Posts tagged Cutout Maker

Win a Laminator from AVI-SPL at FETC 2011

ProFinish Jr. Cold LaminatorIf you’ve been following this blog, you know the AVI-SPL team is excited about participating in FETC 2011. Teachers will benefit greatly from AVI-SPL’s presentations at booth 1413, where we’ll also be raffling off an interactive classroom.

AVI-SPL will also be at booth 1513, where the Varitronics team will display its valuable classroom equipment, including cutout makers, poster printers and more.  Follow the link to read all about the new VariQuest Cutout Maker.  Complete a raffle card at our booth and you can win prizes that include a Varitronics ProFinish Jr. Laminator and a Garmin Nuvi 255 GPS.

Let AVI-SPL Help You Find the Right VariQuest Product

VariQuest produces great tools for the classroom, including awards makers, cutout makers, laminators and poster makers. Visit AVI-SPL’s VariQuest products page to find the ones that are right for you. Fill out the products information form at the bottom of that page to ask any questions you may have. You can also call us at (866) 559-8197 or  email us at

Get Creative with Your School Bulletin Boards Using Your VariQuest Cutout and Poster Maker

Over the summer the bulletin boards and walls were stripped of their decorations and now it’s time to rebuild. Take some time to explore what your Cutout Maker can do to help create stunning bulletin boards!

With the scalable lettering and multiple fonts available, you can create some excellent titles for your boards! The shape library also includes great cutouts to highlight a ton of educational subjects from science related themes like cell parts to physical education. Use the search by keyword option to see if your current lesson plan has anything available to use!

Bullentin Board Examples

Student work can be framed with exciting borders or stapled to the bulletin board with fun designs protecting the corners of the pages. Decorate and get creative! The more eye catching your bulletin board is, the more likely a student will be to take time to stop and learn something new as they mingle in the hallways.

Sometimes information is easier to display using a Poster. That’s where your handy Poster Maker can spring into action!

As your parent teacher conferences and open house nights are rapidly approaching, utilize the Poster Maker to create some really helpful directional posters. Use the “search by keyword” feature to find the arrow posters. These can be customized to help your guests find their way around the school. For large high school campuses, why not scan and print some maps and post them around the school to help the guests find their way around the school? These maps are great for the incoming freshmen too!

With new students, you might need to find a way to help teach them your school’s rules and policies. Use the Poster Maker to help post important information. There are even some great high impact colors like the fluorescent orange on black that can help grab attention. The orange on black posters are perfect for posting safety information!

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How to Take Advantage Varitronics Total Access Shapes CD!

Total Access Shapes ExampleWith over 4,400 shapes in the library, there are so many cutouts you could use to enhance learning, decorate the halls and use to recognize teacher, student and volunteer’s achievements. Here are some ideas to help you take advantage of the plethora of shapes you’ve got at your fingertips!

Enhance Learning

Use the alphabet cards to help students practice the alphabet. The images below the letter help them practice the sounds and the cutout letters are great ways for them to practice writing the letters. They can trace the letter. You can also use the letter cards to spell out the student’s names. Ask them to see how many other words they can create with the letters in their name.

The circle fraction pieces in the math category can help illustrate the use of fractions. Suggest a pizza reference. For example, ask the students if “Big Billy ate half of the pizza for dinner and half of what was left over for lunch, how much pizza was left”. Using the fraction pieces, they can have a manipulative to help them figure out the solution.

Use the cutout puppets, animal and people shapes to help students with storytelling abilities. They can use these to help them tell a story to their classmates. The students can practice using pitch and volume to help animate the story.

Decorate the Halls and Walls

Use the border shapes to help create fun borders for your classroom and hallway bulletin boards. With all the fun shapes, you can have a different border for every class unit, season and holiday! Laminate the cutout borders so you can reuse them year after year.

Have the students write essays in the shaped books so you have a great end product to post in the hallways so parents and staff can see the great work and learning going on in your classrooms.

Create a character education bulletin board and use the great cutout banners etched with character education words. Post the banner and then use cutout stars or circles to write different ideas on how to exemplify that characteristic.

Recognize Achievements

Acknowledge your volunteer’s outstanding efforts with a card. There are some great cards in the Cutout Maker library you can use to write your kind words on. Some even give you a place to add a name to cutout.

On your Character Education bulletin board, cut frames to put around pictures of students who epitomize the character education word of the month.

Write on the trophy cutouts the names of the students of the month and proudly display these in the hallway.

Create coupons using the dollar cutout to give to students as they achieve milestones. Allow them to turn these coupons in for treats.

Need Training on Total Access Shapes CD’s?

You or any of your staff can join our trainer for live online training seminars. Each session is one hour long and focuses on a single VariQuest™ learning tool.

Email Victoria Cobb at to find out the schedule.

VariQuest helps Early Childhood and Head Start Programs

Early Childhood and Head Start Programs can benefit from the VariQuest products in their classrooms. The Cutout Maker, Poster Maker and Awards Maker are excellent tools to help create a print rich environment with opportunities to learn lurking in every corner!

Cutout Maker

The Cutout Maker can really help students by creating manipulatives to use during their lessons. One of the great things about the Cutout Maker is you can pre-laminate your construction paper using a cold laminator so your shapes are cut laminated and ready to go! You could easily attach a small piece of Velcro to the back and utilize a felt board with your shapes.

Common early math skills include learning patterns and counting. Use the Cutout Maker to create a variety of shapes like different flowers or bugs. Set these up in a pattern and ask the students which comes next. With the same set up, you could also ask the students to group matching shapes together and count how many are in each group. Make it more involved and have them also practice identifying colors.

The Cutout Maker can also cut out words and letters. With Total Access Shapes, you could utilize the ABC cards which cut out the upper and lowercase letter with a shape that begins with that letter. Have the students practice tracing the letters to familiarize them with the letters. Ask the students to find the card that starts their name. Build on those skills as their learning progresses and ask them to find other students’ names.

Cutout examples

You can build word walls with the addition of images to help them learn words. For example, cutout the word cat and add an image of the cat. With your word wall, you can even ask the students to match the image to the word.


Poster Maker

Poster Maker examples

Create rules posters with images to help your students learn the rules of the classroom. You can also create posters that will be utilized during “read around the room” activities. Put small poems or short stories on a poster and read these with the students. You can also create a timeline poster and ask the students what happened during a story you’ve read together.

Create centers devoted to poster activities. Create a Venn Diagram and give the students sorting activities with cutout shapes. More useful posters in the templates collection are the scenery posters. The students can either draw on the scene or place cutouts in the scene and talk out a story. By engaging in the scenery and using their imagination, the student is also actively creating dialogue and practicing speech.

Create simple board games on a poster and laminate it so you can use the board year round. A standard board can have many applications by just changing out the cards students turn over during the game. For example, create one set of cards with dots on them and the students can advance as many spaces as there are dots on the card. Create a second set of cards with letters on them. If the student is able to identify the letter, they can move forward one space.


Awards Maker

award maker examples

In addition to creating quick awards like plaques for “Outstanding Reader” or small stickers that say “I am Polite”, you can also create bumper stickers to promote and grow a program like Head Start.

The Awards Maker can also help create signs to post in areas of the classroom. For example, create a sign that identifies the “reading nook” or label boxes in your classroom with stickers that say “crayons” or “scissors” with an image of the item in the box. Those labels can be used during the “read around the room” activities too!

Having text in your classroom and even down the hallways helps the students learn that text is a part of everyday life and it can encourage their curiosity in the written word.

VariQuest and Reading in the Science Classroom

KWL Chart

Reading and writing are an active part of any subject, but the transition from reading fiction in an English classroom to reading scientific journals and non-fiction can be difficult for some students. Learning how to write lab reports and papers can be tough too! Here are some ways you can utilize the VariQuest Poster Maker, Awards Maker and Cutout Maker to help smooth the transition.


Try modeling reading a scientific journal article with the class to help them understand how reading in the science classroom is different. Show and explain the purpose of an abstract. Read it together and afterwards, fill out the K (what I know) and W (what I want to know) part of a K-W-L chart poster together as a class. This can help the students set a foundation allowing them check their comprehension before they delve further into the article.

Show the students how to utilize graphs and other tables in the article by enlarging these into a poster. This is an easy task when you take advantage of the scan and print feature on the Poster Maker. You can model how you would stop reading to turn to the visual for additional information. Ask the students to come up to the poster and show the class where what they’ve read is shown on the table, chart or graph. This way, they’ll begin to understand that reading science related news is often more than simply reading text and can take more time.

Finally, use the Cutout Maker or Awards Maker to create large versions of new vocabulary. While reading, stop when you come across a new word. Attach each word to your white board as it is identified in the text. This will help indicate how they would want to write these words down and look them up as they are reading. Give the students dictionaries to look each word up as you run across them and write the definition on your board. You may even want to take a moment to check their comprehension of the definition. Learning the vocabulary immediately, rather than skipping over words they don’t know, is an important skill that will help them throughout their educational career. There is ample opportunity to teach students new words and this skill within science related reading. After the demonstration, you can post the cutout words to a word wall in your classroom and even create lessons out of the uncovered vocabulary.

In addition to vocabulary words, they may encounter unfamiliar symbols. Use the Cutout Maker to decorate a bulletin board to promote their visual vocabulary too! For example, they may not understand the symbols on a weather map, chemical structure diagrams, international symbols of units, etc. You can find many science-related shapes in the Cutout Maker’s library to help create visuals for your classroom!