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VariQuest Visual Learning Tools is Reader's Choice Award Winner!

 
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You like us, you really like us! Maybe we should work on a different acceptance speech... We are humbly honored to announce that VariQuest Visual Learning Tools and the VariQuest Perfecta 2400 wide format printing design system has been named a winner of the 2014-2015 eSchool News Readers' Choice Award! Here's part of the official August 1 press release:

4 Ways to Pair Anchor Charts with Interactive Whiteboards

 
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In digitally-equipped, interactive 21st century classrooms, reinforcement tools are still necessary. Tools like interactive whiteboards create a great, dynamic tool to use during lessons, but cannot reinforce key concepts on a daily basis. Visual reinforcements like anchor charts are necessary to classroom environment in order for students to continue learning once the board is turned off.
However, this decision does not need to be an either-or decision. Interactive white boards and tangible posters and manipulatives can complement each other--here's how teachers can incorporate both learning tools into their classroom:
  1. Teachers can use the interactive white board for a lesson, then transfer key points onto the anchor chart.  The chart becomes a visual
    reinforcement that the student can use throughout the lesson/unit. On day two of the lesson, the teacher can use the poster that was created on day one as the review or anticipatory set to begin the new lesson for the day. 
  2. Use the interactive whiteboard as a tool for quick notes for the student to reference in addition to the posters that have been made throughout the week.  Teacher can put the students into partners/groups and have the students create their own posters with the poster maker to share with the class after.  The whiteboard can be used as a reference for directions if needed.
  3. Students can also use the interactive whiteboard to make notes or write information on the posters.
  4. The teacher can also use the interactive whiteboard to teach a lesson with a hands on element. For example, the life cycle of the butterfly could be virtually shown on the whiteboard, then students can put together their own butterfly life cycle using anchor charts as references and cutouts to assemble and personalize. This creates a great visual for the students and a larger display of student work! Click on the image on the right for a downloadable poster.

Why are anchors & other "hard copy" visuals important?



Summer Break: Discover New Materials and Resources

 
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We asked one of our favorite guest bloggers, Julia Cremin, to share her reflections as a teacher on summer break. We will share the three posts as a "Summer Break" series.

What Keeps Principals Up At Night: Determining Your School's Needs

 
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VariQuest's blog is open to educators across the country who are interested in sharing their ideas, stories and opinions with our network of teachers, administrators and more. If you have something you would like to share, please let us know! Email your ideas to variquest@variquest.com

Summer Break: A Time for Reflection and Preparation

 
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We asked one of our favorite guest bloggers, Julia Cremin, to share her reflections as a teacher on summer break. We will share the three posts as a "Summer Break" series.

Ready, Set, Print! Tips for using your VariQuest Perfecta

 
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We hope you had a chance to relax a time or two during this well deserved summer break!

 

We wanted to share a helpful 'product tips' poster we just created for those of you who teach at schools that have our VariQuest Perfecta Poster Printer. Check it out and be sure to print and post next to your Perfecta printer for other staff to see.

 

VariQuest Highlighted on TechFaster Preview of ISTE

 
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We were thrilled to be an Editor's Choice for TechFaster's preview of this year's ISTE conference. Ashley Allen, a staff writer for TechFaster, spoke to our Director of Marketing and New Product Development, Nina Swienton mid June. Check it out! You can see the original article here.

Hot Topics at NAESP: Recommended Reading & Presentations to Attend

 
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The National Association of Elementary School Principals's (NAESP) annual conference is just around the corner! This is such an incredible conference due in some ways to the organization's committent to best practices in schools. As they put it, "When it comes to defining the future of elementary school education, it only happens here." There are eight focus areas this year, four of which are topics we are passionate about and often cover in our blog and which visuals and visual learning can play a vital role. If you are attending the conference, perhaps these will give you some food for thought on the way to Nashville! We've also listed a few presentations in each category that we have been eyeing.

Back to Basics: Manipulatives in the Classroom

 
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We just got back from ISTE 2014—what an experience! After a tech-ridden weekend, we took time to reflect on how we support traditional classroom learning methods—methods that have remained into the 21st century. That’s when we started thinking about manipulatives. Manipulatives don’t have to be just building blocks or cubes—anything a visual-kinesthetic learner can physically or visually manipulate on his or her own that aids their learning process is a manipulative worth exploring.

How New Principals Can Increase Parent Engagement

 
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In the most recent issue of NAESP’s Communicator, a report from the National Panel of New Principals disclosed statistics from new principals regarding parent involvement and engagement. They found that “most new principals have clearly defined goals for engagement.”

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