Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Onion: “Teacher Asks Students To Split Into 2 Groups To Simulate Ideal Class Size”

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You’ll want to read the funny and sad piece in The Onion that’s titled “Teacher Asks Students To Split Into 2 Groups To Simulate Ideal Class Size.”

I’m adding it to The Best Education Articles From “The Onion.”

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter.

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September 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All My Ed Week Posts On “Relationships” From The Past 3 Years — In One Place!

My latest Ed Week Teacher column brings together all my posts there from the past three years on the topic of “relationships.”

Here’s an excerpt:

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I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students.

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September 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The New York Times Learning Network Begins Another Year!

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The New York Times Learning Network, one of the best resources out there for teachers (I said that before I began writing for it, and I’ll continue to say it), just published a useful post describing its upcoming activities for the new school year.

Last year, I wrote a short weekly post about teaching activities for English Language Learners that included a student interactive. The previous year, I wrote a lengthy monthly post sharing a number of ELL teaching ideas. You can see them all here.

This year, I’ll be returning to the more sane monthly posts — each focused on a theme. My first one should appear in a few weeks.

But, if you’re teaching ELLs, you’ve got two years of activities there to keep you busy til then :)

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September 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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School Starts Tomorrow!

The first day of our new school year is tomorrow! It should be a great year!

I suspect that there might be fewer posts on this blog than usual over the next few days — I’m usually pretty exhausted at the end of the first two-or-three days of school until I get my “teacher legs” back. And any remaining energy will be devoted to evening basketball and memorizing student names, which will leave little for social media.

However, I’m sure I’ll be back to a normal blogging schedule by the weekend.

For what it’s worth, here is what my classroom looks like today:

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August 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Dilbert Demonstrates How The Concept Of “Grit” Can Be Misused

You might also be interested in my Washington Post piece, The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning, where I elaborate on how Social Emotional Learning skills like grit have a place in the classroom, but also have to be kept in its place.

The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit” might also be of interest.

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August 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Look at Life Through Autistic Eyes”

Two film-making students:

created an animated simulation of life through the eyes of a non-verbal child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) “and her constant struggle to cope with the world around her,” as they write in their artist statement.

That description comes from an article in the New York Times headlined Look At Life Through Autistic Eyes.

Here’s the video:

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes, which contains other similar resources.

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August 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Four New & Useful Links About Instruction

Here are several new and useful links about classroom instruction:

New Study: Engage Kids with 7x the Effect is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement.

Want to Take Over My Class? Be My Guest! is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to the same list.

Encouraging student questioning is by Warren Berger. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions.

8 Questions Teachers Should Ask When Giving Assessments is from Teach, Learn, Grow. I’m adding it to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.

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August 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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ASCD’s Ed Leadership Is Online – Here Are My Recommendations

The newest issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership publication is now online, and its theme is Motivation Matters.

Here are three pieces that are not behind a paywall that I would highly recommend:

Rick Wormeli has a typically great article that’s titled Motivating Young Adolescents. It includes a list of “Top 12 Demotivators” that I think should be taped to every teacher’s desk.

Motivated to Learn: A Conversation with Daniel Pink can also be found in the issue, and Dan always has important thoughts to share and that are worth hearing.

Research Says / Curiosity Is Fleeting, but Teachable is an excellent piece by Bryan Goodwin.

I’m adding Bryan’s piece to The Best Posts On Curiosity.

I’m adding the others to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

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August 27, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“The Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Management: Your 25 Best Tips”

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Apparently, long ago when, for awhile, I moderated a classroom management forum at Edutopia, I invited readers to share their best classroom management tips.

Well, Edutopia just put them all together in a a nice slideshow that I think readers will find useful.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

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August 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Zaption Adds “Ready-To-Use” Video Gallery

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Zaption is a tool that lets you easily add videos with interactive questions for students, and then you can track student progress. They recently made it free-of-charge. It’s on A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites list.

Today, they announced a “gallery” of ready-to-use video collections that have been created by educators and that others can use. They look pretty good, especially the U.S. History ones.

Our school’s technology capacity is pretty antiquated, so I don’t anticipate spending a lot of time creating new online content for my U.S. and World History English Language Learner students (since who knows what tech will be available when and, if it is available, if it’s going to work — a relatively minor inconvenience at an otherwise remarkable school). However, having these kind of resources available to reinforce what students are learning in the classroom can come in very handy. The tracking of student progress is quite easy — they don’t even have to register or sign-in to the site in order to answer the questions and have me view their responses.

So I anticipate posting links to a number of them on my U.S. History and World History class blogs.

I’m also adding Zaption to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

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August 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two Of The Most Student Accessible Articles I’ve Seen On Self-Control

I’ve written a lot — both on this blog and in my books — on strategies to help students motivate themselves to develop self-control.

Here are two of the most accessible, if not THE most accessible, pieces I’ve seen for students to read on the topic (both are from Fast Company):

6 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN WAYS TO BOOST YOUR SELF-CONTROL

5 QUICK TRICKS TO BOOST YOUR WILLPOWER

I’m adding both to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

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August 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Creating Positive Relationships With Students

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Creating the Ideal Relationship with Your Students was the topic of a recent BAM! Radio show where I was one of three guests.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students.

And, speaking of BAM! Radio, in two weeks I’ll start doing new ten-minute weekly broadcasts with educators writing responses for my Ed Week teacher advice column. In the meantime, you can listen to ones from last “season.”

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August 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Personal Writing Based on The Times’s Sunday Routine Series” Is A Nice Idea From The Learning Network

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Reader Idea | Personal Writing Based on The Times’s Sunday Routine Series is a very useful post at The New York Times Learning Network.

It’s a simple teacher-suggested lesson plan that includes some very useful student hand-outs that is particularly timely at the beginning of the school year.

I obviously didn’t write it but, for now (until I create another “Best” list), I’ll be adding it to My Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

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August 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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You Might Find My New U.S. & World History Class Blogs Useful

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I’ll be teaching English Language Learners World History, United States History, Geography, and English this year (along with my IB Theory of Knowledge classes).

I’ll be revising and updating my very extensive U.S. History class blog and creating an entirely new one for World History (I’m just beginning to add content to that one now).

You can also find a list of all my blogs here.

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August 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Watch This Video That Uses Legos To Illustrate U.S. Economic Inequality…& Get Depressed

Here are new additions to The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality:

The Brookings Institution has created this video to illustrate the lack of economic mobility in the United States to accompany this report:

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead from NPR is a good piece to read their shares similar conclusions.

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August 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two Good Videos On How We Learn & How I Plan To Use Them In Class

The Khan Academy (you might want to see The Best Posts About The Khan Academy) recently unveiled three new videos that they have apparently developed with the help of Carol Dweck.

Their main new one is pretty decent and titled “You Can Learn Anything.” It’s the first video embedded below.

The one I really like, though is of John Legend. I don’t agree with his education politics, but he tells a great story of how and what he learned on his way to success. It’s called “Success Through Effort.” That’s the second video embedded below.

I’m not as thrilled with their third video, which has Sal Khan talking with Carol Dweck. You can find better videos of her explaining the growth mindset at The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

At some point during this school year, as a reinforcing activity for our lessons on how we learn and the growth mindset, I plan on showing these two short videos and have students respond to this prompt:

According to these videos, how do we learn? Do you agree with what the videos are saying? To support your opinion you may use examples from your own experiences, your observations of others, and any of your reading.

I’m adding this post to:

My Best Posts On Writing Instruction

The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”


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

You might also be interested in Here’s The “Growth Mindset” Article & Prompt We’re Using As Part Of Our Semester Final

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August 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Good Resources On Asking Questions

5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners is a nice piece by Warren Berger that appeared in Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions.

Here’s a short video of Warren Berger talking about the importance of questions. I’m adding it to The Best Videos Showing The Importance Of Asking Good Questions:

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August 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Reminder: All Student Hand-Outs From My Student Motivation Book Available Free To Download

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My two books on student motivation were published by Eye On Education, and older copies have a code you need to type on the Eye on Education website in order to access the many student figures in the book so they could be downloaded.

Eye on Education was bought by Routledge, and I was pleased to see that they made all the all those figure freely available to everybody — whether you bought the book or not.

Up until last month, when you clicked on the original Eye On Education site, you were automatically redirected to the new Routledge site. Because of a technical snafu, though, it now leads you to a dead link. Routledge says it will be fixed on September 1st.

So, I just wanted to remind people that, if you want to download the hand-outs, this post will give you the easy details and links.

You can also access lots of free materials from ALL my books here.

Look for the third book in my series on student motivation in early 2015!

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August 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances”

As regular readers of this blog and my books know, I’m a big believer in inductive learning (see More Info On Why Inductive Learning Is So Effective and Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe).

One effective way to use inductive learning is through the use of data sets. You can see examples of these in my ASCD article, Get Organized Around Assets and in a couple of pieces I’ve written for The New York Times.

A key element of inductive learning is having students put the items or passages into categories — that’s a given.

However, a step that many teacher miss is having students provide evidence to support their decision to put something into a particular category. It can be as simple as highlighting a word or phrase, or just writing a sentence explaining a student’s reasoning.

NPR just published a piece this morning on some research that reinforces the importance of this step. The study itself is a bit convoluted so, instead of describing it here, I’m just going to suggest you go over to their site and read Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances.

Here’s an excerpt:

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