Category Archives: Around the Net

Summer Learning: STEM Activities —The Moon

Summer is fast approaching.  Teachers will be finishing up their years within the next few weeks.  One of the elements that parents and teachers alike share as a challenges when preparing for the coming fall season is keeping students learning and their minds engaged during the summer break.

Teacher Created Resources shared a great learning project for any time of the year yet, we felt this fun article would be great for all those summer evenings when kids tend to be outside enjoying nature.

The article is titled:

STEM Activities —The Moon moon-phases

by MARA GUCKIAN at Teacher Created Resources

Our closest neighbor in space is the moon and we can observe it almost every night—just by looking up into the sky.  Whether is it a school assignment or a nightly family activity to wind down, the study of the moon is an easy, engaging way to introduce students—young and older— to space exploration.  Let the questions begin!

Try keeping a Moon Log for a month.

  1. Print out a copy of the Moon Log.
  2. Set a time each night to look at the moon and discuss its shape.  Go outside if you can.
  3. Record the part of the Earth-facing hemisphere of the moon that is visible each night.
  4. Determine what phase of the moon you observed.
  5. Encourage your child/student to use appropriate vocabulary.

The words and phrases listed below should get your started:

crescent—a sliver       

gibbous—having a hump shape

visible—can be seen

waning— shrinking 


*Keep in mind, waxing and waning moons can have the same shape but one is growing and one is shrinking.

5 Different Phases Seen from Earth

new moon—none of the Earth-facing hemisphere of the moon is visible

crescent moon—less than half of the Earth-facing hemisphere of the moon is visible

quarter moon—exactly half of the Earth-facing hemisphere of the moon is visible

gibbous moon—more than half of the Earth-facing hemisphere of the moon is visible

full moon—all of the Earth-facing hemisphere of the moon is visible

Want to make your Moon Log activity a STEM experience?  Consider trying some of these ideas throughout your month-long observation.


  1. Read books to learn more about the moon.
  2. Find out what the moon is made of and how it moves.
  3. Learn more about the moon’s location in relation to Earth and the sun.
  4. Find out if the following statement is true or false.  “The moon is a rock reflecting the sun.”
  5. Demonstrate the moon’s orbit using three different sized balls to represent the sun, moon, and Earth.


  1. Check out the phases of the moon each night and double-check what you saw online—or vice versa.  Simply type in phases of the moon, the month, and the year (ex. phases of the moon May 2016), and you will find pictures of the actual sequence.
  2. Research the Apollo space program.
  3. Find pictures or video of the lunar landing of the Eagle in 1969 and listen to astronaut  Neil Armstrong’s famous words.


  1. Build a model to represent the sun, moon, and Earth.  Use it to demonstrate how/when we see the moon.
  2. See if you can see the moon more clearly using a telescope.  Find out what other tools or instruments are used to observe the moon.
  3. Design a spacecraft to travel to the moon.  Use recycled materials to build it.


  1. Start a list of number facts about the moon.  See how many you can collect.  Here are a few questions to get you started:

How many days does it take the moon to complete a cycle?

How long is a day on the moon?

How much longer is a day on the moon than a day on Earth?

  1. Discuss the size and shape of the moon and how it compares to Earth and the sun.


Teacher Created Resources Materials

TCR science

#TCR2925—Differentiated Science Lessons, pages 96–97   5th grade

#TCR3972—Daily Warm-Ups: Science, page 161   5th grade

#TCR3973—Daily Warm-Ups: Science, pages 124–128   6th grade

For more  of Teacher Created Resource STEM and Science Resources

Special thanks to:


for giving permission to post this educational article!  Original Article here

100th day, ways to celebrate!

Hundreds of Ways to Celebrate the 100 Days of School: Ideas for K & 1st Grade

Article reposted with permission by Evan Moor Educational Publishing, written by Theresa Wooler posted on their blog The Joy of Teaching

blog-100-days-image-1Reaching the 100th day of school is a reason to celebrate and provides a springboard for learning! This blog post features more than 100 ideas through printable lessons, blog links, and favorite Pinterest boards.

Evan-Moor printable activities for the 100 days of school: (all downloads available directly from Evan-Moor)

emc2415iEveryday Literacy: Listening & Speaking 

Printable: Grade K: The 100th Day of School activities

This unit’s theme is “celebrating 100 days of school” and includes a read-aloud story, vocabulary, listening/speaking skills, comprehension (finish a picture), listen for short vowel sounds, and more.

Additional grades available in this title series

emc3014iBasic Math Skills

Printable: Grades K–1: Count by 5s to 100

Celebrate 100 days of school with counting fun! This math unit presents five activities in which students count by 5s to 100 (by connecting dots, following a path, filling in numbers on a grid, and others).

Additional grades available in this title series

emc3391iCritical and Creative Thinking Activities

Printable: Grade 1: 100 Days of School thinking skills

This unit includes a variety of activities, such as filling in missing numbers, making 100 into a face, answering questions about cost, identifying vowels and consonants, and more.

Additional grades available in this title series

emc0778iHow to Make Books with Children

Printable: Grade 1+: Brown Bag Math Book

This project can be adapted for many grade levels and includes a writing template, picture patterns, and directions for how a class could make a math book by creating sets of 10 or 100.

Additional grades available in this title series

*All printables are excerpts from above titles.

Other resources and ideas:

From Howywood Kindergarten blog

  • “When I’m 100 years old” activities: Here’s an adorable idea using brown paper bags and construction paper from the Howywood Kindergarten blog. Students can create self-portraits of what they would look like at 100 years old or dress up as if they were 100 years old.
  • Counting fun: This blog is chockfull of ideas for incorporating math into 100th-day-of-school celebrations. Be sure to see the links for creative ideas for classrooms and schools to bring math into 100 days celebrations.
  • Arts and crafts: This post provides a collection of 75 clever ideas to celebrate 100 days of school, including a 100 days of school crown, photo ideas, and other crafts.
  • Read-alouds: Here are suggested books for 100 days of school by Apples 4 the Teacher and 10 picture books about 100 to help young children count from one to 100. Suggested books include I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words, From One to One Hundred, and One Watermelon Seed.
  • Get active: As individuals or teams, students can complete 100 jumping jacks or other exercise, bounce a ball 100 times, or run 100 laps (in a relay).
  • Build something: Students count 100 items and build a structure out of Legos, cups, blocks, or popsicle sticks. The possibilities are endless!

Evan-Moor’s Pinterest board includes dice games, crafts, and favorite read-alouds for 100 days of school: 100th Day Activities—Our Favorite Pins.

Please share your favorite ideas in the comments section or connect with Evan Moor on Facebook and Twitter. Look for #100DaysofSchool.

Theresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer and homeschool educator, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.

Dedicated Teacher wishes to thank Theresa Wooler and Evan Moor Publishing for allowing us to share this article with you!

Apple iOS 9.3 Update Improves Device Management for Schools

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 5.44.50 PMThis week Apple® made a major announcement about their upcoming update to their mobile operating system, called iOS 9.3.

My family has been loyal Apple® fans since my husband and I first saw one in a technology lab in the 80’s. So we always take great interest in all the announcements and updates that are released by Apple®.  Yet this update includes a particular upgrade or new feature that we thought we should bring to your attention. picture 2


The features are currently in beta, and will be available and free for current Apple device users upon it’s release. Teachers, administrators or schools who are interested in participating in the beta can contact Apple at

The Apple website this exciting and bold statement regarding these changes.

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 5.56.17 PM
click on the image above to go to Apple’s announcement page (scroll down the bottom of this page for more information on these features.)

Apple goes on to state:

Technology can reshape education. And iPad, with its powerful features and apps, opens up new, more engaging ways of learning. With the iOS 9.3 beta, you’ll find a preview of new features that will make it even easier for schools to put devices where they’ll have the greatest impact — in the hands of students.

A recent article by Edsurge, provided a more comprehensive breakdown of the new features that will be included with this latest update.

For Students and Teachers

Easier to share iPads with “intelligent caching”

First up, Apple has introduced “intelligent caching,” a feature that the company says was added in response to the large number of iPad carts and necessary iPad sharing they recognize exists in schools around the world. With this feature, students who share iPads regularly can now log-on and reach the same screen that they last left when they stopped using the iPad—the same apps, the same settings and whatever content they downloaded onto the device.

Additionally, students now have the ability to enter a simple four-digit pin that logs them into their device and their iCloud account, right from the lock screen. (That particular feature will sound familiar to any iPhone user.) Or, for younger students, there is now a Photo ID feature where teachers can assign photo log-ins to students.

Classroom App

A second feature is the new Classroom App—which allows teachers more specific and remote control over student iPads and laptops.

In the app, teachers can launch and lock specific apps, websites or textbook pages on every iPad in their class. Additionally, Classroom offers teachers the ability to view any student’s screen as they are working. Additionally, teachers can project student screens to any Apple TV with AirPlay.

And for those students who forget their password? Teachers can now use Classroom to reset their password directly from their iPad. picture 3

For Administrators

New way to create and manage Apple IDs

After hearing from school administrators who wanted the ability to create Apple IDs on behalf of the student, Apple’s third feature is the answer to that—“Managed Apple IDs.” Administrators will now have features to easily reset passwords, audit accounts, create IDs in bulk, tailor privacy options and create customized roles for everyone in a district.

Apple School Manager

Connected to the aforementioned feature is the debut of Apple School Manager, a central place for administrators to conduct Apple iPad deployment from web browsers on any Mac or PC. In the Apple School Manager, can manage IDs all from one central place—including that ability to create IDs in bulk that was mentioned above.

But wait, there’s more. Thanks to integration with student information systems (SIS), schools can pull SIS data directly to create Apple IDs for students. 

Apple has also added a feature that allows for an ID to be “graduated,” meaning that students can take their work with them after they leave a school. According to Apple reps, students have full control of the account and will get to take their Apple ID with them, as well as all associated content and data. 

You can read more of this article here…
Original article written by: 
Mary Jo Madda Jan 11, 2016 for Edsurge

We feel this is an exciting new update, bringing power back  into the hands of the classroom teacher.  If you join the beta, we would love to hear what you think and will do a following article sharing your thoughts on these new features.

Don’t forget that Apple is accepting beta testers of these new features, for more information please contact:

Around the Net: 21st century education

Recently I had the opportunity to visit a school in a small town on the eastern coast of the big island of Hawaii.IMG_3864

I was there only as an observer but was genuinely amazed by what I witnessed. This Elementary school of approximately 800 students grades PreK – 5th was pressing forward with the passion to prepare their students for the future. On the occasion of my visit, the school was conducting a parent night, allowing parents to see for themselves the various ways the school was using technology to inspire a passion for learning in their children. During the general presentation,  administrators spoke about the process and various decisions that they made.  The session was opened by showing a video, “What is 21st Century Education?” (created by EduAlert)

Just a few interesting facts provided in the video:

  • In the past 5 years the digital universe has grown by 1000%
  • 46% of teachers say their homework requires technology
  • 94% of students say they use technology to do homework
  • Many of the top jobs in 2012, didn’t exist in 2002!
  • Many of the jobs your students will have don’t even exist yet!
  • Students will use technologies that haven’t been invented yet, to find solutions for problems that haven’t emerged.

With the overall thought that,

Today, teachers must be innovators, mentors, entrepreneurs, motivators, illuminators, catalysts because preparing students for the 21st century isn’t just about technology or skills for the global economy. The 21st century education is about creativity, culture awareness, problem solving, innovation, civic engagement, communication, productivity, collaboration, accountability, exploration, initiative, responsibility, leadership and making your classroom as dynamic as the world around us.

The school also invited an education specialist to speak to the parents as well. This educational specialist was on campus to work directly with the staff in guiding and assisting them as they adapted their new technology to their classroom.

He also spoke about how much technology has changed our lives and the way we do things.  Giving a simple but fun example of how he and his wife used to have fun debating various facts about the current song on the radio.  Not so many years ago, the debate would rarely be resolved.  Today, with a simple question to a smart phone the debate is settled in seconds.  This revealed the fact that we literally hold a wealth of information in our hands.

He then moved on to talk about how, as the video also pointed out, that today’s classroom has changed to adapt to the times.  Technologies such as white boards and tablets to deliver lessons and worksheets for students to complete.

All this, really brought home to me the importance of what we do in the educational field. So much responsibility on the shoulders of you.. the classroom teacher!  It has renewed our passion here at Dedicated Teacher to deliver the best quality products, in hope to make your task easier!

All in all.. we thank you for all that you do!

Around the Net: Inspiring Teachers

Original article by ABC news by Genevieve Shaw Brown on Nov 17, 2015

A wonderful video moving around on Facebook, is about a Special Education Teacher in Florida, doing some amazing work with this students. One of the things he does on a regular basis is start his day encouraging each of his students one by one. The post has received over 11,000 likes and gained so much attention, that it caught the eye of ABC reporter, Genevieve Shaw Brown.

Florida Teacher Starts Each Day Complimenting Students One by One


In classrooms across the country, the school day almost always starts off with some kind of routine. Announcements, a run-through of the day’s calendar or maybe the Pledge of Allegiance.

But in Chris Ulmer’s classroom, the day starts off with 10 minutes of compliments.

In a video posted to Facebook that’s been shared more than 8,000 times since it was posted on Sunday, Ulmer takes the time to pay several compliments to each and every one of the eight students in his special education classroom at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I love having you in my class. I think you’re very funny. You’re a great soccer player. Everyone in here loves you,” Ulmer says to the kids as they each take their turn standing in front of the class, facing Ulmer.

Ulmer said he’s been posting videos — with the kids’ parents’ permission — almost every day, but this one, which he “spent about 10 minutes editing,” has really resonated with the public. “I actually didn’t think a whole lot about this one before posting it. It’s just something we do.”

Video available on Facebook… be sure to take a look.

*(video also available on our own Facebook page)

Read more of this article at: ABCnews.go.comABC news article

Be sure to check out Chris Ulmer’s webpage:

Follow on him on Facebook:

Around the Net: Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’

Around the Net is a new feature here on DedicatedTeacher enews blog.  This new feature will bring to you interesting articled found around the net.  Articles that we feel might be of interest to educators, students and parents.  As DedicatedTeacher works hard to bring you top quality digital educational resources that rely on technology, we will share articles along that line.

Our first edition to ‘Around the Net’ is an article by Richard Asa Chicago Tribune (TNS) titled Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’  Which addresses how technology is changing the classroom.  We will include highlights from this article that we found the most interesting and then provide a link to the entire article so that you can ‘read more’.  So let’s get started.

 Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’ by Chicago Tribune

 Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’

by Richard Asa -Chicago Tribune (TNS)
September 21, 2015

Jannette Jones, dean of education at Schaumburg-based for-profit American InterContinental University, told of a time she sat in on a middle school class and a student asked the teacher a question.

vte01015She said the teacher didn’t know the answer — but on the spot posed the question to her Twitter followers. The teacher in seconds received responses from several experts in the field, Jones said.

That’s an example of how technology is changing education forever. Other examples include increased use of iPads and management software in the classroom and programs that include 3D printers and other 3D technology. […]

tcr8090“Technology in the classroom has shifted (education) to the ‘sage on the side’ approach,” Jones told Blue Sky Innovation in an email response to questions. “ The reality is that this age of information and information literacy inundates teachers and students with mass amounts of content, but much comes without context.”

Technology, she says, makes learning more “robust” and individualized, allows students to embrace creativity and offers new learning strategies.

This is not some Orwellian vision of a future. Human teachers will always be needed to guide the prudent use of technology in the classroom. But it could be a revolution, or an evolution. Either way, it’s growing, particularly in grade school. […]

csbsl550261“The fastest growing trend that I see right now, both at school and in the home, is the move toward more portable, multiuse digital devices,” said Sharman Johnston, director of curriculum and instruction for Texas-based Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centers.

“Teachers from pre-K through (high school) name laptops, iPads and electronic readers as the portable technologies with the greatest educational potential,” she said. Preschool teachers also favor digital cameras, calling them the “most valuable instructional technology tool.”

Johnston is leading the development of a proprietary curriculum known as CARES that among other themes adheres to the fact that technology must be built into a young child’s learning experience because technology has become ubiquitous and can enhance children’s real-world encounters.

sed51312Edtech specialist Holly Clark, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher, gives Illinois high marks for ensuring there is appropriate coaching for teachers new to the idea of Google apps or iPads in the classroom. CPS in mid-August conducted a “GooglePalooza” to help more than 1,000 teachers learn how to use Google Apps for Education, a free platform Clark called the best edtech tool.

Clark travels the world as part of a group of educators called EdTechTeam to help school districts and educators integrate technology into the classroom in a seamless and logical way.

Among her recent stops was School District 90 in River Forest, where she worked from 2007 to 2009 as technology curriculum specialist. While there, she said, it became clear to her that “making thinking visible,” a concept of Harvard University’s Project Zero, was going to be technology’s legacy in education.

“I began noticing that children learned best by doing, by sharing, by making their thinking visible,” she said. “I can’t help thinking how I wish I were a student now. I would have flourished in a classroom where I could be creative and my voice could be heard without getting detention.”

To read the more complete version of this article please go to the Chicago Tribune website has hundreds of resources to help you bring enhanced learning to your classroom through technology.  No need to be an expert at the gate, use the resources provided by our trusted and experienced publishers here at to guide you through!

Guides to helping you enhance your classroom with technologyUsing Google Apps in the Classroom



Interactive Whiteboards curriculum and much morecurriculm

Interactive titles that can be used on your computer, iPad or other such devicesinteractive

Check out these titles and SO much more at