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
All about life
A primary curriculum based around life and environmental science draws on children's natural curiosity to teach reading, math, and more.
Format: article
By Myra Erexson.
Becoming an online teacher
For even the most experienced classroom teacher, teaching online requires a thoughtful transition to the new environment.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
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
Bird watching made elementary
Observing and identifying birds can be a gateway to a variety of learning experiences. This primer will get you started birding.
By Linda Dow.
Blended learning
Blended learning is a student-centered approach that integrates learning experiences in online and face-to-face environments. This article defines blended learning, discusses its history, and provides suggestions for creating an effective blended learning experience.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
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.
Co-op
The co-op structure is more complex than many of the other cooperative learning structures. This ten-step process engages students in the development of a product or project. Students work individually on a single task to contribute to their team, and the...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Cooperative learning
Cooperative learning is an instructional method in which students work together in small, heterogeneous groups to complete a problem, project, or other instructional goal, while teachers act as guides or facilitators. This method works to reinforce a student's...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Deficit thinking
Teachers frequently attribute the academic struggles of English language learners to the students' inability or unwillingness to learn English, but this "deficit thinking" can better be replaced by a focus on what immigrant students bring to the classroom.
Format: article
By Buck Cooper.
Demonstration
This education reference article explains the demonstration method of teaching.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
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
Digital game-based learning
Digital game-based learning (DGBL) is an instructional method that incorporates educational content or learning principles into video games with the goal of engaging learners. Applications of digital game-based learning draw upon the constructivist theory of education.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Discovery learning
This reference article explains the theory of discovery learning and discusses its history and its use in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Don't put it down, put it up!
In a fifth grade classroom based around projects, everything has its place. This classroom profile shows you the design and purpose of Debra Harwell-Braun's fifth-grade classroom.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
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)
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.
English Language Arts Methods: Grades 6-8 Model Lessons
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 1.4
Common Core State Standards Click here for more details on these standards. OBJECTIVE 1: Reading Literature Skills Covered: key ideas and details, craft and...
Format: article/teacher's guide
English Language Arts Methods: Grades 9-12 Model Lessons
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 1.5
Common Core State Standards Click here for more details on these standards. OBJECTIVE 1: Reading Literature Skills Covered: key ideas and details, craft and...
Format: article/teacher's guide