The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
There's no going around it, over it, or under it - so we gotta go through it. There's a lot going on in the world right now. And as much as we feel it, we know that our students feel it even more - as they learn to understand and process feelings and events they haven't felt or experienced before. There are lots of strategies students (and adults) of all ages can employ to take "brain breaks" to refocus and practice mindfulness to fully experience their present moments. Here are a few of them:
Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | virtual learning
It's hard to describe this school year without using the words unprecedented, unexpected, chaotic, and strange. There just aren't the right words for the emotions you and your students are feeling about losing their "previously normal" routines. As this school year begins to wind down, there are some things you can still do to celebrate their achievements and remind them that the role models surrounding them with love and support are there for them, even in times of social distancing.
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
At a time when a majority of our social interaction is being done online, we have to be more aware than ever before of the things we're posting, sharing, hosting and baring. So imagine our students, who were born into a world where the internet was already accessible on a mobile phone. They're Tik-Tok-ing, Instagramming, and Snapchatting all day long to stay in connection with their friends during this time of social distancing. And as one of their biggest role models outside the family, what kinds of things are you talking with them about, as it relates to posting content on the internet?
Sensory paths are often used in school building hallways or classrooms to help students release energy, enhance focus, learn, and of course - HAVE FUN in the process. In this time of virtual and distance learning, we thought - what a great idea to give the project to students to create their own "math path" - combining STEAM methodology with kinesthetic learning! Knowing that not all students have access to sidewalk chalk and pavement, this activity can be recreated by cutting out paper shapes for the floor, placing tape on the carpet, or playing "architect" and designing their sensory path with just pens/crayons/markers and paper.
Kindness. Fairness. Respect. Self-Discipline. Courage. Perseverance. Responsibility. Cooperation. Trustworthiness. Integrity. Far beyond the reaches of science, math, and reading, our students are learning so much more with educators' help - understanding their feelings, working with others, and building confidence to take on the challenges that life will face them with. As teachers are often the first source of adult guidance outside the home, we owe it to our students to equip them with as many tools as possible to not only understand the solar system, but also their role as a fellow human in our great big world. What should we do if we see someone take something that doesn't belong to them? What should we do if we see a friend who is sad? How do we work with our peers to build a tall tower? What if someone tells us a secret they ask us not to share?
Integrity: to act according to what's right and wrong regardless of who knows. Going beyond knowing what's right and wrong, integrity encompasses many personality traits including honesty, fairness, responsibility, reliability, and others in our social-emotional learning unit series, all rolled into one. But how do you teach students to do the right thing, especially when no one is looking? What if you saw a friend cheat on a test? What if you broke something at a store? What if your teacher needs to leave the room? Learning about integrity within its context in a student's great big world and facilitating discussion around "what ifs" helps grow understanding about how it affects not only themselves, but also those around them.
In this time of virtual learning, many educators are dedicated to finding content that all students can access and participate in at home. It may sound simple, but why not start a journaling activity? Have each student complete one page per day, divided into three sections about what they're reading, feeling, and learning. This can be used for any age, making prompts as complex or as simple as you'd like. Have students submit entries they're particularly proud of, for sharing with the greater class, and use all students' reading, feeling, and learning entries as opportunities to foster larger lessons and discussions with the class. It's crowdsourcing, for your virtual classroom!
Trustworthiness: deserving of trust, confidence, or reliability. As babies, our first experiences with trust come from our caregivers - in trusting that they'll feed us when we're hungry, clean us when we're dirty, and rock us to sleep when we're tired. As we grow, trust evolves even more into continuity and reliability in becoming comfortable with those around us - and as we learn about the great big world, we learn to look for honesty, integrity, and compassion from a trustworthy person. But recognizing trustworthiness is more than knowing that we shouldn't approach a stranger offering free candy. It's about students recognizing and developing trustworthy traits within themselves, to know what that means in others.
Cooperation: to work together in a positive way towards a common goal or purpose. From "circle time" to "group projects" and beyond, cooperation is a prevalent theme throughout all age levels of daycare, schooling, and the professional world. And cooperation can't operate alone - it requires some of our earlier social-emotional lessons to be taught first, as it incorporates kindness, fairness, respect, and so much more. Beginning in preschools where you're helping your friends, teaching cooperation (or teamwork) is a great way to motivate the class to work together and help them understand why that's important. But cooperation isn't just in the classroom - it's important to teach students to apply what they've learned in this lesson within their families, their activities, and their places in the world.
Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | VariQuest Resource Center | free posters
Did you know? When you become a VariQuest customer, you don't just receive hardware + software. Of course, that part is pretty great...because...THOUSANDS of templates, graphics, cutouts, and collections? Kind of a big deal. But VariQuest customers have access to so much more - and one of those benefits is the VariQuest Resource Center - with exclusive content, INCLUDING a bunch of additional free posters to download and print on your Perfecta® Poster Design System! If you're a VariQuest customer and not using these visual aid posters already, log in right now and download! And if you're not a customer yet, well - let us show you just a sampling of what you could be enjoying!