Archives for August 2012

Quest English – Week 1 – September 4-7


Welcome to Quest Eighth Grade English. I’m incredibly excited to start this adventure with you.

If you’d like, take a look at the syllabus for the class.

We’ll jump right in today and tackle the difficult concept of Truth as it relates to literature. Check out the presentation below for the questions we tacked today. If you missed, here’a copy of the guide we used. Answer the questions as best you can on your own.

Your homework assignment for tonight is to



Today, we’ll be introduced to the Question Formulation Technique. We’ll use the process frequently this year, so we’ll make sure to get off on the right foot with it. The process and our responses are outlined below.

Here are the questions you generated:

  • What does the story mean when it says in a true story nothing is absolutley true?
  • How is war love?
  • Could there be a good part of war?
  • Why did he go through the details then at the end make us wonder if its true?
  • How do we know if the story is true?
  • Why is it called how to tell a true war story?
  • Why didnt the buffalo make any noise when it was being shot?
  • Why did Curt mean so much to Rat?
  • Is any of this true?
  • Why did Rat shoot the baby buffalo more than once?
  • If you tell a real war story why is it about love?
  • Are there certain moments in war that make you have different feelings about it?
  • Why did the author keep telling you it was real, then later tell you it was a lie?
  • Why did it seem he was making it so confusing?
  • Why do war stories not have a point?
  • How could war be good and bad at the same time?
  • Why was the story questioned real or not?
  • How could you find a light as the end of the tunnel in war?
  • Why so many details?
  • Why is there no leader?
  • Why were they playing catch in the middle of war?
  • How do you think Tim O’Brien defines Truth?
  • What do you think O’Brien means when he says, “If the answer matters, you have your answer?”
  • What is the point of O’Brien sharing a graphic story like this?
  • How can this story and O’Brien’s message about truth relate to writing?
  • How would you, personally, define truth after yesterday’s discussion and the reading by Tim O’Brien?

Finally, if we have time, we’ll be introduced to our first Logical Fallacy, The Straw Man.

After this, we’ll be assigning someone to teach the class about the next Fallacy a week from today.

Here’s the handout explaining the order of presentations and the minimum requirements.

Your homework assignment for the night is to come up with an answer to at least one of the questions we generated as a class. Your answer should be about one paragraph long. Bring your answer tomorrow.


We’ll be introduced to blogging today, as well as some other things. Our whole schedule is outlined in the presentation below.

We’ll look at Will Richardson’s definition of blogging. Will Richardson will be a special keynote speaker at our district’s Technology Day this year. If you take your parents to his presentation for parents from 6-8 p.m. on October 16, it counts as 50 experience points for you.

See the article here.

After reading, we’ll respond using mobile devices to this prompt: It seems to me that blogging is…

Respond to our poll via text or on the web here.


After that, we MAY have time for a team building activity outside.

Here are some highlight from your responses today:


We’re in the computer lab today. You’ll get introduced to your first blog topic and spend some time exploring how to use and personalize your blog. If you get a chance, you can get started on answering your first prompt. Make sure to save your post as a draft if you aren’t ready to publish.

If you have a mobile device, download the WordPress app and you’ll be able to create and edit posts right from your device.

Your homework for the weekend? None.

If you want to get a head start on something, head to the Buffalo Public Library after school or on Saturday between 10-2 and grab a library card.

Bring It!

Get ready to turn your technology into powerful learning and creation experiences. Your class is mobile device friendly. That means you’re encouraged to bring the following technologies to class;

  • Smartphones,
  • Laptops and Netbooks,
  • iPods and iPads,
  • Android devices and tablets, and
  • Kindles, Nooks, and eReaders.

You’ll be able to access coursework, readings, calendars, and assignments from your device. We’ll also find ways to put them to use in the creation of multimedia projects, research, writing, and reporting. From blogging and photography to reading and responding, we’ll find ways for you to get the most out of your technology. You may also find it helpful to use your own devices to keep yourself organized and connected during the school year.

Whenever possible, readings in this class will be available in PDF format, which can be read by any device. Longer readings may also be available in ePub and Mobi format, depending on copyright considerations. Choice reading is a big part of this class, and students often say that they feel better having their books with them on their personal devices instead of print format. The Buffalo Public Library has an eBook lending library that can be used on any mobile device.

We will practice responsible and respectful use of technology in the class, focusing on using technology appropriately and always keeping the focus on learning and creating, not the tools themselves.

Students are not and will never be required to bring a personal digital device to class. While students may want to use their devices in group situations, students will not be asked to share a personal device with another student. All devices will be in possession of students and the classroom will always be locked when devices may be left in the classroom. A limited number of charging cables will be available in the classroom.

Learn more about BHM Schools’ Bring it campaign or feel free to let me know if you have any questions.