Education Resources Blog

VariQuest Blog

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

Blog Feature

Professional Development | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510

Why Choose Cold Lamination vs. Hot?

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
September 13th, 2018

Most of us have experience with "hot" lamination. You plug these machines in, wait for them to warm up, smell the hot plastic (which is a good indicator it's "ready"), then run your papers through to preserve projects, posters, reusable handouts, etc. And while this does typically work for the finished product you need, there is a better way - and we'll tell you why.  Cold Lamination. Requiring no electricity, powered by a hand-crank and lasting longer than their hot counterparts, here's why you should consider a cold laminator - the lesser-known, more efficient alternative...

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Parental Involvement

Setting Your Classroom Up for Success: Parental Involvement

By: Carman Le
August 30th, 2018

Once you have organized your rooms, set up your classroom libraries, laid out those pillows in comfy reading nooks, put out name tags, and written your schedule, there’s one more detail you'll want to make sure you pay careful attention to. It will make your year truly positive and build everlasting relationships. It’s parental involvement! The big question I hear a lot is - "How do I get them involved in the right way?" The right way is the key. I bring up mindset a lot, and it’s true that "personalized learning" and "mindset" are the new buzz words but in truth, you need to have a team mindset for this particular area of your classroom community. It's important to look at your students' parents as your team because in reality they are, and YOU are the coach. What do you want this relationship to look like? If your goal is to be in it together, try out these tips and see how they help build that unified-team mindset:

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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!

Blog Feature

Differentiated Instruction | Professional Development | Recognition | Parental Involvement | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Professional Development | student achievement

Professional Development Web Video Series: Glow and Grow

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
August 16th, 2018

Register Now for Glow and Grow ! A Professional Development Web Series Delivered to Your Inbox featuring Dr. Melissa Hughes, Expert on Whole Brain Teaching & Learning  and Carman Le, MAT, Education Development Specialist at VariQuest Live Now! Student Engagement. Inclusivity. Critical Thinking. Parental Involvement. Student Achievement. Recognition. These are the basic needs of schools nationwide. In this 6-part professional development web series developed by VariQuest, you'll receive one ~10 minute video each week in your inbox, which will start with Dr. Melissa Hughes, expert on Whole Brain Teaching & Learning, addressing one of these 6 needs and how brain function processes affect what we as educators are trying to do in our schools, then hear from Carman Le, Education Development Specialist at VariQuest, on how you can implement this neurological research in your classroom and school building through hands-on activities, teaching methods, or staff training. Here's what you can expect each week...

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VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

Top 10 Ways to Use VariQuest Perfecta® STP Series Scanners

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
August 2nd, 2018

We at VariQuest® are passionate about engaging every learner in reaching their potential, and thus we're dedicated in our efforts to make every VariQuest product easy-to-use, efficient, and full of features and benefits important to you, our nation's educators. And that's why our VariQuest Perfecta® STP Series Printers come fully equipped with a built-in scanner to support and improve your classroom-centric and school-wide communication. We believe that scan-to-print functionality makes your life easier - allowing the ability to enlarge small images up to 36" banner size, or minimizing a 24" poster down to student handouts. We're not all graphic designers, able to recreate and resize images on the fly - but we want to help you act like one! So now you may be thinking, that SOUNDS like a great feature, but what types of things would I actually DO with it?  We picked the brains of some former and current educators to come up with a "top 10" list of ideas to get you psyched about scan-to-print in your school...but the possibilities are endless!

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Blog Feature

STEM | Academic Subject: STEM | STEM:IT | Makerspace

[Poster] The Engineering Design Cycle

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
July 19th, 2018

We talk a lot about STEM, or practicing curriculum within its relation to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, so today let's amplify the E for Engineering, as it relates to projects across all subject matter where students design, build, and test a solution to a problem. The Engineering Design Cycle encourages students' critical thinking, and learning by failing or doing, which is increasingly how the working world is progressing towards innovation. Divide your students into groups, give them a problem to solve, and have them complete the 6 steps of the Engineering Design Cycle, illustrated in this great poster created in partnership with STEM Fuse, for your classroom or makerspace!

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Differentiated Instruction | Professional Development | Featured Topics: Professional Development | student achievement

Professional Development Webinar: Growth vs Fixed Mindset

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
June 28th, 2018

featuring Dr. Melissa Hughes, Expert on Whole Brain Teaching & Learning Tuesday, July 24th at 10:00am CT We often think of student success in terms of ability and skill acquisition, but recent research tells us that’s only part of it. A student’s mindset is a powerful driver for motivation to learn, resilience with challenges, and developing a love for learning. Join us as Dr. Melissa Hughes, expert on whole brain teaching and learning, leads a free professional development webinar on how mindsets develop and how they impact student achievement - to improve engagement and achievement in your classrooms! Presented by Dr. Melissa Hughes, we'll be exploring neuroscientific findings and offer tangible strategies for parents and teachers to effectively nurture a growth mindset. We hope you can attend this free professional development webinar event hosted by VariQuest!

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Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

4 Strategies to Promote Student Engagement in your Classroom

By: Carman Le
June 14th, 2018

I’ve been teaching for many years and with those years come a vast knowledge of when I’m losing the crowd or when everyone is into their work. To be a master teacher you have to have your finger on the pulse of your classroom. The question is, “What does that look like?” As a younger teacher I always wanted my kids to be happy being at school, but as time passes you phase into a stronger leader and know everyone must pull their weight for student growth to happen. Finding the balance between fun and work is where I think engagement occurs. So…how do you keep them engaged? I’ve compiled a few ideas for you to try implementing in your classroom...

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Blog Feature

Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Academic Subject: Reading

The Break Up With Reading: Why Reading for Fun is Important for Students

By: Carman Le
May 31st, 2018

When did kids fall out of love with reading? I’ve been lucky enough to teach an upper grade level, and when you have that experience you see the evolution of children in their learning. But in the last ten years or so, I’ve noticed a decline in reading for fun - and that's important to note, and concerning. Students would read a passage or text I gave them, but as far as finding a book to disappear in for leisure, the hobby is almost nonexistent. “It’s a chore,” they say. When did this happen? I remember the days of having to force kids to put books down! Here's what I have observed are contributors to the decline in reading, and how to solve the issues. And this is by no means data or research-driven. I’m sharing my own personal observations, coupled with what I have learned from speaking with my students...

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Blog Feature

Special Education | Academic Subject: Special Education

[eBook] Special Education: Boosting Success for Exceptional Needs Students

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
May 17th, 2018

Effectively reaching students whose exceptionalities run the gamut of intellectual, communicative, sensory, behavioral and physical is a continuous challenge faced by educators. As schools move toward the ideal of an Individual Education Plan for each and every student, experts agree that differentiated instruction, which integrates the regular use of visual aids and manipulatives, is making learning meaningful and engaging for more students than ever before. We at VariQuest know how important research-based instructional strategies and educational aids are for special education, and we want to give you every tool possible, so we've created a free eBook dedicated to successful strategies in working with students with exceptional needs - and we'd like to share it with you! Boosting Success for Exceptional Needs Students contains...

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Career & Technology Education (CTE) | VariQuest Super Schools | Academic Subject: Career & Technical Education | Project-based Learning

A Student-Run Print Shop Teaches CTE Skills at Higgins Middle School

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
May 1st, 2018

With an emphasis on CTE programs in schools on the rise, so too are student-based enterprises - where students can brainstorm ideas, design and develop products, market their offerings, monitor inventory, balance finances, and nurture patronage - covering many of the 16 Career Clusters and developing students' real world skills. Such is the case at Higgins Middle School in Peabody, Massachusetts, where the students are tasked with running a multi-service print shop fully equipped with VariQuest® Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools.

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