Teacher Tips for Challenge Questions
asked several veteran teachers to share their insights and techniques
for using Challenge Questions. Here are some of their helpful comments:
"I break up my class into groups according to the migration they
want to study. The groups are usually 6-8 kids. The smaller groups
classes are all divided into 5 groups, each responsible for one species/activity".
I cannot be with every group all the time, I ask them to do the challenge
questions together and record them in their science notebooks. This
way I can look at the notebooks to see where they are and what they
"I print out full reports for each group and we keep them in
a binder. This way they have the questions and text to look at without
tieing up a computer. I highlight the questions because they can be
easy to miss."
print out full reports for each group of students. They read the
reports and highlight the challenge questions. They decide which question
they are interested in pursuing."
see that some questions are harder than others. I ask the kids to
work together so the higher level kids can help the lower ones. I
ask them to do the best they can, and ask for help if it is too hard."
for First Time Journey North Users:
small - you have to devote a lot of time to it if you want to give
your students opportunities to answer challenge questions."
Pointer: Don't do more than 1 or 2 species each year. Ease
into it. They must start slow!"
would suggest to new teachers to definitely set up the binders. It
helps the kids stay organized. The first year I would only do two
migrations at most. And finally, the teacher must read all the updates
as well. There is so much information available now to read so you
have to pick and choose what works best. "
make it mandatory that students do Challenge Questions, at least one.
They turn them in to me, and I read through and see that it is well
written and logical, and I grade them. Then I send in the student
answers to Journey North."
Journaling Questions Are Important to Teachers:
think journaling questions are important to guide the kids along
and to make them really look at and analyze the data. It forces
them to think at a higher level."
Questions also helped my students coming up with their own good
questions for ask the expert. They didn't think they could do it,
but it is amazing what good questions they do come up with. I think
they model that after the Journaling questions."
by Teachers: Anna Sexton, Susan Eckstein, Nancy Bonner and Emily Ference)