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


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From the education reference

Americans with Disabilities Act
Passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990, the ADA guarantees equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. The ADA also provides for reasonable accommodations to increase the numbers of students with disabilities in primary, secondary, and postsecondary education.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
1975 federal law (amended in 1997) under which schools must guarantee that all children with disabilities receive "free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment." The statute requires that children with disabilities be educated with children who are not disabled, and that removal from the regular classroom may occur only when the nature or severity of the disability interferes with the successful delivery of aid and services.
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."
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.
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.
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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Accommodations for students with disabilities in online courses
This document explains how students with disabilities can request accommodations when taking LEARN NC's online courses.
Format: article/help
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)
Can Americans define the term "learning disability?"
This article examines the statistics surrounding what Americans know — and don't know — about learning disabilities. The results highlight the necessity of educating parents and teachers more comprehensively about learning disabilities and what causes them.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
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.
Gender in special education
Do boys have more incidences of disability than girls? The numbers suggest that they do, but the matter is complicated. This article addresses some of the issues behind the statistics.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Differentiated instruction
An introduction to LEARN NC's resources for differentiating instruction for a variety of student populations.
Format: bibliography
How do special education students benefit from technology?
Students with disabilities can benefit greatly by using technology in the classroom. This article examines the use of assistive technologies with special education students.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
English language learners and special education testing
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.4
English language learners are often incorrectly labeled with learning disabilities because of inffective diagnostic tests. A more effective model of testing and instruction would be based upon the educational concepts of scaffolding instruction and the Zone of Proximal Development.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Poverty and special ed
Is there a correlation between poverty and disabilities in children? This article looks at the facts and explains why the numbers of impoverished children in special education is on the rise.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
iReach all learners with iPads: How to utilize the iPad to meet the needs of LD students
This online professional development course helps teachers develop iPad skills that help empower students with learning disabilities in the classroom.
Format: article/online course
Using anchor activities to recognize special needs
There are a number of reasons why a student with special needs might make it to the high school level without having his or her needs identified and addressed. This article proposes using anchor activities as a way to determine whether a high school student has an unidentified learning disability.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
The law and disabilities
A brief overview of two major laws — the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 — that protect students with disabilities in schools.
By Margaret P. Weiss.
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)
Getting the facts about autism
This article explores some common misconceptions about autism.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Nothing exceptional
For teachers, the task is to determine which strategies will help students with learning disabilities succeed, both in our classrooms and beyond.
By Janet Ploghoft.
Creating an inclusive environment: Understanding feelings
The students will learn about feelings and how to get along with others in group situations. Students will discuss what makes a friend, how friends make each other feel, what friends do together and how to resolve differences between friends. They will identify the qualities of friendship.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 Guidance, Healthful Living, and Social Studies)
By Dianne Prohn.
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
Changing the focus from label to need
Labeling a student's disability is an important step in procuring special education services for that student. But is there a downside to labeling students? This article looks at four commonly held — but ultimately misleading — beliefs about labels in special education, and advocates for focusing on needs rather than labels.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Understanding twice-exceptional students
This article discusses the twice-exceptional student, defined as a student with both gifts and a learning disability. The author lists three categories of twice-exceptional students, addresses the challenges involved in identifying these students' exceptionalities, shares strategies for teaching twice-exceptional students, and emphasizes the importance of supporting the students' social skills.
Format: article/best practice
By Jennifer Job.
Modeling is an instructional strategy in which the teacher demonstrates a new concept or approach to learning and students learn by observing. Theory of modeling as an instructional strategy Research has shown that modeling is an effective instructional...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.