Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 9, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Finds That Specific Praise Improves Performance — Have They Ever Heard Of Carol Dweck?

A new study has been receiving some media attention for showing that praising someone’s athletic performance results in….their improving their performance. Interestingly, even though it’s clear in the study that the praise is very specific about what was being done, the researchers don’t seem to even highlight that point — they just say that praising someone is successful.

Of course, any research that reinforces what we teachers know is good practice is welcome, but, really, haven’t these folks ever heard of Carol Dweck?

It’s good to know about this new research, but I don’t think it’s even worth putting on The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

November 27, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Thoughts On Today’s NY Times Column By Carol Dweck

I’m a fan of much of Professor Carol Dweck’s work, and have often written in this blog (and in my book) about how I’ve applied her research in the classroom, especially around praising effort instead of intelligence.

A few months ago, though, I heard about one of her recent research projects that bothered me a bit, and, then, today, I saw a column she co-wrote about it in The New York Times. It’s titled “Willpower: It’s in Your Head.”

In it, she challenges the research findings of Professor Roy F. Baumeister, another researcher whose work has influenced my teaching practice. Professor Baumeister has written a great deal about self-control, and I wrote a piece in Education Week about how I apply his findings in the classroom — he also contributed a guest commentary.

Basically, Professor Baumeister (and many others) have concluded that self-control is a resource that can be depleted, and needs to be periodically replenished. Professor Dweck claims that it only is depleted if you believe it needs to be replenished.

That’s a very simplified summary, and I’d encourage you to read both her piece and Professor Baumeister’s commentary to get a more amplified view, as well as learning more how I interpret it for classroom use.

I’m all for having a “growth mindset,” which is another concept that Professor Dweck is known for and which I use with my students. However, especially with adolescents, it seems to me that we need to recognize that our students are not Supermen or Superwomen, and it’s unlikely that many — if any — have an unlimited level of self-control. My students and I have found Professor Baumeister’s research very useful and I have often seen it work effectively.  The key, of course, is that we need to help our students develop effective strategies to replenish their capacity for self-control.

Earlier this morning, I contacted Professor Baumeister to get his reactions to the critique. Here is his response (and he granted permission for me to share it here):

[Many] things can make a difference right at the beginning of depletion, when you’re only slightly depleted. we have replicated her finding that getting people to believe in unlimited willpower makes them do better when they are slightly depleted. but that same manipulation actually makes them do worse when they are severely depleted.

What do you think?

November 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

SEL Weekly Update

I’ve recently begun this weekly post where I’ll be sharing resources I’m adding to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources or other related “Best” lists:

Mindfulness in the Classroom: A How-To Guide is from Ed Week. I don’t yet have a “Best” list on mindfulness, but I’m sure I will be creating one soon. You might be interested in a previous post, Mindfulness Can Mean More Than Meditation – Can’t It?

On a related note, you might be interested in Can We End the Meditation Madness? by Adam Grant, which appeared in The New York Times.

I’m adding this next tweet to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”:

I’m adding this next tweet to the same list:

And here’s one last addition to that list:

November 8, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Treasure Chest Of Education Videos From Stanford


To celebrate its 125th Anniversary, Stanford hosted a symposium on education and videotaped many of the presentations.

Here are a few of the most useful ones:

Nobel Prize winner Carl Wieman talks about active learning in this video. You can read the contribution he made to my Education Week Teacher column at A Nobel Laureate Writes About Becoming A “Science Coach.” I’m adding it to The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy.

Travis Bristol “talks about the role of gender in the classroom and the ways to engage boys in the school environment.” You can read his contributions to my Ed Week column at The Teachers of Color ‘Disappearance Crisis’ and Strategies for Recruiting Teachers of Color . I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More.

Carol Dweck talks about a growth mindset. You can read her contribution to my Ed Week column at Classroom Strategies to Foster a Growth Mindset. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Linda Darling-Hammond “speaks about the need for educators to teach students teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills to prepare them for a rapidly changing future.”

October 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

October’s Top Posts From This Blog


I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see older Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month (more recent lists can be found here).

You can also see my all-time favorites here.

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference):

“Metacognition, Learning Strategies And Student Autonomy” Is My New British Council Post

Oral Reading In The Mainstream & ELL Classroom

My Latest NY Times Student Interactive For ELLs: Extreme Weather

This Is A Great Article On The Benefits Of Reading Books & Here Is How I’m Going To Use It

“Teach English Language Learners By Meeting Them ‘Where They Are’”

Using Examples Of The World’s Oldest Music In History Class

Is There A Law Saying Every Government Report On Ed Has To Be Written In A Way That Nobody Wants To Read It?

“The Science Of Learning” Is A Must-Read (& An Accessible One) For Teachers

My Latest NY Times Interactive For ELLs Is On Immigration & The Presidential Election

“Students Must ‘Reflect On What They Are Learning’”

ELL World History Video Project: The Epic Of Gilgamesh

Statistic Of The Day: Being Bilingual Pays Off In The Workplace

This Is A Really Useful Article On Giving Student Feedback

Video & Student Hand-Out For A Fairly Creative ELL Geography Project

Newseum Unveils New Education Site

Online Learning Game Site Quizalize Adds New Feature I Like A LOT

Quote Of The Day: I Love What This Nobel Prize-Winner Says Students Should Be Taught At School

PBS Unveils New Useful Teacher Tools

“Dreamdo Schools” Is A Platform To Share Project-Based Learning Projects Internationally

He Did It! Gov. Brown Eliminates High School Exit Exam Retroactively!

“How Can I Better A Better Teacher For You?”

New Study Finds Interesting Twist: Repeating Words Helps, & Repeating Them To Someone Is Better

Excellent Examples Of Deliberate Practice To Use With Students

‘It’s Time To Change The Conversation About Grit’

Video: ELL Geography Students Using Academic Language To Describe Climate In Their Home Countries

Zing! Lets Students Read & Annotate Tons Of Books For Free

New Survey On High School Drop-Outs Is Depressing, If Accurate

Mindset Scholars Network Website Is Key New Resource For Social Emotional Learning

Here’s The Cover Of Our Upcoming Book On ELLs & The Common Core

“” Looks Like A Good Source Of Free Reading Passages For Social Studies

Here’s The Form I’m Giving To Most Students Who Want Me To Write A Letter Of Recommendation

Quote Of The Day: “Effort Is Not The Only Thing” – Carol Dweck On A Growth Mindset

Google Rolls-Out The Coolest Way – Ever – For Students To Take Virtual Field Trip

TED-Ed Lessons By Grade-Level Might Be Useful

Mindfulness Can Mean More Than Meditation – Can’t It?





August 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Finds Value In Looking At Mistakes As Positive Learning Experiences

I’ve written and shared a lot about the importance of creating a classroom culture that, in the words of Carol Dweck,”celebrates mistakes” (see The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures).

New research was unveiled today reinforcing the importance of this attitude.

Making a mistake can be rewarding, study finds is a report about it at Science Daily.

Here’s an excerpt: