Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Out Of Eden Learn” Looks Like An Incredibly Creative & Engaging Resource


Out Of Eden Learn is is an amazingly creative project from Project Zero at Harvard.

It’s done in association with a seven year walking trek by journalist Paul Salopek who is walking 21,000 miles to retrace the history of human migration from Africa. His journey is sponsored by National Geographic.

In the free Out of Eden Learn platform, teachers create virtual classrooms where they can monitor their students progress during a twelve week program (which can be followed, if desired, by another twelve week program — the project is developing ideas for future ways students can continue connecting). During those times, there are what seems to me to be pretty creative learning activities that students do, including interacting with other classes in other geographical locations.

I’ve got to say that whoever created this program has got to have an incredibly creative mind.

I’m adding this resource to:

The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress

The Best Ways To Find Other Classes For Joint Online Projects

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July 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Create & Submit Your Own (Open)TED Talk


In the newest initiative from TED Talks (and they seem to come pretty frequently – I’ve got to say I think most have been good ideas), they are inviting anyone to create a video of no longer than six minutes (they would prefer it to be no longer than three) and “centers on an idea.” You can then submit it to their new platform called OpenTED.

They’ll select ones to be on the new platform where viewers can vote for which ones they think are best and those could become the TED Talk of the Day.

I’m adding this post to The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks” (& Similar Presentations).

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July 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“The Laziness Dogma” & The Manipulation Of Social Emotional Learning

I’ve written a lot about my support for Social Emotional Learning, as well as my concerns about how some are trying to manipulate it into a “Let Them Eat Character!” strategy to blame low-income students and their families and not provide the necessary economic and political support they, and our schools, need.

In fact, I wrote about this very topic a few days ago – CNN Video “Can Grit Be Taught?” Shows Its Seductive Attraction & Lurking Danger (If You Look For It).

Paul Krugman wrote a column about Jeb Bush’s recent admonition to American workers about how we need to work more and gave that attitude a great name, The Laziness Dogma.

He makes a number of similar points to my concerns about how some are trying to warp the message of SEL.

Here’s an excerpt from his column:


I’m adding this post to The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough.

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July 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Celly” Looks Like A Useful Language-Learning Tool


Last week, The Wall Street Journal wrote about our use of WhatsApp in this past year’s Beginner/Intermediate English Language Learner class.

I was then contacted by Dr. Delia Racines, who told me about the positive experience that she and Ixchell Reyes had using a somewhat similar app called Celly with their English Language Learner students.  I had never heard of Celly, and was impressed that, unlike WhatsApp, it can also be used on a computer where you can see everybody’s messages and is unlikely to be blocked by School District content filters.  I invited Dr. Racines and Ixchell to write a short guest post, along with sharing a link to a lengthier article the two wrote about their experience:

Technology, particularly mobile communication through texting, creates a sense of community among its users. Likewise, infusing technology into instruction that enhances learning creates a sense of community between teachers and students in the classroom, and with students of all ages. Delia Racines & Ixchell Reyes met as Faculty members at USC’s International Academy (formerly “Language Academy”) and, united by their passion for teaching English Learners, always looked for ways to enhance English instruction teaching international English Learners (ELs). They used Celly to create “cells” or groups to communicate urgent information with USC students. More importantly, this could be done by sending group messages without sharing phone numbers or personal information students in class might want to keep private.

The article “Stay Connected: Celly & English Learners” was written for CATESOL to share ideas for using Celly with educators of ELs. Enjoy!

Dr. Delia Racines now serves as an Educational Consultant for Teacher Created Materials as well as a Title I Instructional Coach in Orange County and can be contacted at or

Ixchell Reyes teaches at the USC International Academy and is an ISTE Emerging Leader. Got questions? Contact her at ixchellr[at]

Thanks, Delia and Ixchell!

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July 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two Nice Reviews Of My Latest Book On Student Motivation


Middleweb has published two very positive reviews of my latest book on student motivation, Building A Community of Self-Motivated Learners (you can read a bunch of free excerpts here).

Educator Joanne Bell ends her review by saying “I would recommend this book for all teachers.”

Laura Von Staden ends her review with this paragraph:

“Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners” provides step-by-step lessons with the needed resources for teachers to teach some of the social emotional learning that has been shown to be vital to student success, and to increase student awareness to lead them to intrinsic motivation and ownership of their learning, both in the classroom and in the world.

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