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

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Professional Development

3 Visual Tools for the Dyslexic Student

By: Margo Ensz
January 12th, 2015

Students with dyslexia are highly visual learners who benefit from multi-sensory learning environments. Because dyslexic students have a dominant right brain, it takes strategic effort and care to engage the left side of the brain. Engaging multiple sensory experiences into instruction will then engage multiple areas of the brain. This helps dyslexic students make connections, strenghthen their left brain, and better retain information. (source) Students with dyslexia tend to be more visual in learning, therefore, visual tools are vital to their sucess in grasping concepts and problem solving. Here are three visual tools that can help students with dyslexia make connections, retain information, and deepen learning: 

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Character Education | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

Cooperative Learning: A Social Activity

By: Margo Ensz
October 29th, 2014

"The best way to learn is to teach.” As Robert Slavin puts it, this is “the secret behind cooperative learning.” So, what is cooperative learning? It is a form of classroom group work that educators deem extremely effective. Instead of competitive or independent goals in group work, cooperative learning emphasizes working together.

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

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Education Policy | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

What is the Maker Movement, & Why Should You Care?

By: Margo Ensz
September 15th, 2014

This post serves as an introduction to our newest series on the Maker Movement and it's impact and implications in education. Watch for more blog posts on the topic and a white paper in the coming weeks. 

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

"It's Working:" Case Study of New Millennium Academy

By: Margo Ensz
September 10th, 2014

Mission: 
To build a better life for our students by creating an environment of high academic achievement while preserving Hmong culture and literacy.  
Vision:
To close the achievement gap and be recognized as one of the top ten charter schools in Minnesota.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Professional Development

How Visuals Help Us Learn

By: Margo Ensz
September 5th, 2014

Daily Genius came up with this awesome infographic detailing how visuals help us learn last month, and this month Edudemic also covered the story. We were inspired by the facts and figures related to visual learning, and have listed them in a reader-friendly fashion below. The original inforgraphic is also included. Enjoy! 

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

Interactive PDF: Anchor Charts in the 21st Century Classroom

By: Margo Ensz
August 12th, 2014

Wondering how to integrate anchor charts and traditional classroom visuals with tablets, classroom computers, and interactive whiteboards? We created an interactive PDF (only 8 pages long) that details ways to integrate anchor charts into the technology-equipped classroom. Here's a sample of the sections included:

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

4 Ways to Pair Anchor Charts with Interactive Whiteboards

By: Margo Ensz
July 29th, 2014

In digitally-equipped, interactive 21st century classrooms, reinforcement tools are still necessary. Tools like interactive whiteboards create a great, dynamic tool to use during lessons, but cannot reinforce key concepts on a daily basis. Visual reinforcements like anchor charts are necessary to classroom environment in order for students to continue learning once the board is turned off. However, this decision does not need to be an either-or decision. Interactive white boards and tangible posters and manipulatives can complement each other--here's how teachers can incorporate both learning tools into their classroom:

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

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

Back to Basics: Manipulatives in the Classroom

By: Margo Ensz
July 1st, 2014

We just got back from ISTE 2014—what an experience! After a tech-ridden weekend, we took time to reflect on how we support traditional classroom learning methods—methods that have remained into the 21st century. That’s when we started thinking about manipulatives. Manipulatives don’t have to be just building blocks or cubes—anything a visual-kinesthetic learner can physically or visually manipulate on his or her own that aids their learning process is a manipulative worth exploring.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Visual Learning Technology & Differentiated Instruction

By: Margo Ensz
June 16th, 2014

Any teacher will tell you that you never have a classroom filled with students who learn the same way, so expecting them to is setting them up for failure. Differentiated instruction is all about customizing instruction, which can be difficult and daunting for teachers who are facing new challenges, standards, and expectations. While differentiating instruction may seem like a no-brainer for educators, teachers and principals must make the connection between technological tools and differentiated instruction in order to successfully integrate this practice into their schools and classrooms.

Read More

Share