Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Research On How Many Decisions A Teacher Makes Each Day

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Awhile back, someone on Twitter (sorry, I don’t remember who) raised a question about how many decisions a teacher has to make each day.

I, and others, have previously written posts on this topic, and thought it would be useful to bring together what I have – feel free to suggest more:

Quote Of The Day: Have You Ever Wondered How Many Decisions We Teachers Need To Make Each Day?

Improve learning by taming instructional complexity is from Science Daily.

Jazz, Basketball, and Teacher Decision-making is by Larry Cuban.

A Teacher Makes 1500 Educational Decisions A Day is from Teach Thought.

The Qualities of Great Teachers is from ASCD.

September 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Armless Table Tennis Paralympian Teaches A Zillion Lessons

Slate has an article today about armless table tennis Paralympian Ibrahim Hamadtou headlined Egypt’s Armless Table Tennis Player Loses at Paralympics but Hailed as Inspiration.

Here’s a quote from the article, and a video of Hamadtou in action:

not-all-defeats-are

I’m adding this to:

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures

The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”

September 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts On Looking At Our Students Through The Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits

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Looking at our students thought the lens of their assets, not their deficits, has been an underlying them of my teaching career, and I thought I’d bring together many of the posts I’ve written on the topic.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Examples Of Turning Problems Into Opportunities — Help Me Find More

The Best Reasons Why Parents Should Be Looked At As Allies & Not Targets Of Blame

The Best Resources On Students Having A “Purpose For Learning”

Here posts specifically on looking at the assets of our students:

Video: New TED-Talks PBS Education Show Exceeds My Expectations & Ten Minutes Is A “Must-Watch”

Important New Study Looks At Assets, Not Deficits, Of Teen “Defiance”

Getting Organized Around Assets

A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits

Very Important New Report On Looking At ELLs Through A Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits

Study Finds Another Reason To Look At ELLs Through Lens Of “Assets”: They Are Likely To Be More Creative

Students Seeing Assets, Not Deficits, In Their Neighborhoods

Response: ‘Respecting Assets That ELLs Bring To A School Community’

Looking For Assets, Not Deficits

Focusing On Neighborhood Assets — One Of My Favorite Lessons!

A Prime Example Of English Language Learner Assets

English-Learners Are Assets, John B. King Jr. Tells Educators in Bilingual Address is from Education Week.

The Positive Impact Of English Language Learners At An Urban School

A Strength-Based Approach to Teaching ESL is from Cult of Pedagogy.

 

 

September 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Video & Transcript Of President Obama’s 9/11 Memorial Speech & How I Will Use It In Class

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Among the many remembrances of 9/11 today, President Obama spoke at a memorial at the Pentagon.

The transcript of speech can be found here, and I’ve embedded him speaking at the bottom of this post.

I plan on have students first read this portion of the speech:

Groups like al Qaeda, like ISIL, know that…they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America. So, instead, they’ve tried to terrorize in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live. And that’s why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation — a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background — bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one. For we know that our diversity — our patchwork heritage — is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths. This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.

Across our country today, Americans are coming together in service and remembrance. We run our fingers over the names in memorial benches here at the Pentagon. We walk the hallowed grounds of a Pennsylvania field. We look up at a gleaming tower that pierces the New York City skyline. But in the end, the most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be — that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.

They then would respond to this prompt:

What does President Obama think is the best way to honor those who died on 9/11? To what extent do you agree with what he is saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

Feel free to leave suggestions on how I can make this a better learning activity.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction and to The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11.

September 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources For Learning About Google Classroom

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Our district is taking baby steps towards using Google Classroom, and I thought it would be a good time to begin a related “Best” list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Using Chromebooks In The Classroom – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning How To Use Google Docs/Google Drive

The Best Posts To Help Understand Google’s New “Books Ngram Viewer”

The Best Resources For Google Earth Beginners Like Me

The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate

Here are my choices for Google Classroom resources:

You have to start with Alice Keeler, and these two links are good places to begin.

Of course, Vicki Davis’ 100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators is the other key treasure trove.

You probably don’t need to look any further than the sites of those two great educators but, if you’re interested, here are a couple more:

Learn Google Classroom is from Ed Tech Teacher.

Everything You Need To Know In Google Classroom Part One and Part Two.

September 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For “Do Now” Activities To Begin A Class

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“Do Now,” “Walk-In Procedures,” or “Warm-Ups” – they are names for activities that students begin to do right at the beginning of class or, as we try to do in our school, three minutes prior to the bell ringing.

There are lots of options for them. In my English and Social Science classes, students have a book they’re reading and they read silently for five-to-ten minutes. In my IB Theory of Knowledge class, there is generally a “Warm-Up” activity on the board requiring them to write a short response. Afterwards, we divide into six groups to share.

Here are ideas from others for these kinds of openings (please share your own in the comments section):

KQED has a great series of Do Now activities, along with instructions on how to use them.
The Do Now: A Primer is from Doug Lemov.

Doug shares some great Science Do Nows here.

The “Do Now” or “Do Never”? is by David Ginsburg.
Here’s a clip from the Teaching Channel:

September 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Resources For Learning About Total Physical Response (TPR)

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Total Physical Response (TPR) is a key feature in many second-language classrooms, especially with Beginners, and my room is no different.

I thought readers might find it useful if I pulled together a few useful related resources.

To begin with, here are three previous related “Best” lists:

The Best Resources On Students Using Gestures & Physical Movement To Help With Learning

A Quasi “The Best” List On TPRS (TPR Storytelling) For Teaching ESL

The Best “When I Say Jump” Online Sites For Practicing English (this site has a few tools where students can take control by commanding online characters to do what they want them to do. Most of the original sites on that list are off-line now, but there still are a few – let me know if you are aware of others).

One of the best sites on the Web for learning English is Henny Jellema’s Online TPR Exercises — You’ve got to see this site to believe it. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into creating the exercises. However, as he cautions, it’s critical to combine using his online activities with physical TPR lessons.

Now, here are a few resources for just plain good-old TPR that I think offer particularly useful materials and ideas:

Here’s a simple introduction to the method from The British Council.

How to Use Total Physical Response in ESL Instruction

Elementary Example of Total Physical Response

502 Words that Can Be Learned with Total Physical Response (TPR), By Domain

September 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

This Is The Revised & Updated Three-Day 9/11 Lesson I Did This Week (With Hand-Outs & Links)

New York NY ~ Manhattan ~ NYC ~ Old World Trade Center ~ My Photography 1996 ~ Destroyed                                                                             Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Compfight

I’ve previously shared the three-day lesson I usually do with my English Language Learner History classes, and this past week did it again. I made some changes, however, and thought readers might find it useful for me lay-out exactly what I did (and if readers don’t find it useful it will at least be helpful to me next year when I do it again!).

You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11.

FIRST DAY

First, I had students create a K-W-L chart titled 9/11 and had them write what they thought they knew about it. Students then broke into groups of three to share and add anything they might have heard from their group members. Most knew very little, if anything – “people died,” “terrorists attacked America,” “bin Laden did it” were the comments from the few who had heard anything about it prior to Wednesday. I had people share to the entire class and added to a class K-W-L chart on the document camera.

Next, I asked students to write down at least two questions to which they wanted to learn the answers about 9/11. We repeated the sharing process and added to the class K-W-L chart.

I then told the class we were going to watch a few videos and I wanted them to write at least ten new pieces of information they learned from them – particularly the answers to the questions they listed. I showed these videos, stopping often to highlight pieces of information for them to add to their chart:

Brainpop 9/11 Movie (It’s available for free)

10 Iconic 9/11 Images

First Plane Crashing Into The World Trade Center

Second Plane Crashing

Interest and engagement steadily increased during the class, with lots of questions and comments.

I then shared a short video, along with images, from the New York Times about the 9/11 Museum.

I then gave students homework which was a list of questions they had to ask their parents/guardians. I’ve uploaded it here if you want use it or make changes, and will also share it in this post:

Please ask your parents or grandparents these two questions:

1. What do you remember about the terrorist attack in New York City ten years ago on September 11th?

2. What major acts of political and/or criminal violence do you remember in your native country? Please describe what happened.

How did it affect you and your family? How did it make you and them feel?

How did it affect our native country?

Lastly, I asked students to think for a moment how they think 9/11 might have affected their life in any way, had them share with a partner, and then with the class.  All the Muslim students (Afghani refugees) said basically the same two things – “Now people think all of us Muslims are terrorists” and “We probably wouldn’t be here in the United States” – and all the non-Muslim students couldn’t think of anyway it affected them.  We had a brief discussion of how the attack disrupted potential immigration reform.  This last part went okay, but was clearly the weakest part of the lesson.  I need to think more about it, and am open to hearing suggestions — about this and all part of the whole thing!

SECOND DAY

I asked students to take out their K-W-L charts and reminded them about the last video we had seen — about the 9/11 museum.  I explained we were going to watch another video about it, and asked that they add new information they learned to their chart.

I showed this short ABC News video about the opening of the museum.

I then asked them to think about this question without saying anything:

Why do you think they have a museum there?

After a minute, I asked students to share their answer with a partner and we then shared in the class.  There were several responses, including “To remember them.”

I then passed out this “Remembering People Who Died” chart.  You can download it at the link, and here are the questions:

Think of important people who have died — in your family, in your home country.

Who are they?

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________________

How do you remember them?

When do you remember them?

Why do you remember them?

Why do you think we try to remember the people who died on 9/11?

I modeled the “Who are they?” section and listed my father, first wife and Muhammed Ali, and encouraged students to pick people who they are close to and people who might be more well-known.

Then, I modeled a response to “How do you remember them?” (think about them, look at pictures), and then students wrote down their answers.

Next, I modeled a response to “When do you remember them?” (family events), and then students wrote their own.

Then, I had students write answers to “Why do you remember them?” without modeling an answer, and did the same with the last question, “Why do you think we try to remember the people who died on 9/11?”

Students then shared in groups of four, and I called on different ones to share with the class.  There were several many moving responses, though the answers to the last question were all fairly vague – “They were important” or “We want to honor them.” I shared my response, which was two-fold: One, to honor people who help others – all those firefighters and police who sacrificed their lives to save people.  Before I gave my second response, I asked one of the Afghani students to share her comment from the day before about how 9/11 affected her  and she shared that people think all Muslims are terrorists.  I then said another important reason to remember 9/11 was because there were only nineteen Muslim terrorists and asked students how many Muslims they thought were in the world.  They answers millions, and we talked about how nineteen is a small number compared to that large number.

I then had students take out their homework and we did a “speed-dating” sharing with students lined up across from each other recounting the responses they received from their parents.

We were then running out of time, so I showed a couple of other short videos about 9/11: from Fox News and from The Telegraph.

Third Day

Students converted the answers they received from their parents and their K-W-L chart into a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting 9/11 with violent events in their own country (I used print-outs from Read Write Think – Venn Diagram and Compare/Contrast Planning, along with this model Compare/Contrast essay.

Please leave comments with suggestions on how I can make this a better lesson next year!

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