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

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: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

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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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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Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Lessons/Activities/Templates | 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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teacher appreciation | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

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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VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Academic Subject: STEM

The Power of Experiential Learning

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
April 18th, 2017

We used to call it hands-on learning.  Before high-tech classrooms, learning labs, and makerspaces, kids would build and create and make things using buttons, bottle caps, popsicle sticks, and glue.  The focus was on exploration, discovery, creativity, and problem-solving.  There was no clear distinction between the arts, engineering, science, and math.  Kids were making things, expressing their creativity, and they were learning how things worked. The current buzzword is experiential learning, but the concept has been around for over 100 years.  Dr. Maria Montessori would be thrilled to see the future of education rooted in her research.  The movement of “making” brings engineering, science, technology, art and design together and overlaps those instructional principles with the natural inclinations of children the power of learning by doing.  

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Academic Subject: Mathematics | Academic Subject: Science | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Academic Subject: STEM

Discovery Charter Discovering the Difference with VariQuest

By: Heidi Glasow
March 10th, 2017

"If you build it they will come"- Field of Dreams, 1989. Dan Hurley, Director of Discovery Charter School in Inver Grove Heights, MN had the same dream in 2014, although not for a baseball diamond in his field, but rather a school to embrace a multidisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). His vision was to prepare K-8 students for life-long learning, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Just over one year ago his dream became a reality, and now over 200 students are engaged in an environment that values creativity, diversity, and multiculturalism. With Dan's vision a partnership also ensued with VariQuest and Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer, and STEM Fuse, a leader in K12 digital curriculum. Dan knew in order to fulfill his dream he needed to build his 'Dream Team'.

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600

Introducing the VariQuest Perfecta 3600STP - 36" Full Color Poster Design System

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
March 1st, 2017

Wish you could scan your completed graphic organizer and easily email it to the class? Want to enlarge your students’ pencil artwork to display in the hallway? Looking to connect with parents as they walk in the entrance with a colorful welcome banner? Do all that and then some with a cool brand new tool made just for schools—VariQuest® Perfecta™ 3600STP! WHAT IS PERFECTA 3600STP? VariQuest has extended the Perfecta product line with an industrious printer (without the industrious size). We’re introducing the only scan-to-print full color printing system that exists to support and improve school-wide communication. Whether you’re differentiating instruction via colorful infographics, promoting district-wide initiatives through engaging posters, or boosting school pride with spirited banners, you can send the right message to the right audience with ease. Perfecta 3600STP has a fully-integrated scanner, allowing users the ability to both shrink and enlarge scanned pieces ranging from 6" to 36" wide. Maximize your value by adding the optional VariQuest Design Center, a touch-enabled workstation storing thousands of education-based templates and graphics, making poster-designing a cinch.

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VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Interactive Bulletin Board: Tweet About It!

By: Margo Ensz
July 23rd, 2015

Bulletin boards are a classic staple of the K-12 classroom. Over the years, educators have spiced things up and made their bulletin boards interactive, so they are a dynamic part of visual and kinesthetic learning in addition to an anchor visual. One fun way to do this? Bring the hashtag into your classroom--make a tweet board! 

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Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

5 Interactive Bulletin Boards to End the Year!

By: Margo Ensz
June 3rd, 2015

The beginning and end of the school year is often a time of reflction. We have compiled five writing activities that can double as the ultimate classroom display - the bulletin board!

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Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

Student Recognition Made Easy

By: Geena Maharaj
May 29th, 2015

Students aren’t too different from rats. They may not be scurrying around with long tails trailing behind, nor are they considered deadly pests. But as psychologist BF Skinner proved, humans and rats find commonality in positive reinforcement. As Skinner rewarded his test rats with food for doing the perceived “right thing,” they continued on the right path. As teachers recognize positive student behavior, students are galvanized to continue their positive behavior.

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