Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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NEW “Fillable” PDF Forms For IB Theory Of Knowledge Presentations

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My 2014 post, New “Fillable” PDF Forms For IB Theory Of Knowledge Presentations & Essays, has been very popular, with TOK teachers from around the world not wanting to brave the IB website just to download some simple forms. Instead, they’ve just gone to that post, and I haven’t heard any objections from IB about my making them available.

Recently, though, I heard from TOK teacher Vladi Stanojevic that, in their infinite wisdom, IB recently decided to make some changes to the Presentations form (the Essay form appears to be the same).

Here’s the new “fillable” PDF Presentations form.

It’s very similar to the old one, except it doesn’t have space for the candidates names since they will be the ones uploading it under their own registration. It does seem odd that they have entirely removed any space for student names, but I’ve given up trying to figure out IB decisions….

December 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2015 – Part Two

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It’s time for another “Best” list to add to All My 2015 “Best” Lists In One Place.

Here are my previous TOK-related “Best” lists:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Commentaries On The New IB Theory Of Knowledge Teaching Guide

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Movies For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes – What Are Your Suggestions?

The Best Posts On IB Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Posts On Teaching TOK “Knowledge Questions”

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2015 – So Far

Here are my picks from the past six months:

The National Review tweeted out this incredibly misleading chart on climate change:

It’s perfect for when we study misleading statistics and graph. You can read more about this at The Washington Post’s Why this National Review’s global temperature graph is so misleading.

As regular readers know, I am continually adding to Over 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes.

Neil deGrasse Tyson published a short piece in The Huffington Post titled What Science Is — and How and Why It Works. It’s a very safe bet that it will be used as required reading in many IB Theory of Knowledge classes when the definition of “knowledge” is discussed. And I’d bet dollars to donuts that many teachers will be using this accessible column in many other classes, too.

Here’s an excerpt:

Objective-truths-exist

The Virtue of Contradicting Ourselves is the headline of a column by Adam Grant in The New York Times. It’s a great piece to use when discussing “knowledge” in IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and I’m going to use in one of the upcoming lessons for English Language Learners that I write for The New York Times Learning Network. Plus, it offers wisdom that’s good for all of us to keep in mind.

Here’s an excerpt:

Intelligence-is-often

One assignment I learned about at my original IB Theory of Knowledge training was having groups of students invent a classroom appropriate product and have them create a short commercial four of the fallacies that we have studied. I have each group show their video, and then they call on people to identify the fallacies used in it.

Here’s an example of one from this year:

Fallacy Video – Tape

I’m adding it to The Best Multimedia Resources For Learning About Fallacies — Help Me Find More.

I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students work in groups to prepare weekly presentations on our textbook chapters that they read for homework. When we were discussing the role of emotion in the search for knowledge, one of the presentation groups was asked if emotion is sometimes like a voice in our heads that we have to control. I then showed this clip from the National Press Club, which is a perfect example of that in action.

Grammar, Morals & History

This post will be useful when studying history: The Best Posts & Articles On The Textbook That Calls Slaves “Workers”

NPR published A Discoverer Of The Buckyball Offers Tips On Winning A Nobel Prize. It’s a good piece, with a great quote that’s ideal for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

I-think-the-most

TOK teachers might be interested in this post and the accompanying comments:  Calling All Theory Of Knowledge Teachers: How Did You Feel About How IB Examiners Scored Essays This Year?

Here are some useful resources I use in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and they are also applicable to other classes:

First, many teachers are familiar with the Jigsaw cooperative learning activity. You can learn more about it at The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas. It’s a regular activity I use in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes (and my ESL courses, too). With my TOK classes, I’ll often print out articles related to the Way Of Knowing or Area of Knowledge topic we’re studying (you can access my Over 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes here). Then, I distribute these instructions, which pretty much explain how the Jigsaw activity is organized.

Secondly, we spend a few days studying Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. You can see many of those resources at our TOK class blog, along with examples of student videos – they have to create modern versions of it. This year’s students will be showing their own creations on Monday, and I’ll be adding some of them to that class blog post. Students viewing the videos will be using this anonymous evaluation form, which will be completed after each video is viewed, collected, and given to the video’s creators.

“8-Bit Philosophy” Is A Useful Series of Videos

TED-Ed released this excellent video and lesson — perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes when studying language:

This video would be a useful one to show when discussing indigenous knowledge systems in IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

In IB Theory of Knowledge classes we examine in both math and human sciences how people taking polls/surveys can manipulate the answers. Here’s a video that would be a nice introduction to the topic (after first explaining to U.S. students the definition of “National Service”):

This video is from PBS, and is a great one for IB Theory of Knowledge teachers when exploring the arts:

Here’s A Writing Prompt I’m Using With My TOK Students On The First Day Of Class

Here’s a good video on perception for teachers of IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

Tons Of Resources On Both The Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments

“Don’t Judge Too Quickly” Is A Great Series Of Videos For TOK & ELL Students

December 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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National Review Publishes Awful Climate Change Graph Ideal For TOK Classes

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The National Review tweeted out this incredibly misleading chart on climate change today:

It’s perfect timing, since we just studied misleading statistics and graphs last week.

You can read more about this at The Washington Post’s Why this National Review’s global temperature graph is so misleading.

December 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Educational Value Of Students Creating “What If?” Scenarios

I’m a big fan of having students create “What If?” scenarios (see The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons), primarily, though not exclusively, in history classes.

In fact, next week my IB Theory of Knowledge classes will be creating these kind of What If? presentations (you can see tons of examples at the previously mentioned “Best” list). Then, after the Winter Break, I’ll make arrangements to have a number of them come to my ELD World and US History classes and help the ELL students create their own as their final semester project. That sequence always works well.

Yesterday, Aeon magazine published a nice essay explaining the value of these kinds of projects, also called “counterfactuals.” It’s title, simply enough, What If?

Here’s an excerpt:

the-exercise-of

And, in case you missed it, here’s what one of my students last year says she learned from the lesson:

I-learned-that-every-200hteess

December 9, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Diversity Helps Us Learn

I’ve previously posted about a Scientific American article I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students read at the beginning of the year to encourage them to seek our diverse partners in small groups when they are given that opportunity (see “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter”).

Today, The New York Times has published an article about a newer study that has found the same results. It’s headlined Diversity Makes You Brighter.

Here’s an excerpt:

When-participants-were

I’ll probably use it with the older piece as part of a “jigsaw” reading.

Of course, it can also have a role in a broader class discussion on diversity in society.

November 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Over 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes

As regular readers know, in addition to teaching various classes to English Language Learners and to mainstream ninth-graders, I teach the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course. I also regularly share TOK resources here on the blog, and I think it’s pretty popular among TOK teachers around the world.

This post is my regular “quarterly reminder” that, in addition, I accumulate links to articles and resources on the Delicious bookmarking site, and now have over 2,000 categorized into the all the TOK “Ways of Knowing” and “Areas of Knowledge.” I typically add about twenty or so new ones each month.

You can find most of them here.

However, for some weird reason, not quite all of the “tags” are visible at that link. Here are direct links to the WOK and AOK resources not listed in the above link:

Knowledge

Logic and Reason (They’re separate, but all related. I think I first started using the logic tag and later switched to reason)

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Imagination

Intuition (though most are still in the Emotion category)

Human Sciences

Memory