K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

From the education reference

gifted
A label once reserved for a small group of students who displayed above-average intellectual achievement, giftedness now represents a more comprehensive set of skills or capacities based not only in ability, but also in creativity, motivation, and social factors acting together. Giftedness, therefore, is distributed across all socio-economic, gender, cultural, and racial categories.
gifted education
Educational programs designed to offer enriched opportunities for students identified as having the highest academic potential, including additional classes, programs, or services. Gifted students are considered to have the capacity to achieve beyond the norm based either on IQ scores, demonstrated ability in the classroom, or both.

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Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice
This series of articles, which balance theory, research, and practice, address a variety of topics within differentiation through text, graphics, and video.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Differentiated instruction
An introduction to LEARN NC's resources for differentiating instruction for a variety of student populations.
Format: bibliography
Economics: Market surveys
This lesson plan is for an accelerated, academically gifted 4th/5th grade combination class. The unit of study is economics (social studies). This lesson was designed as a supplemental lesson for a unit I taught called Mini-Society (supported by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership). I taught this unit for the first time this year after attending a workshop at Chapel Hill, NC. This lesson enhances the Mini-Society unit in which children create their own businesses.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Mathematics and Social Studies)
By Denise Delp.
Differentiation
Differentiation is the practice of tailoring instruction to diverse learners based on student readiness, interest, and learning styles. This article discusses the four areas in which teachers can differentiate instruction and includes links to resources that support differentiation.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Acceleration vs. social promotion in special education
Popular belief holds that accelerated programs are not good for gifted students. This article shows that these students actually excel with support from their teachers and parents.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Gifted?
It is important for gifted children to be with other gifted children, the more often the better.
Format: article
By Cathy Kroninger.
Differentiation with real-world perspectives
Using classroom footage and teacher interviews, this video explores the practice of creating assignments based on real-world perspectives. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school discuss how a variety of populations can benefit from this approach,...
Format: video/video
Looking for support
An elementary special education teacher talks about finding support in challenging situations.
By Kathleen Casson.
Who cares?: Using real-world perspectives to engage academically gifted learners
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 5
This article shares strategies for engaging gifted learners by creating assignments in which students adopt real-world perspectives on curriculum objectives. The result, the author suggests, is rich, rigorous, challenging learning for those who are ready to go beyond proficiency. Includes step-by-step instructions and sample assignments.
Format: article/best practice
By Linda Pigott Robinson.
Understanding twice-exceptional students
This article discusses the twice-exceptional student, defined as a student with both gifts and a learning disability. The author lists three categories of twice-exceptional students, addresses the challenges involved in identifying these students' exceptionalities, shares strategies for teaching twice-exceptional students, and emphasizes the importance of supporting the students' social skills.
Format: article/best practice
By Jennifer Job.
Changes in a democratic society (Lesson 3 of 3)
This lesson is a follow-up to Changes in a Democratic Society, Lessons 1 and 2. Students will reflect upon and respond to a sculpture by Auguste Rodin, "Monument for the Defense of Paris." Permission has been granted by Ackland Art Museum to use the following sculptures: "Monument for the Defense of Paris" (Auguste Rodin) and "Wisdom Supporting Liberty" (Aime-Jules Dalou).
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Karen Wagoner.
LEARN NC goals and guiding principles
This document describes LEARN NC’s guiding principles and lists our short-term goals for 2009-2010.
Format: article/help
Change in a democratic society (Lesson 1 of 3)
This lesson will demonstrate how art can imitate society. Students will learn about democracy in America through an examination of and a Paideia seminar on "The Sword of Damocles," an oil painting by British painter Richard Westall. This lesson should be used after a study of colonial times in America and through the American Revolution.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Sharyn West.
Changes in a democratic society (Lesson 2 of 3)
This lesson is the post-seminar activity to follow Changes in a Democratic Society, Lesson 1. Students will participate in tiered assignments reflecting on the Westall painting, "The Sword of Damocles," and the prior day's Paideia seminar on that painting.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Sharyn West.
Story shackles: Linking students to written text
Chain your students to reading a given text critically! Story Shackles is an imaginative and stimulating way for students to acquire the ability to retell events of a story or text, sequence the action or happenings in a story, or to simply summarize the plot, main ideas with supporting details, or general information of a story or text.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
By Kim Rector.
And justice for all: The Trail of Tears, Mexican deportation, and Japanese internment
Many textbooks mention the Trail of Tears, but fail to mention that this early displacement of an ethnic minority is only the one of many legally-sanctioned forced relocations. This lesson will address the displacement of American Indians through the Trail of Tears, the forced deportation of Mexican Americans during the Great Depression, and the internment of Japanese American citizens during WWII.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Patricia Camp.
Two paths to knowledge
For students who who always finish their class work early or want more information than you have time to give, try curriculum compacting.
Format: article
By Waverly Harrell.
Civil rights wax museum project
In this lesson plan, students will choose African Americans prominent in the Civil Rights Movement and research aspects of their lives. They will create timelines of their subjects' lives and a speech about their subjects, emphasizing why they are remembered today.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Sabrina Lewandowski.
Tiering to avoid tears: Developing assignments that address all learners' needs
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 2
This article presents an approach to differentiated instruction in which teachers create tiered assignments for three groups of students: 1) Students who are not yet ready for that grade level's instruction, 2) Students who are just ready, and 3) Students who are ready to go beyond. Includes step-by-step instructions and a list of ten criteria by which to modify assignments.
Format: article/best practice
By Linda Pigott Robinson.
Time travelers: Using ChronoZoom to teach historical understanding
LEARN NC was recently awarded a contract by Microsoft Research to build an interactive teaching companion to their new online tool called ChronoZoom. As a visualization tool, ChronoZoom allows students to see big history—that...