Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 14, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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You Have An Accent, I Have An Accent, Everybody Has An Accent….

 

Last week, I shared Video: “We stigmatize accents, but language belongs to everyone.”

Today, The NY Times has published a column along the same lines: Everyone Has an Accent.

Here are some other previous posts about accents:

Video: “This Map Shows Where American Accents Come From”

Second Statistic Of The Day: Many Cartoon Villains Speak in Foreign Accents

Video: “Why Do We Have Accents?”

July 14, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Guest Post: In Math, 2 is company and 3 is never a crowd

 

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of guest posts that will be appearing on this blog about teaching math to English Language Learners.  I’ll be posting them over the next few weeks, and adding each one to The Best Resources For Teaching Common Core Math To English Language Learners.

The first in the series was “Speaking of Math: It’s time to talk in class” by Alycia Owen.

The second was “Support Reading, Support Mathematics Understanding” by Cindy Garcia.

The third was  Teaching Math To English Language Learners by Hannah Davis.

The fourth was Supporting ELLs in Math Instruction by Nicholas Pesola

The fifth was Quick tips for making ELL students comfortable in the Math Classroom by Sarah Peterson

 

Today’s post is by Alicia Fisher

Alicia Fisher began her teaching career in Indianapolis 8 years ago.  She has taught Kinder, third and fourth grades.  She has been teaching in Maryland for the last 3 years. Her passion is Math/Science and integrated lesson planning. She has one amazing daughter. Alicia loves cooking and gardening when not teaching at school. 

 

Eight years ago, I moved from the financial industry to the education sector.  For the last 3 years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach Math and Science to fourth grade students, many of whom are English Language Learners and Special Education students.  I’ve found that no matter the content, social-emotional learning is crucial in the classroom and essential for the ELL student. Social learning theory proposes that people learn through observation, imitation and modeling.  As educators, we know this to be true. We model the behaviors we want from our students. We model different ways to solve problems. When students don’t know how to respond or what to do, they look to their peers and/or imitate what they have observed.

In our classrooms, we are fortunate enough to have four adults; a general educator, a special educator, a paraprofessional and an ISEA (Itinerant Special Education Assistant).  This gives us the ability, after whole-group instruction, to break into several small groups with targeted direct- teaching. In schools with less adults per room, I would suggest three small groups/stations with at least one being independently run by the students themselves.  Whether you are a proponent for homogenous or heterogeneous grouping, we have found that AT LEAST two ELL students per group helps facilitate risk-taking and more active participation. To have a group of solely English language learners creates an environment where some introverted students sit back and let one or two students do all the talking and hence, all the learning.

Once your groups are established, it’s time to check the M.A.I.L. !

 

  • Meaningful

 

ELL students need to have meaningful content.  Link lessons to real life situations and interests.  Simple math tasks such as counting and graphing can be used to explore student preferences and point out cultural differences.  This provides an opportunity to have an inclusive discussion that enhances the classroom environment. Students may also have an opportunity to teach counting in a different language.  Posting visuals like Spanish counting cards is helpful to this end. For older children, incorporating games and sports increases engagement and affords opportunities to explore diversity in the classroom.

  • Applicable

Students need to see the application of lessons to their lives.  Alignment to Common Core Standards is important, as is the need for students to understand why they are learning specific content.  For primary students, saving an allowance to purchase a favorite toy requires addition and subtraction knowledge and money sense. The same is true for intermediate students with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Starting a business, even as simple as a lemonade stand, requires multiplication and division skills. The ability to calculate the price of a prom dress that is discounted 40% builds a connection between the classroom and everyday life.

  • Integrated

This is my favorite.  Our math class is NOT just a math class.  In order for ELL students to successfully gain English literacy they must have many and varied opportunities to engage with language, both English and their own.   Incorporating picture books and writing has proven to be a successful strategy in our math classroom. For any given topic, Marilyn Burns has a picture book to compliment the lesson.  The Greedy Triangle teaches about geometry and self-acceptance.  Spaghetti and Meatballs for All teaches about problem solving, multiplication and division and inclusion while also offering an opportunity to discuss customs and international foods.  Of course there are a plethora of books related to math concepts that can be used. Even fourth graders still love to be read to.

E.M. Forster is credited as saying, “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?”  Just as important as reading, writing for the ELL student reinforces patterns and language acquisition.  Many classrooms are full of reluctant writers. In the ELA classroom you may even hear groans when the teacher asks students to take out their journals.  In the Math/Science classroom there is a different response which makes integration so important (and so easy – in my experience).

The trick is BEFORE.  BEFORE we complete the Math problems, BEFORE we do the Science investigation, BEFORE we play the fraction game…you have to write in your journal.  Unlock the prompt in the word problem. What is the problem asking you to do? What strategies are you going to use? Write those down, and while you’re at it, write our objective as the title of the page.  When students are being scientists, they naturally write what they expect to happen and what really did happen. I’m currently teaching summer school, and my content is writing. During the first week of class, after all students had written 5 pages of notes and reflections, the teacher of robotics asked them what they had learned in their other class and the students answered with an emphatic ‘Science!’  She continued questioning them and said, ‘Haven’t you been writing?’ and they replied, ‘Oh yeah, that too’ as an afterthought. I was so pleased! Since I am ‘distracting’ them with STEM activities, they don’t even realize the extensive writing they are accomplishing.

  • Lasting

Lastly, see what I did there?  Having a student-centered approach to language acquisition and learning will have a lasting effect.  Teaching content with materials and strategies to meet varied learning styles helps students navigate developmental and learning challenges.  As I previously mentioned, our math stations always include a center with manipulatives, a center focused on reteaching (RTI) or extensions for SpEd students, and an independent center focused on using technology.  These centers are specifically chosen to aid the students that need tactile lessons, need additional time or content, and the students that would rather work alone using the computer. It is of note that even the students that prefer the computers enjoy sharing their work with their group.  Learning is social. Encourage group work and observe how students rise and help each other. You’ll discover strengths in your students and joy in your classroom.

July 13, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Guest Post: Quick tips for making ELL students comfortable in the Math Classroom

 

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of guest posts that will be appearing on this blog about teaching math to English Language Learners.  I’ll be posting them over the next few weeks, and adding each one to The Best Resources For Teaching Common Core Math To English Language Learners.

The first in the series was “Speaking of Math: It’s time to talk in class” by Alycia Owen.

The second was “Support Reading, Support Mathematics Understanding” by Cindy Garcia.

The third was  Teaching Math To English Language Learners by Hannah Davis.

The fourth was Supporting ELLs in Math Instruction by Nicholas Pesola

Today’s post is by Sarah Peterson

Sarah Peterson is a mathematics teacher for 10 years in the New York City Public Schools.  She has taught Algebra 1 and Geometry to the ELL and SPed population throughout her career.  Sarah can be reached via email, speterson@marblehillschool.org.

 

When I tell someone outside of Teacher World that I teach math to English Language Learners I continuously hear the same two responses. The first is “You must speak Spanish ” Well the truth is, I don’t. Not even after six years of taking it in school, and teaching math to ELL’s for ten years. Even if I did, it wouldn’t help me too much because I have students from Ghana, Yemen, Albania and Bangladesh in the room. The second is  “Well isn’t math just numbers, the universal language?” I wish this was true. But numbers in Arabic look different, many countries use a comma as a decimal separator, and most math problems these days are contextual. Word problems full of non content specific vocabulary words. What’s an ELL math teacher to do?

Have compassion

Put yourself in their shoes. To keep me humble I will have students explain a math problem to the class and in their native language. Woah, to hear the slope formula explained in French is a real eye opener. Their brains are overloaded all day with all the new content and learning the language. Give them more time to think and formulate an answer.

Get them talking

Data shows that ELL talk much less in class than their non ELL peers. I break the ice in the beginning of the year by reading a math problem that I put into Google Translate to one of the languages a student in the class speaks. By the time I am done they are laughing so hard, and teasing me about my pronunciation and accent. It shows them we are all learning a new language together and it’s okay if it doesn’t sound perfect every time we speak.

I create a list of sentence starters that the students can use when answering or posing a question. The sentence starters are posted in the classroom and are written in the students notebooks for reference. Some examples are: I agree with you because…., another strategy that can be used is ……, I can connect this to when we learned about…. Until they have the confidence to speak on their own this is very helpful to them.

Modify your speech

When I was in my Masters program in Secondary Math Education, there were no ELL math classes offered. So I had to find my own way. I speak slowly and use more wait time than I would with a native English speaking class. I repeat and paraphrase throughout the lesson. Often having the students paraphrase what I just taught.  But I do not shy away from using the same math vocabulary as I would for native English speakers, I have the students use the vocabulary when answering questions, and they have a vocabulary section in their notebook to reference. I gesture throughout the lesson and reference pictures, graphs, examples whenever possible.

 

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless hurdles your students face. But by taking the time to put them at ease in your classroom, you will see great gains in their understanding of the English language and mathematics.

 

July 12, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Jackpot! Great Interactives To Support Teaching & Learning With Primary Sources

 

The Library of Congress has funded four impressive-looking online tools to help teaching and learning with primary sources:

 

Eagle Eye Citizen:

Eagle Eye Citizen engages middle and high school students in solving and creating interactive challenges on American history, civics, and government with Library of Congress primary sources in order to develop students’ civic understanding and historical thinking skills.

Teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor student progress, and students can create their own interactives, too!

 

Engaging Congress:

Developed by the Indiana University Center on Representative Government, Engaging Congress is a series of game-based learning activities that explores the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges that it faces in contemporary society. Primary source documents are used to examine the history and evolution of issues that confront Congress today.

 

Kid Citizen:

KidCitizen introduces a new way for young students (K-5) to engage with history through primary sources. In KidCitizen’s nine interactive episodes, children explore civics and government concepts by investigating primary source photographs from the Library of Congress. They also connect what they find with their daily lives. KidCitizen includes cloud software tools that let educators create their own episodes and share them with students.

 

My CaseMaker:

Case Maker is a customizable system for inquiry-based learning for K-12 students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Modeled after the ‘observe, reflect, question,’ framework developed under the TPS program, Case Maker guides students to challenge a question, collect evidence, and make a case.

Teachers can also create virtual classrooms here to monitor student progress.

 

I’m adding these resources to:

The Best Resources For Using Primary Sources

The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress

July 11, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Statistics On How Visitors Find This Blog

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Each year, I publish year-end statistics of how visitors find my blog (you can find last year’s post here).

About 18,000 readers subscribe to this blog daily and can read the content without visiting directly. However, another four-to-six-thousand readers do visit to read the posts each day. How do they get here?

Well, for the first six months of 2018, the answer was:

The number one source of referrals was Facebook at 52%. It was only 14% last year, and I don’t really know how or why it increased so much.

Flipboard came in second at 16%. It was at 38% last year and, again, I have no explanation for the change.

Twitter was at 14%, a four percent drop from last year.

Pinterest referred 4% of visitors – it was 6% last year.

There were a lot of sites referring one percent or below of visitors.

I’m never really sure what any of this means, but I’m very open to hearing anybody else’s analysis…..

July 11, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2018 – So Far

 

I continue these end-of-year “The Best…” lists…

I’m adding this post to All 2018 Mid-Year “Best” Lists – In One Place!.

You might want to explore The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2018 – So Far, too.

The title of this “The Best…” list is pretty self-explanatory. What you’ll find here are blog posts and articles this year (some written by me, some by others) that were, in my opinion, the ones that offered the best practical advice and resources to teachers this year — suggestions that can help teachers become more effective in the classroom today or tomorrow. Some, however, might not appear on the surface to fit that criteria, but those, I think, might offer insights that could (should?) inform our teaching practice everyday.

For many, the headlines provide enough of an idea of the topic and I haven’t included any further description.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2017 – Part Two

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2017 – So Far

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2011

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2010

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2009

In addition, you might find these useful:

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice In 2011

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2010

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2018- So Far:

As usual, I’ve got to start off with by suggesting readers check out the posts at my teacher advice column at Education Week Teacher.  Hundreds of top teachers have provided guest responses to just about every imaginable education question, and they’re all categorized and easy to access.

A related resource are the eight-minute radio shows that accompany each Ed Week post.  Those are not behind Ed Week’s paywall, and you can find them at All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions.

Big New Study On Reading Instruction

Essential Classroom Management Advice: Listen For The Emotions, Not The Words

In A Surprise To No Teacher Anywhere, New Studies Find Positive Teacher/Student Relationships Help Learning

#DISRUPTTEXTS Looks Like An Exceptional Resource Where English Teachers Can Learn & Contribute

Guest Post: Classroom Management – Redirecting without Escalating

Flipping “Pits To Peaks”

Treasure Chest Of Immediately Applicable Motivation Strategies

Here Are The Two End-Of-Year Projects Students Do In My TOK Classes

Harvard Business Review Publishes Great Article On The Importance Of Asking Questions

Guest Post: Integrating Writing Into Math Classes

New Report On Everything You Wanted To Know About Metacognition, But Were Afraid To Ask

Good Classroom Management Advice In The NY Times Today

No Surprise: Another Study Finds That Having An Authentic Audience Results In Improved Performance

A Few Simple Phrases To Help Keep Students Engaged

Teachers – And Everybody Else – Can Learn A Lot From This Southwest Pilot’s Audio Recording

Guest Post: How One Of Our Teachers Has Approached The Stephon Clark Shooting In Class

ALL Student Reproducibles From Our New Book Are Now Available To Everybody!

The Value Of Student “Opinion” Surveys

New Useful Lesson On “Practice”

Study Finds Calling Transgender Youth Their Chosen Name Helps – Teachers Should Follow That Guide For Every Student

“Micro-Writing for English Learners” Is My New Article In ASCD’s “Educational Leadership”

Best Article Ever To Have Students Read About Cellphones!

“How Smart Do You Make Others Around You?” Has Been A Useful Question For Me To Ask In Class

“Active Listening: Using Times Videos, Podcasts and Articles to Practice a Key Skill”

New Meta-Analysis Identifies Instructional Strategies To Help Struggling Adolescent Readers

Intriguing New Study On “Student Engagement” & How To Define It

New Study Documents The Benefits To School That Are Obvious To Us, But Maybe Not So Obvious To Our Students

Telling Stories In Class Like Abraham Lincoln

Geography Writing Frames For ELLs (They Can Be Used In Other Subjects, Too)

Study Finds That Encouraging Students To Visualize Themselves As Successful Helps Them Overcome Challenges

Guest Post: Getting Started With Flipgrid

A Fourth Step: “I Do, We Do, You Do” and then “You Teach”

Here’s How I’m Trying To Incorporate More Retrieval Practice In Class – Let Me Know How I Can Improve

We [White] Teachers Should Look At This Research When We Feel We Don’t Show Bias In The Classroom

Lots Of Good Tidbits On Helping Students Motivate Themselves

Here’s An Article & Questions We Used For A Good Faculty Discussion On Classroom Management

This Is Why I Make It A Priority To End Each Class & School Year On A Positive Note

Storytelling As A Classroom Management Strategy

Helping Students Create “Public Narratives”

No Surprise But A Good Reminder – Critical Feedback Generally Only Works If People Feel They Are Valued

Am I The Only Teacher In The World Who Had Not Heard Of The “Stapleless Stapler”?

New Research Quantifies The Vocabulary Improvement Generated By Reading – Here’s How I Plan To Use It In Class

This Is The Advice I Try To Follow Every Time I Have A Conflict With A Student Or Someone Else

July 10, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Role Of Empathy In Classroom Management

How to Develop Empathy for Someone Who Annoys You is an interesting and useful article in the Harvard Business Review, and it’s very applicable to the classroom.

It’s worth reading the entire article, but here are a few key words of advice it offers to apply empathy to improve difficult relationships:

Do:

Make a concerted effort to understand your colleague’s perspective and feelings.
Engage in acts of kindness and compassion toward your annoying colleague.
Learn to recognize clues that you’re having a negative emotional reaction toward your colleague. Take deep breaths and stay calm.

Don’t:

Take your colleague’s behavior personally and lash out. Instead, look inward and ask yourself: What’s causing me to react this way?

 

I’m adding this info to:

Best Posts On Classroom Management

The Best Resources On Helping To Build Empathy In The Classroom – Help Me Find More

July 9, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Tools For Academic Research

Doing academic research can be a pain-in-the-butt, especially if you don’t teach at a four-year institution that has lots of institutional access to it.

But there are tools out there that make it easier, and I’ve written about several of them.

I thought it would be useful to bring them all-together in one post. Let me know if I’m missing anything:

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

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

New Tool for Open-Access Research is from Inside Higher Ed.

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