Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New ASCD Educational Leadership Issue On Asking Questions – Here Are Highlights

The new issue of ASCD Educational Leadership is online and, as usual, it’s good. The theme is “Questioning For Learning.”

Here are some highlights from articles that aren’t behind a paywall:

There’s an article co-written by the late, great Grant Wiggins on Essential Questions.

Let’s Switch Questioning Around is a nice article by Cris Tovani. Here’s an excerpt from it:

I-challenge-you-to-allow

I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions — Help Me Find More.

The issue also shares an interesting piece of information — every year for the past five years, students say they have felt less comfortable asking questions in class.

Research Says / Help Students Train Their Inner Voice is good report by Bryan Goodwin and Heather Hein on research related to “self-questioning” and metacognition. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Metacognition.

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August 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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NY Times Learning Network Starts A Cool Online Film Discussion Series For Students

opdoc

The New York Times Learning Network is beginning a cool online student discussion series for students this school year. They’ll be doing it twice-each-month, and will be focusing on the short (well-under fifteen minute) “Op-Docs” The New York Times creates for their site.

You can read all about it here.

Most of the videos are probably not that accessible to English Language Learners (unfortunately, The Times still doesn’t provide closed-captioning to their videos), but I’ve been able to use a few of them.

But I think this activity could be a big hit in mainstream classes. Many students are not big fans of documentaries. However, between combining the short length of these with the opportunity of writing reactions for an authentic audience, this could turn out to be a popular activity for teachers across the country and beyond.

This list, The Best Resources On Close Reading Paintings, Photos & Videos, might also be helpful in thinking about how to use the new series.

By the way, speaking a upcoming NY Times Learning Network activities, don’t forget that I’ll be writing weekly interactive exercises, along with writing prompts, for English Language Learners this year on their site! See Weekly Student Interactives For ELLs Are Coming To The N.Y. Times Learning Network for more information.

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August 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Big History Project” Lets You Create Free Virtual Classrooms

bighistory

About a year ago, I blogged about a New York Times article detailing how Bill Gates began his own online history course called The Big History Project (see Teaching History In The News!). Yes, it was as odd as it sounds.

Now, the site has since made a number of updates, including allowing teachers to create free virtual classrooms.

I haven’t changed my basic opinion of it, which was not very enthusiastic. Apart from its Bill Gates origins, the online activities seem to be mainly just quizzes and I think it would be difficult to integrate the entire program into a class, though perhaps portions of it would work.

However, since it has added the virtual classroom piece, I’m still going to add it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

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August 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Study Finds Value In Looking At Mistakes As Positive Learning Experiences

I’ve written and shared a lot about the importance of creating a classroom culture that, in the words of Carol Dweck,”celebrates mistakes” (see The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures).

New research was unveiled today reinforcing the importance of this attitude.

Making a mistake can be rewarding, study finds is a report about it at Science Daily.

Here’s an excerpt:

Scientists-have-long

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August 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Employers Want People With Strong Social Skills

A month after a big new study came out talking about the importance of social skills (see Does This Big New Study On The Importance Of Social Skills Become A New “Marshmallow Test”?), another one has just been published reinforcing those conclusions.

FiveThirtyEight just published a report on this new analysis, and headlined it The Best Jobs Now Require You To Be A People Person.

Here’s an excerpt:

David-Deming-is-the

I’m adding this post to The Best Info On Skills Employers Are Looking For In Job-Seekers.

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August 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two Good Articles – & A Student Writing Prompt – On The Importance Of Reading

I recently discovered two short and accessible articles on the importance of reading:

10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

The surprising benefits of reading before bed (thanks to Jennifer Serravallo).

Here’s a writing prompt I plan to use with students after they read the two of them:

What are at least three reasons the authors of these two articles say why reading is good for you? To what extent do you agree or disagree with what the authors are saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

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August 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Gates Foundation Will Match Contributions That You Receive Today For Your Donors Choose Project

The Gates Foundation has committed to matching contributions to any teacher’s project on Donors Choose – for today.

It’s late today, but the Donors Choose website is still saying the offer is open. I don’t know if they literally mean up until midnight tonight, or if they’ll even consider going on through the weekend. I shared this info on Twitter earlier today, but didn’t get a chance to blog about it until now.

If you have a project on Donors Choose, or if you’re thinking of starting one, tonight’s a good time to encourage your friends and family to throw some money your way.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On – & Advice For Using – Donors Choose.

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