Education Resources Blog

VariQuest Blog

The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Special Education | Student Engagement | Parental Involvement | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Academic Subject: Special Education | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning | classroom management

[Lesson Plan] Visual Schedule Cards for Special Education

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
August 26th, 2022

Planning, organizing, and having things to look forward to are concepts we all can appreciate. While surprises are sometimes lovely, clear expectations for what's ahead can bring a sense of calm - especially for students in the classroom. "Pop quiz" is a phrase almost no one wants to hear! For special education and primary students, this is especially true - and as we educators know, visuals can help bring a schedule to life. So in partnership with Cathy Henry, an educator and founder of The Curriculum Corner and Free Word Work, we've created this Visual Schedule Cards Lesson Plan activity to manage classroom anxiety, help with transitions, and encourage social-emotional wellbeing in the classroom. For both verbal and non-verbal students, this exercise will promote that sense of calm with clear expectations an organized schedule can bring for both teacher and student.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Student Engagement | Parental Involvement | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning | classroom management

[Lesson Plan] Morning Welcome Activity for Elementary Teachers

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
July 20th, 2022

Belonging. Community. Inclusive. Comfortable. These words describe the environment that educators work so hard to achieve in their classrooms and school buildings. Our students need our help and support now more than ever, as we all work through challenging and divisive times. When a student enters your classroom for the first time or the 100th time, you want them to feel like they belong, and that for the short time they're with you, they are in supportive surroundings where they can fully focus on learning and growing. Enter the morning welcome - a way to set the tone for every day. In partnership with Cathy Henry, an educator and founder of The Curriculum Corner and Free Word Work, we've created this Morning Welcome Activity lesson plan and download pack for Elementary teachers to help introduce students to their day in the classroom - the moment they step foot through the door. And it not only helps students settle in for their day, but it teaches them valuable social-emotional learning skills in the process.

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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 | Student Engagement | Parental Involvement | Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | social-emotional learning | classroom management

[Lesson Plan] Create a Motivation Station for Your Classroom

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
May 19th, 2022

After the last two years being anything but normal, you might be on a constant quest for ideas and ways to support the social-emotional wellbeing of your students and boost their self-esteem. Social-emotional learning (SEL) has become a critical focus in helping our students grow not only personally, but academically as well. In partnership with Cathy Henry, an educator and founder of The Curriculum Corner and Free Word Work, we've created this Motivation Station Social-Emotional Lesson Plan activity to help spread a little positivity! And it's not only approaching the topic from a self-love standpoint, but encourages peer-to-peer support as well!

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

[Lesson Plan] Celebrate Earth Day for Elementary Students

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
April 12th, 2022

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WORLD! While we know every day is Earth Day, on April 22nd, we honor and celebrate this place we call home by demonstrating support to protect, respect and care for our planet. Founded in 1970, and celebrated by more than a billion people, Earth Day is a day to teach us about environmental issues and show partnership in making our world a happier, healthier place to live—giving Mother Earth the best birthday gift ever! This year's theme is, Invest in our planet, an all-encompassing movement to not only protect our planet, but also protect and preserve our health, our families and our livelihoods. To serve this mission we are all called upon, and as educators, that includes helping our students discover ways in which they can take personal action to help. After all, the future of our planet rests in their precious little hands.

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

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

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
March 17th, 2022

Self-Awareness: the ability to see yourself clearly. How do others see me? How do I see myself? How are my actions being interpreted? Are my actions in line with the person I want to be perceived as? What are my strengths and weaknesses? How can I use those to make a positive impact? As children ask these questions to cultivate an understanding of how their choices, emotions, and actions affect the world around them, it is important we as educators help guide them in exercises to enhance their self-awareness, and of course, make learning about it fun! In this bonus installment of our social-emotional learning unit series, we spark discussion among students about what it means to be self-aware.

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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 2022!

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
January 14th, 2022

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 Tuesday, February 1st, and is the Year of the Tiger. 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!

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

Printable Take-Home Activity: My Growth Year Mindset Journal

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
December 17th, 2021

Developing a Growth Mindset isn't easy - but that's what makes it important. There are talents you're born with, talents you develop, and talents that aren't yours...yet. Research shows that your mindset is what drives your abilities to achieve goals and accomplishments, so when we suggest that a student's strengths lie 'elsewhere' - we're actually doing them a disservice to divert their dedication in another direction.  To develop a growth mindset, we must first understand ourselves, and what strengths we have that help us achieve success in all endeavors. To help students realize these things, we can point them in the direction of looking at goals they've already achieved, milestones they've reached, tools and resources available to them, and asking for input from those around them. Enter this fabulous printable take-home activity created with ideas from Dr. Melissa Hughes, expert on whole brain teaching and learning: My Growth Mindset Year Journal.

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

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

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
November 17th, 2021

Gratitude: to show appreciation for. It's easier to focus on the bad, but to develop a strong growth mindset, we must help our students focus on the good. Going beyond saying thank you to others, gratitude is being thankful for all that we are blessed with, and is shown through acts of kindness, cooperation, and embrace. In this bonus installment of our social-emotional learning unit series, we spark discussion among students about what it means to develop a grateful heart.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP | virtual learning

[Lesson Plan] A Rainbow Summary for Reading Comprehension

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
November 5th, 2021

Reading broadens the imagination, exercises your brain, and is one of the best tools to build learning and understanding of vocabulary. As educators, we aspire to inspire a generation of students who love to read. And as you retain more information when you read, then discuss, then teach others - your reading comprehension exercises are working to do just that. We've once again partnered with Cathy Henry from Free Word Work and The Curriculum Corner to put together a lesson plan that works great for distance or hybrid learning, and helps students in 1st-3rd grade work on identifying parts of a story, or summarizing what they've read. Introducing - our Rainbow Summary Lesson Plan.

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Lessons/Activities/Templates | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | social-emotional learning | classroom management

[Downloads] Coloring in the Classroom

By: VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite
October 12th, 2021

We paint our walls, choose our belongings, and get dressed every day based on color. With an immense gift as a species to see the world through vibrant tones, it has been researched and frequently discussed that color can have mood-boosting, mind-stimulating, and sensory-calming effects on humans. And of course, our classrooms for our students are no different. Outside of the colors we use in our environment and in our learning materials, the act of coloring can also have incredible effects on the brain's ability to focus and learn, thus supporting our students' social-emotional wellbeing. Reduced anxiety, focused mindfulness, and kinesthetic busy-ness are all positive effects of this easy and do-anywhere activity. We've rounded up some of our best coloring downloads and resources for learning, for calming, and just for fun.

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