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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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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Self-Discipline

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
August 15th, 2019

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:

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Product Updates | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | VariQuest Tools: Cold Laminator 2510 | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | VariQuest Tools: Motiva 400 | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP

Introducing...VariQuest Design Software v8.0 full of Engage Every Learner™ Content for Educators!

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

In the spring of 2019, we made a big commitment to our customers. We promised LOTS of new and revised content and we're happy to report - we've delivered. Just in time for back-to-school! We are thrilled to announce that our VariQuest® Design Center Software v8.0 is now available for download - packed with over 900 NEW templates, cutouts, graphics, fonts, and collections - bringing our grand total to over 19,000 content options for our nation's best educators to create with. And it's FREE for our customers!

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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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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Respect

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
June 18th, 2019

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:

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Fairness

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
May 16th, 2019

Fairness: making sure that everyone has what they need to succeed. A hot topic in our politics and world today, elementary school students can greatly benefit from lessons in fairness as they fine-tune their social-emotional skills to grow into productive, active learners and friends. And with more awareness around personalized needs than ever before, it's important to explain how "fair" can be different for everyone. In the second 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 Fairness. Through a series of group discussions, self-reflection activities, and literary analysis, students will increase their social-emotional awareness and understanding of how "fair" impacts their lives and others.  Download this free lesson plan unit on social-emotional learning for elementary-aged students containing:

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning

[Lesson Plan] Social-Emotional Learning for Elementary Students: Kindness

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
March 29th, 2019

Social-Emotional Learning is a concept top-of-mind with educators these days, and for good reason. While not a new idea by any means, developing students' social and emotional skills makes them more productive, active learners and peers - and who doesn't want that in the classroom? In the first 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 Kindness. Through a series of group discussions, self-reflection activities, and literary analysis, students will increase their social-emotional awareness of how kindness can impact themselves and others.  Download this free lesson plan unit on social-emotional learning for elementary-aged students containing:

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Reading

Classroom Activity and Materials: Focus on Reading!

By: Carman Le
February 26th, 2019

The National Education Association's Read Across America Day is celebrated in classrooms across the United States each year on Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2nd. But why stop at one day, when you could make the focus last a whole week with fun activities to instill in your students a love of reading?  I've put together some materials for you to use to celebrate reading in your classroom. Download them for free, now!

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Academic Subject: Interdisciplinary | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Dialed In: How to Bring Global Awareness Into the Classroom

By: Carman Le
February 21st, 2019

I remember when I started teaching, my students were acquiring more "life experiences" than I was. They were traveling abroad, going to the beach, hiking mountains...anything and everything. It made for great discussions in class and helped them accumulate a deep vault of background knowledge. However, in the last generational shift, much of the time spent on experiences has moved to scheduled sports or programmed activities. Both are fine, but there may be a gap widening among our students that we need to help fill in our classrooms. The best part about filling this gap with your students involves watching their awe and wonder as they learn things about the world beyond their walls and feeling proud that it was thanks to you. If you would like to start working with students to bring global awareness into your classroom, I've got a few ideas to start you out...

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Mathematics

[Lesson Plan] Celebrate the Chinese New Year 2019!

By: Carman Le
January 24th, 2019

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 February 5th, and is the Year of the Pig. 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. I 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!

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

Free Lesson Plan Roundup!

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
December 6th, 2018

It's the end of the calendar year, and most teachers are looking forward to their winter break - that week or two during the holidays where it's time to recharge their batteries and relax, then come back refreshed and ready to charge towards preparing students for the next level.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Academic Subject: English Language Arts | Grade Level: Secondary (7-12) | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities

Using Text Dependent Questions for Deeper Comprehension

By: Carman Le
April 26th, 2018

For many years, comprehension strategies centered on students making connections to their texts. These may have included: Text-to-Self, Text-to-Text, and Text-to-World. However, this continued strategy seemed to only produce readers who wanted to talk about themselves. Very few times were they connecting with other texts or with world situations. Hence, a deeper understanding of the text became elusive. Having the experience of desperately pulling deeper understanding of a text from my students, I was introduced to the strategy of "close reading." Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey wrote a fantastic article in The Reading Teacher titled Close Reading in Elementary Schools, where they outline how to incorporate this "text dependent question" approach into your literacy time. The basics are:

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