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.

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The “who cares” approach: Long-term benefits
Using classroom footage and teacher interviews, this video addresses the long-term benefits to students of using assignments based on real-world perspectives. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school share observations and success stories. This video...
Format: video/video
Asynchronous conversation matters: Part I
Tap into your students' ease for using digital communities by structuring meaningful online conversations using free tools for asynchronous discussion that center around classroom learning.
Format: article/best practice
By Bill Ferriter.
Asynchronous conversation matters: Part II
Meaningful online asynchronous discussion requires careful planning. Using the tips from this article, teachers can create questions that will generate enthusiasm for a topic and motivate students to think critically and practice skills of collaborative dialogue.
Format: article
By Bill Ferriter.
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)
Differentiation with real-world perspectives
Using classroom footage and teacher interviews, this video explores the practice of creating assignments based on real-world perspectives. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school discuss how a variety of populations can benefit from this approach,...
Format: video/video
The First Year
Essays on the author's experiences in her first year of teaching: the mistakes she made, what she learned from them, and how she used them to become a better teacher — and how other first-year teachers can, too.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Implementing perspectives-based assignments
This video uses classroom footage and teacher interviews to offer ideas on implementing assignments based on real-world perspectives. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school share advice and suggest how to overcome common challenges. This video is...
Format: video/video
Interactive conference 2009
LEARN NC’s fall 2009 interactive conference was held October 1, 2009, in Chapel Hill. Educators participated both in person and via the Web. If you missed it, everything is archived here -- Adobe Connect sessions, handouts, and more.
Format: (multiple pages)
Making connections for environmental education
How can you get students fired up about environmental education? Get them outside and get them involved in local issues through activism, service learning, and teaching others.
Format: article/best practice
By Carolyn Moser.
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)
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.
Where are they now? And where are they going?
In The First Year, page 4.4
Your standards for students' achievement must be high enough not only to get them through your class, but to prepare them for what lies ahead.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Who cares?: Using real-world perspectives to engage academically gifted learners
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 5
This article shares strategies for engaging gifted learners by creating assignments in which students adopt real-world perspectives on curriculum objectives. The result, the author suggests, is rich, rigorous, challenging learning for those who are ready to go beyond proficiency. Includes step-by-step instructions and sample assignments.
Format: article/best practice
By Linda Pigott Robinson.
Why study a foreign language?
Foreign language study enhances academic skills, raises SAT scores, and prepares students for careers.
By Bernadette Morris.