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

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!

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

Picture Book Month: Reflections + Lesson Plans

By: Julia Cremin
December 2nd, 2014

I’ve been particularly drawn to picture books recently, and not just because it was just Picture Book Month. Children of all ages love listening to a story, which makes a read aloud an engaging way to introduce a new unit of study at any grade level. As a language arts teacher, I frequently use mentor texts as a springboard for discussion about a topic, or to model reading and writing strategies I want students to emulate. Continue reading to learn how I incorporate picture book read alouds in my 6th grade Reading and Language Arts class.

Read More

Share

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

Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Education Policy

How does the Maker Movement "Fit" with Standards?

By: Margo Ensz
November 25th, 2014

“Although the Common Core and the Maker Movement grew from two very different places…both reflect a larger shift in how we think about teaching and learning, one that recognizes that rote testing isn’t going to prepare kids for the dynamic world ahead that will ask them to adapt to new technology and problems faster than we have ever had to.”    

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Synonyms and Antonyms Apple Cutouts: Grades 1-5

By: Margo Ensz
October 22nd, 2014

Synonyms and antonyms are a vital part of a student's understanding of figurative language, and of words' relationships to each other. Learning the basics of synonyms and antonyms will give students the ability to express themselves more clearly, expand their vocabulary, and add emphasis to their speech and writing. 

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Understanding the Maker Movement: A VariQuest White Paper

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
October 13th, 2014

Did you see our last post on the Maker Movement? Still wondering what it is and what the movement's implication is for education? We created our newest white paper to answer these questions and more. 

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Common Core

Welcome Back to the Future: Meeting the Needs of Common Core

By: Margo Ensz
October 7th, 2014

VariQuest's blog is open to educators across the country who are interested in sharing their ideas, stories and opinions with our network of teachers, administrators and more. If you have something you would like to share, please let us know! Email your ideas to variquest@variquest.com  Charlie Brown’s teacher in the Peanuts comic strip is always represented with the phrase “Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah.” Even when Charlie answers, her retort is still the same. For many years we had a “sit-and-get” environment, teacher speak/student listen, drill and kill, skills-based learning for the knowledge and comprehension of the learning. Meeting the goal of 60% student engagement in the classroom for Common Core seems daunting, and many teachers are fearful of the Common Core approach. I am a teacher of the 70’s and 80’s. We taught the learning by embedding the skills and comprehension into the instruction through: Concept development Problem-based learning activities and simulations Inquiry method using Junior Great Books Requiring students to explain and demonstrate understanding of the critical details of what was learned Puzzles that made students analyze the features of the project to formulate the correct responses Show don’t tell method Taxonomy levels of learning

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Summer Break: Time for Professional Development

By: Margo Ensz
August 8th, 2014

We asked one of our favorite guest bloggers, Julia Cremin, to share her reflections as a teacher on summer break. This is the final post in her "Summer Break" series.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Academic Subject: Career & Technical Education | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Education Policy | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Hot Topics at NAESP: Recommended Reading & Presentations to Attend

By: Margo Ensz
July 7th, 2014

The National Association of Elementary School Principals's (NAESP) annual conference is just around the corner! This is such an incredible conference due in some ways to the organization's committent to best practices in schools. As they put it, "When it comes to defining the future of elementary school education, it only happens here." There are eight focus areas this year, four of which are topics we are passionate about and often cover in our blog and which visuals and visual learning can play a vital role. If you are attending the conference, perhaps these will give you some food for thought on the way to Nashville! We've also listed a few presentations in each category that we have been eyeing.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

7 Anchor Charts for ELA Common Core Standards

By: Margo Ensz
June 4th, 2014

If you haven't noticed, visual learning is kind of our "thing." We scour Pinterest every day looking for unique, innovative, and quality visuals created by teachers. We believe in the power of anchor charts and how important these visuals are to students. 

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | Featured Topics: Common Core | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

Staying on Topic (Intermediate) - Lesson Plan + Templates

By: Margo Ensz
May 1st, 2014

This lesson plan is part of our partnership with two super creative educators from The Curriculum Corner, bringing you free Common Core aligned lesson ideas, teacher resources, and templates you can easily print with your VariQuest Perfecta 2400 or VariQuest Poster Maker - just be sure you have the latest VariQuest Software v5.0!  Mini-Lesson: Staying on Topic Level: Intermediate Objectives/CCSS Alignment:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. Visuals & Materials:  Interactive Anchor Chart – Staying on Topic (Iditarod) Peer Check: Focus on Topic conferencing form

Read More

Share