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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
The talk show
In Alternative discussion formats, page 2
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.2
The talk show is a format with which students are already familiar, and it provides the structure for a great discussion.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.