Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Help Me Find Resources On Reading & Writing Instructional Strategies In Math & Science


I’d like to create “Best” lists on reading and writing strategies in Math and Science classes, and would appreciate any recommendations readers can give me.

I do have a The Best Sites For Learning Strategies To Teach ELL’s In Content Classes list.

However, I’d like these new lists to include ideas for both ELLs and English-proficient students.

Please leave suggestions in the comments area. I’ll obviously provide public credit to those who make the suggestions.


September 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Research On How Many Decisions A Teacher Makes Each Day


Awhile back, someone on Twitter (sorry, I don’t remember who) raised a question about how many decisions a teacher has to make each day.

I, and others, have previously written posts on this topic, and thought it would be useful to bring together what I have – feel free to suggest more:

Quote Of The Day: Have You Ever Wondered How Many Decisions We Teachers Need To Make Each Day?

Improve learning by taming instructional complexity is from Science Daily.

Jazz, Basketball, and Teacher Decision-making is by Larry Cuban.

A Teacher Makes 1500 Educational Decisions A Day is from Teach Thought.

The Qualities of Great Teachers is from ASCD.

September 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Armless Table Tennis Paralympian Teaches A Zillion Lessons

Slate has an article today about armless table tennis Paralympian Ibrahim Hamadtou headlined Egypt’s Armless Table Tennis Player Loses at Paralympics but Hailed as Inspiration.

Here’s a quote from the article, and a video of Hamadtou in action:


I’m adding this to:

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures

The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”

September 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Posts On Looking At Our Students Through The Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits


Looking at our students thought the lens of their assets, not their deficits, has been an underlying them of my teaching career, and I thought I’d bring together many of the posts I’ve written on the topic.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Examples Of Turning Problems Into Opportunities — Help Me Find More

The Best Reasons Why Parents Should Be Looked At As Allies & Not Targets Of Blame

The Best Resources On Students Having A “Purpose For Learning”

Here posts specifically on looking at the assets of our students:

Video: New TED-Talks PBS Education Show Exceeds My Expectations & Ten Minutes Is A “Must-Watch”

Important New Study Looks At Assets, Not Deficits, Of Teen “Defiance”

Getting Organized Around Assets

A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits

Very Important New Report On Looking At ELLs Through A Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits

Study Finds Another Reason To Look At ELLs Through Lens Of “Assets”: They Are Likely To Be More Creative

Students Seeing Assets, Not Deficits, In Their Neighborhoods

Response: ‘Respecting Assets That ELLs Bring To A School Community’

Looking For Assets, Not Deficits

Focusing On Neighborhood Assets — One Of My Favorite Lessons!

A Prime Example Of English Language Learner Assets

English-Learners Are Assets, John B. King Jr. Tells Educators in Bilingual Address is from Education Week.

The Positive Impact Of English Language Learners At An Urban School

A Strength-Based Approach to Teaching ESL is from Cult of Pedagogy.



September 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video & Transcript Of President Obama’s 9/11 Memorial Speech & How I Will Use It In Class


Among the many remembrances of 9/11 today, President Obama spoke at a memorial at the Pentagon.

The transcript of speech can be found here, and I’ve embedded him speaking at the bottom of this post.

I plan on have students first read this portion of the speech:

Groups like al Qaeda, like ISIL, know that…they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America. So, instead, they’ve tried to terrorize in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live. And that’s why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation — a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background — bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one. For we know that our diversity — our patchwork heritage — is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths. This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.

Across our country today, Americans are coming together in service and remembrance. We run our fingers over the names in memorial benches here at the Pentagon. We walk the hallowed grounds of a Pennsylvania field. We look up at a gleaming tower that pierces the New York City skyline. But in the end, the most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be — that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.

They then would respond to this prompt:

What does President Obama think is the best way to honor those who died on 9/11? To what extent do you agree with what he is 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.

Feel free to leave suggestions on how I can make this a better learning activity.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction and to The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11.

September 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources For Learning About Google Classroom


Our district is taking baby steps towards using Google Classroom, and I thought it would be a good time to begin a related “Best” list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Using Chromebooks In The Classroom – Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Learning How To Use Google Docs/Google Drive

The Best Posts To Help Understand Google’s New “Books Ngram Viewer”

The Best Resources For Google Earth Beginners Like Me

The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate

Here are my choices for Google Classroom resources:

You have to start with Alice Keeler, and these two links are good places to begin.

Of course, Vicki Davis’ 100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators is the other key treasure trove.

You probably don’t need to look any further than the sites of those two great educators but, if you’re interested, here are a couple more:

Learn Google Classroom is from Ed Tech Teacher.

Everything You Need To Know In Google Classroom Part One and Part Two.

September 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For “Do Now” Activities To Begin A Class


“Do Now,” “Walk-In Procedures,” or “Warm-Ups” – they are names for activities that students begin to do right at the beginning of class or, as we try to do in our school, three minutes prior to the bell ringing.

There are lots of options for them. In my English and Social Science classes, students have a book they’re reading and they read silently for five-to-ten minutes. In my IB Theory of Knowledge class, there is generally a “Warm-Up” activity on the board requiring them to write a short response. Afterwards, we divide into six groups to share.

Here are ideas from others for these kinds of openings (please share your own in the comments section):

KQED has a great series of Do Now activities, along with instructions on how to use them.
The Do Now: A Primer is from Doug Lemov.

Doug shares some great Science Do Nows here.

The “Do Now” or “Do Never”? is by David Ginsburg.
Here’s a clip from the Teaching Channel:

September 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Resources For Learning About Total Physical Response (TPR)


Total Physical Response (TPR) is a key feature in many second-language classrooms, especially with Beginners, and my room is no different.

I thought readers might find it useful if I pulled together a few useful related resources.

To begin with, here are three previous related “Best” lists:

The Best Resources On Students Using Gestures & Physical Movement To Help With Learning

A Quasi “The Best” List On TPRS (TPR Storytelling) For Teaching ESL

The Best “When I Say Jump” Online Sites For Practicing English (this site has a few tools where students can take control by commanding online characters to do what they want them to do. Most of the original sites on that list are off-line now, but there still are a few – let me know if you are aware of others).

One of the best sites on the Web for learning English is Henny Jellema’s Online TPR Exercises — You’ve got to see this site to believe it. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into creating the exercises. However, as he cautions, it’s critical to combine using his online activities with physical TPR lessons.

Now, here are a few resources for just plain good-old TPR that I think offer particularly useful materials and ideas:

Here’s a simple introduction to the method from The British Council.

How to Use Total Physical Response in ESL Instruction

Elementary Example of Total Physical Response

502 Words that Can Be Learned with Total Physical Response (TPR), By Domain

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