Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances”

As regular readers of this blog and my books know, I’m a big believer in inductive learning (see More Info On Why Inductive Learning Is So Effective and Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe).

One effective way to use inductive learning is through the use of data sets. You can see examples of these in my ASCD article, Get Organized Around Assets and in a couple of pieces I’ve written for The New York Times.

A key element of inductive learning is having students put the items or passages into categories — that’s a given.

However, a step that many teacher miss is having students provide evidence to support their decision to put something into a particular category. It can be as simple as highlighting a word or phrase, or just writing a sentence explaining a student’s reasoning.

NPR just published a piece this morning on some research that reinforces the importance of this step. The study itself is a bit convoluted so, instead of describing it here, I’m just going to suggest you go over to their site and read Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances.

Here’s an excerpt:


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August 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Carlos Slim, “The World’s Richest Man,” Spends Some Of His $ For New Online Spanish-Language Ed Resources

Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, has just unveiled Acceso Latino, an online tool designed to be a “one-stop” site for Spanish-language “employment, education, health care, and civil rights” resources.

Much of the site is just composed of links to materials others have created. However, there is some original material that could be useful to educators, particularly videos on different types of jobs and some decent, though surprisingly shallow, videos on content covered in the GED.

Of course, as I’ve previously posted, Slim has also paid for all the Khan Academy videos to be redone in Spanish, and there’s a link to the Khan Spanish-language site, which is new to me.

I’m adding this information to The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, & Science, which also describes how I use these kinds of bilingual materials in class.

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August 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: ‘Don’t Look Down At Me”

From Laughing Squid:

In Don’t Look Down on Me, little person filmmaker Jonathan Novick used a button camera to demonstrate how people in New York City react to his appearance. The resulting footage, which included inappropriate questions, offensive statements and surreptitious picture taking, along with some very insightful first-person narration make up this wonderful short documentary.

The most powerful part of the video begins at the 4:00 mark.

I’m adding this to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes.

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August 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is Interesting & Depressing: Only .13% Of Education Research Experiments Are Replicated

You know all those education ideas that people, including me, write about as being research-based?

Well, a new study has been published finding that only .13% of education research experiments are actually replicated by anybody else (that’s not a typo — it’s not 13% — it’s .13%. My original post mistakenly said the former percentage). And, of that .13%, sixty-eight percent were successfully replicated. However, that percentage dropped 54% if you only included replication efforts that didn’t include the original authors as part of the new team.

So, if you take that data into account, it’s even worse…..

Here are links related the paper:

The press release: Study Details Shortage of Replication in Education Research

Here’s the entire paper itself: Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences

And here are the final sentences of the paper:


I’m adding post The Best Resources For Understanding How Interpret Education Research.

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August 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

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:

Teachers of English-Learners Feel Least Prepared for Common Core, Survey Finds is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Common Core Standards & English Language Learners.

California Judge Says State Failed Thousands of English-Learners is also from Ed Week.

‘Send a messenger!’ – a technique to get ideas flowing round the classroom is an interesting technique from Lizzie Pinard.

The British Council offers some good student presentation tips.

Lizzie Pinard – keeping your learning going in the summer break is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide.”

Using cartoons and comic strips is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online.

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August 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

“The Problem With Goal-Setting”


I’m a big fan of Daniel Coyle’s book, “The Talent Code,” (see “Teachers Need To Behave Like Johnny Appleseeds”: An Interview With Daniel Coyle) and a big proponent of student goal-setting (see The Best Posts On Students Setting Goals).

Writer Samuel Thomas Davies has an intriguing analysis and interpretation of some of the research and Dan Coyle’s book.

He suggests that the chances of people being successful on achieving their goals has much to do with their self-perception. In other words, instead of saying “My goal is to read higher-level books” it is better to say, “I am a reader; therefore I will read higher-level books”; or instead of saying “I want to focus more in class” it might be better to say, “I am a scholar; therefore I will focus more in class.”

I think that’s pretty interesting, and I’m going to give it a try with my students this year…

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August 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

BBC Produces Very Impressive World War I “Interactive Episode”


The BBC has produced a very impressive online “interactive episode” — really, a “choose your own adventure” story — about World War One.

Here’s how The Telegraph describes it:

The interactive episode…. tells the story of the 1st South Staffordshire Battalion in one of the most deadly conflicts during the Battle of the Somme – the fight for control of High Wood on 14th July 1916.

Rather than passively watching the action unfold, the viewer is put in control of the choices that Corporal Arthur Foulkes must make to complete his mission. Like in a video game, on-screen buttons will appear when the viewer needs to make a decision to carry the story on.

Some of the situations will pose moral dilemmas and tricky tactical choices. For example, if the Corporal comes across a wounded enemy soldier on the battlefield, the viewer must decide whether to leave him, take him prisoner or shoot him.

Because of violent imagery, it requests that you verify that you’re over sixteen years old before you begin playing it.

I’m adding the site to:

The Best Resources For Learning About World War I

The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

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August 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

August’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:

Where People In Each State Were Born is an incredible series of interactives from The New York Times which show exactly what the headline says it does.

I’m adding this next interactive to The Best Sites For Learning About Planets & Space:

This next interactive is going to The Best Resources For Learning About Our World’s Population Of 7 Billion:

2014 World Population Digital Visualization

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August 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

August’s (2014) Best Tweets — Part Two

'Twitter' photo (c) 2010, West McGowan - license:

Every month I make a few short lists highlighting my choices of the best resources I through (and learned from) Twitter, but didn’t necessarily include them in posts here on my blog.

I’ve already shared in earlier posts several new resources I found on Twitter — and where I gave credit to those from whom I learned about them. Those are not included again in post.

If you don’t use Twitter, you can also check-out all of my “tweets” on Twitter profile page.

You might also be interested in The Best Tweets Of 2014 — So Far.

I use Storify to “curate” my best tweets:

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August 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Would You Like To Contribute To My Ed Week Column?


As regular readers know, I write a popular teacher advice column for Education Week Teacher. Readers send-in questions, and then I invite guests to contribution 300 or 400 word responses and also print shorter reader comments.

I know a lot of educators and, in fact, have over 150 guest responses already — with more on the way — for the forty questions I plan on tackling this school year.

However, there is a far greater number of talented educators who I do not know.

If you are an experienced educator and feel that you can write well, I’d love to invite you to write a 300 word response to one of the upcoming questions.

You can leave a comment on this post (I’ll keep it private and not publish it) or send me an email at [email protected] saying:

* Your name, what you teach, where you teach, and for how you’ve taught

* What areas of education where you think you are particularly qualified to give advice (ed tech, math, classroom management, etc.)

Two-to-four sentences would be sufficient.

Then, I’d send you a question or questions to choose from in those areas and invite you to write a three hundred word response to it. There’s probably a ninety-five percent chance of me publishing it.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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