Time for another mid-year “Best” list.

I’m adding list list to ALL MID-YEAR “BEST OF 2019” LISTS IN ONE PLACE!

You can find previous editions of this list, along with other “Best” lists related to instruction, here.

Here are my choices:

The Art of Persuasion Hasn’t Changed in 2,000 Years is a new article in the Harvard Business Review, and it would be a great one for students to read. The article is very accessible, and provides an overview of the five rhetorical devices Aristotle highlighted in his work, Rhetoric. Anyone who wants to become to become a better public speaker, or be an effective “change agent,” could also find it helpful. I’m adding it to:

The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations

The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays

The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change


Thanks to the great Cristina Cabal, I learned about Fluent Key. It’s a free tool that lets you choose any video from just about anywhere and turn it into an interactive quiz with many different types of questions. There are also lots of already-created video quizzes. You can use it like Kahoot or Quizizz, too, by choosing a video and giving students a code so they can play it together on their own devices. Plus, you can also create your own virtual class and assign videos for students to watch. I’m adding it to:

The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress



Guest Post: Equity & Access In Schools

Twelve Ways ELLs – & Anyone Else – Can Read & Demonstrate Understanding Of A Textbook Chapter – Add To The List!

New & Revised: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”

Here’s The Year-In-Review Presentation Plan My Students Used This Week – Handouts & Slideshow Examples Included!

A lot of us at our school use what our principal, Jim Peterson, calls “walk-and-talks”: taking a student out of another class during our prep period to “walk-and-talk” with him/her. They are great ways to build relationships, work through challenging issues, and “clear the air.” In fact, I’ve previously posted a guest post from Jim, Guest Post: “Walk & Talks” Are Extremely Effective Way To Connect With Students – Here’s A “How-To” Guide. The Washington Post published an interesting article about how therapists are finding their versions of “walk-and-talks” to be especially effective with teens (we obviously don’t view the interactions we do at school to do “therapy”). The article is worth checking out: Why some practitioners of walk-and-talk therapy think it is especially helpful for teens.

Debra Hanson has given me permission to share this excellent Anchor Chart/Infographic on “Expanding Sentences.” She explains how she uses it in class here. I’m adding it to Best Posts On Writing Instruction.


Google unveiled a free reading app called Rivet. It has 2,000 free e-books, and tons of features, including reading the words aloud and having students record what they hear – with artificial intelligence then assessing its accuracy. Teachers can create virtual classrooms and, I assume, monitor student progress (the ability to view student reading histories is not appear to be explicitly spelled out in the teacher’s guide, but I assume that’s the case). The app can be downloaded on Android and IOS devices, and on Chromebooks. It’s unfortunate, however, that it can’t be accessed on the web without the app. You can read more about it at Google and at TechCrunch.

Learning Together is a new teacher resource site from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. It seems to focus on a new theme each month (how did I not know that April was Arab American Heritage Month?), and collects past resources in its archives section. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The Best Ideas On Peer Review Of Student Writing

NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast is one of the few shows I always check out – practically all their shows can relate to education, and they also provide transcripts to them. Thanks to Ray Salazar on Twitter, I learned that they now provide classroom lesson plans for some of their shows. Based on a quick review, I wouldn’t call them exceptional ones, but they certainly provide good starting points for teachers who want to use them with their students.

One Way I’m Promoting “Transfer Of Learning” With My Students – Handout & Videos Included

Thanks to an article in The New York Times (Splat! Bam! It’s the Federal Reserve to the Rescue), I learned that the Federal Reserve Bank publishes comic books, along with lesson plans for how to use them in middle and high school, about economics. They look pretty accessible to me. I don’t teach Economics, but I’ve certainly see economics textbooks. I suspect most students would welcome a change-of-pace to comics for a bit….

Thanks to Rebecca MarsickMaggie B. Roberts and @ShawnaCoppola, I learned about Thinkalong. It’s a free project of Connecticut Public Radio and Television designed to promote medial literacy and critical thinking, and has all the resources you need for lessons that promote both. Here is how they describe themselves:

Thinkalong is a learning tool designed for middle school students to build critical thinking, media literacy and debate skills. Thinkalong asks students to put social issues under a microscope by evaluating sources, considering multiple sides of an argument, and engaging in respectful dialogue.

Even though it’s designed for middle schools, I can easily use it in high school, too. This is how they explain how it works:

Thinkalong provides a framework for evidence-based discussion with its three-step process, investigate, contemplate, and debate. Students read, watch, and listen to credible news sources, analyze them with a media literacy lens, and debate the question with their peers.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teaching & Learning Critical Thinking In The Classroom,


NPR ran a story about what it characterized as a successful informational literacy program in Ukraine called “Listen and Discern” (see Students In Ukraine Learn How To Spot Fake Stories, Propaganda And Hate Speech). I did some searching online, and found the program’s main website. It’s apparently being adapted for use in various countries around the world, including in the United States. The curriculum itself doesn’t appear to be freely available, but there is a teacher’s guide that I think shares some useful ideas, along with an online game for students. I’m adding this info to The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More.

The Best Reviews Of What Research Says About Effective Writing Instruction

The Eight Best Teaching & Learning Resources Available On This Blog

The Feedback Fallacy is a new article at The Harvard Business Review that offers some of the best, and most practical, advice I’ve seen on providing feedback. It’s a bit lengthy (longer than it needs to be, in my opinion), but you’ll want to read it until the end. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

Ways To Turn A Bad Teacher-Student Relationship Into A Good One

I’m a regular writer and sharer of useful articles on positive classroom management strategies (see Best Posts On Classroom Management) and on the importance of building teacher-student relationships (see The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students). Studies have recently come out on applying a technique known as “establish-maintain-restore” (it refers to relationships) in elementary and in middle schools. The research found this strategy to be very successful. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to the many teachers who have been implementing this kind of positive relationship-building focus in their classroom for years, but it never hurts to be able to point to research when defending what we’re doing to potentially critical administrators. Of course, who among us really wants to read dry academic studies?Fortunately, Youki Terada at Edutopia has written a very concise and practical summary of the study’s results, including very practical ideas of how teachers can implement this idea of “establish-maintain-restore.” You’ll want to read his article, The Key to Effective Classroom Management and, I think, share it widely. It’s definitely one of the best pieces I’ve read on classroom management.


Guest Post: What Does Tom Brady Have In Common With A Great Teacher?

Check out NEWS BREAK (not breaking news): Teacher asks students to grade him. One wrote: ‘I give Mr. Ferlazzo an A at being annoying.’

Editing List For When Teachers Write Books

Retrieval Practice Update

I learned about this excellent collection of instructional strategies via a tweet by Tony Vincent. It’s from the University of Oklahoma, and is very well-designed. Click on the “card” and it will take you to a much more extensive explanation of the method. I’m adding it to The Best Collections Of Instructional Strategies.

Great Reflection: “Things we (all educators) need to leave in 2018”