The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
As educators, we know one of the more challenging times in a secondary-aged student's life can be preparing for adulthood after high school. This can be especially true for students with disabilities. To say that leaving a support system which feels safe and familiar is overwhelming and scary is an understatement. Fortunately, there are services available through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that disabled students and their parents can continue to rely on to help with a smooth transition into postsecondary education or training, employment, and independent living. The Adult Transition Program (ATP) at Community High School District 218 in Oak Lawn, IL serves a mission to do just that, and with the help of the VariQuest® Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite, their students with disabilities are learning valuable real-world skills, while building confidence, courage and spirit!
Career & Technology Education (CTE) | VariQuest Super Schools | Parental Involvement | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400STP | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600STP
Earlier this year, we launched a contest on our hashtag-loving social channels, challenging our valued VariQuest customers to post pictures of their fantastic creations, made with the help of the VariQuest Suite. What we found was the affirmation that your creativity knows no bounds, and the ideas you come up with are making your school a better place. The contest, which ended in September, produced three wonderful winners, and we'd like to show you what they've been up to!
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
This contest has ended. Click here to view our winners and get ideas on how you could use the VariQuest tools to do creative and helpful projects in your school! Are you a VariQuest customer? Are staff members at your school creating cool things with your VariQuest tools? Show the world your creations, and WIN!
We're coming up to the month of March, where [we hope] spring is springing and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) celebrates Music in our Schools Month. Jennie Nichols, music teacher to 650 K-5 elementary students at Covington-Harper Elementary School in Virginia, has a busy March every year, as they celebrate the month's distinction. In 2019, Ms. Nichols was putting on six grade-level concerts in just one week, and she thought, wouldn't it be great to recognize all the students' hard work and document the days with a fun photo booth?
Anoka/Washington County Head Start, based in Coon Rapids, MN, provides education, nutrition, mental health, school readiness and parent engagement services to children (aged 3-5) and families from income-eligible households. With nearly 115 dedicated staff, this Head Start program is equipped to foster a Pre-K learning environment for hundreds of enrolled children and families to learn, grow and thrive! As Kristi Edmonds, Child Development Services Coordinator with Anoka/Washington County Head Start trains and provides mentoring services to staff, she focuses on the overall experience of the classroom - guiding and supporting everyday needs for curriculum implementation. To help with this effort, the decision was made in June of 2017 to invest in the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800, using State and Federal Grant Funding.
For 30 years, Greece Professional Learning Center (PLC) in Rochester, NY has been providing academic resources and professional learning opportunities to educators and community groups. Having the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800, “...has changed how we support teachers,” says Marguerite Dimgba, Program Director. With over 4,500 shapes to choose from in a variety of sizes, teachers are able to create academic resources that support the needs of the students in their classrooms in areas such as social emotional learning and culturally responsive education.
With an emphasis on CTE programs in schools on the rise, so too are student-based enterprises - where students can brainstorm ideas, design and develop products, market their offerings, monitor inventory, balance finances, and nurture patronage - covering many of the 16 Career Clusters and developing students' real world skills. Such is the case at Higgins Middle School in Peabody, Massachusetts, where the students are tasked with running a multi-service print shop fully equipped with VariQuest® Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools.
3D Printing is a relatively new concept in education curriculum - but it engages all kinds of learners, and instills real-world critical thinking and innovative problem-solving 21st century skills. Seems to be a no-brainer for an educator looking to breathe new life into a STEM curriculum. At Holly Grove Elementary School in Holly Springs, North Carolina, Ms. Jennifer Starkey, a technology teacher, has been thrilled to watch her students design, create, and learn when the VariQuest Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer brings their ideas to life - which has made her classroom the most popular in the school. With over 1,100 students in grades K-6, including some Pre-K and special education students, Ms. Starkey needed a solution to engage every learner. Starting with her 2nd, 4th, and 5th graders, who are fully immersed in the 3D printing hands-on learning tasks, the classroom has turned out some pretty amazing projects as they Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve, and Share (The Engingeering Design Cycle). It's easy to see how 3D Printing is benefiting education at Holly Grove...
CTE programs are built for students to learn their coursework by applying their knowledge to real-world scenarios, prepping them for future education or careers. The Career Academy (TCA) in Lincoln, Nebraska is an exemplary model for this. A collaborative effort between Southeast Community College and the Lincoln Public School District, high school juniors and seniors are invited to attend the academy for two hours each day during the regular school year, participating in high school and dual-credit courses through 16 different career pathways, while taking the rest of their classes at their “home” high school. Upon graduation, students are better-prepared to enter the workforce, work towards a certificate in their chosen field, or continue on to college – taking their career course credits with them. Thanks to an anonymous gift from a generous donor, Southeast Community College purchased the VariQuest suite of tools for TCA and through various activities, they’ve been able to fill the walls of classrooms and support various career pathways; preparing students for whatever endeavor their future holds….