Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 11, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New “What If?” History Presentations

I’ve written a lot about the “What If?” History Projects both my IB Theory of Knowledge and ELL History students create and present (see The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons).

My TOK students are in the middle of doing their presentations, and I thought I’d share (with their permission) a couple that were done by High-Intermediate ELLs who are in my TOK classes.

In addition, I thought that readers might want to look at this feedback form that the audience uses while listening to each presentation. If a presentation group disagrees with the grade I give them, they can appeal it with the evidence of their classmates’ evaluations of their project.

February 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license:

I often write about research studies from various fields and how they can be applied to the classroom. I write individual posts about ones that I think are especially significant, and will continue to do so. However, so many studies are published that it’s hard to keep up. So I’ve started writing a “round-up” of some of them each week or every other week as a regular feature.

By the way, you might also be interested in My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2016 – Part Two.

Here are some new useful studies (and related resources):

Want to ace an exam? Tell a friend what you learned is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More.

How To Feel Good About Making Mistakes is from Psy Blog, and is a summary of a recent study. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.

The Six Stories People Love Most is from the Washington Post.

Closed captions, transcripts aid learning for almost all students is from Science Daily.

Students with influence over peers reduce school bullying by 30 percent is from Eureka Alert. I’m adding it to A Very, Very Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Bullying — Please Suggest More.

Eureka Alert has published a summary of a study on what makes a successful infographic. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

Why cute baby animal photos are actually toying with your brain from The Washington Post is great for use in IB Theory of Knowledge classes when studying perception.

Finally, Developing Leadership Is Recognized as Improving Educational Outcomes! is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos On “Teacher Leadership” — Contribute More!

February 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“What If?” History Projects

Regular readers know that “What If?” History projects are one of my favorite assignments each year. First, I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students create them, and then they come and help my English Language Learner History students make their own. You can see a ton of examples and supporting materials at The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons.

We began this year’s TOK project last week and, on the first day, one student asked a very reasonable question. She said, “Why are we doing this in TOK? It seems more appropriate for History class?”

I didn’t give a very articulate answer so, that night I created a one-page sheet on the topic, which you can download here (let me know how you think I can make it better). The paper talks about some of the connections between a project like this and TOK.

Then, before they began to work on their research at the library, I asked them to read it in pairs and answer this question in a short ABC paragraph (Answer the question; Back it up with evidence from the reading; make a Comment to elaborate): How is the “What If? History Project” connected to TOK – if it is?

I think it was a helpful exercise -both for me and for them. Here are a few excerpts from what students wrote:

TOK and the What If? project connect because it helps us think harder about what would have happened if this historic moment was any different. And if we make good counter arguments it helps our thinking in many other academic disciplines.

The connection between TOK and our What If? History project is that both TOK and history gives us an opportunity to look at things in a different perspective. With history, almost ever conflict deals with TOK’s Ways of Knowing – one’s emotion about the situation, one’s perception, the way one’s language was communicated, and ones reasoning behind the action.

TOK and the “What If?” History Project is connected in the sense that they both include us analyzing and going beyond the surface of the topic to get a better understanding of history and what causes what effects.

Theory of Knowledge is basically going beyond what you see. It’s about looking at things from different perspectives and reaching more than one conclusion, just like the “What If?” Project.

The What If? Project allows us to imagine what can happen or would have happened. It expands our knowledge because we search events that led up to that event and we use it to create our own scenario.

TOK connects to the What If? Project because of the Ways of Knowing is imagination and in the What If? project you have to use your imagination to create a picture in your head about what would have happened differently.

Over at the previously mentioned “Best” list, I also share many reflections students have written after they had completed the project.  I think it will be interesting to see if doing this “pre” exercise has any effect on the “post” reflections this year.

As I do every year, I’ll share some exemplars from this crop of projects later in the month….

January 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Play-Doh & IB Theory Of Knowledge: Student Hand-Out & Videos

We just finished studying Art in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes and, as always, the last day was spent on a “Play-Doh Project.”

Here are the students instructions (you can download them here), followed videos of their creations. Please give me ideas on how to make it better:

Play Doh Project

1) Get a blank sheet paper to put on your desk.  Please only use the Play Doh on the paper so it doesn’t get on the desk.

2) Open your can of Play Doh.

3) You have fifteen minutes to create a piece of art that is classroom appropriate.

4) At the end of fifteen minutes,  look through your notes on the Arts unit and answer the following questions:

* Why is your creation art?  Review your notes and materials and write an ABC paragraph responding to this question (Answer the question; Back it up with a quote as evidence; make a further Comment or Connection to elaborate on your position.

* How were Ways of Knowing involved in creating your art and how will they be involved when others view it?

5) You will share your piece of art with others through the “speed-dating” process.   First, you will ask your partner to tell you what they think it is and why.  Then you will tell them what you intended it to be and share your answers to the previous two questions.

Tok sixth period

Tok real fifth period

Tok fifth period- PlayDoh art

January 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Exemplar Slideshows For Our “Ways Of Knowing” Project

My IB Theory of Knowledge classes completed a major project reviewing the different Ways Of Knowing and giving oral presentations on them.

You can read about the project, including downloadable forms, at Instructions & Feedback Form For My TOK Class “Ways Of Knowing” Project.

Here are two slideshow examples students gave me permission to share:

Here’s a link to the other slideshow.

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