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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Assessing reading comprehension with English language learners
In Reading comprehension and English language learners, page 3
Strategies such as flow charts can help you assess reading comprehension for English language learners, content-area learners, and all students.
Format: article
By Ellen Douglas.
The benefits of teaching with nonfiction
In this video, classroom footage and teacher interviews explore the benefits of teaching with informational text. Teachers discuss particular student populations that benefit from reading nonfiction, including exceptional children, English language learners,...
Format: video/video
Bridging language barriers
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 1.3
How schools can ease the transition for Latino immigrant students.
Format: article
By Regina Cortina.
Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools
These articles provide background on Latino immigrants in North Carolina, administrative challenges in binational education, and strategies through which teachers can build on what Latino students bring to their classrooms to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Bridging the differences: Cultural background of Mexican students entering U.S. schools
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 1.4
Making the transition from life in Mexico to life in the United States can be difficult for students of Mexican origin. Schools and teachers can make that transition easier by understanding students' cultural backgrounds and by employing a few simple strategies.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Climbing the school ladder: A challenging task for immigrant Latino students
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 1.1
Teachers play a critical role when helping immigrant children adjust to a new school life. Because immigrants' backgrounds and experiences are so diverse, it is important for teachers no to make assumptions and to get to know individual children.
By Magda Corredor.
A crash course in ESL
"A Crash Course in ESL" will prepare you to work with ESL parents and create a welcoming environment for ESL students.
Format: article/online course
Deficit thinking
Teachers frequently attribute the academic struggles of English language learners to the students' inability or unwillingness to learn English, but this "deficit thinking" can better be replaced by a focus on what immigrant students bring to the classroom.
Format: article
By Buck Cooper.
Differentiated instruction
An introduction to LEARN NC's resources for differentiating instruction for a variety of student populations.
Format: bibliography
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
Effective strategies for teaching science vocabulary
In order for students to develop scientific literacy, they need to gain a knowledge of science content and practice scientific habits of mind. This is impossible without knowledge of science vocabulary. This article shares research-based strategies for science vocabulary instruction that are effective for all students, including English language learners.
Format: article/best practice
By Sarah J. Carrier.
English language learners and special education testing
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.4
English language learners are often incorrectly labeled with learning disabilities because of inffective diagnostic tests. A more effective model of testing and instruction would be based upon the educational concepts of scaffolding instruction and the Zone of Proximal Development.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Family History in the Classroom
In this enhanced digital textbook, nine educators share how they used family history in their classrooms to increase engagement and build empathy.
From rural Mexico to North Carolina
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 1.2
Most immigrants to North Carolina from Mexico come from rural areas, and it is valuable for teachers to understand these students' cultural backgrounds.
Format: article
By Regina Cortina.
Funds of knowledge
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 2.1
Teachers can use "funds of knowledge," the knowledge students gain from their family and cultural backgrounds, to make their classrooms more inclusive.
Format: article
By Janet Kier Lopez.
Greeting your limited English proficient students in their own language
Even a simple "Hello" or "How are you today?" can help to integrate a student into a new environment. This article offers strategies and tools for teachers wishing to learn a few words of a new language.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
Helping students from rural Mexico feel comfortable in your classroom
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 2.2
Most students from rural Mexico have experiences, family backgrounds, and expectations that conflict with the expectations of the American classroom environment. By understanding the expectations of these students and their parents, teachers can help them to succeed.
Format: article
Inclusion in the 21st-century classroom: Differentiating with technology
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 7
While most teachers recognize the need to differentiate instruction, many face barriers in implementation. These barriers include lack of time to prepare lessons, the need to cover a wide range of content in a small amount of time, and extensive classroom management needs. This article advocates for using technology as a means to overcome some of these barriers.
Format: article/best practice
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D. and Lauren Ormsby.
Keys to success for English language learners
Tips that any teacher in any classroom can use to help ESL students learn the curriculum while learning English.
Format: article
By Audrey L. Heining-Boynton.
LEP Training 101
This course will prepare you as you take on the role of a LEP Coordinator or ESL Teacher. Although you may already know theories or strategies for teaching ESL students, this course is like a manual to teach you the policies, procedures, and required job duties that accompany your job dealing with LEP students specifically in NC schools.
Format: article/online course