I am so glad that I started the blog and made it priority to check in on what others are doing in their middle school classrooms. It has given me so many ideas. It has also made me realize that I was getting stuck in what I've always done. I need to branch out. I teach in a school that doesn't require state testing, so I can leave the text a little bit and really make learning more fun and engaging. I need to do this. I rely on the text nine times out of ten because it is comfortable. It takes a bit more personal time to create engaging lessons, but my students will benefit so much more from it. So tonight I'm branching out. I'm leaving my history textbook on the door. I'm going back to my days in college and I'm writing some long format lesson plans, you know the ones--TSWBAT... I'm going to make my Civil War unit AWESOME! I'm excited!