Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Perfect Critical Thinking Article For TOK Classes Published Today – Here Is How I’m Going To Use It

 

It’s a joy to teach IB Theory Of Knowledge classes, and I feel very lucky to be able to teach three periods of it.

Scientific American today published the perfect article for TOK students. It’s headlined Why Do Smart People Do Foolish Things?

It’s chock full of links to research about the importance of developing critical thinking skills, and highlights the concepts that we happen to teach in TOK.

I’m going to have my students read it and respond to this prompt:

What does the author say about the importance of critical thinking? Do you agree with her? To support your opinion you may use examples from your own experiences, your observations of others, and anything you have read. Please try especially to include anything you have learned in our Theory of Knowledge class so far this year.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teaching & Learning Critical Thinking In The Classroom.

You might also be interested in My Teaching English – British Council post on integrating critical thinking skills into English Language Learner instruction.

September 17, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Excellent Article On Confederate Monuments For TOK Classes

I’ve been looking forward to tackling the controversy about Confederate monuments in this year’s Theory of Knowledge classes, and have been accumulating resources (see The Best Resources For Teaching About Confederate Monuments).

In TOK, we talk about how winners end up writing histories.

The New York Times has just published an interesting “take” on the issue that has this headline: When History’s Losers Write the Story. I hadn’t thought about the issue in the way as the author has framed it:

I’ll write about what I end up doing in class and how it goes. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

September 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Useful Resources For Teaching About Confederate Monuments

 

More and more useful resources are becoming available on the issue of Confederate monuments.  I’ll be adding these to The Best Resources For Teaching About Confederate Monuments and having students review portions of them when we study History in our IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

Goodbye, Yosemite. Hello, What? is from The New York Times (it’s not clear from the headline its connection to Confederate monuments but it’s there).

We’re still fighting, more than 150 years after Appomattox is from The Associated Press.

The way that Taiwan, India, and other countries deal with statues that symbolize ugly pasts is from Quartz.

How Lithuania dealt with its Soviet statues is from The Economist.

What Trump’s Generation Learned About the Civil War is from The Atlantic.

Far From Dixie, Outcry Grows Over a Wider Array of Monuments is from The New York Times.

September 1, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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TOK Essay Prompts For May, 2018 Just Released – Here They Are, Along With Supporting Resources

 

Unfortunately, IB has just told me I can’t post their prompts on our TOK class blog.  It seems a little strange, but I guess we TOK teachers have to navigate the Byzantinian website and its log-in procedure. However, you can still access all the support materials my students use at our blog. 

Thanks to IB TOK Essay Tutor, I learned that the Theory of Knowledge Essay prompts for next May were released earlier today.

Let’s just say that I’m less-than-impressed, and believe that at least half of them are not very accessible to our students.

You can find all them at our class blog, along with a huge amount of supporting resources, including exemplar essays.

August 24, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Great Lesson Idea – What Would You Put On Voyager’s “Golden Record”?

It’s been forty years since the Voyager spacecraft were launched, and there has been a lot of coverage about the anniversary (see The Best Sites For Learning About Voyager 1 & Its Departure From Our Solar System).

The New Yorker has come out with several features this week, but their most intriguing one is an invitation to readers to share their nominations of what should go on a Golden Record today:

If a second Voyager mission were launching next week, what mementos of Earth would it contain? How would we represent our past, our present, and our hopes for the future? In short, what would a Golden Record look like in 2017?

They want readers to share specific recommendations about “sights, sounds and everything else.”

I think this has the potential of being an excellent lesson for IB Theory of Knowledge classes when we study language.

Here are a few other resources shared by The New Yorker this week:

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made

August 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Teaching About Confederate Monuments

As witnessed by this past weekend’s events, monuments to the Confederacy continue to be used by white supremacists to support their ideology.

I’ve shared many other related resources (see A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More), but I thought a specific one on these monuments might be helpful to teachers.

Feel free to let me about about ones I’ve missed:

I’ve previously posted Read, Listen, Watch New Orleans Mayor’s Speech On The Removal Of Confederate Monuments and New PBS News Hour Video Segment: “Why Confederate monuments are coming down.”

Confederate Monuments and Their Removal seems like a decent lesson plan from the Anti-Defamation League.

The debate over Confederate monuments and how to remember the Civil War makes an interesting point about a difference between “memory” and “history.” I might use it in IB Theory of Knowledge.

Confederate Monuments and the ‘Searing Truth’ is a lesson idea from The Morningside Center.

As Confederate Monuments Come Down, Teachers Wrestle With Class Discussion is from Ed Week.

Debate over US Confederate monuments intensifies is from Al Jazeera.

Robert E. Lee Topples From His Pedestal is from The Atlantic.

How other countries have dealt with monuments to dictators, fascists and racists is from The Washington Post.

Statues of Washington, Jefferson Aren’t ‘Next,’ But It’s Complicated, Historians Say is from NBC News.

Why Lee Should Go, and Washington Should Stay appeared in The New York Times.

Historians: No, Mr. President, Washington and Jefferson are not the same as Confederate generals. is from The Washington Post.

The Confederate General Who Was Erased appeared in The Huffington Post.

Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History is from The NY Times.

Here’s an important “take” from The Atlanta Black Star, Rethinking Removing Confederate Memorials: Why This May Not Work Out As Planned:

The tragedy of racial hate and the focus on racial symbol is that because they are monopolizing the national conversation, no one is talking about what it really means to be discriminated against.

Teaching History in Troubled Times is by Marc Tucker.

How to Repurpose a Bad Statue is from The Atlantic.

Toppling Monuments, a Visual History is from The New York Times.

Historians warn against rushing to take down statues is from The Associated Press.

Great Interactive For Class Discussion On What To Do With Controversial Statues

Goodbye, Yosemite. Hello, What? is from The New York Times (it’s not clear from the headline its connection to Confederate monuments but it’s there).

We’re still fighting, more than 150 years after Appomattox is from The Associated Press.

The way that Taiwan, India, and other countries deal with statues that symbolize ugly pasts is from Quartz.

How Lithuania dealt with its Soviet statues is from The Economist.

What Trump’s Generation Learned About the Civil War is from The Atlantic.

Far From Dixie, Outcry Grows Over a Wider Array of Monuments is from The New York Times.

Excellent Article On Confederate Monuments For TOK Classes

August 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Important NY Times Column On How The Undocumented Are Depicted In The Media

Trafficking in Immigration Porn is an important New York Times column by Héctor Tobar.

In it, he compares how Dorothea Lange depicted migrant workers with the mass media’s photographs of the undocumented.

Here’s an excerpt:

It’s a column worth reading in full. It would definitely be useful for a discussion on close reading images, and I’m considering using it in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes when we discuss perception.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Close Reading Paintings, Photos & Videos.

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