Emma Tranter is Leading Teacher of Maths at Ribblesdale High in Lancashire where Learning by Questions isn’t just changing her life as a Teacher, but the lives of her pupils too.
I started writing my first question set whilst I was still at the training day. By the time we’d left the room I’d written eight questions and as soon as I got home I wrote another twelve straight away. I was just in the Learning by Questions flow.
It was ideal as an ‘End of Unit Assessment’. We’d been studying Ratio and it gave me a chance to cover each aspect with two or three questions. I could see exactly what my class had understood and my students enjoyed completing it. It didn’t feel like a test to them.
It’s been a great tool in classroom management generally. The children are more focused and spend less time looking at what other pupils are doing because the programme give them hints and feedback. It also spurs them on to get a bit competitive.
One boy in particular has been very challenging to motivate. His homework was ok so I knew he was capable; it was just taking forever to get him to put pen to paper in lessons. But he’s so much better with Learning by Questions. It spurs him on and he just races away. Since we’ve started using the programme he’s been working better in all his lessons because his confidence has shot up and he’s receiving positive feedback instead of nagging. It’s given him a boost. He’s genuinely turned a corner.
I’m definitely planning lessons differently, I’m marking less. I get to spend more time practising questions and moving on when we’ve got it right. Learning by Questions has already reduced my workload and planning time.
It actually made me smile to discover that my students didn’t understand different phrasing such as ‘divided between’ rather than ‘divided by’. It’s funny but I don’t believe I would ever have picked that up if it wasn’t for Learning by Questions.
Next week our Year 7 Assessments will be completed and I plan to address their weaknesses by running three Question Sets simultaneously. They might be on very different things but the whole class will be working and learning at the same time. I’m excited about it.