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This blog has recently gained many new readers. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a  “A Look Back” where I periodically share my choices for the most important posts from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.

This post appeared earlier this year. 

 

Ridiculous research came out earlier this month saying that English Language Learners can benefit from being retained in third grade.

I didn’t share it on this blog at the time because it was obviously ridiculous – overwhelming research has documented the damaging effects of grade retention (see The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both).

The researchers also seemed to have made  (or, at least the one who’s an economist did) the typical economist mistake of not recognizing that context matters (see SECOND QUOTE OF THE DAY: ECONOMISTS OFTEN FORGET THAT “CONTEXT MATTERS”); made a common error by not recognizing how their research could be misused (I’ve heard before that academicians aren’t responsible for how others use research they do – like when I have criticized research  where a researcher literally pulled a trophy out of an elementary student’s hand to show that loss aversion was an effective school improvement strategy – and laughed when she told an interviewer about it);  and got sucked into the common fallacy that some literacy researchers have about the magic of third grade (see REALLY INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE ON STUDY CLAIMING THIRD GRADE IS PIVOTAL FOR READERS and INSANITY — MANDATORY RETENTION OF THIRD GRADERS WHO DON’T READ AT GRADE LEVEL?).

If you think what I have said is harsh, though, wait until you read the letter criticizing the study sent by a group of ELL researchers called The Working Group of ELL Policy.

Read their letter here, and the Education Week summary of it, and the controversy, here.

It seems to me their letter should pretty much close the book on anyone taking this research seriously.

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Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues (You might also be interested in THE BEST ARTICLES, VIDEOS & POSTS ON EDUCATION POLICY IN 2019 – PART ONE):

Educators learn early results of Gates initiative to improve student outcomes is from Ed Source. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

This is big ed news in our state: California Teachers Association board votes out executive director is from Ed Source.

‘No confidence’: State adviser slammed Sac City Unified officials in fiscal crisis, emails show is from The Sacramento Bee. I’m adding it to A BEGINNING LIST OF THE BEST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT OUR SACRAMENTO DISTRICT’S FINANCIAL FIASCO.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research:

#AcademicTwitter, we want our research to matter, to get used. The reality is that it often does not & this is largely our own fault. Here is sage wisdom from @RuthLTurley about why research does not get used & what we can do about it. #RPP @RPP_Network @FarleyRipple @wtgrantfdn pic.twitter.com/tVaWwkCOrB

— Matthew A. Kraft (@MatthewAKraft) July 16, 2019

I’m adding this next tweet to The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both:

One other important aspect of grad retention policies (eg https://t.co/qgqDCxkSLW) is that even when "mandatory," they may still be unequally applied: https://t.co/dFAD6YGTfF pic.twitter.com/Fwi0b7VsCS

— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) July 15, 2019

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StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay

 

Here are two new additions to The Best Collections Of Online Educational Games:

Fun Stuff for Kids Online is from the Smithsonian.

The National Museums Scotland has a nice collection.

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geralt / Pixabay

 

The Education Endowment Foundation just came out with a new study on teaching a growth mindset in schools.

They concluded that it didn’t have any impact.

A fair number of studies have reached the opposite conclusion, especially for students who may be experiencing challenges (see The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”).

What I really found interesting were the two caveats that included:

One was saying that since the growth mindset idea is so popular, it’s possible that teachers in the control group knew about it and used it in their teaching.  That would certainly help explain why there wasn’t much of a difference in the results between the control and treatment groups.

The second caveat was suggesting that it could just take a longer period of time to see the results for this kind of intervention.

I suspect data experts may already be aware of these questions kinds of questions when it comes to education research, but it got me wondering what other strategies these caveats could be applied to?

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

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This blog has recently gained many new readers. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a  “A Look Back” where I periodically share my choices for the most important posts from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.

This post appeared earlier this year. 

 

Last summer, I wrote a fairly popular post headlined Leading With Inquiry, Not Judgment.

In it, I shared some examples of how first asking why people are doing some things (or not doing some things) prior to declaring judgment on those actions might be an effective strategy in many different arenas, including in the classroom.

Today, I read a piece on Medium that elaborated on that same concept, and it’s worth reading Laziness Does Not Exist: But unseen barriers do.

Here’s an excerpt:

Of course, it’s easy to forget this advice in the midst of teaching, and I often do…

Fortunately, however, I read Mr. Price’s article today, and tomorrow I was planning on doing “walk-and-talks” with two students who have been experiencing challenges in several classes, including mine.

Asking them about why they behaving in some ways, or why they think they might be acting in those ways or, if they don’t know, why they think students in general might act in those ways, is clearly a better way to go than immediately judging their behavior. They may very well not have answers – then. But it could set the stage for future conversations.

If nothing else, it can bring me into alignment with the best piece of classroom management advice I’ve ever read (from Marvin Marshall):

Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?

I’m adding this post to Best Posts On Classroom Management.

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Does it get more ridiculous than the story in this NBC News article, Parents are warned their children could be put in foster care over lunch debt?

Here are two useful articles about this kind of “lunch-shaming” that I’ve previously shared:

The government already knows how to end school lunch shaming is from CNN.

‘It’s embarrassing to the kids’: Students who owe lunch money will get only a jelly sandwich, district says is from The Washington Post.

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Teacher treatment of students factors into racial gap in school suspensions is a Eureka Alert article that summarizes an important new study.

It also says:

The analysis found that teachers’ different treatment of black and white students accounted for 46% of the racial gap in suspensions and expulsions from school among 5- to 9-year-old children. It showed that about 21% of the gap could be explained by differences in the characteristics of schools that black and white children attend predominantly, while differences in student behavior accounted for 9% of the gap.

You might also might be interested in these previous related-posts:

Researchers Find That African-American Students Punished More Severely Than Whites For Same Behavior

We Should Be Obsessed With Racial Equity

The Best Resources Explaining The GAO Report That Finds Racial Disparities In School Discipline

 

I’m adding this post to .

 

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The New York Times has published a neat interactive combining portions of the conversations the Apollo 11 astronauts had at the time with photos they actually took.

It’s called Apollo 11: As They Shot It.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About The Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

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BiljaST / Pixabay

 

Five years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention.

You might also be interested in THE BEST RESOURCES, ARTICLES & BLOG POSTS FOR TEACHERS OF ELLS IN 2019 – PART ONE.

. Also, check out

In addition, look for our new book on teaching ELLs, which was published in the Spring of 2018.

Here are this week’s choices:

Do English-Language Learners Get Stigmatized by Teachers? A Study Says Yes is from Ed Week.

Is It a Video Game—or a Better Way to Learn Foreign Languages? is from The Daily Beast.

WestEd has some excellent free articles on teaching ELLs (scroll down on the page).

Netflix and learn – six ways to teach English language skills with television is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

Minimal reading mode is a browser extension that might be useful for ELLs. It basically enables you to “engineer” test to make it more accessible. There are also other similar tools (see New Software Makes Text Easier To “Read”).

BeeLinguaApp is a neat reading app that shows texts side-by-side in two languages. Here are a few similar resources:

Parallel Texts Reader

Parallel Books

Alba Learning

Bilinguis

Parallel Text

 

Practical Guide for State Education Agencies to Promote Success of English Learners PreK-Grade 3 comes from CCSSO.

When an Online Teaching Job Becomes a Window into Child Abuse is from Ed Surge.

California Practitioners’ Guide for Educating English Learners with Disabilities has been published by the State of California. I’m adding it to .

A Culturally Responsive Guide to Fostering the Inclusion of Immigrant Origin Students is from Re-imagining Migration. I’m adding it to

English language development instructional models. @docjebrown https://t.co/XULjJlUKIS #ellchat_bkclub #esl #eal #eld #esol #tesol pic.twitter.com/56GBmqQp4b

— Tan Huynh (@TanELLclassroom) July 18, 2019

We just played this awesome game to review how as content and/or language teachers we use the @SIOPModel components to support each other! #siopnc19 pic.twitter.com/2WW5CufOXQ

— Emily Fɾαɳƈιʂ (@emilyfranESL) July 17, 2019

Hispanic student enrollment decreases after partnership between ICE and police. Thomas Dee, a professor at Stanford University spoke to #UNews about a new study involving this partnership
. pic.twitter.com/E7YYqXhJYY

— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) July 12, 2019

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Posts On Looking At Our Students Through The Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits:

Many times an EL making an error is actually them telling you how they say it correctly in their L1. https://t.co/ogpCWmvPQc

— Melih Ertekin (@ErtekinELL) July 9, 2019

How can I build a culture of care for my EL students?
Here is the 𝐧𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝟐 𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨 𝐏𝐃 I made about @dr_aquagirl Chapter 2.Thanks for writing such an important chapter, Michelle! #dg58learns #ell_chat #ellchat_bkclub @Toppel_ELD @ValentinaESL @Larryferlazzo pic.twitter.com/VpEfNogn0B

— Rozana Qirjaqi (@MsQirjaqi) July 1, 2019

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