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.
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.
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.
Attributes by kids
This activity requires the student to demonstrate an understanding of classification, patterning, and seriation. The students will complete the project based on personal characteristics.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Guidance, Healthful Living, and Social Studies)
By Bunnie R. Brewer.
Turning the century
Students will create a museum display illustrating life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Social Studies)
By Lisa Stamey.
Challenge-based learning: José Garcia's innovative approach to student inquiry
This article discusses the instructional strategies of Greene County Middle School science teacher José Garcia. Mr. Garcia employs challenge-based learning, which marries project-based learning with student inquiry and makes effective use of technology. José Garcia received an Apple Distinguished Educator award in 2009 and was Teacher of the Year in his school and county in 2008-2009.
Format: article
By Dan Lewandowski.
Formulating questions to meet information needs of ELL students
This is a multi-activity lesson plan to teach the concept of asking engaging, researchable questions prior to reading. This leads to effective inquiries during project or research work in any content area. Using engaging questions creates a sense of connectedness by linking academic contents with students' personal concerns. The lesson is primarily designed for English language learners although it can be adapted for mainstream students. This lesson can also be modified for use with grades 4-8.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Development, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Deborah Wilkes, Kristi Triplett, and Karen Waller.
Plan for a panel discussion regarding the validity of the Lincoln Administration
This lesson encourages students to investigate all sides of the issues within the context of the Civil War era. Students will become “experts” on the Lincoln administration and accept the responsibility of sharing their expertise with their classmates through oral communication in a panel discussion.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
Managing a classroom with brain food
Tina Maples' eighth-grade language arts students are serious about their work they do. When students work on projects they care about — what Maples calls "brain food" — they manage the classroom themselves.
By Kathleen Casson.
Don't put it down, put it up!
In a fifth grade classroom based around projects, everything has its place. This classroom profile shows you the design and purpose of Debra Harwell-Braun's fifth-grade classroom.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
India's path to independence
This interdisciplinary plan includes the study of the effects of imperialism and India's struggle for independence through history texts, literary works, and online resources. Activities include a seminar, research, and a news broadcast. Although this unit is designed for integrated English II and World Civilizations, lessons can be adapted to other class structures.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Marian Johnson.
Teach an online course in your school
This document explains how to teach an online course on LEARN NC's Moodle server.
Format: article/help