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

culturally relevant teaching
A pedagogy that seeks to empower students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents by creating a bridge between students’ home and school lives, while still meeting the expectations of the district and state curricular requirements.
co-teaching
Instructional strategy used across subject areas primarily in middle grades in a variety of methods. Teams are typically composed of between two and four teachers working collaboratively to plan thematic units and lesson plans in order to provide a more supportive environment for students. Also known as team teaching or collaborative teaching.
team teaching
Instructional strategy used across subject areas primarily in middle grades in a variety of methods. Teams are typically composed of between two and four teachers working collaboratively to plan thematic units and lesson plans in order to provide a more supportive environment for students. Also known as co-teaching or collaborative teaching.
collaborative teaching
Instructional strategy used across subject areas primarily in middle grades in a variety of methods. Teams are typically composed of between two and four teachers working collaboratively to plan thematic units and lesson plans in order to provide a more supportive environment for students. Also known as team teaching or co-teaching.

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To know them is to teach them
We must maintain high standards and expectations, incorporate students' experiences into the curriculum, and use culturally relevant materials.
By Barbara Rush.
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)
Differentiated instruction
An introduction to LEARN NC's resources for differentiating instruction for a variety of student populations.
Format: bibliography
Culturally relevant teaching
Culturally relevant teaching is a term created by Gloria Ladson-Billings (1994) to describe "a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes."
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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)
The value of oral history
In Oral history in the classroom, page 1
Why use oral history with your students? Oral history has benefits that no other historical source provides.
Format: article
By Kathryn Walbert.
The middle school challenge for English language learners of Mexican origin
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.2
English language learners of Mexican origin face numerous challenges in American middle schools, including cultural segregation and assumptions made by schools regarding the students' educational backgrounds. This article offers strategies for educators to help students overcome those challenges.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
When teachers don't understand
Teaching should be informed not only by the content of the discipline but also by the lives of the students.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
Code-switching
Code-switching is the practice of moving between variations of languages in different contexts. This article explains the history of code-switching, explores important literature on the subject, and discusses approaches to language response in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Funds of knowledge
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 2.1
Teachers can use "funds of knowledge," the knowledge students gain from their family and cultural backgrounds, to make their classrooms more inclusive.
Format: article
By Janet Kier Lopez.
Reaching Latinos through social studies
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 4.1
Teachers can help immigrant students feel more comfortable in the classroom by basing social studies lessons on students' own knowledge and backgrounds.
By Paul Fitchett.
Teaching contemporary Europe
We know how to teach Europe’s past, but what about the present? This article offers strategies and resources for teaching today’s Europe, using online resources from the Center for European Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Making the most of culture kits
Culture kits — everyday objects from the country or region you're studying — can bring your lessons to life. This article will get you started using culture kits in your social studies classroom and gives contacts for borrowing culture kits from programs at UNC and Duke.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Using EUROPA to teach the European Union
Finding resources for teaching the European Union can be a challenge. This article introduces strategies for using free resources available on the official EU web site, EUROPA, to deepen understanding of the European Union.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Teaching Latin America through film
This article offers teachers strategies for enriching student understanding of Latin America through films available free through the Consortium on Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. It suggests ways teachers can incorporate viewing directly into instruction through careful preparation and follow-up.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Teaching the European Union
This article presents the European Union — often seen as an "extra" in instruction — as an integral part of the government, economy, history, and culture of Europe. It offers background on the EU, and ideas for deepening understanding of the EU every time you teach Europe.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Teaching world cultures
According to the new Professional Teaching Standards, every North Carolina teacher must promote global awareness in classroom instruction. This article presents some general guidelines and specific strategies for global teaching.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Teaching about Thanksgiving
Resources and activities to help you bring historical accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and a broader context to discussions about the quintessentially American holiday.
Format: article
By Kathryn Walbert.
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
Effective strategies for teaching science vocabulary
In order for students to develop scientific literacy, they need to gain a knowledge of science content and practice scientific habits of mind. This is impossible without knowledge of science vocabulary. This article shares research-based strategies for science vocabulary instruction that are effective for all students, including English language learners.
Format: article/best practice
By Sarah J. Carrier.