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.

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STEM | Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | 3D Printing | Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer | Kinesthetic Learning | Project-based Learning | Makerspace

[eBook] Ask Why? 3D Printing in Schools

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
December 10th, 2019

40 years ago, would you have predicted that every household in America would have a need for a computer? 20 years ago, would you have predicted that every person would need to surf the internet on a phone - a mobile phone? Probably not. It's hard to imagine a world where every household would have a 3D printer, but that time could feasibly come sooner than we think.

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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

[Video] Getting Over the Mid-Year Slump with The Curriculum Corner

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
November 14th, 2019

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!

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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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Special Education | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Academic Subject: Science | Academic Subject: Special Education | Academic Subject: Mathematics

[eBook] Visual Learning for the At-Risk Student

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
October 31st, 2019

Of the eight categories of intelligences, research suggests that visual-spatial learning is the most predominant. When a teacher can train him or herself to think like a visual learner, modifying instruction isn't hard. Some fairly straightforward tweaks in the instructional approach can support learners across the spectrum in core curricular areas and beyond. Visual and other sensory approaches to learning can transcend the barriers of language and culture, create a common language to bridge the generational gaps between educators and students, and open up new opportunities for societal and job equity for those students traditionally disenfranchised by the formal education system. We at VariQuest know how important diversifying instruction is, to ensure the needs of all learners are met, so in partnership with Susan McClester and updated with the help of Carman Le, MAT, we've created a free eBook dedicated to successful strategies in catering to visual and sensory learning instruction - and we'd like to share it with you! Visual Learning for the At-Risk Student contains...

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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

[Video] Back-to-School Tips from The Curriculum Corner

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
August 20th, 2019

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! 

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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

[Video] 4 End-of-Year Projects from The Curriculum Corner

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
May 8th, 2019

It's hard to believe - but we're already coming up to the end of the school year! As you prepare students for their final weeks in your classroom, you may be thinking about how this year's class can "leave a legacy" for next year's students, or maybe you're trying to come up with activities to keep their minds sharp during the summer months to come. We've brought in reinforcements to help with both of those things! 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 wrapping up end-of-year with the help of the VariQuest Motiva™, Cutout Maker, and Perfecta® tools! 

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Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | student achievement

How to Analyze Student Data and Drive Growth

By: Carman Le
January 10th, 2019

Data, data, data! Through the halls of our schools, that’s what teachers are talking about - and we're using it to drive instruction. The question is, are we using it correctly? The "big data movement" has had some negative side effects, involving testing phobia among students and incredible stress among staff - but if you know how to use the data correctly, both educators and students can find their way to a virtual paradise of growth. It doesn’t matter what your district or school uses for data purposes. Many schools across the country are using the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test, running records through Fountas and Pinnell, or maybe even basic common assessments. The first thing we all need to wrap our brains around is the difference between formative and summative assessments...

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Differentiated Instruction | Professional Development | Recognition | Parental Involvement | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Professional Development | student achievement

Professional Development Web Video Series: Glow and Grow

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
August 16th, 2018

Register Now for Glow and Grow ! A Professional Development Web Series Delivered to Your Inbox featuring Dr. Melissa Hughes, Expert on Whole Brain Teaching & Learning  and Carman Le, MAT, Education Development Specialist at VariQuest Live Now! Student Engagement. Inclusivity. Critical Thinking. Parental Involvement. Student Achievement. Recognition. These are the basic needs of schools nationwide. In this 6-part professional development web series developed by VariQuest, you'll receive one ~10 minute video each week in your inbox, which will start with Dr. Melissa Hughes, expert on Whole Brain Teaching & Learning, addressing one of these 6 needs and how brain function processes affect what we as educators are trying to do in our schools, then hear from Carman Le, Education Development Specialist at VariQuest, on how you can implement this neurological research in your classroom and school building through hands-on activities, teaching methods, or staff training. Here's what you can expect each week...

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Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

4 Strategies to Promote Student Engagement in your Classroom

By: Carman Le
June 14th, 2018

I’ve been teaching for many years and with those years come a vast knowledge of when I’m losing the crowd or when everyone is into their work. To be a master teacher you have to have your finger on the pulse of your classroom. The question is, “What does that look like?” As a younger teacher I always wanted my kids to be happy being at school, but as time passes you phase into a stronger leader and know everyone must pull their weight for student growth to happen. Finding the balance between fun and work is where I think engagement occurs. So…how do you keep them engaged? I’ve compiled a few ideas for you to try implementing in your classroom...

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Tips to Engage Students While Closing Down Your Classroom and Prepping for the Fall

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
May 23rd, 2017

As another school year comes to a close, let me be among the first to say, “There’s no tired quite like end-of-the-year-teacher tired!” I get it. The end of the school year is exhausting and maybe even a bit emotional as you say goodbye to your students for the summer. Between finalizing student records, completing report cards, and closing up your classroom, the last few weeks are hectic. But there are a few simple strategies that may help you make the most of the time you spend ending the year so that it is easier to begin the year when you return in the fall.

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Featured Topics: Student Engagement | teacher appreciation

Thank You Teachers, for All You Do

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
May 8th, 2017

Dear Teachers, Tuesday May 9, 2017 has been designated as National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Many schools and communities will be recognizing teachers throughout the week with muffins and luncheons, and maybe cards and gifts from students and their parents.  It’s about you, and I hope that you feel the appropriate appreciation within your own community. I wanted to take a moment to go beyond the generic Hallmark sentiment and express deeper gratitude for all that you do for our kids and our communities.  At a time when education is often criticized, scrutinized, and disparaged over test scores and graduation rates, a day of recognition that falls between Star Wars Day and National Tourists Day may feel less than satisfying. You’ve been tasked with one of the most vital jobs in our society, and your sphere of influence exceeds the essential skills our children must be able to demonstrate for evaluative purposes.  You spend valuable time, energy, and money on things that go far beyond lesson plans, report cards, and bulletin boards.

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