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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Resources tagged with classroom culture are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

All about life
A primary curriculum based around life and environmental science draws on children's natural curiosity to teach reading, math, and more.
Format: article
By Myra Erexson.
Animation: Vicarious reinforcement
This animated video demonstrates the use of vicarious reinforcement as a classroom behavior management technique. In vicarious reinforcement, a teacher reinforces a student's positive behavior while ignoring the negative behavior of a student seated nearby....
Format: video/animation
Arranging for independence
Erin Espinoza's kindergarten classroom encourages children to learn on their own. A classroom profile.
Format: article
By Sydney Brown.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Balancing order and learning in classroom discussions
In The First Year, page 3.6
Different learning objectives require different rules for student participation. Make your expectations for each day's class clear to students — and to yourself!
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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)
Classroom behavior
In this video, a classroom dramatization illustrates a variety of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors by students and the classroom teacher. Viewers are encouraged to make note of the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. A follow-up video, "Classroom...
Format: video/video
Classroom behavior analysis
This video was designed to be viewed as a follow-up to the classroom dramatization "Classroom Behavior." In this piece, Dr. Edward J. Sabornie discusses some of the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors...
Format: video/video
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.
Connecting with colleagues: No tricks, all treat!
In The First Year, page 2.4
You're busy, but making time for conversation with colleagues will pay off in the long run.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Creating a safe space for students to take academic risks
In The First Year, page 1.6
A classroom culture that encourages students to take academic risks starts with the teacher.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Getting to know them
In The First Year, page 1.5
Getting to know your students as real people makes your classroom a more effective learning environment.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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
James and the Giant Pencil: Lessons in classroom management
In The First Year, page 2.7
Don't back your students into a corner, and don't make discipline the focus of your class.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Making small groups work
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 2
For students to work effectively in small groups, a teacher needs not only to set rules but to build a sense of community and teamwork within the basic structure the rules provide.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.As told to David Walbert.
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..
March Madness and relationship-building
In The First Year, page 3.9
Taking time away from instruction to build relationships with your students can pay off in the long run.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.