Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

NameCoach Is Ingenious Tool For Helping Pronounce Student Names & It’s Free Through Colorin Colorado!


It’s very important for teachers to pronounce students’ names correctly (see The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names).

Now, a software company has created an ingenious tool called NameCoach to help teachers get them right, and Colorin Colorado, the incredibly support site for educators of English Language Learners, has made arrangements for it to be available for free!

Read all about it, and access the free link, at Colorin Colorado’s article, What’s In a Name? The Story Behind NameCoach.

October 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Excellent & Simple Three-Step Guide To Classroom Management Challenges

Who among us doesn’t sometimes (or perhaps more often?) face classroom management challenges?

You can find lots of good advice at The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

And here’s some more – because we teachers can never have too much good classroom management advice…

The Atlantic just published an article about the work of Ross Greene, and author and child psychologist. It’s titled Rethinking Child Discipline.

Here’s an excerpt:


October 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s A Simple Lesson On Prehistoric Cave Paintings I Did With My ELL World History Class

We’re studying the prehistoric period in my English Language Learner World History class, and did a simple lesson last week that went fairly well. I thought readers might find it a useful one that incorporates reading, writing, speaking and listening domains.

Here are the instructions I gave students (you can also download them here):

Cave Painting Project

Hunter-Gatherers did not have a written language.  Instead, they “wrote” by paintings stories on the walls of caves.

Take notes about what you see in the cave paintings we view using the computer projector.  Look at the page of symbols archeologists have found on caves around the world.  Review the text and images in the book about the tools hunter-gatherers had and the animals that were in their world.

Imagine that a large sheet of paper is the cave of a wall, and your colored pencils are minerals that the Hunter-Gatherers mixed with clay to create colored sticks.

For a few minutes today, we will close our eyes and imagine what our day would be like if we were Hunter-Gatherers.

Then, you will “paint” the story of your day on the paper. 

You will also write a short paragraph explaining in words what happened that day.

The page of symbols I refer to in the instructions can be found here.

The other resources I used can be found at The Best Sites For Learning About Prehistoric Cave Paintings.

The visualization part of the lesson went particularly well, as I walked them through a rather difficult day for a prehistoric person – I assume most days were pretty difficult for them!

After they completed their “drawings,” we did “speed-dating” with students showing and telling their stories.

Here is an example of one of them:


October 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

NY Times Article & Video On Dangers Of School “Zero Tolerance” Policies

The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline is the headline of a good article and accompanying video in The New York Times today.

Here’s an excerpt from the article, and the video is embedded below it:


I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More.

October 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Say Hello To Me At Thursday’s Ed Source’s Symposium!



I’ll be on a panel at Thursday’s Ed Source Symposium on education in Oakland.

Between teaching, writing, family and playing basketball, I don’t get out much to conferences, and would love to meet readers of this blog and other Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook connections.

I understand there are five hundred people registered to attend so, if you’re one of them, please say hello when you see me!

September 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

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


Lately, because of some classroom incidents, I’ve been thinking about ways to help students build empathy. I’ve begun reading, and collecting, related resources, and invite readers to contribute more.

I’ll add this list to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes ; The Best Resources On “Becoming What We Read” and A Very, Very Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Bullying — Please Suggest More.

Here’s what I have so far:

Animated videos help teachers build sense of empathy in students is from Ed Source. I’m not a big fan of Class Dojo (see Best Posts On “Motivating” Students), but the videos might be useful

Building Empathy in Classrooms and Schools is from Ed Week Teacher and is by By Brianna Crowley & Barry Saide.

The Seven Best Short Films to Promote Empathy in ELT is from Kieran Donaghy.

Barack Obama and the ’empathy deficit’ is from The Guardian.

Understanding How Children Develop Empathy is from The New York Times.

Empathy vs. sympathy is from The Grammarist.

A Look Back: “Mr. Ferlazzo, I Need My Post-It, Too”

The Business Case for Reading Novels is from The Harvard Business Review. It reviews research on the role of reading fiction in helping people develop empathy.

Developing Empathy is from Teaching Tolerance.

How Images Trigger Empathy is from The Atlantic.
This Is Real: Building Empathy in Times of Trauma is by Christina Torres at Ed Week.

The Power of Empathy from Gobblynne on Vimeo.

And here are some related useful links:

The science of empathy—and why some people have it less than others is from Quartz.

Study Finds That Empathetic Teachers Enhance Student Motivation – Is Anyone Surprised?

Here’s how to raise a child to be sympathetic is from The Conversation.

Can an Increase in Empathy Lead to a Drop in Suspensions? is from Ed Week.

Empathy is key to political persuasion, shows new research is from Science Daily.

September 27, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Resource Links For ELL Professional Development

Today, Katie Hull and I are leading a professional development session for teachers of English Language Learners, particularly around three areas: Social Emotional Learning, reading and writing.

We’ll have short times for teachers to explore related tech tools, and figured putting links to them in one blog post would be useful to them and, perhaps, interesting to general readers.

My lists and resources on this blog can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to new readers.  If you’re an ELL teachers, you might want to start at these four lists:

The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners

The “All-Time” Best Resources On English Language Learners & The Common Core

“All-Time” Best Web Tools For English Language Learners



You can download – for free – all student hand-outs from both our books at these links:

Navigating The Common Core With ELLs

The ESL/ELL Teachers Survival Guide

You can access free resources from Larry’s other books here.



“Best of” Series



Beginner & Intermediate ELD

Class Blog: U.S. History

Class Blog — World History



The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners

The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California



We Did A Great ‘Growth Mindset’ Lesson With Our ELLs This Week – Here’s The Lesson Plan

The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources

The Best TV/Movie Scenes Demonstrating A “Growth Mindset” – Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips Demonstrating “Grit” – Help Me Find More



The Implications Of Deeper Learning For Adolescent Immigrants and English Language Learner

Getting Organized Around Assets

Here’s a collection of good additional resources on the theme of “assets”: The Best Posts On Looking At Our Students Through The Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits

The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”

The Best Websites To Help Beginning Readers

The Best Websites For Beginning Older Readers

The Best Websites For Intermediate Readers



Best Posts On Writing Instruction


September 26, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Fabulous Free Online Learning Opportunity For ELL Teachers


I regularly sing the praises of the British Council and their Facebook page (which has almost four million “likes”).  It’s one of the The Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers.

They are organizing what looks like a great free online learning opportunity for teachers of English Language Learners from October 5th through October 9th. You can see the entire schedule here and also register at the same place.

The timing might be challenging for teachers in parts of the United States (the sessions start at 12:00 PM in the UK, which means 4:00 AM here  on the Pacific Coast).  But, no matter – the conference will also be recorded and viewable at any time (I assume you have to register to both view it live and to watch the recordings).

I’m certainly hoping to participate in some live portions, and will view some of the recordings for sure…


Skip to toolbar