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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CareerStart: A proven approach to middle-school success
CareerStart is a program for infusing career relevance into the core curriculums in middle schools. This article describes the program and shares some of the research that illustrates its effectiveness.
Format: article
By Dennis Orthner, Ph.D..
Communities in schools of Wake County: “Just passing isn’t good enough!”
The educators of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Wake County, after ascertaining that the average grade of their middle school students was low D to F, determined to change their program drastically. They researched programs across the country that demonstrated success with students with profiles similar to those of CIS students, hired an education consulting company to help them establish measurement matrices, and instituted a range of new policies and activities. As a result, CIS students’ grades improved to C in just six months.
Format: article
By Susan B. Hansell.
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
Managing and improving behavior in inclusive educational environments
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 4
This article presents research-based best practices in classroom behavior management. Topics addressed include the physical arrangement of the classroom, establishing effective classroom rules, creating a positive classroom environment, and using reinforcement to improve students' behavior.
Format: article/best practice
By Edward J. Sabornie, Ph.D..
The power of nonfiction: Using informational text to support literacy in special populations
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 9
This article presents the idea that informational texts, rather than fictional literature, may better help students develop literacy skills -- particularly in students with special needs.
Format: article/best practice
By Joan Barnatt, Ph.D..
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)
To know them is to teach them
We must maintain high standards and expectations, incorporate students' experiences into the curriculum, and use culturally relevant materials.
By Barbara Rush.

Resources on the web

Action for Children North Carolina
Action for Children North Carolina is an organization that influences public policy in favor of all children and youth below the age of eighteen residing in North Carolina. On this website you can locate data including indicators of well-being, child... (Learn more)
Format: website
Provided by: North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute
Communities In Schools
This organization seeks to build community involvement in order to increase school retention rates and give children a chance at a more productive life.Rather than fund programs to fix issues individually, this organization seeks to weave the network... (Learn more)
Format: website
Jigsaw Classroom
A cooperative learning technique that reduces racial conflict among school children, promotes better learning, improves student motivation, and increases enjoyment of the learning experience. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: Elliot Aronson
National Dropout Prevention Association
The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N) started in 1986 to serve as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and to offer strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America's schools. The website includes resources... (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
Provides programs to assist and validate the education of children with special needs and provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: U.S. Department of Education
PBS: Misunderstood Minds
This project first aired in 2002 and shared the story of five students' and their families struggle with learning disabilities. This website complements the documentary providing information on scientific explanations and helpful strategies. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: PBS
Reading Recovery Council of America
An association of Reading Recovery professionals, advocates, and partners which provides a network of opportunities for leadership and professional development. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Reading Rockets
Extensive strategies, articles and resources for anyone teaching reading, using research-based instructional methods, to young and/or struggling students. (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: WETA
Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in North Carolina
A comprehensive explanation of the North Carolina law requiring all citizens to report cases of suspected child abuse, neglect, and dependency. Also describes the state's child protective services system. Published by the UNC School of Government. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: UNC School of Government
The Rural School and Community Trust
A national nonprofit organization rooted in rural America working to help rural schools and communities striving to improve the quality of education and community life. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: Rural School and Community Trust
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL)
Developed 40 years ago as one of 20 regional educational laboratories created by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, SEDL's mission has been to “developing and disseminating research-based solutions to the most urgent education problems.” (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Strategic Instruction Model
These strategies were developed by the Center for Research on Learning to help special needs students succeed school and in life. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning