Here is a question that I often get asked: Does a Workbook On Circles worksheet answer a student’s question? The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are many ways to ensure the effectiveness of any instructional material, and so students should be guided in the selection of such material by the appropriate authority.
To help students choose a program on Circles, the best alternative that is available is to use the resource that has been developed by Richard Lemarchand and his colleagues at the University of Arkansas. These researchers have done extensive research on this subject and have come up with three different sets of helpful segments.
Most of the segments that are included on the circle programs for high school students are taken from the web site of the National Science Teachers Association. The NCSTA web site includes a detailed explanation of the activities that will be incorporated into your circles and helps you select which circles should be used and which should not.
The segment on Consequences is one of the best for circle students because it helps students to understand their choices about the quality of rewards that they are going to receive. For example, if a student believes that the best way to get a reward is to answer all questions correctly, then they will be better off choosing to work in circles.
The other segments that are offered on this site for circle students are designed to give students a taste of what they can expect if they follow a specific approach to answering questions in circles. The first segment that they should try out is the behavior of a certain type of animal, referred to as a “guardian.” This segment consists of eight steps that will show circle students that there are times when they should be looking out for each other, and that the only way to be successful in any situation is to think on your feet.
The next segment on group roles is set up to help students understand the relationships between them. There are seven groups that are included on this worksheet and help students to see how the members of their circle should react to different situations.
The final segment is designed to help students determine the educational outcome from circle activities. They are presented with nine different techniques that can be employed for various types of circles that students can participate in.
If you are thinking about implementing circle activities in your workbook, consider working with a workbook on Circles instead of starting from scratch. With a little effort, students can begin to see the advantages of using circle programs that have been tested and proven to be effective.