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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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)
Bridging the differences: Cultural background of Mexican students entering U.S. schools
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 1.4
Making the transition from life in Mexico to life in the United States can be difficult for students of Mexican origin. Schools and teachers can make that transition easier by understanding students' cultural backgrounds and by employing a few simple strategies.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Code-switching
Code-switching is the practice of moving between variations of languages in different contexts. This article explains the history of code-switching, explores important literature on the subject, and discusses approaches to language response in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
From rural Mexico to North Carolina
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 1.2
Most immigrants to North Carolina from Mexico come from rural areas, and it is valuable for teachers to understand these students' cultural backgrounds.
Format: article
By Regina Cortina.
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.
Greeting your limited English proficient students in their own language
Even a simple "Hello" or "How are you today?" can help to integrate a student into a new environment. This article offers strategies and tools for teachers wishing to learn a few words of a new language.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
The middle school challenge for English language learners of Mexican origin
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.2
English language learners of Mexican origin face numerous challenges in American middle schools, including cultural segregation and assumptions made by schools regarding the students' educational backgrounds. This article offers strategies for educators to help students overcome those challenges.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Play in the multilingual classroom
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 2.3
Unstructured play is an important way for young children to make social and cultural connections. It also fosters language development and literacy skills for both English language learners and native English speakers.
Format: article
By Kristin De Soto Madson.
Special education in Mexico
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.3
In the 1990s, the inclusive education movement gained ground in Mexico, which resulted in the mainstreaming of special needs students into regular classrooms. The effects of this movement can be seen in the educational policies and services focusing on special needs students in Mexico.
Format: article
By Mary Faith Mount-Cors.
Teaching contemporary Europe
We know how to teach Europe’s past, but what about the present? This article offers strategies and resources for teaching today’s Europe, using online resources from the Center for European Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Teaching the European Union
This article presents the European Union — often seen as an "extra" in instruction — as an integral part of the government, economy, history, and culture of Europe. It offers background on the EU, and ideas for deepening understanding of the EU every time you teach Europe.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.
Teaching world cultures
According to the new Professional Teaching Standards, every North Carolina teacher must promote global awareness in classroom instruction. This article presents some general guidelines and specific strategies for global teaching.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.