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


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From the education reference

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.
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.
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."
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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Resources on the web

Whip up an assessment tool for your next assignment using this online rubric maker. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium
Exploratorium — the museum of science, art and human perception
Interactive, multimedia online exhibits that incorporate hands-on activities, audio, video, images, webcasts, and more that will teach you and your students about such topics as satellites, astronomy, Earth, machines, biology, languages, the human body, and... (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: The Exploratorium
DNA Interactive
An interactive timeline, information about how the code was cracked, the effects of the discovery of the structure of DNA on the field of biology, and eugenics. (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: Dolan DNA Learning Center
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
Information on worldwide earthquake activity, earthquake science, and earthquake hazard reduction and a list of the world's latest earthquakes. The site has a section for children with science fair project ideas, games and puzzles, earthquake facts and more. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: U.S. Geological Survey
The Biology Project
Includes tutorials, problem sets, activities, and other resources in biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, human biology, Mendelian genetics, immunology, and molecular biology. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: University of Arizona
LIFE: From diversity to DNA
A collection of four units for seventh and eighth grade science covering human body systems, genetics, cells, and microbes and disease. (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Science)
Provided by: Kenan Fellows for Curriculum and Leadership Development
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Visitors to this museum site can explore online exhibits, adventures, and search for resources. Information about special events, lectures, and touring the museum are offered on this site. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Natural Inquirer
This website is sponsored by the Middle School Science Education Journal, "The Natural Enquirer." Learn all about the environment including topics in nature, trees, forests, wildlife, insects, outdoor activities, and water. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: USDA Forest Service
EDSITEment - Lesson Plans for History and Social Studies
The lesson plans available on this site are organized into U.S. History and World History, with subcategories within each group. The main History and Social Studies page is divided into two content area tabs: Lesson pLans and Websites. The Subject Navigator... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: National Endowment for the Humanities
Exploring the Environment
Promotes science-literate and reflective students who are knowledgeable of the earth's processes and their responsibilities for stewardship using these instructional resources. Find activities and learning modules for coral reefs, global climate change, the... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: NASA
North Carolina Zoo
Everything teachers and students need to know to plan a very special trip to the Zoo. Resources including games, images, and interactive tours of the special exhibits and animals as well several educational resources for teachers can be accessed online through... (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
North Carolina Museum of Art
Find information about class visits to the museum or arranging a museum professional to visit a school. Take a virtual tour of the museum and manipulate some of the objects available in 3-D. Explore the amazing collections and take advantage of the online... (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: North Carolina Museum of Art