Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Good Resources On Assessment

I’m adding these first two posts to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment:

Assessing What Matters is from ASCD Educational Leadership.

6 Types Of Assessment Of Learning is from Teach Thought.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Resources On Grading Practices:

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February 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here Are Text Messages We’re Sending Home To ELL Students & Parents – Share Your Ideas

Alma Avalos, the extraordinary bilingual aide who works with me, and I are going to start intensively using Remind to send weekly text messages to our students and their parents (of course, only if parents agree).

This idea builds on the studies I’ve previously posted about that have shown these kinds of messages to parents have resulted in positive learning outcomes for their children.

I’m compiling a list of the kinds of texts, which will be sent in Spanish (thanks to Alma — my Spanish is not up to the task), that would be most beneficial to English Language Learners.

Here’s a list of what I’ve come up with so far (and I’ve only spent a few minute on it), and I’m hopeful that readers will contribute a lot more. I’ll then compile it into a master list and share:

For Students:

Please remember to use Duolingo at least one-half hour each night.

Do you have a book in English to read? If so, please read it. If not, please get one from class.

Please share with your parents what you learned in school today

For Parents:

Please remember to ask your child to tell them the English words they learned today.

Please remind your child to use the website called Duolingo for at least one-half hour each night.

Please encourage your child to read books in English.

Please encourage your child to watch movies in English with subtitles in English to help them learn.

You might want to ask your child to label different things around the house with the English word for those objects.

Consider asking your students to read to you in English.

We have school staff that speak several languages. Don’t hesitate to call the school if you have questions or concerns.

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February 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Sacramento City District Prioritizes Social Emotional Learning

Mai Xi Lee, the Directory of Social Emotional Learning for the Sacramento City Unified School District (and former long-time assistant principal at the school where I teach), is really doing an extraordinary job.

Here’s a video news report on this week’s SEL conference she organized:

Sacramento city schools focus on emotional learning is a recent Sacramento Bee article detailing her efforts.

Here’s a quote from it:


You might also be interested in The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

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February 13, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Video Of The Day: Jimmy Fallon Plays A Good Game For ELLs With Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

I’ve previously published many posts sharing great games that Jimmy Fallon plays on The Tonight Show that are ideal for English Language Learners.

One of them is called Catch Phrase, which I explained in one of those posts.

He played it again last night, and I couldn’t resist posting the video since one of the players was Triumph The Insult Comic Dog.

It’s probably not a good one to show students as a model since the words used that particular night are probably not going to be familiar with them (plus, one off-color word got “bleeped-out”).

Nevertheless, it’s pretty funny to watch:

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February 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Next Book On Student Motivation Will Be Published In A Month: Here’s An Update & Table Of Contents

Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners1

My next book, the third in my student motivation “trilogy,” will be published in a month. You can pre-order it at the publisher’s site (Routledge) or on Amazon.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Chapter 1. I Still Want to Know: How Do You Motivate Students?

Chapter 2. Still Want to Know: How Can You Best Handle Classroom Management?

Chapter 3. Still Want to Know: How Can You Get Students More Interested in Reading And Writing?

Chapter 4. How Can You Get Students to Transfer Their Knowledge and Skills From

One Class to Other Classes and Outside-of-School Situations?

Chapter 5. How Can You Help Students Want To Live A Physically Healthy Lifestyle?

Chapter 6. How Can You Help Students Get Into a State of “Flow”?

I’ve just completed preparing lots of excerpts for various publications and, starting in mid-March, you’ll be able to read them at The Washington Post, Edutopia, Middleweb, The Guardian, MindShift and Education Week. There will be an excerpt from each chapter.

I’ll do a Twitter chat during the second week of March and be sharing book snippets and engaging with educators. I’ll also be doing an Ed Week chat.

If you’re interested, you can listen to a fifteen minute interview I did with School Leadership Briefing about the book.

All of the many student hand-outs will be available on the Routledge site for free download, whether you purchase the book or not.

Here is some advance praise:

Rick Wormeli, Author of Fair Isn’t Always Equal:

“Truly one of the smartest guys in the room, author and teacher Larry Ferlazzo channels state of the art teaching into one book, compiling the best resources and thinking on student perseverance, particularly in middle and high school. It’s all here: deliberate practice, humor, transfer of learning, flow, autonomy, classroom management, competence, self-determination, feedback, and much more. Want to know the first step to both teaching smarter and motivating students? Move Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners to the top of the reading stack.”

Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind:

Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners is another volume of the warm yet practical teaching advice we expect from Larry Ferlazzo. Ferlazzo answers the most pressing concerns teachers have about managing the classroom and reaching the disenchanted or at-risk student—and provides more strategies, lesson plans, and resources than you could use in a year of teaching!”

Mai Xi Lee, Director of Social Emotional Learning, Sacramento City Unified School District, CA:

“Having strong intrinsic motivation is the key to persevering and succeeding in school, college, career, and life. In Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners, Larry Ferlazzo offers some practical lessons and strategies on how to teach and foster intrinsic motivation for student success. A must-read for teachers as they work to support their students develop strong social emotional learning skills.”

Lara Hoekstra, high school teacher, CA:

“I’ve used the ideas and lessons in Larry Ferlazzo’s last two student motivation books very successfully in my own classroom, and the ones he talks about in this volume have had the same positive impact.”

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February 9, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Great Article On “Being The Best At Anything” & How I’m Using It In Class

7 Secrets Top Athletes Can Teach You About Being The Best At Anything is an interview with David Epstein at Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

It’s a great article and very accessible to students, though it will need some obvious editing.

Here’s the writing prompt I plant to use with it. Feel free to make suggestions on how I can improve it…

The author says these “seven secrets” can help anyone get better at anything, including sports and academics. Pick at least two of them and explain what they are and if you agree or disagree that applying those practices can help you improve at anything. To support your opinion, you may use examples from your own experiences, your observations of others, and any of your reading (including this article).

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

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February 8, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Connect Fours”


This post is the sixth in a lengthy series where I will be sharing the Web 2.0 tools that I’m using with my Beginning English Language Learners, along with explaining how we’re using and sharing student examples of each one.

Previous posts in this series have been:

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Phrase.It”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Padlet”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Szoter”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “”

This Is The Best Web 2.0 Site For ELLs & May Be The Best One For All Students

Today’s post is highlighting a brand-new online game from Russel Tarr’s ClassTools site — in fact, he just unveiled it today!

It’s called Connect Fours and is based on a BBC game show that I’ve posted about previously in “Only Connect” Is A Great Game For The Classroom. As I wrote then, the concept of the game was great was for English Language Learners, but the online BBC game itself was too advanced for them. I had suggested, though, that it would be easy for students and teachers to create their own versions with paper and pencil, and I’ve done that numerous times in my classes.

Thankfully, though, Russel has now created a super-easy version that teachers and students can use to make their own online without having to register.

In the game, there are sixteen squares with words on each one. The player needs to use the words to create four categories of four words each. It’s a great game that helps develop the higher-order thinking skill of categorization.

Usually in this series I’ve been sharing student-created examples. However, since this game has just come online today, my students won’t be using it until later this week — but they will be using it and I’m sure will be enjoying playing and creating!

Here’s the model game I’ve created since we’re just finishing our “home” thematic unit:

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February 5, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “Self-Reflection & Effectiveness”

I’ve quoted positive classroom management educator and author Marvin Marshall a lot over the years.

Here’s a quote from his latest post, titled Self-Reflection and Effectiveness:


I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Student & Teacher Reflection.

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