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: Self-Discipline

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
August 15th, 2019

Self-Discipline: to be able to control your feelings or actions based on the strength you have inside. In a classroom setting, students learn to raise their hand before speaking, ask for permission to use the restroom, and to calmly walk to form a line. These are all self-disciplinary skills that not only serve them well in school, but translate to the big world as they learn to become cooperative and attentive citizens and professionals. In the fourth 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 Self-Discipline. Through a series of group discussions, self-reflection activities, and literary analysis, students will increase their social-emotional understanding of self-discipline, including how they can make it a bigger part of their lives.  Download this free lesson plan unit on social-emotional learning for elementary-aged students containing:

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Product Updates | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510 | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

Introducing...VariQuest Design Software v8.0 full of Engage Every Learner™ Content for Educators!

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
August 8th, 2019

In the spring of 2019, we made a big commitment to our customers. We promised LOTS of new and revised content and we're happy to report - we've delivered. Just in time for back-to-school! We are thrilled to announce that our VariQuest® Design Center Software v8.0 is now available for download - packed with over 900 NEW templates, cutouts, graphics, fonts, and collections - bringing our grand total to over 19,000 content options for our nation's best educators to create with. And it's FREE for our customers!

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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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Professional Development | Guest Edu Bloggers | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | universal design for learning

Universal Design for Learning

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
July 16th, 2019

The following is a guest blog from our favorite expert on Whole Brain Teaching & Learning, Dr. Melissa Hughes.  Some of you may know that I started my career in a 4th grade classroom. What many people may not know is that my journey to understand how the brain works and how to make it work better started there. It would have been really helpful for me to know as a teacher what I know now about those factors that impact memory, focus, concentration, creativity. While all students have the same pieces and parts between their ears, each is unique in strengths, challenges, learning preferences, and ability.

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

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

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

Respect: to think or act in a positive way about yourself or others. Important to learn in a school setting and in the greater world, respect is what students need to show themselves and others to create a positive, supportive learning environment. As classroom dialogue thrives on language of inclusivity and thoughtfulness, students can benefit from learning about ways to show respect for others, even when opinions or ideals differ.  In the third 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 Respect. Through a series of group discussions, self-reflection activities, and literary analysis, students will increase their social-emotional awareness of respect, including the role it plays in their own lives and in their relationships with others.  Download this free lesson plan unit on social-emotional learning for elementary-aged students containing:

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

Enhance the Pre-K Learning Environment with the VariQuest Cutout Maker!

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
June 6th, 2019

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. 

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

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

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
May 16th, 2019

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:

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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

[Video] 4 End-of-Year Projects from The Curriculum Corner

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
May 8th, 2019

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! 

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teacher appreciation

Top Teacher Discounts for Teacher Appreciation Week!

By: Carman Le
May 3rd, 2019

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:

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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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