VariQuest Blog

5 Colorful Classroom Management Posters

Posted by Margo Ensz on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

What is your classroom identity and making expectations clear. What do teachers and staff expect of students? What do students expect when they walk in the classroom? Classroom management is important for every teacher, regardless of subject and grade level. Teachers want to spend their time teaching, so an effective classroom management strategy can help minimize disruptions. 

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Topics: Lessons/Activities/Templates, Character Education

Helping ELL Students Retain Content with Classroom Visuals

Posted by Margo Ensz on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

One of the cornerstones of teaching ELL students is vocabulary. Vocabulary is not only vital to reading,writing, speaking, and listening, but also to understanding broader concepts and making connections between subjects.

The introduction of these new words and phrases are usually well received by students, but difficulties can arise in terms of retention. We recently attended the national Title I conference in Salt Lake City, and noticed that a number of sessios focused on engaging students, and specifically sessions on engaging ELL students to help them retain content. Joanne Billingsly, in her presentation "Making Content Sticky," outlined ways to build academic vocabulary and increase retention among ELL students: "The availability of color illustrations and teaching diagrams that support student understanding and retention of new words."

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Topics: English Language Learners (ELL)

Not Just for Science Fairs: High School Poster Sessions

Posted by Margo Ensz on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

While poster sessions may seem reserved for post-secondary and professional conferences, high school students can benefit from the opportunity to present their research and projects in such a succinct way. These events allow students to "get their feet in the water" and work on communication skills by presenting their research in a condensed "elevator speech" format rather than a full-scale presentation.

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Topics: Perfecta, Career & Technology Education (CTE)

Students Develop Confidence & Career Skills with Indian Ink (Video)

Posted by Margo Ensz on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 01:50 PM

Last month Venice High School in Venice, Florida entered the Follett Chalenge which "showcases and rewards educators who are aligning their curriculum and approach in order to teach the skills needed in the 21st century, and who are implementing a collaborative program with others in their school." 

The in-school graphic design class and business Indian Ink is a stellar example of a student-empowering program that readies students for the 21st century workplace and culture using VariQuest Visual Learning Tools. 

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Topics: Career & Technology Education (CTE)

Supporting Future Educators with VariQuest Visual Learning Tools

Posted by Margo Ensz on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

"The Cutout Maker has been one of the best resources to use as a teacher-to-be."

Freed-Hardeman University, a private liberal arts university in Henderson, Tennessee, supports its students pursuing education degrees in a unique way by providing them hands-on teaching and learning tools. Because of the school's committment to future educators, it was selected as this month's VariQuest Super School! We spoke with Sarah Ridinger, a Librarian at Freed-Hardeman’s Learning Resource Library. This library itself is a unique collaboration between the university’s library and the School of Education, and part of its mission is to "ensure Education students and faculty have library resources to successfully learn and teach.”

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Topics: Professional Development, VariQuest Super Schools

Grades 6-8: The Symbolism Behind Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

Posted by Julia Cremin on Mon, Feb 02, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

The Chinese New Year falls on Feburary 19. In this lesson, students will explore the animals that are symbolic of the Chinese Lunar Zodiac Calendar, then use what they have learned to write a poem.

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Topics: Lessons/Activities/Templates, Poster Maker 3600

Grades 9-12: Chinese Dynasties (1,500 BC-Present)

Posted by Julia Cremin on Sat, Jan 31, 2015 @ 01:30 PM

In this lesson for grades 9-12, students will analyze the impact of physical and cultural geographies on China’s development.

First, download the PDF for each of the Chinese Dynasty maps from the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s “The Art of Asia” website. Use the Perfecta 2400 to print each PDF at poster-size. Print multiple copies of a current map of China and surrounding countries for individual student use. Display the Chinese Dynasty map posters around the room for student exploration.

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Topics: Lessons/Activities/Templates

4 Ways to Celebrate the 100th Day of School with VariQuest Visual Learning Tools

Posted by Margo Ensz on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 09:11 AM

The 100th day of school is an exciting time for many primary students. Use your VariQuest Visual Learning Tools to enhance the celebration!


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Topics: Lessons/Activities/Templates

Why OERs Matter

Posted by Margo Ensz on Mon, Jan 26, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Open Educational Resources, or OERs, have been around since the 1990s, however current technology has propelled OERs to the mainstream. Because the structure of the educational system is by nature exclusive, the ultimate goal of open educational resources is to make high-quality education available for any person to access at no cost. Because of revolutionary technologies of knowledge delivery, the world is closer to this point than at any other time. 

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Topics: Professional Development

Chinese New Year: Compare, Contrast, and Celebrate! (K-5 Lesson)

Posted by Julia Cremin on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

The Chinese New Year falls on February 19, 2015. In this lesson, students will read about Chinese New Year traditions, compare them to American traditions, then celebrate by practicing one of the Chinese New Year traditions.

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Topics: Lessons/Activities/Templates

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