Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Second Depressing Statistic Of The Day: “Thirteen States Now Require Grads to Pass Citizenship Test”


Thirteen States Now Require Grads to Pass Citizenship Test is the headline of an article in today’s Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:


Why is this statistic depressing, you might ask?

Well, I wrote a fairly extensive post about this last year headlined Yes, Schools Should Develop Active Citizens &, No, We Don’t Need Another Test To Do It, which may be worth a visit. Here’s an excerpt:

Considering my nineteen year career as a community organizer, it’s no surprise that I’m a big believer in schools helping to develop the citizenship skills of our students. However, I think making students having to study and pass yet another standardized test is a terrible, and ineffective, strategy to use in trying to achieve that goal. It’s like calling into Talk Radio – it makes some feel like they’re doing something to make a difference when, in fact, they’re doing nothing at all.

June 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

NBC Begins Useful Series Of Videos About Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders


NBC Asian America Presents is a new video series highlighting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

You can find all the videos at that link, though they are Facebook versions there. You can also find them at the site’s YouTube Channel.

Here are a few examples:

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

June 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Muhammad Ali, R.I.P. – Useful Resources To Teach About His Life


Who doesn’t have significant memories about Muhammad Ali, the amazing boxer and man who died last night?

Here are some resources that might be helpful to teachers now and in the future when teaching about his life:

June 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

June Is Immigrant Heritage Month – Here Are Related Resources


A very large group of private non-profits and public agencies began Immigrant Heritage Month in 2013.

For this year, they’ve begun an “I Am An Immigrant” campaign, which you can read about at NBC News and learn by watching this video:

This particular new campaign encourages people to post images of themselves online saying they are an immigrant, so that may not work for most teachers and classes.

However, the idea of Immigrant Heritage Month might work as a jumping-off point to discuss immigration issues.

You can find additional resources at The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States.

June 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Roots” Visualization Of Atlantic Slave Trade


The remake of “Roots” is playing this week, and the History Channel has a good supporting website that includes a visualization of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

I’m adding it to the Slavery In The Colonies blog post on my United States History class blog, where it joins several similar resources (I’ll share them at the bottom of this post).

Unfortunately, though the History Channel has a track record of creating some great history interactives, they also have a terrible track record of keeping them live on their site — they often disappear in a year or two. With luck, this one will stay up longer.

Here are a few other similar resources:

Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes is from Slate, and is pretty amazing.

May 31, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Sites On Economics My Students Will Be Using In Their Virtual Summer School

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As I’ve posted in Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom,” I’ve set-up virtual classrooms for my present Beginning English Language Learner students who are moving up to Intermediate English with me next year; my present ELL Geography students who moving into World History with me; and my present World History students going into U.S. History.

We’ll be spending Thursday and Friday in the library and computer lab getting students registered and familiar with the sites, and I announced those plans today.

However, with the work involved in setting those activities up, I neglected to do anything for my present ELL U.S. History students who will be entering Economics/Government class next year with a different teacher (who is very open to giving them extra credit). And several made it very clear today that they wanted that option available to them.

So, with school ending soon, I scrambled tonight to set up some activities they could do for Economics. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull a Government component together in time.

So, here’s what I have for them. Please let me know if you have positive or negative opinions of them (I was able to give them a fairly good look-over and tried their “demos,” but I didn’t have time to give my usual extensive review), or suggestions for others. They needed to have some kind of process where I could monitor process and validate their work, be free of cost, and, of course, be relatively accessible to English Language Learners:

Hands On Banking is from Wells Fargo. It doesn’t actually let teachers create virtual classrooms, but there are assessments that students can take at the end of the course which appears they can either print-out or take a screenshot of demonstrating they completed the program.

Money Skill looks like an accessible online series of activities (they provide audio support for much of the text) and the interactives look relatively engaging. They say they typically provide instructors with an account within twenty-four hours, and I’m hoping they stick to that commitment.

FoolProof seems to have a lot of similarities to Money Skill, including instructors needing to wait for twenty-four hours until they get their account.

GeniRevolution is clearly more complicated than the first three, and is designed like a series of video games. It was hard for me to understand how to play it (however, you have to remember that I look back fondly at “Pong”). I am, though, regularly surprised at how sophisticated my students are at figured these kinds of activities out, so I’m going to offer it as an option. It’s easy to set-up up a virtual classroom and you’re given a class code immediately.

EverFi is good, but our economics teachers already use it with their students during the school year.

There you have it. I’m all ears from those more experienced than me – I’ve only taught Economics and Government once, and it was several years ago.

May 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Three Useful Links About The World’s Different Cultures


Here are new additions to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures:

The secret to disagreeing with people from 20 different countries, in one chart is from The Washington Post.

Different Cultures See Deadlines Differently is from The Harvard Business Review.

What the world’s sleeping patterns look like is from Quartz.

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