Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 12, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Student Presentation Is An Example Of Why The “KnowMe” App Is Perfect For ELL Teachers


Last month, I wrote “KnowMe” Has Immediately Become The Most Useful iPhone App In My Classroom.

I’ve been using this free app a lot in my classroom since that time, and thought I’d share a short and simple video we made in the classroom today.

We’re working on a persuasive essay and, as part of the study, have studied advertising. This particular lesson came from The WRITE Institute, and students had to find ads using six different persuasive methods.

They made a post of their findings, and then made a short presentation. Recording them with KnowMe was so easy!

All I had to do was first take quick photos of the posters with my Smartphone. Then, I went to the app, tapped the photo, and it recorded the presentation as long as I had my finger on the picture. I took my finger off it when the first group was done; then, tapped the photo of the second group during their presentation. I then immediately emailed the link to myself and within a minute was able to show it to the class. Later at home I saved the video to my computer to upload it to our class blog and here – and no hassle with YouTube Safety Mode restrictions!

And it’s super-easy to integrate video with photos if you want to!

February 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Announcing “Question Week 2016″!

Warren Berger, author of “A More Beautiful Question” writes:

It’s always a good time for asking questions, but now there’s an especially good time: the week of March 13 to 19, otherwise known as “Question Week 2016.” I am organizing this event in partnership with the Right Question Institute and other organizations that champion questioning. It’s the 3rd year in a row we’ve done a questioning event timed to Einstein’s birthday, but this year, we plan to expand it–involving many schools from all around the country and even some schools outside the US. 

Here’s the plan: During Question Week, participating schools and classrooms across the US will conduct questioning exercises or activities with students, sharing the results on social media. There is a website already up that provides guidance and tips on possible questioning exercises or activities you can do. But you may also choose to do something different — as long it is question-related, it qualifies as a Question Week activity. Also during that week, live special events will feature public discussion on the power of questioning. Visitors to the Question Week website will discover how “beautiful questions” have changed the world around us; they’ll also learn how to ask better questions themselves. And everyone will be encouraged to share their questions on the site, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

If all goes as planned, we’ll have lots of schools — of all different types — conducting fun questioning activities, then sharing it all on social media (#QuestionWeek). The goal is to flood the Internet with questions! This is a passion project of mine: ever since my book came out I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see how this issue (the importance of asking questions) resonates with teachers and students. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to designate a time to try to generate a bit more awareness and momentum around questioning. 

I invite everyone to visit the Question Week site and think about how you can participate when the time comes. And please spread the word about Question Week.

I’ve previously posted many resources from Warren and others at The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions.

February 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Drawing Out” Book Is Excellent For ELL Beginner Homework


The primary “homework” I’ve usually given to my English Language Learners is working online with either Duolingo or Raz-Kids.

Recently, I’ve supplemented that with follow-up to the Concept Attainment-Plus writing instruction I’ve developed – at least for Intermediate ELLs.

For my Beginner students, recently, I’ve given them copies of an excellent book from Alta ESL Publishers titled Drawing Out. Most work with tutors in our school library after the regular school day ends, and the book provides simple and enjoyable activities Beginners can do with a a little assistance to get started. It promotes their language development and, importantly, they enjoy working on the activities. We then review their work the following day.

It’s a bit pricey at $35, but I think it’s worth it.

I’d love to hear of other book recommendations readers have….

I’m adding the book to The Fifteen Tech Tools & Non-Tech Resources I Use Most Often With My Students, which is now sixteen with the addition of “Drawing Out.”

February 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s An Example Of How I Scaffold A Short Writing Prompt

I’ve written in my books and here on this blog about how I often have students – ELL and proficient English students – respond to simple writing prompts with a paragraph following either an “ABC” (Answer the Question; Back it up; make a Comment/Connection) or “PQC” format (Point/Quote/Connect).

You can read my past posts about it here, including several models.

My ELL Geography students are studying Mexico right now, and I thought readers might find it useful to see an example of how I scaffold a writing prompt using the ABC format.

Here’s a picture of it, and you can download the sheet here.

ABC prompt

If you have any suggestions on how to make it better, or have sources of similar scaffolds, I’m all ears!

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

February 9, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s What My Students Think Of A Growth Mindset

A few days ago, I wrote an extremely popular post, I Did My Best Job Teaching A “Growth Mindset” Today – Here’s The Lesson Plan.

Part of that lesson plan was giving students a short period of time to read about Growth Mindset research and respond to a prompt.

Here are a few responses:

Dweck one

Dweck three

Dweck two

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”

February 9, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

My All-Time Favorite Posts!


As regular readers know, this month marks the ninth anniversary of this blog (you can see a list of the “all-time” most popular posts during that time here).

And many readers are familiar with my regularly updated lists of “all-time” favorite sites (you can see them at All Of My “All-Time” Best Lists In One Place!).

Every six months, I also make lists of my favorites posts and articles during those periods (you can see them all here).

I thought it would be appropriate for me to take a look at those favorite lists and share “my favorites of my favorites.”

First off, here are my favorite “Best” lists (you can see all 1,600 of them here):

The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Knowing What You Don’t Know

The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change

The Best Fun Videos About Books & Reading

The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven”

The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing

The Best Posts & Articles About Compromise

The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers)

The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students

A Collection Of The Best “Laugh While You Cry” Videos.

The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

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

A Collection Of The Best Fun, Yet True, “Said No Teacher Ever” Resources

My Best Posts On Writing Instruction

Next, here are my favorite “non-Best list” posts:

How To Recover From A Classroom Train Wreck….

“What I Cannot Create, I Do Not Understand”

Ducklings Video Demonstrates Great “Differentiated Instruction”

Is This The Most Important Research Study Of 2012? Maybe

An Effective Five-Minute Lesson On Metacognition

Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe

Collective Punishment In The Classroom

What Can We Learn About Classroom Management From Abraham Lincoln?

Emphasizing What Students Can Do, Instead Of What They “Can’t”

A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits is just about my favorite lesson plan.

“Mr. Ferlazzo, I Need My Post-It, Too” is about one of my favorite classroom moments — ever!

The Fifteen Tech Tools & Non-Tech Resources I Use Most Often With My Students

Deliberate Practice & Red Herrings

“How Can I Better A Better Teacher For You?”

No, The “Cone Of Experience” Is Not “Research-Based” & Yes, Some People Debunking It Have Way Too Much Time On Their Hands

Here’s My Chapter On Elements Of A Successful Lesson, Along With Student Hand-Outs THEY Use To Teach

“Oh, I Get It! If You Send Me Out, Then I’m Being Bad; If I Send Me Out, Then I’m Being Good!”

It Doesn’t Matter If It’s “Effective” If Students Won’t Do It

How To Turn A Negative Consequence Into A Positive Classroom Management Strategy

Classroom Management Strategy: “Sometimes The Only Thing Worse Than Losing A Fight Is Winning One”

Classroom Management Strategy: Here Are Three Things I Want. What Are Three Things You Want?

Irritation Vs. Agitation

Knowledge Isn’t Power — “Power is Power”

“Flowchart For When A Day Goes Bad In Classroom Management”

I hope you find this list useful!

February 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The “Best” Lists Of Recommendations About What “Effective” Teachers Do

There have recently been a number of reports suggesting that research has identified the key qualities and methods behind effective teaching.

Though I’m wary of making an iron-clad list, and I’m certainly wary about defining the word “effective” (see New Study Suggests That Teacher Observations Should Focus More On Teacher Inputs, Less On Student Outcomes), I still thought it would be useful to make a compilation of links to the ones I think are most useful.

Feel free to make additional suggestions:

“The Science Of Learning” Is A Must-Read (& An Accessible One) For Teachers

Instead Of Reading The APA’s “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Teaching,” Check Out These Analyses Instead

“Learning About Learning” Provides Very Good Narrow Summaries Of Research & Over-The-Top Recommendations

Do’s & Don’ts For Teaching English Language Learners

Tom Sherrington shares his own list, along with links to other reports I haven’t already mentioned.

I’ll end with this excerpt from What Makes A Great Teacher? by Ellie Herman: