Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Seven Good “Reads” On Ed Tech

Here are several recent good pieces related to educational technology:

10 Things Every Teacher Should Know How To Do With Google Docs is from Edudemic.

Will Computers Ever Replace Teachers? appeared in The New Yorker.

3 Reasons Why Chromebook Beats iPad in 1:1 Programs is from edSurge.

My Flipped Classroom Experience is by Kenneth Headley. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

Classroom Management and the Flipped Class is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to the same list.

Ed tech that needs nothing but a TV and VCR? is from The Hechinger Report.

Betting Big on Personalized Learning is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning.”

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Good Overviews Of Israel-Gaza Crisis

Vox has created two useful resources for understanding the present Israel-Gaza crisis. I’m adding them both to The “Best” Resources For Learning About The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis is from Vox.

And Vox has created this two minute video explainer:

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Contribute A Post To The Next ELT Carnival — It’s On Humor In Language Teaching

'Carnival by the River' photo (c) 2004, Out.of.Focus - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The next ELT Blog Carnival, formerly known as the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival, will be hosted by Carissa Peck at her blog.

She writes:

I am a teacher who strongly believes that humor makes classrooms better! This Blog Carnival is designed to let other teachers share how they use humor in the class, so that other teachers may be inspired from them!

To submit your blog you have three options:

1. Tweet it to Carissa Peck (@eslcarissa)
2. Use the general ELT Blog Carnival submission form.
3. Leave your link in the comments of her post on the Carnival

You can see all the previous Blog Carnivals here.

And you can express your interest in hosting a future edition of one here.

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Movie Scenes, Stories, & Quotations About “Transfer Of Learning” – Help Me Find More!

I’ve been doing some thinking and writing about the idea of “transfer of learning” — helping students be able to apply what they learn in one situation to other contexts. I’ve previously posted The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More.

I think I have a pretty good understanding of it now as I prepare a lesson plan. However, I’d like to spice it up with videos of movie or TV scenes, stories from real-life or from literature, and pithy quotes and hope readers will contribute suggestions.

Obviously, this science from Apollo 13 and other clips from The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More could apply, but I’m hoping for a lot more.

I happened upon a comment in a paper about transfer saying the Karate Kid was a good example, and they sure were right.

Pat Morita having the kid do a variety of tasks like waxing a car and painting a fence helps him develop skills that he is then able to apply in a totally different situation. If you don’t remember the movie, here is the progression of scenes:

Here are some great MacGyver videos where he demonstrates transfer of learning — he has to remember what he learned in the past and apply that knowledge to entirely new situations in order to save his life:

Two kinds of transfers of learning are called “backward-reaching” and “forward-thinking.” In “backward-reaching,” you’re applying what you have previously learned to a new situation — that is demonstrated in the Karate Kid and MacGyver videos.

In a TEDx talk by Marc Chun about transfer, he talked about James Bond being a good example of “forward-thinking transfer.” In other words, when the scientist Q would give him his deadline gadgets prior to a mission, he would need to think about what situations he might use them in.

Here are some clips of Bond getting those gadgets from Q. The first one is probably the best one. The last two are compilations that include getting the gadgets prior to a mission and using gadgets. Unfortunately, they’re out of order so you might see a clip of him getting one followed by a clip of his using another. Too bad they’re not coordinated.

I discovered a MacGyver wiki that has a List of problems solved by MacGyver. It lists all the episodes, along with the problems he solved in each one and how he solved them. In addition, I discovered that CBS has put all the MacGyver episodes on YouTube.

Based on quick review, here are a few more clips I’m adding to this list. On some of them, I have included quotes from the wiki. I was originally going to use TubeChop to just share the clips themselves, but it didn’t seem to be working well today. So, I’ve embedded some of the entire episodes with instructions of when to start them:

On this one, the Pilot Episode, “”MacGyver plugs a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate. He states that chocolate contains sucrose and glucose. The acid reacts with the sugars to form elemental carbon and a thick gummy residue (proved to be correct on Mythbusters).” Start at 35:40 and end at 38:20

On this next one, Fire and Ice, “MacGyver opens a vault and steals back some diamonds first dusting the buttons for fingerprints with graphite from a pencil. The vault has a three-digit combination with unique digits and six buttons. The dusting narrows down the 120 combinations to 6 and the vault is easily opened. He then neatly gets the diamonds in a small bag using a paper as a funnel. (31.30) “Math and science do prove useful.” Start at 32:30 and end at 34:15.

Here, “MacGyver created a diversion and a surprise attack using an inner tube, pressured air, chloride, a catalyst, two glass jars and a gas mask. The inflatable boat was put in a truck and filled with air until the glass broke creating a loud noise. Meanwhile MacGyver filled the two gas bombs filling one glass jar with chloride and the other with a catalyst. Then he threw them at the bad guys resulting in a reaction producing toxic chlorine gas when the two liquids mixed. (36.00) When I was a kid my grandpa gave me two things I’ll never forget; a subscription of popular mechanics and a chemistry set. And this place was one BIG chemistry set! – MacGyver” Start at 36:00 and ends at 44:00

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“12 New Yorker education articles to read while the archives are free”

Last week, I wrote a post about The New Yorker preparing to make all its archives available free for a few months (see “The New Yorker” Makes All Articles Available For Free Until November).

That time has arrived this week!

And Vox has just published a nice guide titled 12 New Yorker education articles to read while the archives are free.

Their guide includes the recent excellent article on the Atlanta cheating scandal (see The New Yorker’s “Wrong Answer” Feature Is The Must-Read Education Article Of The Summer).

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “Do Students Learn More When Their Teachers Work Together?”

Do Students Learn More When Their Teachers Work Together? is an excellent post by Esther Quintero at The Shanker Blog.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Here’s an excerpt:

The-big-message-is-that

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July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Resources On Race & Racism

July 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Latest Resources On The Child Refugee Crisis

July 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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July’s Infographics & Interactives Galore – Part Three

There are just so many good infographics and interactives out there that I’ve begun a new semi-regular feature called “Infographics & Interactives Galore.”

You can see others at A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Infographics and by searching “infographics” on this blog.

I’ll still be publishing separate posts to individually highlight especially useful infographics and interactives, but you’ll find others in this regular feature.

Here goes:

Every Second Counts: an interactive story by Sophie McKenzie is a “choose your own adventure” story from The Guardian. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories.

Best in class: 25 inspiring school improvement ideas – interactive is also from The Guardian.

Average weekly wages in majority of U.S. counties were below national average in 2013
is the headline of an interactive map from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows wages from every county in the United States.

Here’s a useful infographic on Alzheimer’s:

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July 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

I’ve started a somewhat regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention:

You Can Learn a New Language While You Sleep, Study Finds is an article from PsyBlog. Learn Dutch In Your Sleep is another report on the same study.

Inventive, Cheaper Tools for Learning a Language is from The New York Times.

What makes a language attractive – its sound, national identity or familiarity?
is from The Guardian.

Adam Simpson – Homework: Should we give it or not? is a useful post at the British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

Mathematics in English is an interactive from Engames. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning Strategies To Teach ELL’s In Content Classes.

allatc offers an ELL lesson plan for the Wonderful World song. I’m adding it to The Best Music Videos Of “What A Wonderful World.”

Adapting materials for mixed ability classes is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teaching Multilevel ESL/EFL Classes.

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July 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All My Ed Week Posts On Parent Engagement In One Place!

Q & A Collections: Parent Engagement In Schools is my latest post at Education Week Teacher.

It brings together all my Ed Week posts related to parent engagement from the past three years.

Here’s an excerpt:

Simply-put-parent

I’m adding it to My Best Posts, Articles & Interviews On Parent Engagement.

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July 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Big New Study On Deliberate Practice

As you may have heard by now, a new study was recently released raising questions about the importance of deliberate practice to success. Here are some articles about the study. I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice.

There’s little question that Talent vs. Practice: Why Are We Still Debating This? by Scott Barry Kaufman is the best piece on the study. It appeared in Scientific American.

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Talent is from The New York Times.

Does practice really make perfect? is from Science Daily.

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July 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Washington Post’s “Five Myths” Feature Is A Very Useful One

myths

The Washington Post regularly publishes a feature called “Five Myths.”

They’ll typically pick a topic that’s been in the news and list five myths with a short explanation about each one. It’s pretty useful to teachers and students alike.

I’m adding it to The Best Online “Explainer” Tools For Current Events.

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July 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Ed Week Reduces Price For The Next Seven Days On My Classroom Management Book

qanda

Education Week just announced that the price for my latest e-book has been reduced for this week only.

You can read excerpts, reviews and other free resources here.

Here’s the Ed Week announcement:

SPECIAL LIMITED-TIME OFFER: SUMMER-READING SAVINGS
Classroom Management Q & As: Effective Strategies for Teaching by Larry Ferlazzo

Get ready for the new school year and save!

In this e-book, award-winning teacher and Education Week Teacher blogger Larry Ferlazzo turns to leading educators for advice on the most common classroom-management issues. Ferlazzo and his contributors respond Q & A-style to a variety of questions, such as:

–How can I help my students develop self-control?
–What does real student engagement look like?
–How can I stop disruptive behavior?

This e-book brings together the best contributions from Ferlazzo’s blog Classroom Q & A With Larry Ferlazzo, including updates and new material. It captures his unique perspective on managing a classroom and engaging students, while tapping the collective wisdom of educators to provide solutions to some of the thorniest problems in teaching.

Buy on Amazon and save, only $6.99. Hurry, offer limited until July 25th.

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July 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Rap Genius Expands Service, Changes Name, Adds Education Features – I’d Still Be Surprised If Teachers Use It

genius

I have previously posted about Rap Genius, an easy-to-use tool that lets you annotate pretty much any text. It’s initial focus was on rap lyrics, but you could also upload others — this use of it for the Gettysburg Address is a perfect example of how great it could be for education purposes.

As I said in my original post, however, I doubted the site would get past many School District content filters because of the classroom inappropriate language present in so many rap lyrics.

They just changed their name to Genius and are now encouraging people to document all sorts of documents. They’ve also created a special Education section that has lots of neat features.

The problem, though, as far as schools are concerned, it still appears that students can freely access all parts of the website even though they might start with the Education section. I personally don’t think that would be a problem for most teachers — we can certainly have conversations with our students about appropriate use of the site and supervise student work. However, it seems to me that the site just wouldn’t pass muster in many District offices, though I’d be happy to be wrong. I’m looking forward to checking next month if students can access it at our school.

There are other sites, though, that provide annotation ability and are unlikely to be blocked. Check out:

Best Applications For Annotating Websites

The Best Online Tools For Using Photos In Lessons has tools to annotate photos.

A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites
contains tools to let you annotate videos.

Let me know if you think my pessimism about school access to Genius is overblown or not….

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July 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Is Summer Learning The Silver Bullet For Narrowing The Achievement Gap?

This summer, I’ve been in the process of writing my seventh book — the third volume in my series on student motivation (I’m over halfway there — Yay!).

As part of that writing, I’ve been going over a number of articles I’ve saved over the past year, and, tonight, I began reviewing resources on The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide” list.

As I reviewed them, I was reminded of an extremely important fact that I must have forgotten, and is best expressed in a piece published by Education Week a couple of months ago:

The-research-shows-us

These findings are backed-up by extensive research, much of which you can find on my “Best” list, and it reinforces why I set-up online virtual summer school classrooms for my students.

We used to have over a thousand students attending summer school classes — not because they had to be there, but because they wanted to come. But those days are long-gone, and this year we had four classes, primarily for students who had failed a class and needed to make it up.

So, if all the research says most of the achievement gap is due to summer learning loss, it boggles my mind even more that we are spending huge amounts of resources on countless school reform boondoggles like Race To The Top, Value Added Measurements (VAM), the “next generation” of standardized testing, etc…

The research shows that summer learning programs are very inexpensive since they can be effective at stemming learning loss by even lasting for only six weeks. Shouldn’t those wasted monies be spent there?

Oh, I forgot — the U.S. Department of Education prefers spending money on programs that have no research backing up their effectiveness….

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July 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Amazon Launches “Kindle Unlimited” For Adults; They Have Version For Young Kids – I Wonder If They’ll Create One For Teens?

In the unlikely event you haven’t already heard, today Amazon launched “Kindle Unlimited,” which is an all-you-can-read service for $9.99 per month using its Kindle or a Kindle app on other devices.

You can read all about it at TIME, TechCrunch, and a zillion other places.

As I was checking it out, I discovered that Amazon also has something called “Kindle Free Time Unlimited,” and it’s geared to kids 3 to 8.

As far as I can tell, they don’t have one for teens, but I wonder if that’s in the cards?

I also wonder if Amazon does or might in the future offer discounts to schools or, at least, ones in lower-income communities?

If a school was in a 1:1 device environment, and Amazon offered discounts, it might be worth a look….

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