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

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From the education reference

experiential education
Instructional approach based on the idea that ideal learning occurs through experience. Learning tasks require the active participation of the student in hands-on opportunities and must connect content to the student's 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.
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."
discovery learning
Learning that takes place, not through instruction, but through examination, analysis, or experimentation.
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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Experiential education
This article explains the history and theory of experiential education, which combines active learning with concrete experiences, abstract concepts, and reflection in an effort to engage all learning styles.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
A Time for Science Nature and Learning Center
The activities and programs of this nature and science center are tailored to groups learning about ecology, conservation, environmental stewardship, STEM subjects.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center
A unique diversity of habitats at Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center provides a wonderful outdoor classroom where students learn about the connections between people and the environment.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly
Learn about the wildlife of the mountains and practice using a compass at this conference center located outside of Asheville, NC.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
North Carolina A&T University Farm
Discover Agriculture provides an interactive experience for students to learn about agricultural science including farming with the environment in mind.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Bartering — A system of exchange
By participating in a game called "Barter Bag" students will be introduced to the concept of trade. This introduces students to the concept of bartering.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 Social Studies)
By Carlene M. White.
Polar bears and their adaptations
In this introductory activity, students will be introduced to the concept of adaptation by exploring how a polar bear's body adapts to survive in the harsh environment in which it lives.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Heather Spradling.
Blue Ridge Parkway and Museum of North Carolina Minerals
Students from a five county region actively attend this Museum for experiential learning and are introduced to the wealth of cultural and natural resources of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
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.
ACE - Agapé Center for Environmental Education
The ACE Education program is a carefully developed and integrated program designed to meet goals for science and social studies set forth by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (Standard Course of Study). The Center's activities...
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Comparing proverbs
The lesson will feature comparisons of American and African proverbs.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Pat Chancer.
Turtle Island Preserve Outdoor Education Center and Traditional Appalachian Farm
Students develop outdoor living skills as well as self-confidence through day or overnight field trips at this unique center.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
The key to a map
The students will use a map of the classroom to strengthen their map reading skills. They will work in groups and use a prepared map of the classroom to find hidden messages.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Melissa Lasher.
"Card" Specialty
Students will make a greeting card for their pen pals or book buddies while studying specialization and division of labor in Social Studies.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Social Studies)
By Pat Pennino.
Goals, goals, goals
Students will be introduced to the benefits of goal-setting and the steps in the goal setting process. A group activity with a ball will give students practice in all steps of the process and an opportunity to see the benefits of setting goals.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Spiders and monarchs and bees, oh my!
Exploring the world of insects and spiders can replace children's fear with fascination.
By Linda Dow.
Making connections for environmental education
How can you get students fired up about environmental education? Get them outside and get them involved in local issues through activism, service learning, and teaching others.
Format: article/best practice
By Carolyn Moser.
Transatlantic Teacher Scholars – American Battle Monuments Commission
LEARN NC was recently awarded a contract by the American Battle Monuments Commission to build an interactive teaching companion to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Verdun, France. This team will explore ways to unlock the narrative stories and trends...
Tracking animals
Large groups of children are likely to scare off mammals, but they can learn to identify tracks to learn more about the animals that left them.
By Linda Dow.
Field trips in context
Opportunities abound in North Carolina for hands-on interdisciplinary learning experiences.
Format: article
By Lesley Richardson.