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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.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Common Core | Grade Level: Secondary (7-12) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Common Core | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Mathematics | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | 3D Printing

[Lesson Plan] Order of Operations

By: Carman Le
March 15th, 2018

"Class, what is the Order of Operations?" My energetic class of fifth graders shouted out loud, "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally!" What? Who is Aunt Sally? When students initially learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, they are taught to perform those skills using two numbers and one operation. As they progress to the next levels, they begin to see numerical expressions with more than one operation and word problems that involve multiple steps. Introduce your students to the Order of Operations - and help them memorize the "PEMDAS" or "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" acronym as early as third grade. Putting this memory into practice can be more of a challenge - so we've come up with some tips and a fun lesson plan activity for your students to drive the concept home!

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Valentine's Day Classroom Activity - Find who loves what you love!

By: Carman Le
February 12th, 2018

Are you looking for an easy, fun and inclusive Valentine's Day activity for your students this week? Or maybe you're looking for a classroom activity where students can learn about, and relate to one another. Either way, I've got the perfect, easy solution for you - including a free printable! Introducing, "All the Things I Love," A get-to-know each other activity best executed in grades K-5. Finding someone who loves what you love is a fun exercise for the entire class. This activity involves all students by asking them to locate others in the class fitting descriptions showing how similar their likes and interests are. This is a great way for students to learn something personal about their fellow classmates and build community in the classroom. Students will also enjoy the mobility and sociability of the activity!                                                                                                                                                                            

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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 | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Mathematics

[Lesson Plan] Celebrate the Chinese New Year!

By: Carman Le
February 1st, 2018

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 Chinese New Year will occur on February 16th, and is the Year of the Dog. 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. I 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!

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Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

Student Recognition Made Easy

By: Geena Maharaj
May 29th, 2015

Students aren’t too different from rats. They may not be scurrying around with long tails trailing behind, nor are they considered deadly pests. But as psychologist BF Skinner proved, humans and rats find commonality in positive reinforcement. As Skinner rewarded his test rats with food for doing the perceived “right thing,” they continued on the right path. As teachers recognize positive student behavior, students are galvanized to continue their positive behavior.

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Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays

How Will you #ThankATeacher This Week?

By: Margo Ensz
May 5th, 2015

If you can read this, #ThankATeacher. If you can calculate a tip, #ThankATeacher. If you learned  a second language, #ThankATeacher. What do you thank a teacher for? It's National Teacher Appreciation Week!

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VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | Academic Subject: Social Studies and History | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Academic Subject: Interdisciplinary | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

5 Posters for Earth Day!

By: Margo Ensz
April 20th, 2015

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22nd. This special holiday provides an opportunity to teach children and young adults about sustainability, day-to-day "green" practices and the importance of environmental care. Below are 5 high-resolution, downloadable posters meant to provoke thoughts, lend ideas, and inspire students, staff, and parents to make green choices.

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Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays

4 Ways to Celebrate the 100th Day of School with VariQuest Visual Learning Tools

By: Margo Ensz
January 28th, 2015

The 100th day of school is an exciting time for many primary students. Use your VariQuest Visual Learning Tools to enhance the celebration!  

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Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Academic Subject: Social Studies and History | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Academic Subject: Interdisciplinary | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Chinese New Year: Compare, Contrast, and Celebrate! (K-5 Lesson)

By: Julia Cremin
January 22nd, 2015

The Chinese New Year falls on February 19, 2015. In this lesson, students will read about Chinese New Year traditions, compare them to American traditions, then celebrate by practicing one of the Chinese New Year traditions.

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Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Academic Subject: Social Studies and History | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Martin Luther King Jr: A Fact or Opinion Mini-Lesson (Grades 3-8)

By: Margo Ensz
January 14th, 2015

Subjects: Arts & Humanities, Civics, Holidays, Language Arts, Social Studies, U.S. History  Grades: 3-5, 6-8 In this lesson, adapted from an activity on Education World,  students will reinforce their understanding of fact and opinion while learning about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. 

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Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Professional Development

8 eCards to Help You Make it to Winter Break

By: Margo Ensz
December 17th, 2014

The weeks leading up to winter break can be chaotic in any classroom. Here are 8 teacher-created ecards for a bit of comedic relief:

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