Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Khan Academy & Pixar Unveil “Pixar In A Box”

pixar

Thanks to John Fensterwald, I initially heard about Pixar In A Box, a new project unveiled by Khan Academy yesterday:

its new online curriculum Pixar in a Box analyzes how the studio fuses art, tech, science, engineering, and math to develop top-shelf animated cinema. Created with middle and high school students in mind but available to everyone, Pixar in a Box’s interactive exercises, in-depth video lessons, and hands-on activities are an informative addition to Khan Academy’s extensive educational resources.

I’m not a math teacher, so can’t say much about the quality of the program. However, I can say that the videos seem much, much better than the usual Khan fare.

Here’s a an introduction to the Pixar In A Box:

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts About The Khan Academy.

Print Friendly

July 31, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

You Can Now Create Your Own Activities With Amazing Math App Desmos

desmos

I am amazingly ignorant about math, but a zillion math teachers tell me that Desmos is the best math app out there, which I shared in recent ASCD Educational Leadership article, Apps, Apps Everywhere: Are Any Good, You Think?

Dan Meyer has just shared the Desmos unveiled a new feature – the ability for teachers to create their own activities on the site.

I don’t understand any of this, but I’m assuming this makes Desmos even better!

Print Friendly

July 13, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Quote Of The Day: The “frustrating disappointments” of Ed Tech

Are We Investing in History Repeating Itself? is an interesting article about ed tech that appeared today in Bright.

Here’s an excerpt:

Advocates-of-educational

You might also be interested in The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech.

The same article also mentioned a nice site called MathTrain.TV set-up by a California middle school teacher. His students create videos – much more engaging ones, I might add, than what you’ll see at The Khan Academy — teaching math concepts to an authentic audience.

Here’s an explanation of the site:

Print Friendly

April 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Ways To Teach Common Core Math To ELLs”

Ways To Teach Common Core Math To ELLs is the title of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, educators Bill Zahner, Ben Spielberg, Gladis Kersaint, Denisse R. Thompson, Maria Montelvo-Balbed, and Denise Huddlestun share their suggestions for how teachers can best handle the challenge of teaching Common Core Math to English Language Learners.

Here are some excerpts:

Mathematics-is-most

For-both-English

Best-strategies-is-a

Culturally-and

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching Common Core Math To English Language Learners.

Print Friendly

April 2, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Common Core Math & ELLs Is Focus Of My New BAM! Radio Show

math

How Are Common Core Standards Impacting Teaching Math to ELLs? is the topic of my latest ten-minute BAM! Radio Show.

I talk with Ben Spielberg, Denisse R. Thompson, and Gladis Kersaint, all whom have also contributed written commentaries which will appear in one of my future Education Week Teacher columns.

Print Friendly

February 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

PhotoMath Is Now Available For Android

photomathmath

The PhotoMath app, originally released as an iPhone app a few months ago, is now available for Android devices.

The app lets you point it at a math problem on a textbook and then solves it while showing all the work involved.

You might also be interested in my post about it from last October, PhotoMath & Reactions To It From Around The Web.

Print Friendly

January 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Guest Post: One Teacher’s Perspective On Common Core Math

As regular readers know, I’m not a huge fan of the Common Core Standards (at least for English), but am now focused on figuring out ways to implement them in the classroom (see A Collection Of My “Best” Lists On The Common Core).

The math department at our school, with the leadership of Gretchen McMeekin, has embraced the new standards with enthusiasm. I have a lot of respect for the judgment of my colleagues, and an enormous amount of it for Gretchen. I’ve invited her to contribute a guest post sharing her thoughts on applying the Common Core Math Standards in our school.

Gretchen McMeekin has been teaching at Luther Burbank High School for 10 years. She is currently the math department head and teaches IB mathematics and Integrated Math 1. She grew up in the Washington DC suburbs and has Undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina. (Editor’s Note: She’s also a very good basketball player)

gretchen

Most professionals will never be asked to factor a quadratic or simplify a square root. Most will, however, be asked to critique the reasoning of others. In my 10th year of teaching I have embraced the common core for just that reason. The standards of math practice ask students to be problem solvers with the ability to look at a situation, find patterns, utilize resources, and use math models in order to persevere in solving problems.

I get so frustrated when I see complaints on Facebook about common core: they put up a problem and say I don’t know how to do this. Why aren’t teachers teaching the easy way I learned? I find myself arguing that the new way is actually good and it teaches students number sense. I’ve lately realized this isn’t even the right conversation about common core.

The content standards have not changed that much with the common core. What has changed is the expectation that students can approach a problem before being told exactly how to do it. Students are expected to explain their reasoning and engage with each other rather than just the teacher.

Here’s what I witness in my Freshman Math 1 Classroom:

The problem:

Find the equation of a line that connects the relation

chart111

 

 

 

Math explanation for those of you that are not math teachers:

The answer is y=3x-2 because 3 times the x value -2 is equal to the y value.

Ex: 3(0)-2=-2  and 3(2)-2=4 and 3(4)-2=10

 

The old share out:

Smartest student in class: I got y=3x-2

Teacher: good

Almost Every other student in class: I got that too (because they don’t want to share if they didn’t)

 

The new share out:

Kong says the equation that links x to y is y=6x-2.  Paul says it’s y= 3x-2.

Teacher: What did Kong do well in his thinking and what did Paul do well?

Kids discussion as witnessed in my class:

Jackie: They both got the starting point right but I think Kong is right because the rate of change is +6.

Richard: no you are wrong

Teacher: Remember your academic disagreement, Richard

Richard: Oh right. I see what you are saying about the change in y, but you forgot to consider the x’s?

Jackie: I don’t think that matters.

Marabelle: I looked at it a different way… if you plug in the point (2,4) it works in Paul’s equation not in Kong’s.

Teacher: Does everyone understand what Marabelle said?

Jackie: Yes. but I still think the rate of change should be 6.

Teacher: Ok, I need everyone to think about this. We know Paul’s equation is right, but how do you get the rate of change of 3 from the table?

Edgar: Maybe because of what Richard said about the x’s?

Jennifer: Right cuz it skips every other so it’s really changing 3.

Teacher: I don’t quite understand.

Kemari: Well, like it changes 6 for 2 so if you break it evenly it changes 3 each 1.

Alexis: Oh, you have to divide the y change by the x change.

 

These freshman are engaging in academic conversation in the math classroom. They are presenting their arguments and listening to others. Different perspectives are welcome because it helps kids see the problem in a different way. Often they understand each other better than they used to understand me. Right or wrong is no longer the only important aspect of problem solving – the conversation and the ability and willingness to express your opinion is also critically important.

To me the Common Core is about skills that you need beyond high school. The Standards of Math Practice nicely sum up skills we need that we can get from a math classroom.

I don’t think parents would complain about their teacher trying to teach the kids how to spot and explain patterns. They wouldn’t be upset about teachers teaching kids to be good calm logical arguers.  We would all celebrate our children being problem solvers with perseverance.

To-me-the-Common-Core-is

Print Friendly

November 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Teaching Common Core Math To English Language Learners

Ways To Teach Common Core Math To ELLs is the title of one of my latest Education Week Teacher columns.

I’m hearing that many math teachers, at least in the secondary level, are finding it very challenging to teach Common Core math to English Language Learners.

I thought I’d start bringing together some potentially useful resources, and hope readers will contribute more.

In addition, I’d love to interview teachers who are having success teaching Common Core math to ELLs, so please leave a comment if you’d be open to talking with me. Please leave a comment if you’re open to talking.

Before I share resources specifically related to Common Core math, here are some math-related “Best” lists I’ve previously posted:

The Best Math Websites For English Language Learners
The Best Science & Math Sites — 2008

The Best Science & Math Sites — 2009
The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress

You might also be interested in this article: Is math a universal language or a foreign language for ELLs? from MultiBriefs.

And then there’s The Best Resources For Learning About Common Core Standards & English Language Learners.

Okay, now here are some Common Core-connected math resources:

Common-Core Math Standards Put New Focus on English-Learners is an important article from Education Week.

Diane Staehr Fenner has put together an excellent post, Resources for Teaching the CCSS in Mathematics to ELLs.

Laura Stevens has also compiled a very useful list.

Check out the resources at Understanding Language at Stanford.

Common Core Math for English Language Learners

Teaching English learners language of math is from Ed Source.

Cutting to the Common Core: Mathematically Speaking is from Language Magazine.

Making Word Problems Less Problematic is from TESOL.

Again, I hope that readers will contribute more!

Print Friendly