The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
Responsibility: to do the things you are expected to do and to be accountable for your actions. From a very young age, children take pride in having responsibilities and tasks that they can learn from, and be proud of. We know that giving students jobs in our classrooms gives them understanding for their contributions to the greater learning community, and makes them feel included in the success of the group as a whole. But responsibility isn't just tasks on a to-do list - it also means that we are held accountable for our own actions. And this is an important part of developing maturity, and "growing up." Students are challenged each day with responsibilities in their classrooms and everyday lives, but especially taking responsibility for themselves.
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 January 25th, and is the Year of the Rat. 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. We 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!
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
Perseverance: to do your best to meet a goal even if it is a big challenge. When working through a difficult task, we all experience a wide range of emotions. We might be excited about making progress, frustrated about a setback, or exhausted over the amount of time or effort we've invested. "Never Give Up" is a phrase that comes to mind - to help pull through. Students are challenged to persevere each day in our classrooms and their everyday lives - as they learn about finding their roles in this great big world.
VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Kinesthetic Learning | student achievement | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
As educators, we sometimes refer to this time before the holidays as the "Mid-Year Slump." Your students may be getting a bit restless with less outdoor time due to the changing seasons, and we are all looking forward to the upcoming vacation days - to give our brains a little "break" from the structure of the school week. Building movement into your students’ day is important for so many reasons, but in the months of November and December it becomes a necessity. We suggest building several small "brain breaks" into your day. With 21st Century Skills in mind, Jill and Cathy from The Curriculum Corner share their tips for powering through this "slump"-like time, to get your kids moving and motivated to power through a restless time of year. With the help of the VariQuest Motiva®, Cutout Maker, and Perfecta® utilizing Engage Every Learner™ Content, they'll give you some great ideas to carry out in your classroom!
Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
Have you been BOO-ed yet? Not sure what that even means? Growing up, October was one of my favorite months. Seriously, who can say no to the candy, the parties, the s’mores and campfire nights, the visits to the pumpkin patch, and of course, the trick or treating? On top of all that fun, my neighborhood always had a cute tradition for the month of October. The more I thought about this tradition, I thought it would be fun to start a tradition like this in school. So, instead of keeping it a “teacher thing” - I introduced it to my class, with great enthusiasm!
Courage: not letting your actions be controlled by your fears. In the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, the cowardly lion is on the adventure to see the wizard because he's filled with fear, and in the end [spoiler alert!] he learns about what courage really means. He had it all along. In a school setting, courage can be as simple as raising your hand, or as difficult as standing up to a bully. In the great big world, courage gives students the self-confidence to overcome their fears and do the right thing.
Lessons/Activities/Templates | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | Academic Subject: Reading | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | social-emotional learning
It's back-to-school time again?! Already!? YAY!!! I understand how busy and crazy the first few days of school can be, so I’ve put together some materials for you to use on the first few days of school. These activities easily align to your reading, math, writing, and social-emotional learning objectives with very minimal modifications needed. They are simple, engaging, and more importantly you can use your students’ creations as a nice hallway display. Go ahead and check that box and download the activities now for free!
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
It's that time already - we're heading back to school! As with any transition, both you and your students can benefit from some organized activities to get comfortable with the new atmosphere and schedule of the day. That summer break was great, but now it's time to buckle down for learning! We've enlisted some expert help from the classroom to give you some ideas on how to make this transition as smooth as possible for all involved. 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 easing back into daily classroom life with the help of the VariQuest Motiva™, Cutout Maker, and Perfecta® utilizing Engage Every Learner™ Content!
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:
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: