Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Important New PBS News Hour Segment: “How and why we need to get the lead out of our lives”

The PBS News Hour aired an important segment tonight:

You might also be interested in the multi-part series I published about the Flint crisis. You can find links to all my eleven related “Best” lists at Part 11 – Best Resources For Learning About Flint Water Crisis.

September 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Look Back: What Can We Learn About Classroom Management From Abraham Lincoln?


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. and A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog.

I originally shared this post in 2011. You might also find Best Posts On Classroom Management useful.

The New York Times has a fascinating article about Lincoln and The Mormons. It explains that he basically made a deal to leave them alone and they left him alone. This is what he told a Mormon leader:

When I was a boy on the farm in Illinois there was a great deal of timber on the farm which we had to clear away. Occasionally we would come to a log which had fallen down. It was too hard to split, too wet to burn, and too heavy to move, so we plowed around it.

In other words, there are some battles not worth fighting, which also happens to be a community organizing axiom.

I also think it’s also a good classroom management guide. We need to “keep on our eyes on the prize” and not get sucked into distracting conflicts.

If a student just keeps on forgetting to bring a pencil to class, I just give him one from a big box of golf pencils I buy at the beginning of each school year. If they don’t have paper, I have stack. I’ve got bigger fish to fry, like helping them developing intrinsic motivation to read the first book in their lives and develop an appetite for learning.

September 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Please Share Your Thoughts On The Role Of The Smarter Balanced Tests


The EdSource Symposium 2016 is a major ed event in California next week, and I will be on a panel titled “Smarter Balanced Assessment and Beyond: What’s Next?”

I’ve posted a lot about Smarter Balanced and PARCC (see The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing) and have lots of thoughts, but I would love to hear from other educators – from everywhere, but especially from California.

Here are some questions I’d love to hear you answer – pick as many or as few as you want.  You can leave a comment (I won’t make any of the comments on this post public so you can remain anonymous).  Or you can email me at mrferlazzo at aol dot com:

1. How accurately do think the Smarter Balanced tests measure what you think students should know?

2. Can you easily gain access to the results, and do they inform your instruction?

3. What have your students said about the Smarter Balanced tests?

4. How much of a role, if any, should the test results have in school or teacher accountability?

5. What would be better alternatives to a test like Smarter Balanced?

6. How does Smarter Balanced compare to previous state tests like STAR?

7. Is there anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?



September 27, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

My New BAM! Radio Show: “What Will Be the Practical Impact of ESSA in the Classroom?”


What Will Be the Practical Impact of ESSA in the Classroom? is the topic of my latest eight-minute BAM! Radio Show.

Barnett Berry and Morgan Polikoff join me in the conversation. It will also be a question covered at one of my future Education Week Teacher columns.

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

September 27, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“‘a Mistake is a Door to Discovery'”

‘a Mistake is a Door to Discovery’ is the headline of the fifth and final installment in my Education Week Teacher series on making mistakes in the classroom.

In it, Bryan Harris, Allison Rodman, Dawn Mitchell, Josh Patterson, Erik M. Francis, Otis Kriegel, Barbara Blackburn, and many readers, contribute their thoughts.

Here are some excerpts:






I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.

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