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

Building and maintaining an online professional learning community
Many schools have moved away from one-time workshops and toward the more sustained approach of professional learning communities. But finding the time for all PLC members to collaborate can be difficult. This article offers suggestions for using online tools to make PLCs run more smoothly and effectively.
Format: article/best practice
By Jayme Linton.
Challenge-based learning: José Garcia's innovative approach to student inquiry
This article discusses the instructional strategies of Greene County Middle School science teacher José Garcia. Mr. Garcia employs challenge-based learning, which marries project-based learning with student inquiry and makes effective use of technology. José Garcia received an Apple Distinguished Educator award in 2009 and was Teacher of the Year in his school and county in 2008-2009.
Format: article
By Dan Lewandowski.
Cooperative learning
Cooperative learning is an instructional method in which students work together in small, heterogeneous groups to complete a problem, project, or other instructional goal, while teachers act as guides or facilitators. This method works to reinforce a student's...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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.
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
Fostering creativity and innovation in the science classroom
This article presents resources and ideas for presenting science students with challenges designed to spark creativity and innovation. Resources listed include national competitions and websites listing suggested classroom projects.
Format: article/best practice
By Rebeccah Haines.
High school history and English: Natural partners
In Where English and history meet: A collaboration guide, page 1
Strategically plan a collaborative unit and overcome those everyday obstacles that prevent success. While this article focuses specifically on English-history collaboration, there is much to kindle the interest of any high school teachers.
By Karen Cobb Carroll, Ph.D., NBCT.
The importance of collaboration
The success of a deaf student in an inclusive classroom is dependent upon the contributions of a number of people, including the classroom teacher, the student, the teacher of the deaf, the student’s family members, school administrators, and the interpreter....
Format: video/video
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 3.2
Jigsaw is a cooperative learning technique that was created with the goals of reducing conflict and enhancing positive educational outcomes. The jigsaw technique helps students realize they are essential components of a whole and encourages cooperation in...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Just beyond the walls: Teachers as writers in virtual space
This article addresses the notion of teachers as writers — providing reasons why a personal writing practice can improve instructional practice, offering a variety of online networks and other sites to help teacher-writers connect with peers, and suggesting ways to bring this idea into the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Kevin Hodgson.
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 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.
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)
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.
Perfecting the circle
See how one teacher reshaped literature circles to fit her middle school classroom.
By Beth Salyers.
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.
Science students get their hands dirty
Enter Carol Swink's classroom where students become scientists by conducting hands-on, inquiry-based investigations. By saving the textbook reading and lectures for last and doing experiments first, students master not only science content but math content too.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
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.
Using VoiceThread to communicate and collaborate
VoiceThread is an excellent online tool that promotes meaningful conversation through the use of visual prompts such as video clips, images, graphs, and more. This article gives step-by-step instructions to help educators create VoiceThreads that will engage students and stimulate thoughtful dialogue and collaboration.
Format: article
By Bill Ferriter.
Where English and history meet: A collaboration guide
Strategically plan a collaborative unit and learn how to overcome those everyday obstacles that prevent success. This guide is accompanied by four lesson plans to help you put collaboration into practice.
Format: series (multiple pages)