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.

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In the think-pair-share strategy, students think on their own about a topic and then pair with another student to discuss their thoughts. Finally, the pair shares their thoughts with the rest of the class. This structure facilitates independent thinking and...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Innovate to transform the classroom with Web 2.0 tools
Students will learn to integrate technologies such as Web 2.0 tools and mobile learning devices to create engaging learning experiences for your students
Format: article/online course
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)
Alternative discussion formats
Class discussions often take one of two forms — either question-and-answer sessions, in which the teacher throws out questions and students answer them, or debates. Both of these formats are useful, but adding a few more ideas to your teaching repertoire can make for more variety in the classroom and provide more opportunities for engaging discussions. This edition explains how to manage dicussions in the form of a public relations campaign, a trial, a talk show, or the design of monuments, memorials, and museum exhibits.
Format: series (multiple pages)
A successful day? Engaging your students may not be enough
In The First Year, page 2.1
To ensure that you meet your objectives, plan backwards from what you want students to learn.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
AOWS8: Not your grandfathers’ wars: Teaching WWI & WWII to 21st Century learners
This course will explore some of the best resources available for learning and teaching about World War I and World War II and provide teachers with the opportunity to create and share ideas for classroom instruction.
Format: article/online course
Week 5: Writing an engaging opening
In Invention convention, page 13
In this Invention Convention lesson, students will analyze slogans from famous inventions and identify a sound, ability, or description that is unique to their invention. They will use this information to write an engaging opening for their expository writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts)
By Briana Corke Pelton.
Why inquiry?
The rationale for using discovery learning methods in teaching science.
Why teach philosophy?
In Philosophy resources for educators, page 1.1
A page to help explain the rationale for pre-college philosophy instruction.
Format: bibliography
Quick Draw
In Problem centered math, page 2.3
An engaging math activity that helps students develop and talk about spatial reasoning.
Format: activity
By Grayson Wheatley.
Designing a virtual field trip
Use internet resources to design a "virtual field trip" for your students. In this online course, you’ll study strategies and resources to create effective and engaging learning experiences for your students that are aligned to state and national standards.
Format: article/online course
Battle over Little Switzerland unit background
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 3.1
This page contains resources and activities that provide background information for students who are about to begin the Battle Over Little Switzerland unit.
Format: lesson plan
By Katy Vance.
North Carolina Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process
Students will examine the standards and evaluation model in this online course.
Format: article/online course
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 3.2
Jigsaw is a cooperative learning technique that was created with the goals of reducing conflict and enhancing positive educational outcomes. The jigsaw technique helps students realize they are essential components of a whole and encourages cooperation in...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
AOWS2: Nation in conflict - Founding figures of America in a global context
Not your old style history class. History teachers love to tell stories. And, students love to hear stories. However, listening to stories is not the same as doing history. We want our students to experience history. This online course studies methods of engaging students in the doing of history using primary sources.
Format: article/online course
Week 5: Conclusion paragraphs
In Invention convention, page 15
In this Invention Convention lesson, students will write convincing conclusions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts)
By Briana Corke Pelton.
Family History in the Classroom
In this enhanced digital textbook, nine educators share how they used family history in their classrooms to increase engagement and build empathy.
Making patterns make sense
Students will analyze organizational patterns in analytical writing by reading, Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Students will then apply these patterns to their own writing by creating children's books about success.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Heather Bower.
Balancing order and learning in classroom discussions
In The First Year, page 3.6
Different learning objectives require different rules for student participation. Make your expectations for each day's class clear to students — and to yourself!
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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.