Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Word Map” Shows Where & How An Individual Word Is Said In Multiple Languages

wordmap

Type any word into Word Map and it will tell you how that word is spoken in many other languages and show you where those languages are spoken.

The audio worked fine for me in Google Chrome, but not in Firefox.

I’m adding it to The Best “Language Maps.”

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.

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January 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “Differentiation Does, in Fact, Work”

Carol Ann Tomlinson has written an excellent Education Week commentary in Education Week headlined Differentiation Does, in Fact, Work.

Here’s an excerpt:

For-many-reasons

I’m adding this post to:

The Best Resources For Learning About Ability Grouping & Tracking — Help Me Find More

The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction

Ed Week has also published a useful piece titled Differentiated Instruction: A Primer.

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January 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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No, No, No! Grading Students On Grit & Gratitude Comes To Our Area

The Sacramento Bee ran a front-page story today headlined Grit and gratitude join reading, writing and arithmetic on report cards.

Fortunately, it primarily discussed a district neighboring ours — Mai Xi Lee, our District’s director of Social Emotional Learning has too good of an understanding of SEL to buy into that kind of report card.

I wrote a Washington Post column explaining why grading SEL qualities is a terrible practice (see Why schools should not grade character traits).

There are many reasons for it being awful, and one big one is because it — as all rewards-based efforts to — backfires. A recent study found that students in KIPP schools that use their character report card demonstrated worse behaviors in SEL skills than those in a school without those kinds of assessments.

These kinds of practices done in the name of Social Emotional Learning is why I wrote another Washington Post column headlined The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning.

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

PostScript:

I should point out that I suspect the reason that some want to grade SEL is because they want schools/teachers/students to place a high value on it. However, as I’ve written elsewhere, there are many ways to achieve that goal without the use of grades.

In addition, here’s a comment from Mai Xi Lee, the director of SEL for our district, about the article:

The fluidity of SEL skills make it challenging to assess. The article is very subjective and compliance-centric, and undermines the whole point of intrinsic motivation and just plain good practice.

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January 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Videos: Intriguing New Documentary On Schools Called “Most Likely To Succeed”

A new documentary on education had its premiere this afternoon at Sundance. It’s called “Most Likely To Succeed.” I learned about it through a tweet by Daniel Pink.

I’m not entirely sure about its thematic focus, but it does include impressive people like Linda Darling-Hammond and Yong Zhao.

Here are some clips, including an interview with the filmmakers at the end:

CLIP 5 from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

MLTS Teaser: Vince from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Yong Zhao from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Linda Darling-Hammond from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

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January 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Additions To Bloom’s Taxonomy Resources

The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom is, by far, the most popular post I’ve ever published here.

I’ve been accumulating new additions to the list, and figured it was time to share them:

A Crash Course in Teaching with Apps That Align to Bloom’s Taxonomy is a BAM! episode hosted by Vicki Davis.

Blooms Taxonomy of Apps for iOS is from eLearning blog.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Circle Diagram is a nice interactive.

I already have a short “Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Finding Nemo” video on the list, but here’s a longer version:

Here’s a simple but useful animated review of Bloom’s:

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January 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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My Interview With NPR: “For the First Time, Majority of Public School Students Live in Poverty”

I was interviewed — briefly — on NPR this morning about the new study finding that 51 percent of U.S. public school students now come from low-income families.

You can read a lot more about that new research at my previous post, “Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty” (Depending On How You Define “Poverty”).

I’m embedding the interview below, and you can also go to the site itself and leave comments, as some have already done…

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January 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

New “Warm-Ups” I’m Doing With My English Language Learners

I’ve written before about different types of “warm-ups” I use with my two-hour (in other words, two-period) combination Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners at the beginning of each of my periods with them (see Here’s A New Reading Activity I Tried Out Today That Went Pretty Well… and Instructional strategies for multi-level classes of English language learners).

In periods when we have access to the computer lab, we meet there and students immediately log-on (well, “immediately” might not be an accurate term — it takes awhile for our older computers to get there :) ) to either Duolingo, Raz-Kids, English Central or Quill. All those sites let teachers create virtual classrooms where teachers can monitor student progress either for free or for relatively low-cost, and students like them.

On Fridays, we do versions of the activities I described in the two links found at the beginning of this post.

During other periods, I’ve been doing another activity that has been going very well.

First, after consulting with students about personal preferences, I paired-up an intermediate ELL with a beginner and they now sit right next to each other at the start of the class. I had identified one book that was accessible to Intermediates (but where they could still learn from) and to Beginners (we had a lot of Facts & Figures, Fourth Edition Reading & Vocabulary Development 1 lying around in the bookroom and Themes For Today will be the next one when we finish Facts and Figures). I have the numbers of a page or two  on the board, and students immediately begin working on them (a student starts passing out the books prior to the bell ringing). I had spoken to the Intermediates about their role as “teachers” prior to doing these warm-ups, and they had enthusiastically agreed (we had also discussed what it meant in practice to be a “teacher” as opposed to someone who just gave the answers).

I walk around class answering questions during the time students are working, and everyone is pretty engaged.  Most of the intermediates take their role as teachers pretty seriously, and they are also clearly learning from the book, too. After ten or fifteen minutes, the books are collected and then the Beginners move to the back and turn their desks to the back window, the intermediates come to the front, and the next part of our class begins.

It’s just one more way to get a large and potentially chaotic class off to a good start…

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