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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.

VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools

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VariQuest Super Schools | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | teacher appreciation

Why Does My School Need a Cutout Maker? Greece Professional Learning Center Loves Theirs!

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
April 18th, 2019

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.

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VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

4 Test-Taking Tips from The Curriculum Corner

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
April 11th, 2019

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!)

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

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

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
March 29th, 2019

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:

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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

What Can Title I Funding Be Used For?

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
February 4th, 2019

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!

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Free Lesson Plan Roundup!

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
December 6th, 2018

It's the end of the calendar year, and most teachers are looking forward to their winter break - that week or two during the holidays where it's time to recharge their batteries and relax, then come back refreshed and ready to charge towards preparing students for the next level.

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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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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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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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