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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“Who cares” in action: Formative and summative assessment
Using teacher interviews and classroom footage, this video illustrates how using perspectives-based assignments can improve classroom instruction and assessment. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school discuss how this approach contributes to effective...
Format: video/video
Alternative assessment
Alternative assessments measure performance in forms other than traditional paper-and-pencil, short answer tests. This article provides an extended explanation of alternative assessments, including a variety of examples.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Assessing the learning process
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 3
Assessment, like instruction, needs to be geared toward various learning styles, and teachers can create rubrics for ongoing assessment that keep a formal daily record of what students are learning.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher and David Walbert.
Assessment
In Math Common Core resources, page 1.3
Five state-managed assessment consortia were awarded grants by the U. S. Department of Education in 2010 and 2011. The two Comprehensive Assessment consortia, two Alternative Assessment consortia, and one English Proficiency Assessment consortium are currently...
Format: bibliography
By Kay Middleton.
Benchmark assessments
This reference article discusses the concept of benchmark assessments, including arguments for and against standardized benchmark testing and best practices in creating teacher-developed benchmark assessments.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
The clinical interview
In Problem centered math, page 1.1
Before you can help your students develop their own mathematical understanding, it's important to understand how they already think about math. Do they have a strong number sense, or do they rely on memorized procedures,...
By David Walbert.
Deaf learners and successful cognitive achievement
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 3
This article surveys relevant literature on the cognitive potential of deaf learners and asserts that, under appropriate conditions, support, and instruction, deaf students can succeed in inclusive settings. Includes a list of ideal instructional conditions for deaf students in the inclusive classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By David S. Martin, Ph.D..
Evaluating multimedia presentations
A PowerPoint presentation is just another form of communication, and the same rules apply to multimedia that apply to writing or verbal communication. This article offers guidelines for using and assigning multimedia presentations in the classroom and includes a rubric based on the Five Features of Effective Writing.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
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)
Formative assessment
This reference article discusses the history, concept, and application of formative assessment.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
LinguaFolio training modules
In these LinguaFolio training modules, learn to use this language portfolio tool to help students assess their language competencies, document their intercultural activities, and become reflective and autonomous in their language learning.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Listening while you work: Using informal assessments to inform your instruction
In The First Year, page 2.2
Ongoing classroom assessment can be informal, but it provides invaluable information about what students are actually learning.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Making connections between concepts
In The First Year, page 2.3
To help students connect what they're learning, make your expectations clear and ask them what they understand and what isn't working.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Math for multiple intelligences
How a middle-school math teacher realized she was boring and jump-started her career — and her students — by using thematic planning, emphasizing problem solving, and teaching to multiple intelligences.
Format: series (multiple pages)
The Paideia Seminar: Active thinking through dialogue
This teacher training manual, provided by The National Paideia Center, provides a valuable set of resources for educators who want to begin using the Paideia approach.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Problem centered math
Why students must build their own understanding of mathematics if they are to be able to use it in the real world, and how teachers can guide them in doing so.
Format: series (multiple pages)
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)
Summative assessment
This article defines summative assessment and lists several examples and common formats.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
They're all on the same page...and I'm grading page 1 of 700
In The First Year, page 2.10
Plan your classes to make your own work manageable.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Using anchor activities to recognize special needs
There are a number of reasons why a student with special needs might make it to the high school level without having his or her needs identified and addressed. This article proposes using anchor activities as a way to determine whether a high school student has an unidentified learning disability.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.