Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Milestone: There Are Now 1,700 “Best” Lists!

The posting of my latest “Best” list brings their total to an even 1,700!

You can see all of them categorized – more or less – by subject here.

They are all listed chronologically here.

I am constantly adding new resources to all of them, except for the regular mid-year and annual “Best of” lists.

Slowly but surely, I’m completely updating and revising many. You can see that list here (it’s up to 300 now).

And you might want to explore The Thirty-Seven “All-Time” Best Lists.

April 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Guest Post From Lorin W. Anderson, Co-Author Of The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

Editor’s Note: Lorin W. Anderson, one of the co-authors of the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, left a comment on my post earlier this week, “Knowledge” & Bloom’s Pyramid.  He graciously agreed to expand on this thought for this guest post.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom.

Lorin W. Anderson received his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1973, having studied with Benjamin S. Bloom.  He spent 33 years on the faculty of the University of South Carolina, retiring in 2006.  He currently holds the rank of Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus and is a member of the International Academy of Education.

Let me make a couple of points about the material in the post, “Knowledge” & Bloom’s Pyramid:

1.  The triangle does not appear anywhere in either Taxonomy.  The triangular representation was quite likely designed by someone as part of a presentation made to educational practitioners (e.g., teachers, administrators).  I believe that the triangular representation was developed in order to indicate that, in the original Taxonomy, the six categories formed a cumulative hierarchy.  That is, it was believed by the authors of the original Taxonomy that mastery of each lower category was necessary before moving to the next higher category.  For example, you have to comprehend something before you can apply it.

2.  The triangular representation of the revised Taxonomy is particularly inappropriate for several reasons.  First, the revised Taxonomy contains two dimensions, not one. The authors believed that knowledge was sufficiently important to be a separate dimension.  They also believed there were different types or forms of knowledge: factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive.  Second, the nouns in the original Taxonomy were replaced by verbs,  In this process, remember replaced knowledge at the lowest “level” of the second dimension, termed “cognitive processes.”  If you read the text of the original Taxonomy, the equation of “knowledge” with “recall” and “recognition” is quite evident.  Remember was followed by understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.  Third, the categories (verbs) in the cognitive process dimension did NOT form a cumulative hierarchy.  Rather, they were considered to be “tools in a toolbox.”  Thus, it was possible (and often quite useful) to apply in order to understand or to evaluate as you apply.

3.  In your blog post, Dylan William’s representation, entitled “Bloom’s taxonomy, as it should be” is a far better representation of the revised Taxonomy than the triangular representation.  In fact, if you change the nouns to verbs (other than knowledge), add Remember to the list in the upper row, and realize that knowledge is multi-faceted (as I mention above) he has almost reconstructed the two-dimensional table of the revised Taxonomy.

4.  Finally, after 40+ years in the business, I am greatly dismayed that many educators get their information from oral presentations and secondary (and in some cases tertiary) sources. This practice tends to result in passing along half-truths and misinterpretations.  In this regard, I think you could do a great service by directing the readers of your blog to original sources (even if they won’t read them).  With respect to the revised Taxonomy, it would be helpful for anyone who is interested in writing about or making presentations on the revised Taxonomy to take 15 to 20 minutes to read the excellent overview written by David Krathwohl in the journal, Theory into Practice.

April 13, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Knowledge” & Bloom’s Pyramid

There’s been a recent flurry of activity by some to redesign Bloom’s Taxonomy by questioning whether “knowledge” should be at the bottom. Personally, I interpret knowledge being at the bottom not saying students shouldn’t prioritize learning and educators teaching it but, instead, suggesting that application of knowledge is harder to teach and learn (which is why knowledge transfer is such a challenge – see The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More). That, I think, is the key value in the taxonomy – reminding us to put effort into areas of learning that it is easy for teachers to avoid.

But I have a great deal of respect for the folks who have been raising this question, so I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom:


Didau’s Taxonomy

April 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Google’s Brand New “AutoDraw” Is Likely To Become A Favorite Place For Those Of Us Who Are Artistically-Challenged

Google just unveiled AutoDraw, a free site that uses artificial intelligence that provides a series of guesses about what you are drawing. You can choose the right “guess” to pretty-up your artistic creation, write up some description, and then download it or share the link. The image above is an example.

This is perfect for English Language Learners – instead of spending tons of time getting their drawing “just right,” they can, instead, have fun drawing quickly and spend more time on the language part of the exercise.

And it’s great for ESL teachers, too – no more working hard trying to draw images of scenes for vocabulary items to support language acquisition. Now just draw a few lines, project it onto the screen, and you’ll be able to show a masterpiece.

I’m adding this info to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

You can read more about AutoDraw at Technology Review article, Google’s AI Turns Your Crappy Doodles Into Proper Pictures.

Thanks to Greg Toppo for the tip.

April 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “We should be gritty, yes, but not stupid”

When to grit and when to quit is a short-and-sweet article by Susan David, a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

She offers some good common sense on “grit.”

Here’s an excerpt:

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

April 8, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Legends Of Learning” Is New Game-Based Site That Lets Teachers Create Free (For Awhile) Virtual Classrooms

Note: After a closer look, it appears the site is free for a month or so after registration (longer if you have fewer students) and then you have to review games, perform other services for the site, or pay per student. 

Legends of Learning is a new site that provides custom-built games organized by learning objectives. Teachers can create “playlists” they want their students to access and then monitor their progress.

They only have science-related games right now, but plan on adding more related to other subjects soon.

You can read more about it at USA Today’s article, ‘Spotify for learning games’ coming to classrooms, and I’ve embedded a video about the site at the bottom of this post.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress.

April 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources On Helping Students Make Good Decisions

I’m planning on preparing a lesson to help students have some better decision-making tools.  I thought readers might find it useful to see some of the resources I’ve compiled to inform whatever I come up with.  I also hope that people can contribute more ideas in the comments section.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts & Articles About Providing Students With Choices.

Here’s what I have so far:

The Best Headspace for Making Decisions is from The Atlantic.

This Is How We Make Our Worst Decisions is from Psychology Today.

7 Strategies for Making Objective Decisions is from Inc.

A TED-Talk: How To Make Hard Choices

Theories And Strategies of Good Decision Making

How to Make the Best Decisions (Once and for All) is from Oprah.

April 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Facebook Publishes Tips For Identifying Fake News


Facebook announced today they were adding a new tool sharing tips for how readers could identify fake news.

It seems to me to be much less of a deal than they make it out to be, but I have to say their tips are good ones:

  1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  2. Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site and compare the URL to established sources.
  3. Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.
  4. Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
  5. Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
  6. Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered.
  7. Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
  8. Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
  9. Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.
  10. Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.

Read more about it at these places:

Facebook adding ‘educational tool’ to help users spot fake news is from CNN.

Facebook is trying to school users about spotting fake news is from The L.A. Times.
Facebook Wants To Teach You How To Spot Fake News On Facebook is from BuzzFeed News.

I’m adding this info to The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More.

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