Today began as day’s normally will: Students came into class, filled out their planners with their homework, attended to the welcome activity, and began reading their independent reading book.

Today’s welcome activity asked students to read over the attached handout. It discusses the 40 Book Challenge, something every single seventh grader in the school is encouraged to participate in. After reading time, I answered any questions the students had about this challenge, and I’m excited to participate in it with them!

40 Book Challenge Explanation

After reading and going over this information, we moved into notebook thinking. Since today is Tuesday, the notebook thinking prompt of today was a video, and I’ve attached that video below.

I invited students to make their own “pet peeves” list or, of course, they could write about anything they wanted to.

Next, we moved on to discuss how vocabulary study will work in this classroom. I’ve attached a few slides below that kind of explain the nuts and bolts as well as include the vocabulary we will work with this week.

Weekly Words Presentation

After students received their handouts and wrote down their vocabulary, students took a pre-test over summary, and then it was time for a BRAIN BREAK!

Class ended with us talking about the question “What SURPRISED me?” This is an important question, and it is one of the three BIG QUESTIONS we will use throughout the year to help us pick out important and discussion-worthy ideas in our reading. As I explained to the students, sometimes things that surprise us are really big, and sometimes the things that surprise us are small. For example, you might be surprised if you are driving down the highway and you see a car on fire! Holy cow! That’s something that will definitely make you say something and do a double take. You would probably point it out to the other people you were in the car with; however, other things, while still surprising, aren’t quite as shocking. This is like when your friend gets a new haircut.

When we are reading, we want to look for both big and little surprises.

N&N – Student Anchor Chart – BQ Surprised

With this in mind, we started reading and article, and I modeled to students how, with this question in my mind, I would go about jotting down ideas on the page.


Students then had time to work on the rest of the article independently with the instructions that they had to identify and make note of FIVE MORE THINGS that surprised them as they were reading. We will talk about these on THURSDAY.

N&N – Articles for Teacher BQ1 – Surprise


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Complete the cyberbullying article with “surprise” notes for THURSDAY.