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

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From the education reference

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.
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.
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.
perspective-based assignments
Lessons in which students approach a topic from the perspective of a real-world professional. This approach offers students a constant reminder of the relevance of curriculum objectives.
site-based management
Organizational structure that decentralizes authority and increases the autonomy of individual schools. Responsibility and accountability are at the school level, and the decision-making process includes teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.
site-based management
Organizational structure that decentralizes authority and increases the autonomy of individual schools. Responsibility and accountability are at the school level, and the decision-making process includes teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.
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.
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."
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.

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Project-based learning
Project-based learning is a 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...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Bringing current science into the classroom
Activities for middle and high school on groundwater, water quality, and environmental stewardship have students exploring current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Travel brochure for Western Europe
Students will explore a particular country in Western Europe and get a general overview of the country. This is an activity designed to cover a great amount of material in a brief period of time.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Debra Martinez.
Replica of a period newspaper: World literature
Students will research a specific time in history in order to create the front page of a newspaper relevant to the selected time period.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Kim Dechant.
Classification with pictures
Students learn taxonomy through presenting a project to the class.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Lemuel Lamb.
Goodbye, Bill Of Rights!
Students will enact a scene demonstrating life without one of the first ten amendments. Students will be put into groups of three or four and assigned a specific amendment to research.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By Greg Simmons.
Teaching electricity and circuits through inquiry
Participants in this online course will learn about the science behind electric circuits and how this content can be taught through inquiry. The workshop will help teachers gain a better understanding of electricity and circuits, including conducting and insulating materials, open and closed circuits, and series and parallel circuits.
Format: article/online course
East Asian trading ships
Each student will work with a partner as an owner of an overseas shipping company with one cargo ship in East Asia. Students are given these instructions in the overview: In each Asian country that you travel to you will fill your cargo ship with items that you can buy from the list of exports. You will then try to sell these items when you travel to another country that is willing to import these commodities. The winner of the game is the company with the biggest profits at the end of the pretend 15 day time period. Good Luck!
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Tami Kaiser Polge.
Traveling the world, virtually: Project-based learning in elementary school
Fifth-grade teacher Shannon Page shares her methods and experiences with using project-based learning in the elementary school classroom. Ms. Page's focus on taking virtual field trips, which are planned and guided by her students, helps infuse curriculum objectives with relevance and rigor.
Format: article/best practice
By Dan Lewandowski.
Superfund in science class
In Bringing current science into the classroom, page 2
Four Web-based activities let students identify Superfund sites, define hazardous waste, see how aquifers work, and explore cleanup solutions.
Format: activity/lesson plan (grade 9–12 )
By Michele Kloda and Dana Haine.
Wall-to-wall project-based learning: A conversation with biology teacher Kelley Yonce
This article explains the process of project-based learning (PBL) as it is practiced by Kelley Yonce, a high-school biology teacher who uses PBL throughout the school year. Concrete guidelines for a DNA project are included, as well as rubrics, assessment criteria, and other relevant documents.
Format: article/best practice
By Dan Lewandowski.
Bringing current science into the classroom
In Bringing current science into the classroom, page 1
How your students can experience current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Michele Kloda and Dana Haine.
Mummy madness
This is a lesson for seventh grade Social Studies students to learn and demonstrate the mummification process used in ancient Egypt.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Jo Oliver.
Fact and opinion in the real world
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.8
This lesson for grade 6 will help students understand the differences between fact and opinion based on career-related examples.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 English Language Arts)
By Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE)
Learn about nature, hike the trails, and do some bird watching on this 390 acre property located in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Opening an Hispanic restaurant
This lesson focuses on vocabulary and currency associated with food, restaurants, and menus. Students conduct research to create an authentic menu with a companion recipe books. The lesson culminates in short presentations and food samples.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Susan Canipe.
Real-world learning in a virtual environment
Want to try project-based learning to get your students involved in real-world issues? A former North Carolina Technology & Learning Teacher of the Year talks about how she worked with the North Carolina Zoo to get students excited about learning.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Partners in measurement
Students will apply their knowledge and demonstrate their ability to use standard and non-standard customary units in a cooperative measurement activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Mathematics)
By Vanessa Thomas.
Arts at the core: Making standards work
This online professional development course helps participants understand how to create lesson plans that include embedded standards in the Fine Arts curriculum.
Format: article/online course
Artful boomerangs
Students will review three different types of boomerang shapes, use stencils to draw and cut out these shapes, and use various art materials and mediums to design their surfaces.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Visual Arts Education)
By Susan Wittig.