Teaching & Learning Strategies, Concepts, and Terms That Every Teacher Must Know: Letters U

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To be considered a competent educator, there are almost 2000 strategies, concepts, and terms that you must know. However, since teachers wear so many hats, who has the time to learn them all? Don’t worry; we have you covered. In this series, we will discuss all the teaching and learning strategies, concepts, and terms that you need to know to be considered an effective educator. There are over 70 articles in this series, so pace yourself. We recommend reading one piece per weekday, which will allow you to complete the series in three to four months. We hope you enjoy it.

Click here to read all the articles in this series.

Unconditioned Stimulus A condition within the environment that naturally induces a specific response in the senses.

Unconference An unconference is essentially a conference shaped by its participants. There are no prearranged topics, speakers, or panels. There isn’t even a schedule. Instead, attendees decide what questions and topics will be discussed. Leaders facilitate each breakout session, and participants attend any session that piques their interest. No one presents at these sessions. Instead, the unconference is all about conversation. The idea is that “the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of the expertise of the people on stage.”

Underachieving/Underachievement A word that is used to describe the discrepancy between a child’s academic achievement and their potential to excel at a much more prominent level.

Undergraduate Student A student who has already graduated from high school who is enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program at an institution of higher learning, leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Understanding Questions A type of question that guides students in tracking their reading comprehension at the word, sentence, and paragraph levels by focusing on the various barriers to comprehension such as unfamiliar words and information, as well as the relationship between the text and preexisting knowledge.

Unhealthy Perfectionism Perfectionism that interferes with social relationships and results in negative emotional consequences. This is sometimes referred to as maladaptive or neurotic perfectionism.

Unit Recovery Allows students to retake only the units or skills that they need to advance. For instance, a student who has demonstrated mastery of 6 out of 10 concepts in an English class doesn’t need to retake the entire course—he can focus on the four concepts that weren’t mastered in person.

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (UNHSI) The test used to screen newborns for hearing difficulties before they leave the hospital and provide services for those in need of them.

Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) A nonverbal intelligence test created by Bracken and MacCallum in 1998.

Universal Preschool A movement in the U.S. that wants to make preschool free for all children, regardless of their ability level or their families level of income.

Universal Screening An action that is instituted by school officials at the onset of a school year to pinpoint which students who are at risk for academic failure. School district employees conduct some evaluations while others are performed by independent education evaluators.

University An institution of higher education that usually offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Unstructured Interview An unplanned interview conducted by a teacher based on an organic, unrehearsed performance by a student.

Unstructured Performance Assessment A performance that has not been planned or structured in advance by a teacher and is conducted by a student.

Untracking A teaching method which places students in groups of varying abilities holds each student to high standards of learning while providing them with a variety of ways to attain those standards.

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