For the last six months, we’ve been working on Carousel Primary: the way we have adapted and tailored Carousel for primary practitioners. We’re extremely excited, and we think that Carousel Primary will make a massive difference to primary practitioners interested in teaching for knowledge and retrieval practice. In this post, we’ve given you some of the highlights so please do read and get in touch if you have any questions.
1. What is Carousel Learning?
Carousel is an online platform that enables teachers to build their students’ knowledge and embed effective retrieval practice into the classroom. At the heart of Carousel sit Question Banks: resources that detail everything you want your students to know in a question and answer format.
“Carousel is a game changing, low-stakes assessment tool which could transform teacher understanding of what pupils know, remember and apply over time.”
- Ben Jordan, Lakeside Primary School, Headteacher
From the Question Bank, you can set work to the students in the form of flashcards and quizzes:
Students then self-assess their work, and you can moderate their assessments. You can then use their work to generate whole class feedback and group discussion with the class:
“Carousel has been transformational in helping the children engage with retrieval practice.”
— Ella Martin, New Horizons Children’s Academy, Teaching and Learning Lead and Year 6 teacher
You can also use your Question Banks for in-class quizzing using the Whiteboard mode:
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, and we have done a full length product tour aimed at primary teachers here.
2. What resources are available for primary teachers?
We’ve been working hard to make sure that primary teachers have plenty of Question Banks to choose from. We teamed up with primary aficionados Jon Hutchinson and Ella Martin to build a huge selection of resources, and we now have Question Banks on:
3. What features will make me fall in love with Carousel?
The current most popular Carousel strategy with primary teachers is a combination of normal quizzing and whiteboard quizzes. Teachers set a quiz for students to do and mark at home, and then use similar questions for an in-class quiz using the whiteboard. By carefully circulating and sampling responses during whole class review (some teachers use Whiteboard Mode + mini-whiteboards), primary teachers are able to praise students who have been bossing their retrieval and support students who aren’t finding it so easy.
We’ve also recently launched multiple choice functionality:
This has proved extremely popular with primary teachers who are looking to embed retrieval lower down the school, as well as provide a slightly “safer” entry for older students who are not used to extensive retrieval practice.
We also don’t have any usernames or passwords. Students just click a link and then write their name, so there is no danger that they (or their parents!) will forget their account details.
“It helps teachers to consider the core knowledge pupils need to know. This in turn supports the planning and sequencing of lessons.”
- Jason Sayers, Willingham Primary School, KS2 Phase Lead
4. What difference will this make to my workload?
Primary teachers are currently finding themselves in a very workload-heavy period of time, where they are expected to be experts in dozens of different subjects and to craft effective resources across the board. Carousel Primary’s Question Banks should alleviate a lot of this, as they have already been populated and written with the National Curriculum in mind. Even if you choose to make your own Questions Banks, there may be a little work on set-up but then they can be used across the year to quickly and easily set rigorous and effective work.
“Carousel is a retrieval game changer. My advice is to share the science of learning with students and provide time for them to engage in a wide range of retrieval activities.”
- Neil Almond, David Livingstone Academy, Deputy Head
5. What’s coming next for me to look forward to?
Our Public Roadmap is available for all our users to see and vote on, but the big features we have coming up for Carousel Primary in particular include:
- Image support (put pictures on flashcards)
- Text to speech (questions get read out)
- Adaptive quizzing (quizzing that adapts and responds to what the student knows and does not know)
We’re running an introductory webinar on Monday, 13th June at 4:15 p.m. We’d love it if you joined us to find out more about how Carousel Primary can make retrieval practice easier in your school, and help you foster a classroom culture that champions knowledge.
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