Take a Child Outside Week 2014

“Take A Child Outside” is a program designed to encourage children and adults to spend time together outdoors. By giving parents, grandparents, and teachers information about outdoor activities and places to go, this program helps children develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment and an enthusiasm for exploring the natural world

LEARN NC is proud to be a partner in “Take a Child Outside Week” which runs September 24th through September 30th annually. We provide instructional resources for educators to use to connect students to nature. There are partner organizations all over North Carolina and the United States offering activities for exploring the outdoors.

“Take a Child Outside” is an initiative of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and held in cooperation with partner organizations worldwide. For more information, contact Liz Baird, Director of Education at 919-707-9893.

LEARN NC September newsletter: Online courses, new resources, and more

Renew your license with CEUs from LEARN NC online courses

Register for a LEARN NC online professional development course today! We have a slate of all new courses, a brand new Carolina Online Teacher (COLT) program, as well as some of our tried and true courses. Course topics include the arts, mathematics, cyberbullying, differentiation, technology, flipping the classroom, reading, writing, STEM, and much more. All of LEARN NC’s courses have been peer-reviewed and reviewed by UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education faculty. See the course schedule, click on “session info” for the course you are interested in and register today!

Earn 2.0 CEUs with LEARN NC’s digital writing study group

In what ways does your digital writing impact your pedagogy? In what ways does your writing pedagogy engage students in critical stances? In this six-week online study group offered by LEARN NC, secondary English teachers will discuss how digital writing can permit critical literacy, engage in meaningful discussions about digital writing and critical literacy practices, learn how understandings of digital writing with a critical stance can be applied to the writing classroom, and compose a piece of digital writing that takes a critical stance. Participants will leave the online study group with an original digital writing mentor text to share with students. Upon successful completion, participants will receive 20 hours for 2.0 CEUs.

If you are interested in joining this online study group please email Kathryn Caprino at kcaprino@email.unc.edu. Enrollees must agree to the use of their data in a dissertation research study.

LEARN NC and Safe Schools NC offer free teacher resources on LGBTQIA issues

Teachers looking for ways to support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) students, families, and coworkers can find information in a new online resource.

The resource was created by LEARN NC, an outreach program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education, in partnership with Safe Schools NC, a statewide non-profit working to create safe and welcoming classrooms for LGBTQIA students, teachers, and parents in NC. This online resource can help teachers create welcoming classrooms in NC and beyond.

Written for teachers who have little knowledge of LGBTQIA people, the resource includes information on vocabulary and school issues that affect LGBTQIA students. It also contains easy-to-incorporate classroom practices, lesson plans, school policy ideas, and curriculum alignment possibilities that illustrate how supporting LGBTQIA students can be a part of everyday teaching. A special section for student resources, both in North Carolina and around the world, is also included. An element unique to this resource is a guide for working with staff who are not affirming of LGBTQIA students.

Gear up for Banned Books Week with LEARN NC’s Intellectual Freedom Toolkit

LEARN NC and the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center at North Carolina State University have teamed up to bring you the Intellectual Freedom Toolkit to help you respond when a parent or community member challenges a book in your school or library collection. The toolkit includes a walkthrough of the reconsideration process, sample paperwork, recommended reading, and a list of relevant court cases.

Teaching tools from Microsoft Research: ChronoZoom and Office Mix

Microsoft Research asked LEARN NC to recruit educators to demonstrate how two of their new tools, ChronoZoom and Office Mix, can be used in classrooms. Educators from across the nation worked with LEARN NC to develop model lessons for use with these tools. ChronoZoom is an online tool that shows how time is both horizontal and vertical, meaning that multiple events are taking place at the same time in different places, impacting one another. Microsoft Office Mix is an add-on for Powerpoint that allows teachers and students to create interactive multimedia presentations featuring audio, video, slides, inking on slides, interactive activities, and interactive assessments. Both sets of examples are available on LEARN NC’s website: ChronoZoom model lesson plans and example Office Mixes.


LEARN NC staff and teacher scholars will present at the North Carolina School Library Media Association conference in Winston-Salem on October 10 and 11. Look for us at the following sessions:

Friday, October 10

  • 11am, Ardmore 1 — Every Source Tells a Story: Family History Research in the School Library
  • 4:30pm, Terrace 3 — Share Your Stories, Defend Your Collection: Responding to Book Challenges

Saturday, October 11

  • 10am, North Main B — What’s New at LEARN NC?
  • 12pm, Gaines 1 — Copyright without Fear

Host a North Carolina Science Festival event at your school!

The North Carolina Science Festival is gearing up for its 2014-2015 programs and is offering educators an opportunity to host science events at their schools. North Carolina K-12 teachers can apply for the following programs beginning on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Selected classes will receive free curriculum materials and more! Participation is limited. Applications are due by August 29, 2014. For more information, please visit the North Carolina Science Festival website.

The Middle East and World War I

This year will mark the centenary of the start of World War I. We tend, in our teaching of World War I, to concentrate on France and Germany, but the region we now call The Middle East played an important role in the conflict, and its modern history was, in great part, formed by the agreements at the war’s end. It’s a perspective worthy of inclusion in a unit on World War I.

Regina Higgins, from the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, and UNC Chapel Hill graduate student, Alyssa Sistare, created a website that offers resources on World War I and the Middle East. In The Middle East and World War I, educators will find a timeline of events, maps, historical and personal accounts of the conflict (Gallipoli, particularly), videos, and even songs.

August news from the NC Civic Education Consortium

The North Carolina Civic Education Consortium, a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Program in the Humanities and Human Values, works with schools, governments, and community organizations to prepare North Carolina’s young people to be active, responsible citizens. Each month the Consortium delivers an email newsletter with news and opportunities for civic engagement.

Gearing up for the new school year? The North Carolina Civic Education Consortium is there to help. In this month’s newsletter they are featuring “From Chaos to Community: Your classroom CAN be a fun, safe, and effective environment for both you and your students!” This resource provides “activities for building a self-managing, respectful and tolerant community in your classroom, where students not only enjoy learning, but where high performance is guaranteed.”

Also highlighted this month are professional development opportunities for teachers.

From Talking to Talkin’ Tar Heel
Receive a $75 stipend when attending this seminar at the North Carolina Museum of History on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM. Find out how “language and dialect provide a fascinating way to understand North Carolina’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.” The seminar includes a free book. Also receive a $30 tuition discount when you register.
Fall 2014 “Adventures in Ideas” Seminars
Register now to secure a spot in a general seminar offered by the Program in the Humanities. Teachers receive a 50 percent discount off tuition and a $75 travel stipend as a part of the Daisy Edmister Fund. Seminars are Friday evening and Saturday morning or all-day Saturday. Receive credit for 10 contact hours of continuing education. Topics and dates can be found on the NC CEC website.
Travel Grants and Workshops from the NC Museum of History
To help cover the cost of travel to the North Carolina Museum of History, travel grants are available for qualifying schools. Title I public schools, Title VII American Indian schools, and other schools with a high percentage of low-income or at-risk students have priority. For more information, please visit the NC CEC website.

For information on these and other opportunities, please contact Paul Bonnici.

National PE Institute and NC Health & Wellness Fellows

The primary purpose of the National Physical Education Institute (July 28-30, 2014 in Asheville, NC) is to provide participants with tools, strategies, and information on how to develop a K-12 curriculum aligned with student assessment. By attending this conference you will:

  • Gain valuable insight as to how to align the written, taught, and tested curriculum;
  • Learn from others who have implemented data-driven assessment practices; and
  • See how others have been linking curriculum with sound K-12 assessment practices!

For the past two years, hundreds of K-12 Physical Education teachers from over 40 states
and 6 countries have gathered to make the National PE Institute a resounding success. See the National PE Institute website for more information about keynote speakers and to register. All of the National PE Institute Keynotes will be live-streamed as a free professional outreach activity for K-12 physical education teachers.

This year, the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness will be offering 15 Fellowships to K-12 North Carolina physical education teachers worth up to $750 to cover the expenses associated with registration ($250), travel and lodging.

Individuals selected as Fellows will be expected to:

  • Learn Twitter and Social Media Basics and assist PE Institute participants at the “Twitter & Social Media Help Desk,”
  • Provide on-going mentoring assistance throughout the school year with follow-up PE Institute Twitter Chats, webinars, and other social media events;
  • Respond to designated NCCHW surveys to measure the impact of the PE Institute on teaching/students;
  • Write personal “True PE Stories” to chronicle the impact of social media and lessons learned at the National PE Institute on a periodic basis (ex: several times a year); and
  • Serve as National PE Institute “Ambassadors” as needed.

Applications are due by 5:00PM, Friday, June 20, 2014. See the 2014 PEI Fellows Program Application for selection criteria and submission process information.

Freedom Roads workshop

Workshops for Teachers, Museum Professionals, and Pre-Professional Students
Guilford College, Greensboro, Friday, June 13, 2014
Halifax State Historic Site, Halifax, Monday, August 4, 2014

This summer, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is offering two all-day workshops for K–12 teachers (CEUs are available), museum professionals, and pre-professionals.* Each session will examine the history, culture, and legacy of the Underground Railroad and the quest for freedom in North Carolina.

The Freedom Roads workshops will

  • enhance content knowledge about the efforts of enslaved people in North Carolina in seeking freedom
  • dispel myths and historical inaccuracies about the Underground Railroad and other avenues for seeking freedom
  • provide a professional, working atmosphere for enhancing the ability to create useful classroom resources

The Ultimate Goal:  To provide a venue where classroom teachers, museum professionals, and pre-professionals can network, learn, and work collaboratively to create new and innovative ways for informing students and museum/ site visitors about the history, culture, and legacy of the Underground Railroad and the efforts of enslaved people in North Carolina who sought out freedom

Pre-Workshop Activity:  Each teacher and museum professional will be expected to have completed short online activities via LEARN NC prior to attending the workshop. (Log-in and password information will be sent after registration; Continuing Education Units are offered.)

$30     Full Daily Registration (includes refreshments, lunch, and parking)
$10     Community Registration (includes keynote speech and lunch)
Register online  or  download this Freedom Roads registration form (PDF)


Questions:  For more information about the Freedom Roads project, contact Schree Chavdarov at the North Carolina Arts Council, 919-807-6516 or schree.chavdarov@ncdcr.gov.

The 2014 Local Government Seminar

Every day, local government touches the lives of North Carolinians and provides the services essential for functional communities, growing businesses, and healthy families. It is local government that supplies water to our faucets, collects our trash, moves traffic through our downtowns, and cuts the grass in our parks and ball fields. It is also local government that delivers care and counseling to those facing difficult times and responds with qualified personnel to life’s emergencies.

Generously Supported by the North Carolina City and County Management Association, the 2014 Local Government Seminar will be held July 28 and 29, 2014 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Participants in this seminar will learn first-hand the role of local government in North Carolina and then explore pedagogical strategies for teaching young people about how local government in North Carolina works. Highlights of the seminar will include: meeting with elected and appointed local government officials and staff, “behind-the-scenes” field trips to various city and county facilities, and much more!

Participants will receive:

  • Lesson plans aligned to the NC Essential Standards
  • 1.5 renewal credits
  • A FREE, single occupancy hotel room for the evening of July 28 (for participants residing more than 50 miles from the training location)
  • Meals — lunch and dinner on 7/28; continental breakfast and lunch on 7/29; snacks throughout.
  • One-on-one access to various elected and unelected officials and city and county staff.
  • “Special Access” field trips to various sites around the city and county.

Please download this PDF for registration information.

April news from the North Carolina Civic Education Consortium

The North Carolina Civic Education Consortium, a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Program in the Humanities and Human Values, works with schools, governments, and community organizations to prepare North Carolina’s young people to be active, responsible citizens. Each month the Consortium delivers an email newsletter with news and opportunities for civic engagement.

The NC Civic Education Consortium is featuring a lesson plan about African Americans in World War II in this edition of their newsletter. “Hero Abroad, Second Class Citizen at Home: John Seagraves, African-Americans & World War II” teaches students about the accomplishments and difficulties faced by African Americans during the Second World War. Students will read excerpts from Uncommon Hero: The John Seagraves Story about an African American sailor who served aboard the U.S.S. North Carolina during the war. NC CEC will raffle off two copies of this book to current K-12 educators, administrators, and curriculum coordinators. Copies of the book can also be purchased.

In addition to lesson plans, NC CEC offers professional development opportunities for educators.

“Hold These Truths”: Reflection on Japanese internment during World War II
Only a few spaces remain for this two day event, April 25-26 at the Chapel Hill Public Library. For information, visit the Consortium website.
Hidden histories: What your NC history textbook left out
This professional development series for middle and high school educators is “designed to deepen educator knowledge of less-known state and national history.” Visit the Consortium website for more information on these three summer workshops to be held at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.
“Adventures in Ideas” seminars
A series of seminars is being offered this spring for a general audience. Seminars run Friday evening and Saturday morning or all day Saturday. Visit the Consortium website for more information and to register.

These are just a few of the wonderful professional development seminars and workshops that the Consortium offers. Check out their newsletter to learn about more opportunities.

Astronomy in April

Coming Wednesday, April 2, at 7 PM, to a Computer near You!

UNC-TV’s science stories that you see on such series as North Carolina Science Now and QUEST always capture the imagination, but here’s an event that’s out of this world. Next month, the skies of our state play host to a few special astronomical events—including a total lunar eclipse. As part of the annual North Carolina Science Festival, join us online for a special interactive opportunity to screen astronomy-based UNC-TV Science programs, interact with the producers and get more information about the upcoming lunar eclipse direct from the experts! Whether stargazing novice or long-time astronomy buff, dive into the cosmos Wednesday, April 2, starting at 7 PM. It all happens for free in OVEE, an online, real-time screening and chat forum designed specifically for public media, that you can access from anywhere with an internet connection! Visit unctv.org/content/ovee for more details and to link up to this lively online screening event!