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

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.
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.
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)
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
Formative assessment
This reference article discusses the history, concept, and application of formative assessment.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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 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)
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)
“Who cares” in action: Formative and summative assessment
Using teacher interviews and classroom footage, this video illustrates how using perspectives-based assignments can improve classroom instruction and assessment. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school discuss how this approach contributes to effective...
Format: video/video
Summative assessment
This article defines summative assessment and lists several examples and common formats.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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.
Topics in Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 1.1
Building a Firm Foundation New Teacher Support Essays on Kristi Johnson Smith’s...
Format: article/teacher's guide
Topics in Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 2.1
Building a Firm Foundation New Teacher Support Essays on Kristi Johnson Smith’s...
Format: article/teacher's guide
Topics in Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 3.1
Building a Firm Foundation New Teacher Support Essays on Kristi Johnson Smith’s...
Format: article/teacher's guide
Topics in Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 4.1
Building a Firm Foundation New Teacher Support Essays on Kristi Johnson Smith’s...
Format: article/learner's guide
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)
Blended learning
Blended learning is a student-centered approach that integrates learning experiences in online and face-to-face environments. This article defines blended learning, discusses its history, and provides suggestions for creating an effective blended learning experience.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
Carolina Online Teacher Program (COLT)
LEARN NC’s Carolina Online Teacher (COLT) program prepares participants to be online instructors, and receive certification to instruct LEARN NC courses.
Format: article/online course
Ongoing assessment strategies for writing
Making final assessment easier by helping students improve the quality of their writing along the way.
By Sherri Phillips Merrit.
LEARN NC goals and guiding principles
This document describes LEARN NC’s guiding principles and lists our short-term goals for 2009-2010.
Format: article/help
Listening while you work: Using informal assessments to inform your instruction
In The First Year, page 2.2
Ongoing classroom assessment can be informal, but it provides invaluable information about what students are actually learning.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Understanding the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards
The NC English Language Proficiency Standard Course of Study is the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency Standards [approved by the State Board of Education June 5, 2008]. These standards are K-12. English...
Format: document/policy