Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

David Brooks Does His Best – Again – To Give Social Emotional Learning Skills A Bad Name


My wonderful, and now deceased, first wife used to tell me – endearingly – “How can somebody so smart in so many ways be so dumb in others?”

It’s my turn to ask that same question – minus the endearing tone – to David Brooks, who seems to lose any sense of rationality whenever he writes about education-related issues, as I’ve regularly pointed in this blog.

He seems to have a particular affinity for giving Social Emotional Learning a bad name (see With Friends Like David Brooks, Social Emotional Learning Doesn’t Need Any Enemies and David Brooks Gets It Wrong Again).  In fact, it was one of his columns that inspired me to to call him and others advocates of the “Let Them Eat Character” philosophy in my Washington Post piece, The Manipulation of Social Emotional Learning.

He’s at it again in today’s column, titled The Choice Explosion.

After first making some excellent points about how people can improve their decision-making abilities, he suggests that a class on it should be included in schools. Of course, anyone teaching good Social Emotional Learning skills is already doing that, but I don’t have any problem with him making the suggestion.

Then, however, he says it’s especially important for “less fortunate” students because “the choice explosion has contributed to widening inequality.” On top of that, he justifies it by (mis)using important research (see The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough) on the limiting effect poverty has been shown on “cognitive bandwidth,” while the researchers emphasized their public conclusions on the importance of anti-poverty programs.

Teaching social emotional learning skills must be paired with helping our students see the institutional obstacles they face to success and strategies – individual and collective – they can use to overcome them.

The next time David Brooks wants to write a column in The New York Times about effective strategies to reduce inequality, he might want to start off with reading The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality and The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality.

May 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Endangered Species Day Is Later This Month – Here Are Related Resources


May 22nd has been named The International Day for Biological Diversity by the United Nations. Started in 2006 by the U.S. Congress, Endangered Species Day is the third Friday of May.

I’ve just revised and updated The Best Resources For World Biodiversity Day (& Endangered Species Day).

May 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: The Value Of Teacher Collaboration

Competing Strands Of Educational Reform Policy: Can Collaborative School Reform and Teacher Evaluation Reform Be Reconciled? is a new and important paper from The Shanker Institute.

It raises more questions than provides answers, but they’re very important questions.

Here’s an excerpt:


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

May 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Copies Of Our New Book On ELLs & The Common Core Are Shipping Today – Here Are All Excerpts In One Place!


People who have ordered our new book, Navigating the Common Core with English Language Learners, from Amazon should be receiving them in the mail tomorrow. If you like it, don’t feel shy about leaving a review there!

I thought readers might find it useful for me to share all the excerpts that have been published in various outlets, and putting them together in one place. I think one more is going to be published in The Washington Post soon:


Edutopia published three excerpts related to writing…

Common Core Writing & ELLs

Collaborative Writing, Common Core, and ELLs

Peer Review, Common Core, and ELLs


Middleweb published an extensive excerpt on reading…

Ideas for “Close Reading” with ELL Students (it also has a “bonus” excerpt on “ELL Students & Reading for Pleasure”)


Education Week published two excerpts on speaking and listening…

Helping English-Learners Meet the Common-Core’s Speaking and Listening Standards

Chat Stations, Predictions, and ‘Wingmen’: More Speaking and Listening Activities for ELLs


MindShift published an excerpt related to SEL…

How to Cultivate Student Agency in English Language Learners

May 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Nice CBS News Interview With Angela Duckworth On “Grit”


CBS News aired a useful interview with Angela Duckworth this morning. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”:

May 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“‘When I Started Teaching, I Wish I had Known…'”

‘When I Started Teaching, I Wish I had Known…’ is Part Two in my three-post Education Week Teacher series.

In it, Linda Hoyt, Jenny Edwards, Mary Tedrow, and Vance L. Austin offer their suggestions about what they know now that they wish they had known then…

Here are some excerpts:





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