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

The process or means of evaluating a student’s knowledge or skills.
summative assessment
Evaluation administered at the conclusion of a unit of instruction to comprehensively assess student learning and the effectiveness of an instructional method or program.
formative assessment
A process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides explicit feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment is a method of continually evaluating students’ academic needs and development within the classroom and precedes local benchmark assessments and state-mandated summative assessments.
alternative assessment
Assessment that measures student learning in forms other than traditional pencil-and-paper, short-answer tests.
authentic assessment
Assessment that seeks to evaluate students' abilities in "real-world" contexts, including the application and demonstration of skills and knowledge to authentic tasks or projects likely to be encountered in adult life.
portfolio assessment
Assessment that is based on a collection of student work (see portfolio), measuring student progress in a variety of skills in one class or over the course of a school year.
performance assessment
Assessment that measures student performance on concrete tasks or activities as opposed to standardized multiple-choice tests. Students are expected to apply a range of skills and knowledge to solve a problem. Assessment is based not only on the results of the task but also on the processes of task performance.
norm-referenced assessment
An assessment designed to measure and compare individual students' performances or test results to those of an appropriate peer group (that is, norm group) at the classroom, local, or national level. Students with the best performance on a given assessment receive the highest grades.
problem-based assessment
Based on a problem-solving or problem-posing educational model, problem-based assessment involves the presentation of a problem the student must solve.
criterion-referenced assessment
Assessment that measures student knowledge and understanding in relation to specific standards or performance objectives. Criterion-referenced assessment measures students' performance in relation to standards, not in relation to other students; all students may earn the highest grade if all meet the established performance criteria.
Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
A consortium of state and national education agencies and organizations focused on the preparation, licensure, and professional development of teachers. INTASC is guided by the belief that student learning standards should drive the preparation and development of teachers.

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Ongoing assessment for reading
Ongoing, informal assessment is crucial to teaching reading. Using audio and visual examples, this edition explains the use of running records and miscue analysis, tools that help a teacher to identify patterns in student reading behaviors and the strategies a reader uses to make sense of text.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Creating and using meaningful rubrics
This course will help you use your own content knowledge and the wealth of information available about assessment to create, analyze, and critique rubrics.
Format: article/online course
LinguaFolio training modules
In these LinguaFolio training modules, learn to use this language portfolio tool to help students assess their language competencies, document their intercultural activities, and become reflective and autonomous in their language learning.
Format: book (multiple pages)
The Paideia Seminar: Active thinking through dialogue
This teacher training manual, provided by The National Paideia Center, provides a valuable set of resources for educators who want to begin using the Paideia approach.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Formative assessment resources
The practice of formative assessment can help teachers inform instruction and can improve student success. Often, however, conducting effective formative assessment is easier said than done. These resources offer strategies and support for educators to integrate more ongoing assessment into their teaching.
Format: bibliography/help
Running record form
Blank running record form for use in reading assessment.
Format: document
Math for multiple intelligences
How a middle-school math teacher realized she was boring and jump-started her career — and her students — by using thematic planning, emphasizing problem solving, and teaching to multiple intelligences.
Format: series (multiple pages)
The First Year
Essays on the author's experiences in her first year of teaching: the mistakes she made, what she learned from them, and how she used them to become a better teacher — and how other first-year teachers can, too.
Format: book (multiple pages)
In Math Common Core resources, page 1.3
Five state-managed assessment consortia were awarded grants by the U. S. Department of Education in 2010 and 2011. The two Comprehensive Assessment consortia, two Alternative Assessment consortia, and one English Proficiency Assessment consortium are currently...
Format: bibliography
By Kay Middleton.
Summative assessment
This article defines summative assessment and lists several examples and common formats.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Who's unique?
Encourages students to examine their ideas about how they are different and similar to each other by participating in an activity and then discussing their thoughts.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 Guidance and Healthful Living)
Assessment consortia
In Math Common Core resources, page 2.2
Five state-managed assessment consortia were awarded grants by the U. S. Department of Education in 2010 and 2011. Two Comprehensive Assessment consortia, two Alternative Assessment consortia, and one English Language Proficiency Assessment consortium are...
Format: bibliography
By Kay Middleton.
Alternative assessment
Alternative assessments measure performance in forms other than traditional paper-and-pencil, short answer tests. This article provides an extended explanation of alternative assessments, including a variety of examples.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
"Shaping up" with ordinal numbers
This lesson teaches students ordinal numbers through literature, and a visual memory game, and it reviews shapes, colors, and ordinal numbers with a listening and following-directions assessment.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics)
By Sue Bowen.
Learning styles: An introduction
Students will read about and discuss learning styles. They will take a pencil and paper assessment to investigate their own learning styles and practice determining the learning style of others with a story telling activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Formative assessment
This reference article discusses the history, concept, and application of formative assessment.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Discovering Pi
This lesson introduces students to Pi through the discovery method of instruction. Students practice simple measuring skills to discover the relationship between the circumference and diameter of circular objects (Pi).They will be able to use this concept to find the circumference of any circle when the diameter is given.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 and 8 Mathematics)
By Betty Shell.
Math Common Core resources
This edition contains resources for teachers, administrators, and parents to learn more about the implementation of the Common Core Mathematics Standards.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Graphic organizer: John Lawson's assessment of the Tuscarora
This graphic organizer will aid students' comprehension as they read a primary source account detailing an English traveler's encounters with the Tuscarora Indians in 1700-1701.
Format: chart/lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Introducing simple machines: A machine walk
This is an integrated lesson exploring simple machines. The poetry response part of this lesson serves to spark the students' interest as well as allow the teacher to identify students' prior knowledge of machine concepts and vocabulary. The machine walk gives a baseline assessment of students' understanding. The majority of students originally focus on complex machines; this will be evident by the types of machines they identify on their list.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts)
By Terri Fannin.