Larry Ferlazzo

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(Accepted for publication by Technology and Learning

Educator's eZine)






                                                                                           -- Larry Ferlazzo


     So much to read, so little time!  If you are an education professional, or just someone interested in education, how is it possible to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of education?  What news can you use to stimulate your mind, and what ideas and projects can you “steal” to use in your own classroom? 


     Here are twelve free e-mail newsletters that can give answers to these questions and others, and are ones that I find helpful to my work as a teacher.     It takes less than twenty seconds to sign-up for most of them.    Even better, it doesn’t take very long to “skim” through them and identify the information that is most useful.   Junk is not in short-supply in cyberspace, and I’ve certainly “unsubscribed” to more than my fair share of newsletters that don’t deliver what they promise. However, I’ve been a long-term reader of all of the ones I’ve listed here.  Under the name of the  sponsor of each newsletter, I’ve listed in parentheses the broader topic categories that best describe their content in addition to a slightly longer description.  Each link will take you directly to the page where you can subscribe to the newsletter.


     Let me know at if you have additional newsletters you think should be added to this list.


Education World

(Education News, Lesson Plans, Other Resources)

Education World has been a source of many online resources over the years that are useful to educators.  They offer several free newsletters.  Two of the better ones are Education World Weekly Newsletter, which functions as an update about new resources they offer on their site, and  Education World Headlines Newsletter, which is sort of a “round-up” of key education news that has happened during the week.  Both are sent-out once each week.


National Geographic

(Social Studies, Science, Lesson Plans, Other Resources)

Most teachers, at one time or another, have used some of the materials developed by National Geographic.  They publish many e-mail newsletters, either coming out once per month or bi-weekly.  I’ve found three of their newsletters particularly helpful: Inside National Geographic, National Geographic Education Update, and National Geographic Earth Current.


Smithsonian Institution

(All Subjects, Lesson Plans, Other Resources)

Another source of excellent materials is our national museum, The Smithsonian Institution.  Smithsonian Focus is a monthly newsletter giving an update on new online and on-site resources developed by the Smithsonian.  They also have a quarterly newsletter just for educators called the Smithsonian Education E-Newsletter  You have to sign-up for the newsletters in two separate places.


ASCD SmartBrief

(Education News)

This daily newsletter, which is my personal favorite out of the ten listed here, is published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a national organization of educators.  This newsletter consistently provides thought-provoking articles from around the country.  ASCD also offers an exceptional breadth of other resources and materials.


The New York Times Learning Network Lesson Plan

(Daily Lesson Plans)

The New York Times emails a daily lesson plan using one of their newspaper articles (a link is always provided within the lesson plan itself) as a text.  The lesson plans vary in subject areas.  They are generally geared to a high school audience, but I’ve gotten good ideas that I’ve been able to modify for my Beginner ESL class.


Public Education Weekly NewsBlast

(Education News)

The Public Education Network, a national organization of progressive school reform groups, publishes a weekly newsletter of thoughtful articles that have been printed in various publications. 



Teacher Magazine Update and EdWeek Update

(Education News)

Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) publishes Education Week and Teacher Magazine.  They also publish several free e-newsletters, including the weekly Teacher Magazine Update and EdWeek Update.  They both provide good education news summaries, links to lengthier articles, and highlights from educator’s blogs.


Discipline and Learning Newsletter

(Class Management)

Marvin Marshall is the author of the book Discipline Without Stress, Punishment or Rewards, and publishes a monthly email newsletter that shares additional thoughts from him and other educators about his philosophy and method of classroom management.  I don’t use every aspect of his system.  However, I have found its emphasis on putting more responsibility on the student to control his/her behavior (as opposed to the teacher trying to “control” the student) much closer to what works best for my and my students than any other classroom management techniques I know.


Primary Resources

(All Subjects, Lesson Plans, Other Resources)

Primary Resources is a newsletter from the United Kingdom that has a wealth of teacher-created lesson plans and resources.  It seems to be generally sent-out every month or so, or whenever a large amount of new resources has been added to the website.



(Language Arts News and Resources)

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) publishes a weekly wrap-up of articles about language arts, including information that would be useful to other content area teachers.

Middleweb Newsletter "Of Particular Interest"
(All Subjects)

Middleweb is a network of educators primarily working in the middle grades.  However, this weekly newsletter is packed with articles and newsletters that are helpful to all K-12 teachers.


Scientific American Weekly Review
This is a well-produced weekly bulletin from the magazine of the same name.  They also have several other
newsletters you can also subscribe to for free.


Larry Ferlazzo teaches English, primarily to English Language Learners, at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, CA.  He has a website designed to assist ESL students at and can be contacted at


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