Sometimes we need students to practice a certain skill, and this can often be a boring lesson with students working through a worksheet or textbook exercise. As teachers we are often looking for ways to get students to practice the needed skills in a more engaging way. The idea of carousel activities has been around for a very long time, and most teachers have used them at point or another.
They involve splitting the class into groups, and having different workstations around the room. Each group starts at one of these workstations with an activity, and after a given amount of time, all groups move round to the next activity. Over the lesson, every student has completed several different activities, and in the process they have practiced the required skill a lot.
A couple of weeks ago, in an INSET session in our department meeting, I shared my website and the QQI range of activities with my department (as well as some other fantastic websites for maths teachers). Since then, several members of the department have been making use of these resources, and helpfully feeding back to me with any issues they have encountered (allowing me to fix them).
However the biggest benefit of sharing, is always that it is a two way process, and in sharing my resources, I had a fantastic suggestion of how to use the new QQI Worksheets in class in an even more engaging way. And that is to use them as a carousel activity.
The QQI Worksheets create 5 different paper based activities which can be printed off to use in class. These are: a standard worksheet; a treasure hunt (or loop card) activity; an odd one out; a codebreaker; and matching cards. Each of these is randomly generated on the given topic, to the specified conditions. My colleague had decided to get one of each of these on decimal addition, and use them as a carousel activity. So simple, yet something I hadn't even thought about.
So if you are looking for an activity to get students practicing a specific skill, but want a more engaging lesson, why not try a carousel activity using the QQI Worksheets. Every one you generate will be different, so you could even have the same type of activity but with different questions around the room.
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice.