Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 24, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“‘Freedom to Fail’ Creates a Positive Learning Environment”

‘Freedom to Fail’ Creates a Positive Learning Environment is the headline of Part Three in my Education Week Teacher series.

In it, Amber Chandler, Howard Pitler, Barry Saide, John Spencer, Riina Hirsch, Nadja Reilly, Laura Taddei discuss the topic of handling student mistakes.

Here are some excerpts:








September 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s How We Modified The Picture Word Inductive Model Today

As regular readers know, the Picture Word Inductive Model is one of my favorite instructional strategies for Beginning English Language Learners.

I’ve written a lot about it at The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

Good as it is, however, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

In other words, applying the step-by-step process all the time can grow tiresome for teachers and students alike.

That’s why I’ve posted The Best Ways To Modify The Picture Word Inductive Model For ELLs.

Today, Mary Stokke, an exceptionally talented student teacher who is working with me this year, used a strategy that I realized I hadn’t included on that “Best” list. It’s a modification of some strategies, however, that you will find on The Best Resources On Close Reading Paintings, Photos & Videos.

Mary projected a photo from our U.S. History book of Christopher Columbus that she had used in the typical PWIM process and then drew “quadrants” where students worked in pairs to expand the image to what they might imagine would be there if the picture was bigger.  Student then applied the usual PWIM process to those new additions by identifying words and writing sentences about them.

Here’s the image (in retrospect, it probably would have been better to tape white paper on the text surrounding the picture so that students drawings were more clear.  But, as Mary said, it was, nevertheless, “crazy and fun.”



September 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Five Most Popular Posts Of The Week

Here’s the latest edition of this regular feature . These are the posts appearing this blog that received the most “hits” in the preceding seven days (though they may have originally been published on an earlier date).

You might also be interested in The Twenty Most Popular Posts In 2016 – So Far and Ninth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts?

1. The Best Sites For Teaching About Latitude & Longitude

2. The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom

3. The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

4. The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them)

5. The Best Online Activities For Learning About Time Zones

September 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“What Is Metacognition? Let’s Think About It” Is My New BAM! Radio Show


What Is Metacognition? Let’s Think About It is the title of my latest ten-minute BAM! Radio Show.

Matt Renwick, Laura Robb and Teresa Diaz join me in the discussion, and they have also all contributed written commentaries on the topic for a future Education Week Teacher column.

I’m adding it to All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions.

September 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Look Back: “Idolizing Just One Person Undermines The Struggle”

Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

You might also be interested in A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009.

I originally shared this series of posts in 2010. You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.



The New Yorker has an exceptional article about pioneers in the civil rights struggle, accompanied by quite a few images.

I was particularly struck by this passage:

“One thing that I think the history books,and the media, have gotten very wrong is portraying the movement as Martin Luther King’s movement, when in fact it was a people’s movement,” Diane Nash, a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, said. “If people understood that it was ordinary people who did everything that needed to be done in the movement, instead of thinking, I wish we had a Martin Luther King now, they would ask, ‘What can I do?’ Idolizing just one person undermines the struggle.”

In community organizing, we often taught and discussed the long-term dangers to social change brought about by idolizing charismatic leaders.

As a teacher, though, it’s easy to lose sight of that important concept when dealing with trying to help students learn so many other things.

We’re in the middle of teaching a unit on Nelson Mandela now in our mainstream ninth-grade English classes, and this passage is prompting me to think about how I can integrate a bit of discussion on the role of others in that country’s liberation struggle.

How do you avoid just teaching the “cult of personality” or the “cult of the hero” in your class?

September 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Today Is “Character Day” – Here Are Thoughts, Concerns & Resources


Apparently, today is “Character Day” – this post is a reprint of one I published on the first event two years ago:

I believe (though may be wrong) that the film-maker behind the eight-minute video I’ve embedded below, came up with the idea of “Character Day” and unveiled her film today. It’s called “The Science Of Character” and seems like a nice enough video — I could see presenting it as an introduction to a Social Emotional Learning lesson (see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources). The film’s home site offers a number of related teaching resources.

Personally, though, I’m much more enthusiastic about the resources and ideas put together by Facing History at 8 Multimedia Resources to Study the Science of Character on #CharacterDay.

As regular readers know, however, I’m becoming increasingly concerned about how the idea of teaching “character” is being “vanilla-ized” and/or manipulated towards inappropriate ends. You can see more of my thoughts in my Washington Post piece, The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning and in a recent blog post here titled This Has Me Concerned: “Study Links Teacher ‘Grit’ with Effectiveness, Retention.”

Nevertheless, I think it is possible to teach character in effective and appropriate ways. In fact, I’ve published two multi-part series on the topic at my Education Week Teacher column — last year and this year.

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