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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The “who cares” approach: Long-term benefits
Using classroom footage and teacher interviews, this video addresses the long-term benefits to students of using assignments based on real-world perspectives. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school share observations and success stories. This video...
Format: video/video
“Who cares” in action: Formative and summative assessment
Using teacher interviews and classroom footage, this video illustrates how using perspectives-based assignments can improve classroom instruction and assessment. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school discuss how this approach contributes to effective...
Format: video/video
Acceleration vs. social promotion in special education
Popular belief holds that accelerated programs are not good for gifted students. This article shows that these students actually excel with support from their teachers and parents.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Assessing reading comprehension with English language learners
In Reading comprehension and English language learners, page 3
Strategies such as flow charts can help you assess reading comprehension for English language learners, content-area learners, and all students.
Format: article
By Ellen Douglas.
The benefits of teaching with nonfiction
In this video, classroom footage and teacher interviews explore the benefits of teaching with informational text. Teachers discuss particular student populations that benefit from reading nonfiction, including exceptional children, English language learners,...
Format: video/video
Beyond blended learning: Reaching every student
This archived presentation from the 2010 NCTIES conference explores the theory and application of blended learning and offers ten ways to improve teaching using a blended approach.
Format: presentation/best practice
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)
Can Americans define the term "learning disability?"
This article examines the statistics surrounding what Americans know — and don't know — about learning disabilities. The results highlight the necessity of educating parents and teachers more comprehensively about learning disabilities and what causes them.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
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.
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.
Choosing books that are just right
This teacher research study examines how students select books for independent reading and how teachers can help them make choices more appropriate to their reading levels.
Format: article
By Melinda Parks.
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..
Deafness, language, and literacy
Through expert interviews and classroom footage, this video discusses the role deafness plays in a student’s development of language, and how this affects the way a deaf student may write and speak. Includes an explanation of visual phonics -- a tool that...
Format: video/video
Deafness, self-esteem, and the inclusive classroom
A deaf student surrounded by hearing peers in an inclusive classroom may experience feelings of isolation. The classroom teacher, however, can play a critical role in supporting a deaf student's self-esteem and sense of belonging within the culture of the...
Format: video/video
Differentiated instruction
An introduction to LEARN NC's resources for differentiating instruction for a variety of student populations.
Format: bibliography
Differentiation
Differentiation is the practice of tailoring instruction to diverse learners based on student readiness, interest, and learning styles. This article discusses the four areas in which teachers can differentiate instruction and includes links to resources that support differentiation.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Differentiation in the Common Core classroom
This online professional development course helps teachers to explore the different avenues through which effective differentiation can take place in order to enhance their own practice.
Format: article/online course
Differentiation with real-world perspectives
Using classroom footage and teacher interviews, this video explores the practice of creating assignments based on real-world perspectives. Teachers from elementary, middle, and high school discuss how a variety of populations can benefit from this approach,...
Format: video/video
Effective strategies for teaching science vocabulary
In order for students to develop scientific literacy, they need to gain a knowledge of science content and practice scientific habits of mind. This is impossible without knowledge of science vocabulary. This article shares research-based strategies for science vocabulary instruction that are effective for all students, including English language learners.
Format: article/best practice
By Sarah J. Carrier.
The elements of informational text
In this video, classroom footage and teacher interviews explore the features of nonfiction texts and illustrate how instruction with nonfiction differs from instruction using fictional texts. This video is one in a three-part series about teaching with informational...
Format: video/video