Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s A Writing Prompt I’m Using With My TOK Students On The First Day Of Class

As I prepare for the first day of class on Thursday, I’m considering some new activities.

One new task I’m going to try with my IB Theory of Knowledge classes is to give them this famous story, The Best Teacher I Ever Had (about the “cattywampus”), along with this writing prompt:

What does David Owen think of Mr. Whitson and why? Do you agree with him? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

I ask them to write write a very short essay — three or four paragraphs — and give them fifteen minutes at the end of the first day to work on it and make it due the following day. I think it should provoke an interesting discussion on Friday….

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction, where you’ll find a collecting of writing prompts.

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August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: When The Mexican Army Fed Katrina Victims

You’ll want to read this article from The Washington Post, titled When Mexicans crossed our border to feed Americans in need.

Here’s an excerpt:

In-a-scene-that-would

I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Teaching & Learning About New Orleans, where I have vast quantities of resources on Katrina.

Thanks to my friend Craig McGarvey for sharing the article.

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August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s A Cloze (Gap-Fill) Essay My ELL Students Will Complete On The First Day Of School

This coming Thursday is the first day of our school year.

One of the many classes I will be teaching is for Beginning/Intermediate English Language Learners. I’ll begin the year (though we’ll get many new students as time progresses) primarily with high Beginners from last year.

I thought readers might find it useful to see a “fill-in-the-gap” essay they’ll be completing on the first day of school. It’s titled “My Summer Vacation.” You can download it here.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Planning The First Days Of School.

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August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Make [School] Work Meaningful

Rethinking Work is the headline of a column in today’s New York Times. It reviews a substantial amount of research in discussion life in the workplace.

However, it’s easy to replace the work “employee” everywhere in the article with the word “student.”

I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement.

Here’s an excerpt:

when-given-the-chance-to

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August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Very Interesting Study: Students Seeing Teachers Drawing Diagrams Is Better Than Showing Pre-Made Ones

A new study found that students (primarily those with lower prior knowledge) learn much more when listening to teachers talk and draw diagrams than when teachers talked and showed pre-made ones.

I’ll reprint the abstract below. I think this is very interesting, and reflects my own experience. I know that writing things out takes extra class time, but it definitely seems to “click” more with students than when I just put something I already made on the overhead.

Here’s the abstract:

In 4 experiments, participants viewed a short video-based lesson about how the Doppler effect works. Some students viewed already-drawn diagrams while listening to a concurrent oral explanation, whereas other students listened to the same explanation while viewing the instructor actually draw the diagrams by hand. All students then completed retention and transfer tests on the material. Experiment 1 indicated that watching the instructor draw diagrams (by viewing the instructor’s full body) resulted in significantly better transfer test performance than viewing already-drawn diagrams for learners with low prior knowledge (d = 0.58), but not for learners with high prior knowledge (d = −0.24). In Experiment 2, participants who watched the instructor draw diagrams (by viewing only the instructor’s hand) significantly outperformed the control group on the transfer test, regardless of prior knowledge (d = 0.35). In Experiment 3, participants who watched diagrams being drawn but without actually viewing the instructor’s hand did not significantly outperform the control group on the transfer test (d = −0.16). Finally, in Experiment 4, participants who observed the instructor draw diagrams with only the instructor’s hand visible marginally outperformed those who observed the instructor draw diagrams with the instructor’s entire body visible (d = 0.36). Overall, this research suggests that observing the instructor draw diagrams promotes learning in part because it takes advantage of basic principles of multimedia learning, and that the presence of the instructor’s hand during drawing may provide an important social cue that motivates learners to make sense of the material. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

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August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Khan Academy & Pixar Unveil “Pixar In A Box”

pixar

Thanks to John Fensterwald, I initially heard about Pixar In A Box, a new project unveiled by Khan Academy yesterday:

its new online curriculum Pixar in a Box analyzes how the studio fuses art, tech, science, engineering, and math to develop top-shelf animated cinema. Created with middle and high school students in mind but available to everyone, Pixar in a Box’s interactive exercises, in-depth video lessons, and hands-on activities are an informative addition to Khan Academy’s extensive educational resources.

I’m not a math teacher, so can’t say much about the quality of the program. However, I can say that the videos seem much, much better than the usual Khan fare.

Here’s a an introduction to the Pixar In A Box:

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts About The Khan Academy.

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August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Resources On Race & Racism