Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Teaching & Learning Resources About Harriet Tubman


As everybody knows by know, Harriet Tubman’s image is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the U.S. twenty-dollar bill.

I thought readers, and my students, would find it useful to collect related resources. I’ll be adding a link to this list to my U.S. History class blog, too.

Because of that, the resources I’ll list here first are accessible to English Language Learners. The ones near the end of the list are useful to mainstream students and to teachers:

Professor Garfield Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman Timeline

America’s Story: Harriet Tubman

Talking E-Book Biography of Tubman

9 Fascinating Facts About Harriet Tubman, the New Face of the $20 Bill is from TIME.

Langston Hughes on Harriet Tubman

thinkport Tubman interactive

Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill reminds us that access to cash is a civil rights issue is from The Washington Post.

Harriet Tubman to appear on $20 bill, while Alexander Hamilton remains on $10 bill is from The Washington Post.

You have no idea how hardcore Harriet Tubman really was is from The Washington Post.

Harriet Tubman Isn’t the First Black Woman to Appear on Currency in the U.S. is from Slate.

Five myths about Harriet Tubman is from The Washington Post.

I’m adding this list to All My “Best” Lists On Race, Racism & The Civil Rights Movement – In One Place.

April 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California


Out here in California, we’ll be voting this year on an important ballot initiative this fall, the Multilingual Education Act.

It’s pretty big stuff and there seems to have been surprisingly little written about it – so far.

Here’s the best of the lot – and I’ll be adding more as I see them:

Conor Williams wrote an excellent piece for LA School Report, and it’s headlined Commentary: Why CA’s ‘Multilingual Education Act’ matters: Politics, language and Los Angeles’ future.

Why voters should end California’s limits on bilingual education is an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Battle of bilingual education once again brewing in California appeared on the PBS News Hour site.

April 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Links For Helping Students Learn How To Write “Leads” or “Ledes”


I’m having students in my ELL World History class learn how to write “leads” or “ledes” of newspaper articles, and we’re beginning with doing them around events between the two World Wars.

Here’s what I have so far, and I hope that readers will contribute more:

How to Write a News Article: The Intro or Lede is from St. Petersburg College.

How to Write a Lead is from Purdue.

Examples – just look at the first paragraphs of the examples.

More Examples – again, just look at the first paragraphs of the stories.

Newspaper Game

BBC Newspaper Game

Newspaper Story Format from Read Write Think.

Who, What, When, Where Game

April 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills


As regular readers know, I’m a big Golden State Warriors fan and regularly visualize myself as Stephen Curry when I’m often shooting three-pointers when I’m playing (unfortunately, the percentage of my shots that actually go in is far, far lower than Curry’s :) ).

Today, Doug Lemov spotted and shared this great “Growth Mindset” headline and article from The Washington Post, and that got me thinking it might be useful to bring all my previous posts about the Warriors and SEL skills together in one “Best” list:


Here are links to my previous posts (you also might be interested in The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources :

Check out my student interactive for English Language Learners at the New York Times Learning Network uses basketball superstar Stephen Curry to teach about similes (and the importance of practice).

“Control Your Destiny”: Positive Self-Talk, Students & Stephen Curry

The Golden State Warriors & Social Emotional Learning

Excellent Examples Of Deliberate Practice To Use With Students

Here’s A Stephen Curry Quote Teachers Can Use With Their Students!

I’m sure there will be more!

Go, Warriors!

April 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Teaching Shakespeare To English Language Learners


First off, I’ve got to say that I’ve never tried teaching Shakespeare to English Language Learners and, to tell the truth, I’m not sure I’m every going to try.

However, today The British Council released a series of six great videos and accompanying interactives to do just that, and I’m certainly going to invite my ELLs to check them out.  This month is the 400th anniversary of his death.

And, while I’m at it, I thought I’d collect some other resources I’ve posted about in the past that might also fit on a “Best” Shakespeare list. Feel free to share, one, your thoughts about teaching Shakespeare to ELLs and, two, other resources you think should be on this list:

As I mentioned, the British Council released their videos. Here’s what they wrote about them:

We have six special videos adapted for children, which tell the stories of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Each video comes with games and a downloadable worksheet.

On TeachingEnglish, teachers will find lesson plans for each video aimed at primary-aged children. 

Find out more about how the British Council is celebrating Shakespeare with the Shakespeare Lives project. 

How to make Shakespeare easy for English language learners is another British Council post.

Do you write like Shakespeare? is a fun interactive.

“This is Your Brain on Shakespeare”

Understanding Shakespeare with visualization is from Flowing Data.

Book Reviews – & Shakespeare – In Three Panels

March 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs


The new Every Student Succeed Act is going to bring changes to our schools, and to our English Language Learner policies (see The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners).

One of those changes relates to “reclassification” – when are ELLs no longer considered ELLs?

I have a lot of concerns about how ESSA might put pressure on quick reclassification and schools gaming the system, though I know not everyone shares them.

I thought it would be useful to bring together a few resources on this specific topic and invite readers to contribute their thoughts:

The Effects of Changing Test-Based Policies for Reclassifying English Learners is an important research paper on the dangers of reclassifying ELLs (in other words, not providing extra support any longer to them).

Coincidentally, The Council of Chief State School Officers (the organization behind the creation of the Common Core Standards) has released recommendations on how states and school districts should reclassify English-language learners. You can read all about it at Ed Week.

Reclassifying English Language Learners: What’s the effect on Wisconsin high schoolers? is from The Brookings Institution.

This report is getting a fair amount of attention, but I’m unclear why people seem so surprised by its conclusion: Language literacy in kindergarten important for success in learning English . Read more about it at Ed Week, Pre-K Literacy Key to English-Language Learner Reclassification, Study Finds.

Districts’ stringent criteria can delay reclassifying English learners is from Ed Source.

Researchers Identify ‘Goldilocks Effect’ of Reclassification on High School ELLs is from Ed Week.

A Strategy for Predicting How Long It Takes for ELL Students to Reclassify is from Education Northwest.

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