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

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From the education reference

positive behavior interventions and supports
A three-tiered approach to the prevention of behavior problems in schools. PBIS focuses on prevention rather than punishment, and emphasizes establishing and communicating expectations as a way to develop social competence and academic achievement.
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.
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.
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.
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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Alphabet hunt
Students will find images in our environment which contain letters of the alphabet (either man made or natural) and photograph them so that they appear as the focal point.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Visual Arts Education)
By Lee Anne Kitzmiller.
James and the Giant Pencil: Lessons in classroom management
In The First Year, page 2.7
Don't back your students into a corner, and don't make discipline the focus of your class.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Jigsaw
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 3.2
Jigsaw is a cooperative learning technique that was created with the goals of reducing conflict and enhancing positive educational outcomes. The jigsaw technique helps students realize they are essential components of a whole and encourages cooperation in...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Guidelines for being a good online learner
The elements that ensure success in an online learning environment are slightly different than those in a traditional classroom. These guidelines will help ensure your success as an online learner.
Format: article/help
Cooperative learning
Cooperative learning is an 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...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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.
Creating community in the classroom: Part 3 (monitoring progress)
This series of lessons is designed to help develop a sense of classroom community through use of group goal-setting, decision-making, brainstorming, peer feedback, positive reinforcement, and positive peer pressure. The lessons will help students create and maintain a supportive environment for learning. Part 1 focused on goal-setting process and practice. In Part 2, students applied knowledge of the goal-setting process and cooperatively created a plan to work on short-term group goals. In part 3, students will monitor the effects of their plan by determining whether short term goals are being achieved.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Development and flooding: Is there a connection?
In this lesson, students will take their knowledge about the hydrosphere and apply it to the issue of population growth and development. In particular, students will learn how increasing development in eastern North Carolina may have worsened the effects of flooding from Hurricane Floyd due to lack of soil and tree absorption of run-off. Students will create their own development plans for North Carolina in small groups, explaining how their plan will benefit North Carolina’s water resources and environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
Setting the tone
Building a student-centered classroom culture starts on the first day of the school year.
By Victoria Lunetta.
Sharing time in a blended learning space
This article offers a definition for blended learning and suggests strategies for effectively implementing this instructional approach.
Format: article/best practice
By Kevin Hodgson.
Creating a safe space for students to take academic risks
In The First Year, page 1.6
A classroom culture that encourages students to take academic risks starts with the teacher.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Exploring the effects of deforestation in the rain forest
In this lesson, students learn about deforestation throughout our world. They will analyze the authors’ messages in The Lorax and The Great Kapok Tree and create visuals to persuade others to stop deforestation in the rain forest.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Arts and Science)
By Shannon Page.
Creating community in the classroom: Part 2 (cooperative planning)
This series of lessons is designed to help develop a sense of classroom community through use of group goal-setting, decision-making, brainstorming, peer feedback, positive reinforcement, and positive peer pressure. The lessons will help students create and maintain a supportive environment for learning. Part 1 focused on goal-setting process and practice. In Part 2, students will apply knowledge of the goal-setting process by cooperatively creating a plan to work on group goals.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Montessori
The Montessori philosophy is a holistic view of children that builds on natural curiosity and develops a love of learning by creating environments which foster the fulfillment of children's highest potential. History of Montessori In her medical practice,...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Creating community in the classroom: Part 1 (setting goals )
This series of lessons is designed to help develop a sense of classroom community. Group goal-setting, brainstorming, peer feedback, group decision-making, positive reinforcement, and positive peer pressure are used to create a safe, supportive environment for learning in the classroom.

In Part 1, students are introduced to the goal-setting process. They will practice the first step of the process as they set individual and class behavioral goals.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Communities in schools of Wake County: “Just passing isn’t good enough!”
The educators of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Wake County, after ascertaining that the average grade of their middle school students was low D to F, determined to change their program drastically. They researched programs across the country that demonstrated success with students with profiles similar to those of CIS students, hired an education consulting company to help them establish measurement matrices, and instituted a range of new policies and activities. As a result, CIS students’ grades improved to C in just six months.
Format: article
By Susan B. Hansell.
Comparative anatomy: A continuum
In groups, students will design a presentation that will trace the development of an organ system through the major phyla of the animal kingdom looking for the relationships between structure and function by documenting adaptations.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Development, Information Skills, and Science)
By Joan Warner and Melissa Thibault.
Observing connections: Changing landscapes (Lesson 2)
The students will learn about the changing environment through study and observation. They will reflect on these changes in the environment and create their own landscape and habitat. This is the second lesson in “Observing connections,” a series of three in which students are creating art based on their observations.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Visual Arts Education)
By Lisa Mitchell.
Communicating with parents at the beginning of the year
In The First Year, page 1.3
Start communicating with parents at the beginning of the year, to establish a relationship before you have anything negative to say.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Social skills in the classroom
Are teachers responsible for teaching social skills? Especially when working with children with exceptionalities, the answer is yes. This article gives you some strategies.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.