![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/f7b63a1e-6f67-42e4-af9e-b0ef3631d2e0/430a2188-a428-4317-9439-8a54a6e7c5b7TipstouseLbQ.jpg "Get the most out of LbQ") **Kate, maths coordinator and year 6 teacher, Cherry Tree Primary** Learning by Questions is now one year old and we've been astounded by the rich variety of ways teachers are using LbQ to maximum effect, either to get their home life back or to get those classroom confidence levels up. Here are some of the best ways we've come across: ### Use it as a short, focused activity. While students are often highly engaged by tablet-based work, they can lose focus if a task goes on for too long. In our view, 20-25 minutes is about the right amount of time for an LbQ session. It is long enough for all students to attempt a task, but it isn’t so long that they run out of steam. ### Pre-teach the topic first. Activating students’ prior knowledge about a topic really enhances their understanding and engagement in an LbQ session. For example, if you’re running a Question Set on full stops, it’s worth first reminding students about the purpose and rules for this type of punctuation. A little bit of board work or questioning goes a long way in stimulating students’ minds, reminding them what they already know and supporting them to work effectively on their own. ### Encourage pupils to take their time. Some pupils will attempt to guess their way through a Question Set. Others will give up very easily, even when the answer is fairly straightforward. It’s useful to remind students about reading questions carefully and taking time to consider what the correct answer will be. Pupils who achieve green marks beside their name can be praised, as they are clearly taking a measured, careful approach to their work. ### Explain the importance of the feedback It’s also important to run through the importance of reading the feedback that is provided after each question is answered. You may find that students don’t read the feedback and guess answers. The immediate feedback provided for pupils is a powerful element of LbQ, helping to progress students at an incredible pace. Explain to pupils that the feedback will allow them to answer the question correctly the next time, rather than continuing to get it wrong.  ### Guide students around the matrix. Set time aside in the beginning to show students the matrix and what you can see when they are working through Question Sets. Try to avoid a ‘Big Brother’ approach of communicating this. Rather than using the matrix to check on what your students are doing, explain that it is to help you to help them. This will also be effective if you decide to display the matrix to students whilst they go through a Question Set. Explaining the green, orange and red blocks might also encourage pupils to take their time and read the feedback provided for them.  ### Plan for faster paced pupils.  There will be some students that work through Question Sets at a faster pace than others, and it’s important to plan for this. You can run up to 3 simultaneous Question Sets - choose a set that follows on from the previous set logically and direct pupils to this Question Set when they have finished with the first. It’s also worth considering those pupils who may struggle with the set you have chosen. Have a back-up Question Set for those pupils who are struggling with the original set.  ### Use LbQ to help you identify students who require additional support. Students who have lots of red and orange on the matrix may be guessing or confused. Use the LbQ matrix to identify these pupils and offer support. Conversely, pupils achieving green marks can be praised, as they are evidently working really well. ### Use LbQ to identify gaps in classwide knowledge The matrix can also be used to highlight class-wide gaps in knowledge. The ‘skyline’ display at the top of the matrix highlights questions that more than one student is struggling with. ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/f7b63a1e-6f67-42e4-af9e-b0ef3631d2e0/4308e301-f8b8-4371-8993-097ee4c40456Skylinecloseup.png "Skyline") If a question appears red or dark orange, you can click on that block in the ‘skyline’ and choose to look at the answers or go straight to the question. Using the pause button, you can go through the question with the whole class and use Adhoc Mode to ensure the classwide misconception has been dealt with.  ### Teach key terminology required for the Question Set. When searching for a Question Set, you can see a list of key terminology needed for the Question Set. It is good teaching practice to display this list of key terminology somewhere in the classroom or run through it before the pupils attempt the Question Set. ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/f7b63a1e-6f67-42e4-af9e-b0ef3631d2e0/031ce264-e765-427e-9e6e-f0c47a5e8cd7Terminologycloseup.png "Key terminology") If you need any more help using Learning by Questions, we also have a [series of help videos with hints and tips](http://www.lbq.org/HelpVideos/) for how to make the most of the app.