Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Check Out My Interview With Sonia Nieto & Alicia Lopez On Teaching ELLs

nieto

Well-known multicultural studies pioneer Sonia Nieto and her daughter, Alicia Lopez (an accomplished teacher of English Language Learners in her own right), are guests in my latest BAM! Radio Show.

We discuss how teachers can encourage their colleagues to support ELLs in the classroom.

Sonia and Alicia have also written a piece for one of my upcoming Education Week Teacher columns.

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May 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “Teachers Of The Year” Identify Key School Challenges

Scholastic just released results of a poll they did with this year’s state “Teachers Of The Year.”

You can read about it at Scholastic and in The Washington Post article, Poverty, family stress are thwarting student success, top teachers say.

Here’s an excerpt from The Post article:

Asked-to-identify-the11

You might also be interested in The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement.

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May 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Practical Example Of Trust, Self-Control & Choice In The Classroom

Tomorrow is our annual insane twenty-hour field trip to San Francisco with eighty students. Actually, this year we’re taking thirty fewer students, so perhaps it will be slightly less insane.

I obviously won’t be in the classroom that whole day, and I’m old enough to need the following day off to recover.

About a third of my IB Theory of Knowledge students will be going to San Francisco, and they’ll be back in class on Wednesday.

The sub will be showing the movie, “A Thousand Words” (with Eddie Murphy), which is a fun film for making TOK connections. At the same time, however, students know that the first draft of their TOK practice essay is due next Tuesday. Many wanted the option of working on the essay instead of watching the movie. I was fine with that, but explained that the school has a reasonable rule that substitutes can’t take classes to the computer lab or to the library. A few said that it wasn’t a problem — they could take notes from their book. Others, however, wanted to know if they could use their cellphones.

I reminded students about The Marshmallow Test we had studied as part of our unit on Human Sciences, and how cellphones have become the new marshmallows.

Then, I said that I would be okay with their using cellphones — if they could commit to just using them for working on their essay. I told students I wanted them to think for a moment if they felt like having their cellphone out would just be too tempting for them to use for other purposes and, if they did, I wanted them to raise their hand and I would make a list for the sub so he/she would know who could not use it. I further explained that I would have a great deal of respect for those who were honest and self-aware enough to know their temptations, and we had learned from The Marshmallow Test that a mature and effective way to strengthen self-control was to not put ourselves in positions that would weaken it.

Eight students raised their hand in one class and seven in the other.

In the first class, one student first raised his hand and, after I praised him for his honesty, the others quickly followed. In the second class, I was able to say that eight had put their name on the list in the previous period, and then seven quickly raised their hands.

I told the other students that, if they were going to use their phones when I wasn’t here, I really wouldn’t have any way of knowing if they were following through. However, they had given me their word (during the class I spoke personally with each of them for a moment), and they would know if they were people of their word.

We also talked about what students would do if they were using their phone and gave into temptation — the class response was that individuals should then put away their phones.

I’m quite confident that most, if not all, will keep to their commitments. Their use of cellphones inappropriately in my class is a minimal issue, and it’s been a bigger problem in my ELL Beginners/Intermediate class (where students are younger and some have been out-of-school for years).

I’ve got to say, though, that I think I’d have the same level of confidence with my sophomore/junior ELL U.S. History/World History class, so I don’t think this kind of trust needs to be limited to “advanced” students.

When I return on Thursday I plan on having students respond anonymously about if they kept to their commitments or not (of course, I might also receive an inkling in a report from the sub – if she/she actually leaves me a note). I don’t expect to receive an unpleasant surprise, but who knows? I’ll let you know what I learn.

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May 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Educators Stay Because They ‘Tap Into Moral Dimension Of Teaching’

Educators Stay Because They ‘Tap Into Moral Dimension Of Teaching’ is my latest Education Week Teacher post.

Today, Kathleen Budge, William Parrett, Cathie E. West , Kevin L. O’Gorman, Jacqueline E. Jacobs and Pia Lindquist Wong contribute their commentaries on why teachers stay at high-poverty schools. In addition, I include comments from readers.

Here are some excerpts:

John-Dewey-wrote-if-I

Teachers-who-stay-at

When-quality-teachers

In-my-experience-I-have

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May 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“TweenTribune” Provides The Same Text At Different Levels AND A Virtual Classroom – For Free!

teentribune

Thanks to reader Vincy Murgillo for letting me know about the Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune.

It provides daily news stories, with the same one edited several times for different reading levels. The stories also have self-scoring quizzes and provide decent “critical thinking” questions that students can respond to in the comments. On top of that, teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor it all, as well as moderating student comments.

And it’s all available for free!

I’m adding it to:

The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress

The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”

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May 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Somewhat Interesting Video: Duckworth & Yeager Talk About Their New “Grit” Paper

A few days ago, I wrote a somewhat popular post titled Measurement Matters….Maybe Not So Much. It was about the new paper written by Angela Duckworth (of “grit” fame) and David Scott Yeager (a researcher of “growth mindsets”). The paper is titled “Measurement Matters:Assessing Personal Qualities Other Than Cognitive Ability for Educational Purposes.”

Emily Hanford shared a video the two of them made talking about the paper, which I’ve embedded below. There’s nothing particularly new about it if you’ve read their paper, but it was somewhat interesting to hear them talk about it.

I hadn’t seen videos like this before where researchers talk about a paper that has just been published. Maybe it’s a common practice but, if it isn’t, it seems like it would be a nice way to help laypeople gain a better understanding of research.

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May 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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My U.S. History Class Blog Has Now Been (Almost) Completely Updated

ushistoryblog

I’ve spent this weekend, and the entire school year, updating my various class blogs. So far, I’ve shared about my ones for World History and for IB Theory of Knowledge.

I’ve now almost completed updated my U.S. History Class Blog for English Language Learners. It follows the chapter sequence found in Steck-Vaughn’s “America’s Story” textbook, but certainly the sequence would be useful for any U.S. History class.

I still have to add a post or two covering events from the last few years but, other than that, I think it’s fairly complete.

You’ll also find a lot of student-handouts that you can download, particularly in the first two-thirds of the chapters. Feel free to use them in your own classes, but please don’t distribute them commercially.

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