The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
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.
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?
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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!
"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.”
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
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.
The 100th day of school is an exciting time for many primary students. Use your VariQuest Visual Learning Tools to enhance the celebration!