Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Six maps that will make you rethink the world”


Once-or-twice a year, The Washington Post publishes an intriguing collection of maps. You can see links to those previous collections at The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography.

Six maps that will make you rethink the world is their latest one.

I don’t think it’s as good as previous collections, but it’s still worth adding the link to my “Best” list.

April 25, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included


As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of students teaching their classmates, and tons of research backs-up the value of that practice (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More).

This past week was the most recent time I applied this idea in my classes.

I simultaneously teach World History and U.S. History English Language Learner classes (fortunately, this year I have the help of a student teacher – it gets a bit hectic when one is not around). World History students learned about World War I a couple of weeks prior to the U.S. History class getting there. So the World History students divided into pairs to prepare a short unit made-up of a cloze (also known as a “gap-fill” or “fill-in-the-blank” – see The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills)); a data set, which is a series of short texts that students categorize and supplement with more information they find (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching); and a “Make-and-Break,” a term coined by my friend and mentor Kelly Young to describe a simple sequencing activity.

Here is the entire prep and planning packet used by my World History students, which also included a requirement to prepare teaching “moves” and a lesson plan. The process is easily adaptable to just about any topic or subject area. It’s somewhat similar to a lesson you’ll find in one of my student motivation books.

I gave students four days to prepare the unit, including making a master packet and multiple copies of student hand-outs for when they taught. Here is an example of one of the master packets prepared by a group of students.

Fortunately, we were able to use the library for our three days of teaching. U.S. History students were divided into seven groups, as were the World History students. Each group was assigned to a table, and each day the World History group taught one of the three lessons. At the end of each day, the U.S. History students would do some reading in their textbook for a few minutes while I met with the World History class to review the lesson for the following day.

It all went very well. The U.S. History students are eager now to “turn-the-tables,” and both classes will be using the same process on a historical topic of their choice for part of their final “exam” – a “Genius Hour” version (see The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” (Also Known As “Genius Hours”) To Schools).

Here are a few reflective comments by my World History students:

When I teach, I liked to tell what I learn and know about the lesson.

When I teach, I learned be a teacher was not easy so we have to be nice to our teacher.

I learned about to be more patient and pay attention to others.

I like about taught other people what I know. I like the way they focus and hard-working what I’m teaching.

What I liked about this project is that I could help my “students” understand what we were doing.

What I learned about teaching is that it could be hard work if the student does not focus.

Teaching is a responsible profession that you need to carry with you because the future of your students depends on you.

I learned how to explain something to the students.

April 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Resources On “Hamilton” Musical


Here are new additions to The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”:

Forget Hamilton, Burr Is the Real Hero is from TIME.

Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ Makes Its Way Into NYC’s High School Curriculum is from NPR.

12 things we learned from the “Hamiltome,” the new book about the revolutionary musical is from Vox.

How Lin-Manuel Miranda taught liberals to love Alexander Hamilton is from Vox.

Why ‘Hamilton’ Has Heat is from The NY Times.

Hamilton Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize is from PlayBill.

Why Fans of Hamilton Should Be Delighted It’s Finally Stirring Criticism is from Slate.

Success of ‘Hamilton’ May Have Saved Hamilton on the $10 Bill is from The NY Times.

‘Hamilton’ Musical Will Make Appearances in N.Y.C. Classrooms is from Ed Week.

‘Hamilton’ Brings the Show to New York Public School Students is from NBC News.

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