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VariQuest Blog

The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Responsibility

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
January 16th, 2020

Responsibility: to do the things you are expected to do and to be accountable for your actions. From a very young age, children take pride in having responsibilities and tasks that they can learn from, and be proud of. We know that giving students jobs in our classrooms gives them understanding for their contributions to the greater learning community, and makes them feel included in the success of the group as a whole. But responsibility isn't just tasks on a to-do list - it also means that we are held accountable for our own actions. And this is an important part of developing maturity, and "growing up." Students are challenged each day with responsibilities in their classrooms and everyday lives, but especially taking responsibility for themselves.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Mathematics

[Lesson Plan] Celebrate the Chinese New Year 2020!

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
January 9th, 2020

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is one of the most important holidays widely celebrated in many Asian countries and territories including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand. Usually falling between January 21st and February 20th, this year's start of the Chinese New Year will occur on January 25th, and is the Year of the Rat. The celebration lasts for about 15 days. Gung Hay Fat Choy is a common Chinese New Year’s greeting in Chinese Cantonese, which means “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.” On Chinese New Year, the themes of happiness, wealth, longevity, luck and good fortune are celebrated. Some of the traditional celebrations include family gatherings, visiting friends and relatives (baai nin), exchanging “lucky money” contained in red envelopes (lai see), decorating homes with paper decorations and scrolls, lion dances, and fireworks. Chinese New Year is a special holiday to celebrate with your class while teaching them others’ cultures and comparing them to American traditions. We have put together a collection of fun, hands-on and Common Core-aligned lessons and activities, classroom decorations, and craft projects for you to explore and enjoy with your class, and I want to share them with you!

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How to Write a Grant eBook

How to Write a Grant eBook

This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!

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STEM | Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | 3D Printing | Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer | Kinesthetic Learning | Project-based Learning | Makerspace

[eBook] Ask Why? 3D Printing in Schools

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
December 10th, 2019

40 years ago, would you have predicted that every household in America would have a need for a computer? 20 years ago, would you have predicted that every person would need to surf the internet on a phone - a mobile phone? Probably not. It's hard to imagine a world where every household would have a 3D printer, but that time could feasibly come sooner than we think.

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Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510 | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

Classroom Organization Tips for Educators - With Visuals!

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
December 5th, 2019

We're approaching the end of the calendar year, and that means gearing up for a holiday break, then full speed ahead in January!

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Perseverance

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
November 20th, 2019

Perseverance: to do your best to meet a goal even if it is a big challenge. When working through a difficult task, we all experience a wide range of emotions. We might be excited about making progress, frustrated about a setback, or exhausted over the amount of time or effort we've invested. "Never Give Up" is a phrase that comes to mind - to help pull through. Students are challenged to persevere each day in our classrooms and their everyday lives - as they learn about finding their roles in this great big world. 

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VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Kinesthetic Learning | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

[Video] Getting Over the Mid-Year Slump with The Curriculum Corner

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
November 14th, 2019

As educators, we sometimes refer to this time before the holidays as the "Mid-Year Slump." Your students may be getting a bit restless with less outdoor time due to the changing seasons, and we are all looking forward to the upcoming vacation days - to give our brains a little "break" from the structure of the school week. Building movement into your students’ day is important for so many reasons, but in the months of November and December it becomes a necessity. We suggest building several small "brain breaks" into your day. With 21st Century Skills in mind, Jill and Cathy from The Curriculum Corner share their tips for powering through this "slump"-like time, to get your kids moving and motivated to power through a restless time of year.  With the help of the VariQuest Motiva®, Cutout Maker, and Perfecta® utilizing Engage Every Learner™ Content, they'll give you some great ideas to carry out in your classroom!

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Special Education | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Academic Subject: Science | Academic Subject: Special Education | Academic Subject: Mathematics

[eBook] Visual Learning for the At-Risk Student

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
October 31st, 2019

Of the eight categories of intelligences, research suggests that visual-spatial learning is the most predominant. When a teacher can train him or herself to think like a visual learner, modifying instruction isn't hard. Some fairly straightforward tweaks in the instructional approach can support learners across the spectrum in core curricular areas and beyond. Visual and other sensory approaches to learning can transcend the barriers of language and culture, create a common language to bridge the generational gaps between educators and students, and open up new opportunities for societal and job equity for those students traditionally disenfranchised by the formal education system. We at VariQuest know how important diversifying instruction is, to ensure the needs of all learners are met, so in partnership with Susan McClester and updated with the help of Carman Le, MAT, we've created a free eBook dedicated to successful strategies in catering to visual and sensory learning instruction - and we'd like to share it with you! Visual Learning for the At-Risk Student contains...

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

[Free Printables] Halloween Classroom Activity: You've been Boo'd!

By: Carman Le
October 7th, 2019

Have you been BOO-ed yet? Not sure what that even means?  Growing up, October was one of my favorite months. Seriously, who can say no to the candy, the parties, the s’mores and campfire nights, the visits to the pumpkin patch, and of course, the trick or treating? On top of all that fun, my neighborhood always had a cute tradition for the month of October. The more I thought about this tradition, I thought it would be fun to start a tradition like this in school. So, instead of keeping it a “teacher thing” - I introduced it to my class, with great enthusiasm! 

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Courage

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
September 27th, 2019

Courage: not letting your actions be controlled by your fears. In the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, the cowardly lion is on the adventure to see the wizard because he's filled with fear, and in the end [spoiler alert!] he learns about what courage really means. He had it all along. In a school setting, courage can be as simple as raising your hand, or as difficult as standing up to a bully. In the great big world, courage gives students the self-confidence to overcome their fears and do the right thing.

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Professional Development | Featured Topics: Professional Development | social-emotional learning

How Can I Incorporate Mindfulness in the Classroom?

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
September 12th, 2019

We hear a lot about mindfulness, or being fully present and aware in every moment, as it relates to distractions from our phones, computers, and TV screens, but is it about meditation, mantras, and breathing - or is it really something more?

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