Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 11, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: “Immigrants In Our Community Are A Gift”

Gail Desler – with the support of educators and students – has organized the fabulous Time Of Remembrance website documenting Japanese-American internment in World War Two, along with the Vietnam War.

Because of my work with Hmong refugees, I was honored to received an invitation to be interviewed as part of the project.

The full video is thirty-six minutes along. ELL teachers might find it useful, since I discuss a wide-ranging list of issues, including the importance of looking at our students through the eyes of assets and not deficits, inductive learning, concept attainment, parent engagement, professional development and many other items of possible interest.

If you go to the video at the Time of Remembrance website, it has an outline and summary of what’s covered in different sections of the video.

I’ve embedded the full video below. In addition, I’ve also embedded a short clip that Time Of Remembrance has created from the original full-length video:

February 2, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Right – & Wrong – Way To Apologize

I have often written about the importance of teachers saying that they’re sorry when we mess-up, which is often. You can see many of those past posts at The Best Resources On The Importance Of Saying “I’m Sorry.”

Now, The Science of Us, a feature of New York Magazine, has published a very useful article headlined The One Word That Can Screw Up an Apology.

In addition to explaining the damage “but” can do, it also offers a lot of other good advice for making effective apologies…

February 2, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s A Lesson – & A Template – That Intermediate ELL Students Taught Beginners

I’m a fan of regularly trying to create situations where students teach their classmates (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More).

This year, my Intermediate ELL History classes, led by talented student teachers, have been teaching my Beginning ELL students.

The template of the lessons (lasting fifteen or twenty minutes) is having each Intermediate teach one-or-two Beginners in small groups. They introduce six or so new words and help Beginners learn their meaning. Then they introduce a very short-and-simple Read Aloud that uses those pre-taught words. Then, they show their “students” a related picture and teach a few more words related to the image. Finally, the “teachers” helps the “students” write sentences about the picture on little whiteboards.

You can download the student/teacher template and planning sheet here.

One of my student teachers, Mary Stokke, developed yesterday’s lesson on knights in the Middle Ages. You can download it here. Afterwards, everybody watched the move Excalibur for the rest of the period.

Next, the history students will start creating their own lessons (based on a common topic the class has studied) to teach to the Beginners.

It seemed to go pretty well.

Suggestions for how to improve it are welcome.

January 31, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Everything Is Crazy, So What Do We Teachers Do In Class This Week?

Things continue to get crazier and crazier – The Wall, refugee ban, firing of the Attorney General.

Today, I just had student share how they were feeling, assured them they were welcome at our school, and told them to let me know if anyone – inside or outside of school – made them or their families feel unwelcome.

Tomorrow, our ELL U.S. History class will do a refresher lesson on the Branches of Government and separation of powers.

What Do I Say to Students? is from Teaching Tolerance and is filled with good suggestions and resources.

Here is a lesson plan that is perfect for this week: NY Times Learning Network Provides Excellent Lesson Plan On Refugee Ban

3 Ways to Address the Latest News on Immigration With Your Students is new from Facing History.

I wrote a series of posts last year on Islamophobia and schools.

A Look Back: “Wash. Post Publishes Letters From My Students To Trump (ELL Sentence Frames Included)” is also still timely and useful.

Feel free to offer other ideas and resources in the comments section.

January 29, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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NY Times Learning Network Provides Excellent Lesson Plan On Refugee Ban

The New York Times Learning Network has just published an excellent lesson plan on President Trumps refugee ban, Analyzing Trump’s Immigration Ban: A Lesson Plan.

It’s great “as is,” but it would also be easy to modify by adding different or more up-to-date (things are moving fast) resources from The Best Resources For Learning About President Trump’s Executive Orders On Immigration & Refugees.

Good luck to us all as we grapple with this issue in our classrooms!

January 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Good Advice On “De-Escalating Power Struggles In The Classroom”

Power struggles in the classroom are bad news. And, to modify an old community organizing adage: “Sometimes the only worse thing than losing a power struggle is winning one.”

Our School District puts out a monthly “Equity Newsletter,” and the most recent issue had a good article headlined “Resources For De-Escalating Power Struggles In The Classroom” by Jacki Glasper (I couldn’t find a way to link to its webpage, so you can download it here).

Here is an excerpt from the article sharing good suggestions. My colleagues and I talked about it and, though we all agreed the ideas are good ones, we did have concerns about some of the suggested language used, which I note in the excerpt:

1. Recognize that the power struggle is happening. “I can see that we are going to get into an argument, so let’s talk about this later.”  [Not the best phrasing, particularly “I can see that we are going to get into an argument.”  Recommended alternative language: “I’m sorry we’re having some tension – let’s talk about this later.”]

2. PEP Talk – Privacy, Eye Contact, Proximity. Talk to kids privately. This can be just a quick whisper in their ear. If they shout out, ignore them and pretend you don’t know what they are talking about. You can also move on and find them later to discuss the issue.

3. Listen. Hear what the student is really saying or expressing to you. Difficult behaviors are often a symptom of something else. Is the student seeking attention? Does the student feel “dumb” or hopeless?

4. Acknowledge & Agree. Let the student know you hear him or her and acknowledge his or her feelings. Say you’re sorry even if you don’t think you did anything wrong. For example, you can say: “I’m sorry if I said or did something to get you so angry. Maybe you can tell me what I did so I won’t make the same mistake again.”

5. Defer. Let the student know that you will discuss this issue at a later time. Tell students, “I will not always stop teaching to deal with a behavior. I will deal with it when I am ready.” [Not the best phrasing – it doesn’t communicate “de-escalation.” Instead, say “I’m sorry we’re having some tension – let’s talk about this later.”]

6. Walk Away! Students don’t want to look bad and neither do you as the teacher. Allow students to save face. Let them talk under their breath. If they are doing what we want them to do, then it really doesn’t matter who has the last word – you’ve won the struggle. Use humor and don’t take yourself so seriously.

Do you have other simple advice?

I’m adding this post to Best Posts On Classroom Management.

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