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

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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Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | student achievement

Promoting Meaningful Dialogue in Classroom Discussions

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
January 20th, 2017

Think about the discussions that happen in your classroom.  Are they frequent? Do all students participate or are they monopolized by a handful of students?  Do you use discussion to merely check understanding or do you engage students into purposeful conversations to develop thinking? 

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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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VariQuest Super Schools | Student Engagement | Parental Involvement | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | student achievement

School Captivates Students with Transformed Classrooms

By: Heidi Glasow
February 24th, 2016

As students enter the corridors of Dolgeville Elementary School (and their classrooms) it's easy for them to become enthralled with the colorful displays that adorn nearly every wall of their building thanks to their creative staff and the VariQuest Cutout Maker. When Dreams Come True In spring of 2014, Susan Butler's (Principal at Dolgeville) dream came true when their Parent Teacher Organization purchased the Cutout Maker for their teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. This gesture of gratitude is typical of their PTO, but usually the gift is around $500-$600. In 2014 however, after Susan saw the Cutout Maker at a trade show, she was able to talk them into a larger purchase turning her dream into a reality.

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STEM | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Academic Subject: Science | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | 3D Printing | Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer | Kinesthetic Learning

Cover Next Generation Science Standards with Help from VariQuest

By: Geena Maharaj
November 12th, 2015

I remember how fascinated I was by Morse code when I first heard about it as a young fry. I can only imagine the proverbial lightbulb (well, probably a candle at that time) that went off in Samuel Morse’s mind as he came up with the idea for nonverbally telecommunicating with others. No offense Sam, but boy, finger tapping conversations have come a long way.

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Poster Maker 3600 | Grade Level: Secondary (7-12) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Academic Subject: STEM | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Academic Subject: Science

Understanding the Plant Cell: 3 Engaging Activities

By: Margo Ensz
August 31st, 2015

Engage students in learning the parts of a plant cell with a variety of teaching tools and fun activities using your Cutout Maker and Poster Maker!

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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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Grade Level: Post-secondary (12+) | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Supporting Future Educators with VariQuest Visual Learning Tools

By: Margo Ensz
February 3rd, 2015

"The Cutout Maker has been one of the best resources to use as a teacher-to-be." Freed-Hardeman University, a private liberal arts university in Henderson, Tennessee, supports its students pursuing education degrees in a unique way by providing them hands-on teaching and learning tools. Because of the school's committment to future educators, it was selected as this month's VariQuest Super School! We spoke with Sarah Ridinger, a Librarian at Freed-Hardeman’s Learning Resource Library. This library itself is a unique collaboration between the university’s library and the School of Education, and part of its mission is to "ensure Education students and faculty have library resources to successfully learn and teach.”

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Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Academic Subject: Social Studies and History | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Featured Topics: Templates for FREE download

Grades 6-8: The Symbolism Behind Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

By: Julia Cremin
February 2nd, 2015

In this lesson, students will explore the animals that are symbolic of the Chinese Lunar Zodiac Calendar, then use what they have learned to write a poem.

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Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | VariQuest Tools: Design Center Software | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Classroom Celebrations/Holidays

4 Ways to Celebrate the 100th Day of School with VariQuest Visual Learning Tools

By: Margo Ensz
January 28th, 2015

The 100th day of school is an exciting time for many primary students. Use your VariQuest Visual Learning Tools to enhance the celebration!  

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