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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Asynchronous conversation matters: Part I
Tap into your students' ease for using digital communities by structuring meaningful online conversations using free tools for asynchronous discussion that center around classroom learning.
Format: article/best practice
By Bill Ferriter.
Becoming an online teacher
For even the most experienced classroom teacher, teaching online requires a thoughtful transition to the new environment.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
Best practices in school library website design
You're a librarian, not a web designer, but you can have a school library website that meets the needs of students and teachers if you keep it simple, don't take on more than you can manage, and focus on what you know.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
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.
CareerStart lessons: Grade eight
This collection of lessons aligns the eighth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
The challenge of a broken pencil
From dealing with meltdowns to setting a routine, Rhonda Layman shares communication and management strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders.
Format: article
By Waverly Harrell.
Communicating with parents at the beginning of the year
In The First Year, page 1.3
Start communicating with parents at the beginning of the year, to establish a relationship before you have anything negative to say.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Communication: The key to successful mentoring
Building support systems begins with asking for help — and giving it.
Format: article
By Diane Gore.
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.
Finding your audience: a primer
In Writing for the Web, page 3
Before you sit down to write something, ask yourself some questions about the people who will read it.
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)
I know who they are, but who am I?
In The First Year, page 3.10
In your efforts to build relationships with your students, be sure to maintain your status as their teacher.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
If he's in danger of failing, at least three people need to know it
In The First Year, page 4.1
Get in touch with parents to prevent students' failure, not just to report on it.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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.
New beginnings
In The First Year, page 2.11
Treat January as an opportunity to start fresh, in your relationships with students and colleagues and in your classroom management and instruction.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Real-world learning in a virtual environment
Want to try project-based learning to get your students involved in real-world issues? A former North Carolina Technology & Learning Teacher of the Year talks about how she worked with the North Carolina Zoo to get students excited about learning.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Snow days
In The First Year, page 3.2
Don't make assumptions about school policies, and remember that not all “rules” are written down.
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Three weeks and counting: What winter break might really mean
In The First Year, page 2.9
Your students might not be looking forward to a break in their routine as much as you think.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Twitter as a learning tool for teachers
This article shows how Twitter can be a valuable tool in helping teachers build their professional learning networks.
Format: article
By Bill Ferriter.