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

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.
Bulletin boards and other displays
Using your bulletin boards as a teaching tool — not just as decoration.
By Denise Young.
Classroom environment: the basics
Your classroom is "home away from home" for you and your students. Make it attractive, comfortable, and functional.
By Denise Young.
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..
Designing your gym class
From classroom organization to warm-up procedures, one physical education teacher provides a blueprint for a structured physical education program.
By Bozena Mielczak and Kim Campbell.
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.
Instructional goals and classroom space
Your classroom should be arranged to help you meet your pedagogical goals. Any setting, including your classroom, exerts many influences — frequently subtle — on the people in it.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.
Managing a classroom with brain food
Tina Maples' eighth-grade language arts students are serious about their work they do. When students work on projects they care about — what Maples calls "brain food" — they manage the classroom themselves.
By Kathleen Casson.
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..
One room, many uses
Patty Berge converts her eighth-grade science classroom to suit multiple instructional methods. A classroom profile.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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)
A room for students
A learning environment where students feel that they belong is the key to success for this eighth-grade language arts teacher. A classroom profile.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Sample classroom floor plans
Basic floor plans and explanations for a traditional classroom, discussions/debates, a horseshoe arrangement, and centers.
By Mitch Katz.
The secret cultural institution in your school: The school library
A variety of best practices and imaginative ideas that the school librarian can use to create an environment where students fuse together required learning with learning that is driven by individual interest.
Format: article
By Kim Campbell.
Twelve rules for arranging your classroom
You'll want to set up your classroom as quickly as possible, but consider these factors before you start.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Working with available space
Despite a space with limited possibilities, Becky Smith has organized a high school biology classroom where she can work and her students can learn. A classroom profile.
Format: article
By Sydney Brown.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.

Resources on the web

Class Set-up Tool
A great tool to help teachers to design an effective classroom. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: Scholastic