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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Building and maintaining an online professional learning community
Many schools have moved away from one-time workshops and toward the more sustained approach of professional learning communities. But finding the time for all PLC members to collaborate can be difficult. This article offers suggestions for using online tools to make PLCs run more smoothly and effectively.
Format: article/best practice
By Jayme Linton.
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)
Grouping skills for mastery
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 4
Thematic planning helps relate mathematics to students' lives.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.
Hands-on biology
Hands-on science exploration clarifies difficult concepts and engages learners who have difficulty in more traditional classrooms. This article looks at an inquiry-based classroom that meets the needs of all of its students.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
How does tiering benefit students?
In this video, three teachers from Raleigh’s Baileywick Road Elementary School discuss how creating tiered assignments has benefited their students. Includes classroom footage. This video is one in a four-part series about tiering. The other videos include:...
Format: video/video
How does tiering benefit teachers?
In this video, teachers at Raleigh's Baileywick Road Elementary School discuss how creating tiered assignments has benefited them as teachers. Includes classroom footage. This video is one in a four-part series about tiering. The other videos include: ...
Format: video/video
How to implement tiering
In this video, classroom footage and teacher interviews emphasize important points in adopting tiered assignments. This video is one in a four-part series about tiering. The other videos include: What...
Format: video/video
Making reading passages comprehensible for English language learners
English language learners can read the same content-area material as their peers, but they may need special help. Teachers can make difficult reading comprehensible by building vocabulary, decoding difficult syntax, and teaching background knowledge.
Format: article
By Ellen Douglas.
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)
Preparing English language learners for reading comprehension
In Reading comprehension and English language learners, page 1
Use KWL charts, circle maps and brainstorming webs, and concept maps to prepare English language learners, content-area learners, and all students for reading comprehension.
Format: article
By Ellen Douglas.
Reading comprehension and English language learners
Teaching reading comprehension and helping English language learners are the responsibility of every teacher, but they are also within the abilities of every teacher. These articles provide strategies for building content-area reading comprehension before, during, and after reading that can help English language learners — and all learners.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Reading is for the boys (and girls)!
This WebQuest for teachers looks at the difficult issue of how to get — and keep — boys interested in reading. It guides you through the research, then looks at text selection and pedagogy and helps you find specific strategies for narrowing the adolescent "literacy gap."
Format: article
By Kimberly Bowen.
The secret cultural institution in your school: The school library
A variety of best practices and imaginative ideas that the school librarian can use to create an environment where students fuse together required learning with learning that is driven by individual interest.
Format: article
By Kim Campbell.
A successful day? Engaging your students may not be enough
In The First Year, page 2.1
To ensure that you meet your objectives, plan backwards from what you want students to learn.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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.
What is tiering?
In this video, teacher interviews and classroom footage explore the practice of creating tiered assignments. This video is one in a four-part series about tiering. The other videos include: How...
Format: video/video
Writing and English as a Second Language
Strategies for helping English Language Learners throughout the writing process.
Format: article
By Frances Hoch.