Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 24, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

“ReadWorks Digital” Came Online Today & It Looks Great!

readworks

I’ve previously posted about ReadWorks as a source of excellent reading passages for use in classes (see “ReadWorks.org” Looks Like A Good Source Of Free Reading Passages For Social Studies).

Today, they unveiled ReadWorks Digital, a free site where teachers can create virtual classrooms for students to interact with their excellent texts online, including digital assessments.

It comes just in time for me to add it to one of the sites my students will be using over the summer (see Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”), and it will be a great resource during the school year, too.

I’m also adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Here’s a short video introduction to the site:

May 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Gates Foundation’s Mea Culpa

Near the end of a public letter issued today, the CEO of the Gates Foundation included a quasi-apology for how they’ve handled their support of the Common Core Standards:

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Of course, perhaps they should have also talked to us all about if, on a list of needs, did we all think a new set of standards was really that high?

You can read more about it in Ed Week’s article, Gates Chief Acknowledges Common-Core Missteps.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

May 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

New Video: Jo Boaler On Learning, Mistakes & The Brain

I’ve previously posted about Jo Boaler’s work (see Great New Video: “When People Make Mistakes Their Brains Grow, More Than When They Got Work Right”).

Thanks to Dan Meyer, I learned that her TEDx Talk was just posted today. It’s titled “How you can be good at math, and other surprising facts about learning” and it’s definitely not just applicable to math.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning:

May 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom”

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I’ve written a lot about the “summer slide” (see The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide”)  and how I try to combat it by creating virtual online classrooms that students use during vacation time (our district used to have money for summer school, but that time is far in the past).

Even though I’m a big believer in intrinsic motivation, I am not above both offering extra credit for the following year’s classes (either in my classes if they are having me again, or in other classes where I make arrangements with their teachers) and by telling them that they will function as “teaching assistants” in next year’s classes if they complete all the assignments.

Here are the updated sites I’ll be having my students use over the summer (we always spend a couple of classes at the end of the school year familiarizing them with the sites):

My Beginning/Intermediate ELL English Class Students

Of course, Duolingo is number one and is free. It’s very easy to set-up a virtual classroom to monitor student progress.

Raz-Kids
costs $110 a year for a class, but I’ve always thought it was worth it, and have used it for many years. It has lots of “talking books” and interactives.

USA Learns is for Beginners, Low-Intermediate and Intermediate ELL’s, and has reading, speaking and listening activities. Teachers set up the class, and students enroll themselves after you set up the class.

My ELL Geography Students Who Will Be Taking World History Next Year

I’m creating free virtual World History classrooms on these sites:

Think Circa – you can read my previous post about the site here.

Power My Learning

Hstry – you can read my previous post about the site here (I haven’t yet decided for sure about it, though).

OpenEd – you can read my previous post about this site here.

My ELL World History Students Who Will Be Taking U.S. History Next Year

Zoom-In – you can read my previous post about this site here.  You can create a free virtual classroom.

In the subscription I have for Brainpop, only three log-ins can be used at any one time.

Though I have fifteen students who will be entering U.S. History next year, unfortunately, I think only about six or seven of them will actually do online work over the summer. Part of that small number is due to the fact that some are going to Mexico over the summer and don’t expect to have Internet access.

Because I have such a small number who I think will use the summer sites, however, it means that just having three log-ins to Brainpop should be workable. I’m having them view all the U.S. History videos there and complete the quizzes. They will print-out each quiz they complete and give me a packet at the beginning of next year (I also gave them the option of taking pictures of the quizzes to send me, but they all seem more interesting in the print-out versions).

So that’s my list, and I’d love to hear more suggestions!

(FYI, my Beginner and Intermediate ELL students will also be taking my Geography class next year. If they do anything over the summer, though, I want them to work on their English through Duolingo and USA Learns. If I wanted them to get a head-start on Geography, though, I’d pay $100 for a classroom in IKnowThat.)

May 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My Latest NY Times Interactive For ELLs Is On “The Value Of Diversity”

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My latest New York Times student interactive for English Language Learners is on The Value of Diversity. In addition to reading a passage about the importance of racial diversity, the exercise helps students understand he difference between a summary and a paraphrase.

I’m adding it to:

All My NY Times Posts For English Language Learners – Linked With Descriptions

A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More

May 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Quote Of The Day: The Role Of Motivation In Language-Learning

Could a five-minute test predict how quickly adults can learn a second language? is the headline of an article at Quartz today.

It covers a somewhat interesting study, but the researcher makes an important point – learner motivation pretty much trumps all else when it comes to learning a second language:

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I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

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