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


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From the education reference

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.
service learning
Intentional combination of community service objectives and learning opportunities that benefits both the recipient and provider of the service. Student service learning projects should be structured to link learning tasks to self-reflection so that they enrich learning, strengthen communities, and teach civic responsibility.
discovery learning
Learning that takes place, not through instruction, but through examination, analysis, or experimentation.
blended learning
A student-centered approach to creating a learning experience whereby the learner interacts with other students, with the instructor, and with content through thoughtful integration of online and face-to-face environments.
cooperative learning
Instructional method in which students work together in small, heterogeneous groups to complete a problem, project, or other instructional goal, while teachers act as guides or facilitators. This method works to reinforce a student’s own learning as well as the learning of his or her fellow group members.
collaborative learning
An umbrella term for the variety of approaches and models in education that involve the shared intellectual efforts by students working in small groups to accomplish a goal or complete a task.
learning contract
An agreement between a teacher and a student regarding how that student will achieve specified learning goals or objectives.
learning disability
A discrepancy between expected achievement and observed achievement, also known as "unexpected underachievement."
project-based learning
Teaching approach that engages students in sustained, collaborative real-world investigations. Projects are organized around a driving question, and students participate in a variety of tasks that seek to meaningfully address this question.
Dimensions of Learning model
Model of learning developed by Marzano et al (1988) that links content area knowledge, metacognition, and critical and creative thinking with a taxonomy of thinking skills and thinking processes.
digital game-based learning
Instructional method that incorporates educational content or learning principles into video games with the goal of engaging learners. Applications of digital game-based learning draw upon the constructivist theory of education.
problem-based learning
Model of instruction in which the teacher poses an authentic problem for student resolution. PBL may be one among many strategies in a classroom or an entire curricular and instructional approach. In the course of problem-solving, students work cooperatively in groups to learn content and skills related to real world problems. The teacher acts as a facilitator to learning.

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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)
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)
Mandarin Chinese IV | 中文课程4
Part four of an online textbook for learning Mandarin Chinese.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Mandarin Chinese III| 中文课程3
Part three of an online textbook for learning Mandarin Chinese.
Format: book (multiple pages)
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.
Investigative science for middle school teachers
The online course "Investigative Science for Middle School Teachers" requires participants to think about the scientific process and how it applies to teaching science in the middle school classroom.
Format: article/online course
North Carolina Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process
Students will examine the standards and evaluation model in this online course.
Format: article/online course
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)
Opening an Hispanic restaurant
This lesson focuses on vocabulary and currency associated with food, restaurants, and menus. Students conduct research to create an authentic menu with a companion recipe books. The lesson culminates in short presentations and food samples.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Susan Canipe.
Scientific inquiry for elementary teachers
This online course asks teachers to think about the scientific process and how it applies to teaching science in the elementary classroom.
Format: article/online course
Selection policy and disclaimer for "Best of the Web"
The purpose of LEARN NC's Best of the Web collection is to provide web resources that support the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. These resources have been selected according to our selection policy.
Format: article/help
Professional development by email
Conducting professional development by email can be an effective way to reach busy teachers, tailor the content to their needs, and provide an authentic context for learning.
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
Interdisciplinary teaching
This education reference article explains the concept of interdisciplinary teaching and discusses considerations for developing interdisciplinary curriculum.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools
These articles provide background on Latino immigrants in North Carolina, administrative challenges in binational education, and strategies through which teachers can build on what Latino students bring to their classrooms to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Project-based learning
Project-based learning is a teaching approach that engages students in sustained, collaborative real-world investigations. Projects are organized around a driving question, and students participate in a variety of tasks that seek to meaningfully address this...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Why problem-centered learning?
The world our students will live and work in will require them to gather, organize, and interpret data in the process of finding solutions to complex problems. Problem-centered learning creates a model where the student becomes the thinker.
Format: article
By Mike Kestner.
Japanese tea ceremony: A critique for screens and scrolls
The last part of a larger unit on discussing and evaluating Japanese screen and scroll paintings as well as creating one. The purpose of this unit plan is to introduce descriptive aspects of art criticism while teaching them the art and culture of Japan. Students critique illustrations of classmates' descriptions of Japanese screens or scrolls.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Visual Arts Education)
By Michelle Harrell.
Helping students from rural Mexico feel comfortable in your classroom
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 2.2
Most students from rural Mexico have experiences, family backgrounds, and expectations that conflict with the expectations of the American classroom environment. By understanding the expectations of these students and their parents, teachers can help them to succeed.
Format: article
Traveling the world, virtually: Project-based learning in elementary school
Fifth-grade teacher Shannon Page shares her methods and experiences with using project-based learning in the elementary school classroom. Ms. Page's focus on taking virtual field trips, which are planned and guided by her students, helps infuse curriculum objectives with relevance and rigor.
Format: article/best practice
By Dan Lewandowski.
Integrating maps
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 6
Textbooks frequently use maps as learning aids, but research has found that the way maps are most often used does not support students' learning. It turns out that both the order and the context in which materials are presented are crucial....
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.