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

“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
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.
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)
Formative assessment
This reference article discusses the history, concept, and application of formative assessment.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
LinguaFolio training modules
In these LinguaFolio training modules, learn to use this language portfolio tool to help students assess their language competencies, document their intercultural activities, and become reflective and autonomous in their language learning.
Format: book (multiple pages)
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.
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
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)
Ongoing assessment for reading
Ongoing, informal assessment is crucial to teaching reading. Using audio and visual examples, this edition explains the use of running records and miscue analysis, tools that help a teacher to identify patterns in student reading behaviors and the strategies a reader uses to make sense of text.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Ongoing assessment strategies for writing
Making final assessment easier by helping students improve the quality of their writing along the way.
By Sherri Phillips Merrit.
Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice
This series of articles, which balance theory, research, and practice, address a variety of topics within differentiation through text, graphics, and video.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Using anchor activities to recognize special needs
There are a number of reasons why a student with special needs might make it to the high school level without having his or her needs identified and addressed. This article proposes using anchor activities as a way to determine whether a high school student has an unidentified learning disability.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Using student responders responsibly
This article explores the use of responders, devices that collect and aggregate data to measure audience input. The author addresses the benefits of using responders in the classroom and offers several tips for implementing them effectively.
Format: article/best practice
By Bill Ferriter.
Who cares?: Using real-world perspectives to engage academically gifted learners
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 5
This article shares strategies for engaging gifted learners by creating assignments in which students adopt real-world perspectives on curriculum objectives. The result, the author suggests, is rich, rigorous, challenging learning for those who are ready to go beyond proficiency. Includes step-by-step instructions and sample assignments.
Format: article/best practice
By Linda Pigott Robinson.