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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Alternative discussion formats
Class discussions often take one of two forms — either question-and-answer sessions, in which the teacher throws out questions and students answer them, or debates. Both of these formats are useful, but adding a few more ideas to your teaching repertoire can make for more variety in the classroom and provide more opportunities for engaging discussions. This edition explains how to manage dicussions in the form of a public relations campaign, a trial, a talk show, or the design of monuments, memorials, and museum exhibits.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Assessing the learning process
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 3
Assessment, like instruction, needs to be geared toward various learning styles, and teachers can create rubrics for ongoing assessment that keep a formal daily record of what students are learning.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher and David Walbert.
CareerStart lessons: Grade seven
This collection of lessons aligns the seventh grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade six
This collection of lessons aligns the sixth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
Co-op
The co-op structure is more complex than many of the other cooperative learning structures. This ten-step process engages students in the development of a product or project. Students work individually on a single task to contribute to their team, and the...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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.
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)
History and literature on trial
In Alternative discussion formats, page 3
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.3
Putting historical or literary figures on trial makes a lively and challenging alternative to a class debate.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.
Inside-outside circle
During inside-outside circle*, students either sit or stand facing each other in two concentric circles. Students respond to teacher questions or note-card prompted questions and then rotate to the next partner. In the end of...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Jigsaw
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.
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.
Math for multiple intelligences
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 1
How a middle-school math teacher realized she was boring and jump-started her career — and her students.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.
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)
Museum exhibit design
In Alternative discussion formats, page 6
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.6
Designing museum exhibits encourages students to think creatively and to use a wide range of thinking skills.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.
The not-so-famous person report
In Rethinking Reports, page 3.2
Instead of teaching the history of the famous, use research in primary sources to teach students that the past and present were made by people like them.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Numbered heads together
Numbered heads together* is a cooperative strategy that offers an alternative to the competitive approach of whole-class question-answer, in which the teacher asks a question and then calls on one of the students with a raised...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
A public relations campaign
In Alternative discussion formats, page 4
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.4
By creating a PR campaign for a historial or literary figure, students can practice a wide range of thinking skills.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.
Rethinking Reports
Creative research-based assignments provide alternatives to the President Report, Animal Report, and Famous Person Report that ask students to think about old topics in new ways, work collaboratively, and develop products that support a variety of learning styles.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Round robin
In the round robin structure*, each student takes turns sharing something new with members of the collaborative group. Round robin offers students the opportunity to express ideas and opinions while learning more about their...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.