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

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.
learning disability
A discrepancy between expected achievement and observed achievement, also known as "unexpected underachievement."
learning contract
An agreement between a teacher and a student regarding how that student will achieve specified learning goals or objectives.
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.
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.
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.
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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Learning styles: An introduction
Students will read about and discuss learning styles. They will take a pencil and paper assessment to investigate their own learning styles and practice determining the learning style of others with a story telling activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Differentiation
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.
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)
Teaching "style"
This exercise works best as a review at the mid-point or end of a literature course. Paired students describe the style of ten authors ranging from "ornate" to "plain," and then compare the authors' styles through a designated series of metaphors.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts)
By Charlotte Osterman.
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.
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.
Differentiated instruction
An introduction to LEARN NC's resources for differentiating instruction for a variety of student populations.
Format: bibliography
Rethinking Reports
Creative research-based assignments provide alternatives to the President Report, Animal Report, and Famous Person Report that ask students to think about old topics in new ways, work collaboratively, and develop products that support a variety of learning styles.
Format: series (multiple pages)
A Ram Sam Sam: A Moroccan tune with a twist
Students will enjoy singing, playing rhythm instuments, reading notations, and performing a Moroccan tune in two different musical styles on student keyboards.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Music Education)
By Marie Batten.
Introduction to online learning
"Introduction to Online Learning" is designed to introduce web-based learning to people who are new to the online learning environment.
Format: article/online course
Assessing the learning process
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 3
Assessment, like instruction, needs to be geared toward various learning styles, and teachers can create rubrics for ongoing assessment that keep a formal daily record of what students are learning.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher and David Walbert.
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)
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
Reading comprehension and English language learners
Teaching reading comprehension and helping English language learners are the responsibility of every teacher, but they are also within the abilities of every teacher. These articles provide strategies for building content-area reading comprehension before, during, and after reading that can help English language learners — and all learners.
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
Observing other teachers
Learning from other teachers is an important means of professional development. Here are some suggestions for observing successful teachers in your school, in other schools, and on the web.
By Kathleen Casson.
Piggies
This activity is a fun, interactive lesson that integrates children's literature with math (a great way to integrate author studies). This activity allows students to be involved in four learning styles (visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic).
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts and Mathematics)
By Stephanie Hatcher.
Math for multiple intelligences
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 1
How a middle-school math teacher realized she was boring and jump-started her career — and her students.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.
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
Open the gate, close the gate
Open the Gate, Close the Gate is a variety of activities to provide practice identifying and discriminating between open and closed figures. The activities are designed to meet varying learning styles, and to move students from the concrete level to the abstract level of learning.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics)
By Mary Deans.