The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
Anoka/Washington County Head Start, based in Coon Rapids, MN, provides education, nutrition, mental health, school readiness and parent engagement services to children (aged 3-5) and families from income-eligible households. With nearly 115 dedicated staff, this Head Start program is equipped to foster a Pre-K learning environment for hundreds of enrolled children and families to learn, grow and thrive! As Kristi Edmonds, Child Development Services Coordinator with Anoka/Washington County Head Start trains and provides mentoring services to staff, she focuses on the overall experience of the classroom - guiding and supporting everyday needs for curriculum implementation. To help with this effort, the decision was made in June of 2017 to invest in the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800, using State and Federal Grant Funding.
Fairness: making sure that everyone has what they need to succeed. A hot topic in our politics and world today, elementary school students can greatly benefit from lessons in fairness as they fine-tune their social-emotional skills to grow into productive, active learners and friends. And with more awareness around personalized needs than ever before, it's important to explain how "fair" can be different for everyone. In the second of a 10-lesson unit on Social-Emotional Learning designed for elementary-aged students and developed in partnership with The Curriculum Corner, students will explore Fairness. Through a series of group discussions, self-reflection activities, and literary analysis, students will increase their social-emotional awareness and understanding of how "fair" impacts their lives and others. Download this free lesson plan unit on social-emotional learning for elementary-aged students containing:
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
Parental Involvement | VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
It's hard to believe - but we're already coming up to the end of the school year! As you prepare students for their final weeks in your classroom, you may be thinking about how this year's class can "leave a legacy" for next year's students, or maybe you're trying to come up with activities to keep their minds sharp during the summer months to come. We've brought in reinforcements to help with both of those things! With 21st Century Skills in mind, Jill and Cathy from The Curriculum Corner share 4 " tips" with us around the 4 Cs - critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication - for wrapping up end-of-year with the help of the VariQuest Motiva™, Cutout Maker, and Perfecta® tools!
Teacher Appreciation Week 2019 is May 6th-10th and while we at VariQuest appreciate teachers every day, many stores and restaurants give special recognition and discounts to our nation's educators next week, and some all year-long! I've compiled a list of some of my favorites - just be sure to check to see if your location is participating, and always have your valid school I.D. handy:
For 30 years, Greece Professional Learning Center (PLC) in Rochester, NY has been providing academic resources and professional learning opportunities to educators and community groups. Having the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800, “...has changed how we support teachers,” says Marguerite Dimgba, Program Director. With over 4,500 shapes to choose from in a variety of sizes, teachers are able to create academic resources that support the needs of the students in their classrooms in areas such as social emotional learning and culturally responsive education.
VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
When testing season is upon your classroom, it makes for a very anxious time. Not only are students worried about the disruption to their routine, where multiple-choice questions and long periods of quiet and sitting-still take over the school day, but many teachers struggle with the entire process as they throw all their energy into easing students' fears to enable success. With over 30 years of teaching experience between them, we reached out to Jill and Cathy of The Curriculum Corner to gather some tips for test-taking that align with 21st Century Skills for learning to invoke the "4 Cs" of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. With the help of the VariQuest tools, they'll show you how to prepare yourselves and your students for a successful testing environment. Check out their ideas in this video, download our free testing poster, then try things out for yourself! (And don't forget to like the VariQuest Facebook Page to stay tuned for more tips!)
Social-Emotional Learning is a concept top-of-mind with educators these days, and for good reason. While not a new idea by any means, developing students' social and emotional skills makes them more productive, active learners and peers - and who doesn't want that in the classroom? In the first of a 10-lesson unit on Social-Emotional Learning designed for elementary-aged students and developed in partnership with The Curriculum Corner, students will explore Kindness. Through a series of group discussions, self-reflection activities, and literary analysis, students will increase their social-emotional awareness of how kindness can impact themselves and others. Download this free lesson plan unit on social-emotional learning for elementary-aged students containing:
The National Education Association's Read Across America Day is celebrated in classrooms across the United States each year on Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2nd. But why stop at one day, when you could make the focus last a whole week with fun activities to instill in your students a love of reading? I've put together some materials for you to use to celebrate reading in your classroom. Download them for free, now!
I remember when I started teaching, my students were acquiring more "life experiences" than I was. They were traveling abroad, going to the beach, hiking mountains...anything and everything. It made for great discussions in class and helped them accumulate a deep vault of background knowledge. However, in the last generational shift, much of the time spent on experiences has moved to scheduled sports or programmed activities. Both are fine, but there may be a gap widening among our students that we need to help fill in our classrooms. The best part about filling this gap with your students involves watching their awe and wonder as they learn things about the world beyond their walls and feeling proud that it was thanks to you. If you would like to start working with students to bring global awareness into your classroom, I've got a few ideas to start you out...
VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Funding | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the Title I Grant program is meant to provide funding to disadvantaged Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to improve their academic achievement. The most common of these, Title I - Part A, "...provides financial assistance to LEAs and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards." As these funds are meant to improve instruction and provide additional academic support and learning opportunities, they are often allocated towards reading or mathematics curriculum, supplemental programs to reinforce and extend the regular school curriculum, or additional staff members to lead and teach the students. And as we look at the bright future of the job market as it relates to STEM and 21st Century skills, we'd like to give you some ideas for tools that Title I Funding can be used for!