow students to evaluate and reflect upon their learning experience in a way that they know can make a meaningful difference to their learning community. This would be more than an exam! This would be authentic involvement at a high level.

Such a model of PD is appealing to me also because it engages the whole learning community in the event. It professionally develops everyone involved, students and teachers, as well as provides a powerful opportunity for teachers and students to impact one another in deep and meaningful ways. Ultimately, PD should ‘develop’ every participant in the learning community. Now that I’ve seen this model of PD, I wonder why we haven’t been trying to include students in our PD from the start?

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