The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
Lessons/Activities/Templates | Special Education | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | prek | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | social-emotional learning | free posters | classroom management | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400PRO
Regulating emotions is tough - for all of us. And understanding (and accepting) what's in and out of our control is a powerful tool to help. In our students, learning to control feelings is an important lesson that will guide them through decision-making, personal relationships, and cause-and-effect consequences - both now and throughout their lives. And because we at VariQuest want to continue to help you fill your teacher toolbox with valuable learning - and in this case, social-emotional learning - supports, we've designed this fun coloring activity as a picture diagram of recognizing things both in and out of an individual's control - to help with this learning process!
Perfecta | VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400PRO | Engage Every Learner Content
Spring is fast approaching, which means it's time for some fresh new content! We've launched a brand new expansion pack for your VariQuest® Design Center Software to make preparing for springtime classes and events less stressful and more colorful! What this update includes: With the Engage Every Learner® Content Spring 2023 Expansion Pack you will receive 25 poster and banner templates for the VariQuest Perfecta® Series Poster Design Systems, 20 templates and 5 collections for the Motiva® 400 Specialty Printing System, 10 shapes, one collection, and one new font for the Cutout Maker 1800 Digital Die-Cut System, and 65 new graphics for customizing Perfecta and Motiva templates! This new content includes templates centered around fundraising, teacher appreciation & recognition, and career & technical education. VariQuest customers can find this content expansion pack on the VariQuest Resource Center, under the “Downloadable Content” section of the Perfecta, Motiva and Cutout Maker tabs!
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
Special Education | Academic Subject: Special Education | teacher appreciation | social-emotional learning | Teacher Motivation
Here at VariQuest, many of our education consultants were once teachers themselves, and all of them have credible voices that they bring to the table thanks to their backgrounds. Not only that, but almost all of our employees in every department are well-connected in the education world - through family, friends, or the wonderful educators our children are taught by, in their schools. And we know that every educator has a unique story to share, and deserves as much support as we can give them. Recently our Director of Sales, Jason Butts, sat down with his friend Anna, a Moderate-to-Severe High School Life Skills Special Education Teacher at Prior Lake High School in Minnesota, to learn more about her unique story.
Professional Development | social-emotional learning
Do you love listening to podcasts in the education space? Are you looking for more information and resources on Social-Emotional Learning and Teaching in schools? We've got something great just for you! The Common Ground Education Podcast, hosted by Charles Barr, a licensed social worker in the state of Illinois with 15 years of experience in serving schools, is focused on progressive education, mental health resources and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Its goal is to provide needed information to professionals in the educational domain. Recently our very own expert Education Consultant Howard Shaw, a 20-year teaching veteran, sat down with Charles to discuss his experiences in the classroom and school community with developing a supportive social-emotional learning environment, and how visual aids are important in these programs to reinforce and help students.
Lessons/Activities/Templates | Student Engagement | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | classroom management
As an elementary teacher, when you reach that 100th Day of School, you may be thinking about it being the halfway point in the year, as well as a good time to reevaluate and set new goals for the remainder of the classroom days with your current students. But reaching that halfway point - also deserves a celebration! Often students will be asked to bring 100 of something, complete a scavenger hunt, make shirts, or otherwise to commemorate the event - but because we at VariQuest want you to have endless options in your toolbox, we've come up with a few more ideas - and we'd like to share them with you.
Lessons/Activities/Templates | Special Education | Student Engagement | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Academic Subject: Special Education | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
Whether students are learning by doing or learning while doing, keeping them engaged during a lesson provides for maximum learning potential. And what kid doesn't love learning about dinosaurs? Enter our latest sensory path for elementary students: Dinosaur Discovery. Designed for grades K-3 and special education, this sensory path combines learning about dinosaurs with writing and reading activities to incorporate English Language Arts (ELA) with science for a truly engaging and fun activity. Increased focus and expended energy are just two of the benefits of a sensory path - but they can also be a great break from traditional instruction. Using this free downloadable activity kit, you'll have all the resources, printables, and tips you'll need to carry out and try this lesson in your classroom!
Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400PRO
When you return from winter break and begin a new calendar year with students, you might be looking for new ways to start fresh with your lessons and may even make resolutions to create more hands-on projects. Often outdone by the commercially celebrated holidays at the end of the year, setting New Year's goals, honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and celebrating Valentine's Day provide for lots of fun ways you can celebrate and discuss social-emotional and historical concepts with your students in those first few months of the year. We at VariQuest® are always brainstorming to come up with fun, new ways to teach lessons in your classroom, and because many of us are visual learners, we'd like to not only tell you about them, we'd like to show you how easy it is to create all of these visual and kinesthetic learning supports - with videos!
Lessons/Activities/Templates | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Mathematics
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 2023 Chinese New Year will occur on Sunday, January 22nd, and is the Year of the Rabbit. 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!
Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400PRO
As another calendar year comes to a close, we reflect back on all that has happened - good or bad - and consider how we can move into a new year with a positive attitude and fresh perspective. Recent years have proven - it is so incredibly important to remember the GOOD. We wouldn't be able to teach history in our classroom if no one had documented it, and students know that while they have many things in common, everyone is unique. And so, it is a valuable exercise to encourage students to document their own experiences. Here are 3 ideas for students to reflect on their year as a learning assignment, social-emotional wellbeing exercise, or just a fun holiday tradition they can start with their families:
Lessons/Activities/Templates | Student Engagement | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning | classroom management
Reflecting on, and regulating emotions is a life-long learning process. Even as adults in the age of discussing the "Karens" - we all need to remember to take a moment to stop and think about how we're going to react to a problem, before our reaction becomes the problem. In an elementary classroom with lots of different personalities and energy levels, students may be working on the lines between "tattle-tale", needing an adult to help, or critical thinking to calmly solve problems on their own. In this realm of social-emotional learning, we've once again partnered with Cathy Henry, educator and founder of The Curriculum Corner and Free Word Work, to create this How Big is My Problem? lesson plan for elementary teachers to help students look at problems and regulate how they would (or should) react. By encouraging thoughtful reflection and practicing scenarios, students can begin to see how things might upset themselves and others, and how they can find their own solutions to many everyday issues.