Tuesday 10/03/2017 – OPENING: 15 minutes

It’s Tuesday, and that means that our warmup is related to Source Citation. Well, sort of. As I mentioned last week, that topic wasn’t quite right, but it was hinting at something important, and I finally figured it out.

Specifically, the idea that we are living in a time when most of the information we gather is going to come from the internet. That being the case, we need to know how to get at the right information – information that is both relevant and credible. And yes, we’ll need to properly cite our sources, but that’s secondary. The real skills are around evaluating that information in the first place.

So today’s warmup is “Getting to the Source”. Today’s version will have you creating the search term that you feel will get you to the most relevant, credible information about a given topic (the details of which will be provided in class). You’ll work with your table group to develop the text that you would type into a Google search field if you were looking up this topic and trying to get that specific information.

We’ll look at every group’s ideas and see which one gets us closest to the information we seek.

And then we’ll discuss the ideas found on Evaluating Online Information.

LESSON – 40 minutes

Yesterday we talked about the first step in the Engage phase of CBL. Specifically, the Big Idea. We practiced turning topics or categories into statements that actually represent big ideas that we would like to explore. Some Examples…

Food Supply (a topic or category) became “The global food supply is at risk”.
Relationships (a topic or category) became “Blood is thicker than water”.
Global Warming (a topic or category) became “The world’s sea levels are rising”.

All of these changes represent an idea that connects different topics. That brings together knowledge from different areas of study. To prove that the ‘global food supply is at risk’, or to show that it isn’t, would require us to explore agriculture, population and other demographic information, biology, politics, economics, and perhaps many more topics of study. So this big idea serves to connect these disciplines for the learner.

Big Ideas are also “..abstract…meaning is not always obvious to students; understanding must be earned…its meaning discovered, constructed or inferred by the learners.” (MB University). Identifying or creating Big Ideas is not easy work, so if you’re not an expert just yet, don’t worry. We’ll keep practicing.

Image of the Challenge Based Learning framework.

CBL Framework, From Digital Promise


We need to practice turning Big Ideas into Essential Questions.


  1. Big Idea
  2. Essential Question
  3. Challenge


Essential Question

Before we take on that task, however, we’ll discuss questions more generally. We’ll look at one way to categorize questions – into Closed-Ended and Open-Ended. You’ll have a chance to talk about these in your groups, and come up with examples of each, then we’ll clarify as a class.

This is particularly important to understand because BOTH kinds of questions play a really important role in Challenge Based Learning. Closed-ended questions are what serve as Guiding Questions (during the Investigate phase), and Open-ended questions are the form that our Essential Question takes as we work through the Engage phase.

We’ll dig into Essential Questions deeper tomorrow.


  • Essential Questions connect the Big Idea to our own lives.
  • EQs are thought-provoking and engaging.
  • EQs are open ended…no single, simple, right answer.

Quote of the Week

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”


This Week’s Agenda

20 Questions

CBL: Engage Phase, part 1

Get to the Source

CBL: Engage Phase, part 2

What’s the Big Idea?

Globalization, part 1

HOM Reflection

Globalization, part 2


Jeb is here to help...


Have questions?

  • Drop by before or after school
  • Come in at lunch
  • Ping me on Basecamp
  • Pass me a note

Whatever you do, don’t just
sit there wondering.
Get the help you need.

Ping Me