Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Blended Learning – Help Me Find More

“Blended Learning” has become sort of an education “buzzword.” What, exactly, is it?

Here are some resources to begin answering that question. This is just an initial short list – please suggest additions in the comments:

This is a good infographic comparing blending learning with the flipped classroom. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

How can teachers get devices for blended learning? is from Edutopia.

6 Great Tools for Blended Learning is from Ed Tech Review.

Blended learning revolution: Tech meets tradition in the classroom is from The Christian Science Monitor.

Blended learning: The great new thing or the great new hype? is from The Washington Post.

The Basics of Blended Instruction is from ASCD.

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August 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — 2015


Every year for the past 47 years, Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup have done a Poll On Education issues (you can see my posts from previous years here). This year’s poll results were just released, though I haven’t had time to thoroughly review them yet.

You can read all the results at their site.

I’ll be adding commentaries from others, but here are a few for now:

Poll: Most Americans oppose key tenets of modern school reform is from The Washington Post.

U.S. schools are too focused on standardized tests, poll says is also from The Washington Post.

AFT Responds to PDK-Gallup Poll appears in Diane Ravitch’s blog.

What Does the 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll Tell About Teacher Leadership? is by Barnett Berry.

Gallup: Many Americans oppose linking teacher evaluations to kids’ test performance is from The Associated Press.

Here’s what happens when you ask parents multiple-choice questions is from The L.A. Times.

Two Polls Span Two Poles On Testing is from NPR.

Very Interesting: Poll Finds That Students’ Feeling Engaged & Hopeful Are Top Indicators Of Successful School

What Do Americans Really Think About Education Policy? is from The Atlantic.

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August 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More

As Sarah Garland from The Hechinger Report recently wrote:

In the fight over how to close the racial achievement gap in education, you rarely hear about the only policy that’s ever worked on a national scale: desegregation.

I thought it would be useful, and important, to begin a related “Best” list, and hope that readers can contribute more suggestions.

You might also be interested in:

A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Achievement Gap”

The Best Commentaries On The 60th Anniversary Of Brown vs. Board Of Education

Here’s a few articles to start off with on this new list.  Again, I look forward to reader contributions:

Separate. Unequal. Still. How public school segregation plagues New York City, and why it matters is by Sarah Garland.

The Problem We All Live With is the must-listen to (or must-read transcript) from This American Life, and produced by Nikole Hannah Jones .

Here is how it’s described:

Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there’s one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program.

This Florida School District Is Failing Black Students at a Shocking Rate. That’s Exactly What It Chose to Do. is from Slate.

Two Quotes Of The Day: School Closures, Reform & Desegregation

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August 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Articles & Posts About The “Teacher Shortage”

There has been a lot of media about what has been called a “teacher shortage.” Here are some of the best articles I’ve seen about it:

Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional) is from The New York Times. Peter Greene has a related post that worth’s a read, too.

Teacher Shortage? Or Teacher Pipeline Problem? is from NPR.

The Hidden Costs Of Teacher Turnover is a  report from NPR.

You might also be interested in a three-part series I published on this topic at Education Week Teacher last year.

Is There a Teacher Shortage? That Depends How You Frame It is from Ed Week.

Some Districts Battle Shortage of Teachers as School Begins is from ABC News. Thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip.

Quote Of The Day: Sacramento Bee Realizes “Teaching Bashing” Affects Shortage

Why so many teachers quit, and how to fix that is from The L.A. Times.

As Students Go Back to School, Shortage of Teachers Causes Concern is from NBC News.

The real reasons behind the U.S. teacher shortage is from The Washington Post.

Want to Reduce the Teacher Shortage? Treat Teachers Like Professionals is from NEA Today.

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August 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About The Perseid Meteor Shower

As The NY Times describes it:

the annual Perseid meteor shower will fill the sky with shooting stars. At its peak, between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, an average of one shooting star a minute will zip through the night sky.

I have a number of related resources already at The Best Sites For Learning About Meteor Showers, but here are some new ones specific to this week:

The Perseid meteor shower — the year’s best — is tonight. Here’s how to see it. is from Vox.

Infographic Seeing the Perseid meteor shower is from The L.A. Times.

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August 8, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best TV/Movie Scenes Showing Good & Bad Classroom Discussions

(I’ve actually turned this into a short “Best” list – I’ve received many suggestions of movies, but not clips. So far I’ve only found  one from Up The Down Staircase)

I like to use short scenes from television or the movies to illustrate concepts I’m trying to teach, and now I’d like to create a “Best” list of clips from TV and/or the movies showing examples of both good and bad classroom discussions – in small groups or in the entire class

These would be clips I’d be showing to students, not as a professional development exercise for teachers.

And they don’t even have to be in the classroom – clips of young people talking and demonstrating agreeing/disagreeing/building on what one of them said (or, not demonstrating those kinds of qualities) in any venue would work.

Please leave your suggestions and, ideally, links to video clips, in the comments section will be greatly appreciated.

Of course, if I include your suggestion in the final “Best” list, you’ll receive full credit.

Here they are:

You might also be interested in these other kinds of lists I’ve posted of videos illustrating teaching concepts:

The Best Movie Scenes, Stories, & Quotations About “Transfer Of Learning” – Help Me Find More!

The Best Video Clips Demonstrating “Grit” – Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips On Goal-Setting — Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips & Full-Length Movies For Helping To Teach Persuasive Techniques (Help Me Find More)

The Best Video Clips On The Benefits Of Writing Well — Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips & Full-Length Movies For Helping To Teach Persuasive Techniques (Help Me Find More)

The Best Funny Videos Showing The Importance Of Being Bilingual Or Multilingual — Part One

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Fun Videos To Teach Language Conventions — Help Me Find More

The Best Videos For Teaching & Learning About Figurative Language

The Best TV/Movie Scenes Demonstrating A “Growth Mindset”

The Best Movie/TV Scenes Demonstrating Metacognition

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August 5, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Close Reading Paintings, Photos & Videos

Close reading is a phrase and technique known by just about any teacher trying to apply the Common Core Standards (see The Best Resources On “Close Reading” — Help Me Find More).

And visual images can also function as the “texts” on which we can also apply close reading strategies.

Here are some of the best resources I’ve found providing suggestions on how to do just that – feel free to add to this list in the comments:

Ed Week shared this fantastic lesson from the Teaching Channel today (if the video doesn’t show below because of problems with the embed code, you can go directly to their site here):

10 Intriguing Photographs to Teach Close Reading and Visual Thinking Skills is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Close Reading Constable’s “The Hay Wain” and Turner’s “The Fighting Temeraire” is from Used Books in Class.

Frank W. Baker’s site is fantastic, and you can read his four-part Middleweb series on this topic here.

The National Archives has a well-known photo-analysis worksheet.

Trevor Bryan has created a nice visual on analyzing visuals building on ideas from the great book, Falling In Love With Close Reading.

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning From Images has an excellent series of guiding questions that could be used to close-read any visual image. It was created by the Barat Education Foundation.

Using Art to Teach Critical Thinking is from Edutopia.

“I Could Do That” Is A Great Video For Anyone Interested In Close Reading (& For TOK Teachers)

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August 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Links To The Joint Projects My ELL Geography Class Did With Classes Around The World – Want To Join Us This Year?

The before last, my English Language Learner Geography class did a series of joint projects with classes from around the world composed of students who were also learning English.

It was a great experience and, though I wasn’t able replicate it last year (the influx of Central American refugees created too much extra work for me), I do hope to do it again in the future, and possibly this coming year.

So, if you are in a country other than the United States, your class is composed of twelve-to-eighteen year old’s who are learning English, and you are interested in doing a very short joint project (mainly, we ask questions of your students and they ask questions of us – either in writing or by video), please let me know!

Here are a few of the projects we did (there are others, but some teachers weren’t able to get parental permission to share videos or student writing publicly):

Terrific New Videos: Using English “Sister Classes” From Throughout The World In Our ELL Geography Class (from Brazil)

Great Video Response From English Class In Italy To Our Questions

More Video Responses From Sister Classes — This Time From Latvia!

The Latest Videos From Our Sister Class Geography Project — This Time, From Spain!

Our Latest Response From A Sister Class — This Time From South Africa!

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