Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Three Useful Resources On Assessment

LTHESep12 week8 assessment and feedback via PBL PGCAP Programme via Compfight

Here are three assessment-related resources I read recently that are useful. For more info, you might want to explore A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment:

The Role of Performance Assessments in Fostering Opportunities for Deeper Learning appeared in Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Performance Assessment.

Assessment – it’s all in our heads is by Andy Tharby. I’m adding it to The Best Rubric Sites (And A Beginning Discussion About Their Use).

History Lesson: Giving Students Freedom to Create Their Own Projects is by Brison Harvey at Ed Week. One point he makes that I think is particularly intriguing is letting his students develop individualized rubrics for their independent projects. I’m adding it to the same list.

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May 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Is The Geography “Final” For My ELL Students

It’s finals time. Here is the final I’m giving to students in my English Language Learner Geography class (you can see other finals I’ve given in that class here and here).

I’ll be giving students a two section packet of short quotations from Geographers saying why learning geography is important, as well as this short piece, 9 Reasons to Study Geography, from Brainscape.

In addition, they will watch this short video from National Geographic:

I’ll ask them to use all that material to respond to this writing prompt:

According to the writers and/or the video, what are reasons why it is important to study geography (you only have to pick four of them)? Do you agree with what they are saying? To support your opinion you may use examples from your own experiences (including what has taken place in our class this year), your observations of others, and any of your reading.

As usual, please let me know your ideas on how to make this better!

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction, where you’ll find a long list of other prompts I use in my classes.

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May 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Cornucopia Of Useful Social Emotional Learning Resources

I’m hopelessly behind on important resources to share, particularly ones related to Social Emotional Learning. Thanks to Karen HuxtableJester and to Vipula Sharma for some of the links. I’ll be adding this post to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources:

The Educator and the Growth Mindset is from Jackie Gerstein and Metacognition Curriculum is an older post from Frank Noschese.

Test Your Mindset is an online interactive from Carol Dweck that I think would be useful to offer to students.

Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential with the Growth Mindset is by Dan Winkler and provides a pretty good, and short, definition of a growth mindset.

I’m adding all the previously-mentioned links to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

Teaching Teenagers to Develop Their Emotional Intelligence is from, of all places, The Harvard Business Review.  Though I’m a bit skeptical of making these kinds of connections, here was a particularly interesting sentence (and link) from the article:

a cost-benefit analysis released last month concluded that for every dollar schools spend on SEL, there is an average of $11 worth of benefits to society, including costs associated with healthcare and educational attainment.

Here’s an Ed Week article on that particular study.

How to Be Emotionally Intelligent is from The New York Times.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control:

High Schools That Walk the Social-Emotional Walk (and Don’t Just Talk the Talk) is from Ed Week.

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May 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Update On My “Practical Example Of Trust, Self-Control & Choice In The Classroom” & What I’m Doing Next

Earlier this week, I published A Practical Example Of Trust, Self-Control & Choice In The Classroom. It described a process I used in my Theory of Knowledge classes where students volunteered if they would or would not have the self-control needed to just use their phones to work on an essay while I was gone for a couple of days. Fifteen students from the two classes said they would not and asked to be put on a list for the sub saying they could not use their phone and had to watch a movie. The rest said they could be trusted.

Well, I came back today and had students who said they had enough self-control to use their phone only on their essay respond anonymously if they were able to keep to their word.

The results: 70% said yes in one class; 90% said yes in the other one.

Now, it’s time for the really interesting part of the experiment. I’m going on another field trip next Thursday and, again, taking the following day to recover. I’m going to use the same process, and this time ask students to first reflect on their experience from this week. Will those who were not able to stick to their word learn from what happened this week and realize they should be put on the “no phone list” next week?

I’ll let you know….

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May 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“In My Ideal School, I Would Hire Teachers Who Believe…”

placecalledschool

One of the units taught in our tenth-grade English classes is called “A Place Called School.” It was developed by the exceptional literacy consultant Kelly Young at his Pebblecreek Labs.

The above photo, from my colleague Lara Hoekstra’s classroom, shows students’ responses to a lesson in the unit where students finished the sentence: “In my ideal school, I would hire teachers who believe…”

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May 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Nice Online “Summer Reading Challenge” From Curriculet

curric

Curriculet is is a site I’ve sometimes used for advanced ELLs and mainstream students. It provides higher level stories, books, and “units” in English and Social Studies, and ready-made exercises and quizzes. You have to choose which ones you want to add as assignments to a free virtual classroom One very nice advantage to this site is that they provide you a unique url address that students click on in order to register — it makes it very easy.

It’s on The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress list.

They recently added high-interest articles from USA Today, but you have to pay extra for them. However, they just announced a free Summer Reading Challenge that lets students read the USA Today articles for free during the summer, and lets teachers track their progress. They are also offering daily and weekly prizes to students, which I’m obviously not-too-thrilled about, but who am I to judge — after all, even with my deep belief in cultivating student intrinsic motivation, I still offer extra credit to my ELL students who read over the summer. I guess I’ll try just about anything to encourage teenage immigrant students who have so little time left in school, and who have little academic experience in their own country, to read during vacation.

You can read other strategies and sites I’m using over the summer with my students at my latest New York Times post for English Language Learners.

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May 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s My Chapter On Elements Of A Successful Lesson, Along With Student Hand-Outs THEY Use To Teach

I’m a big advocate and practitioner of creating opportunities for students to be teachers (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates).

I’ve previously posted about how I specifically apply this to my International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge classes (though I do it in other courses, too). That post explains the process I use in detail but, simply, students read a chapter from from my first book on student motivation that’s about the key elements of a successful lesson and then teach a short one to a small group. The teaching group prepares a simple lesson plan; the “students” fill-out an evaluation; and the teaching group also completes a self-evaluation.

However, in that previous post, I did not include the chapter itself or the forms.

I was pleased to learn that my publisher, Routledge, has made the chapter freely available for download.

And, since they’ve done that, I figured I might as well make those three forms freely available, too. You can download them here. Though they are specifically geared toward TOK, they are easily adaptable to other classes.

Let me know what you think, including how I can make the forms better!

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