Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here Are Two Activities I’ll Be Doing With My ELL Students The Day We Come Back From Break

Our Winter Break is coming to a close, and I thought I’d share two activities I’ll be doing with my Beginning English Language Learners on the first day of our return:

GOAL-SETTING

I’ve done lots of goal-setting variations with students over the years (see Best Posts On Students Setting Goals).  Today, though, I read a fascinating piece from New York Magazine headlined To Change Your Life, Learn How to Trust Your Future Self that shared a different “take” on the idea.

It’s interesting (though overly-long – reading the second half of the article would be sufficient). I’m not going to go into the whole thing but it reviews research suggesting it’s better to start off with relatively easy goals that you can meet, and then gradually, each week (or some kind of short period of time), increase the difficulty of them. Achieving the goals each week gives you more confidence that you can achieve the next more difficult ones.

This is how I’m going to apply it first thing Monday morning:

I’m going to ask students to develop three goals — two school related ones and on non-school (they can do all three school related ones if they want.).
I’m going to give them a summary of the research described in the article and ask them to identify small goals that they are pretty sure they can meet by the end of the week. I’ll provide this sentence-starters:
“Everyday this week I am going to _____________________”
 
I’ll provide sentences like these as models:

Everyday this week I am going to do Duolingo for ten minutes outside of school.

Everyday this week I am going to read a book in English for five minutes outside of school.

They’ll also draw an image for each goal and present them in the front of the class.

We’ll review them at the end of the work and, if it goes well, create slightly more challenging goals for the following week.

I think it’s worth a try, and will write about how it goes….

 

CELLPHONE DISTRACTION

Cellphones clearly have a place in the classroom, but they also have to be kept in their place (see The Best Posts On Student Cellphone Use In Class — Please Contribute More).

I’m generally fine with ELL Beginners having their phones out for translation and definitions but, of course, the lure of texting is always there.

I’m going to begin enforcing having the phones put away in backpacks more (even having them in pockets can be too much of a temptation.

And I’m going to introduce this new “rule” using research that has just come out describing the distractions generated by just having a phone out near you.

Science Daily summarizes the research in Who gets most distracted by cell phones?

Here’s an excerpt:

Researchers have verified that the mere presence of a cell phone or smartphone can adversely affect our cognitive performance…

Introducing changes by connecting them to research always seems to be better received.

Here’s some other similar research:

How about you – are you making any changes on Monday morning?

January 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources On Providing Scaffolds To Students

All of our students need scaffolds at one point or another, and I thought it would be useful if I brought together many of the posts that I’ve characterized as “scaffolding” into one place (as well as resources from others). Here’s a simple definition of scaffolding from Indiana University.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction

Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Mindmapping, Flow Chart Tools, & Graphic Organizers.

The Best Resources For Learning About “Learning Strategies”

The Best Sites For Learning Strategies To Teach ELL’s In Content Classes

The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”

Here they are (feel free to suggest more):

I’m actually going to start-off with an excellent post by Valentina Gonzalez titled Scaffolding for ELs.

6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use With Your Students is from Edutopia.

8 Strategies for Scaffolding Instruction is from Ms. Houser.

A Look Back: “Useful Writing Scaffold For A Classroom Wall”

Ways A Mainstream Teacher Can Support An ELL Newcomer In Class

Best Scaffolded Writing Frames For Students

Here Are Downloadable Scaffolded Instructions For Students To Create A “3/2/1” Poster

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

‘Teachers Know A Lot About Scaffolding’ For Complex Texts is one of my posts over at Education Week Teacher. It’s Part Two in a series on…scaffolding for complex texts. Part One featured responses from three educators: Wendi Pillars, Amy Benjamin, and Christopher Lehman. Part Two includes three joint commentaries from Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher; Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan; and Aaron Brock and Jody Passanisi.

This is a short video on scaffolding from Beyond The Bubble, a history site about which I’ve previously posted. Though it talks about history, its scaffolding recommendations can be helpful in any subject:

Useful Student Self-Survey On Learning Strategies

Just-in-Time Support is a good piece in ASCD Educational Leadership on scaffolding strategies.

Teachers Might Find My “Concept Attainment – Plus” Instructional Strategy Useful

7 Ways to Scaffold Instruction for English Language Learners is from Teach Learn Grow.

Scaffolding for Success: Best Practices for Secondary ELLs is from TESOL.

This Resource Might Be A Huge Help For Applying Common Core To Teaching ELLs

Scaffolding CCSS Instruction for ELLs – New Resource Guides is from Colorin Colorado.

On-the-Spot Scaffolding for Students is from Edutopia.

How do I make my anchor charts ELL friendly?  is by Valentina Gonzalez.

January 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All Teachers Could Benefit From Watching New PBS NewsHour Segment On Motivation

Regular readers know I’m very interested in the concept of student motivation (and have even written three books on it – with a fourth on the way – see Best Posts On “Motivating” Students).

Dan Ariely is a Duke professor who has also studied the topic (you can see my past posts about his work here, including a video he did for my Ed Week column).

This evening, the PBS NewsHour did a great interview with him about employee motivation, but just substitute the word “student” for employee and it will be extremely relevant to teachers.

You can read the transcript here, and I’ve embedded the video below.

In it, he discusses the Ikea Effect (see Video: “How the ‘IKEA effect’ can motivate people to work [& learn] harder”) – basically, we are more invested in something if we feel we contributed to creating it.

I believe that idea can also be applied to constructivist pedagogy, which is why I’m a big believer in inductive teaching (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching, as well as this post.

In the PBS segment, he also discusses the demotivating aspects of seeing your work destroyed in front of you, which is why I am always very careful to wait to throw away student posters and other work until they are long gone for the day..

January 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Space & Planets

As I shared last month (see Beginning A New “Best” Series Of Interest To ELL Teachers), I’m beginning to create an updated series of “Best” lists for Beginning English Language Learners. They will ultimately replace the resources I have on my outdated website.

I began with The Best Resources For Helping ELLs Learn About Sports & Other Fun Activities and  The Best Resources For Helping ELLs Learn About U.S. Money

I already have The Best Sites For Learning About Planets & Space (which I need to revised and update) but that is a mix of resources for Beginners and for Intermediate ELLs. I wanted to create a more simple list just for Beginners.

Many of the links are the still-active ones I copied-and-pasted from my website. Please let me know if you have additional suggestions of sites to add:

Space Words

Planets

More Planets

Space Matching Game

Solar System Memory Game

Solar System Game

The Race Into Space

 

 

January 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New & Important Report On Deliberate Practice & Teacher Prep

I’ve been a big advocate of applying deliberate practice in the classroom – both in how I can improve my skills and how students can become more familiar with the concept (see The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice).

Anders Ericsson, the key researcher behind the concept, talked a bit in an interview I did with him (see ‘Peak’: An Interview With Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool) about how deliberate practice could be used to help train teacher credential candidates.

Now, the organization Deans For Impact has worked with Professor Ericsson and others to create a short and accessible report offering specific ways deliberate practice can be used by teacher prep programs.

You can read the document, Practice With Purpose: The Emerging Science of Teacher Expertise, at the Deans For Impact site, and I’ve embedded a simple explainer video below.

I think it has a lot of good ideas, though I think at times it doesn’t portray a realistic picture of the time a cooperating teacher has to spend with his/her student teacher (I’m certainly never going to be able to videotape my student teacher several times and then sit down to review each one with her). I also wish it included more explicit discussion of the role of reflection in the deliberate practice.

However, nothing is perfect, and it’s great to see a clear illustration of how to apply deliberate practice in an academic context.

January 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Playlist Of TED-Ed Videos In Spanish

A year-or-two ago I blogged about a new YouTube channel where TED-Ed was going to be sharing their videos in Spanish.

They’ve since deleted that channel and, instead, have a channel where they show a variety of TED Talks in Spanish, including these TED-Ed videos.

As part of that channel, they keep a Playlist just of the TED-Ed videos in Spanish. I’ve embedded their latest at the bottom of this post.

I’m adding this info to The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks” (& Similar Presentations).

January 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Helping ELLs Learn About U.S. Money

 

As I shared last month (see Beginning A New “Best” Series Of Interest To ELL Teachers), I’m beginning to create an updated series of “Best” lists for Beginning English Language Learners. They will ultimately replace the resources I have on my outdated website.

I began with The Best Resources For Helping ELLs Learn About Sports & Other Fun Activities.

Now it’s time for one on U.S. money.

Many of the links are the still-active ones I copied-and-pasted from my website. Please let me know if you have additional suggestions of sites to add:

Money Words

Money In The United States

Check Cashing

Pay Lower Taxes

Money Interactive

More Money

I Need Some Money

Price Test

Learning Coins

GCF Learn Free: Money

Listening: At The Bank

ESL Literacy: Money

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