This is my first year teaching. I worked as a long-term sub for most of the school year last year so I do have a decent amount of classroom experience, but this is my first year in my own classroom. I'm teaching 3rd grade at a private school and prior to this had no experience with the curriculum we use (Beka-for those of you familiar with it). In the past (as a student teacher and long-term sub) I planned A LOT of my own lessons. It was always based on the curriculum, but I used the pages in the book more as reinforcement for the activities that we did when I would introduce the topics. I've found myself really getting into a rut this year since school started, though. I think it's because I was so stressed out over setting up my classroom, getting things ready for the first day of school and learning the curriculum that when school finally started and I was teaching with the books it was like I could finally take a breather! All of the lessons are planned for you and it's really easy...plus since all of the parents buy the books I have no photocopying to do; we just rip the pages out! I've had a tough week so far with my class (see my 'tough day' thread ) and it was a real wake up call for me. I have not been teaching like myself and I think we're all pretty bored! Sooo....today I went out and bought some file folders and a new ink cartridge for my printer so that I can print out some file folder games to use to reinforce topics that we're discussing and so the students have something to do when they're done working other than reading. I also stopped by the library (for the first time since school started ) and picked up some books that are related to the social studies topics we're discussing (Christopher Columbus, Pocahontas, Miles Standish, etc). This was something I did regularly in the past and am pretty upset with myself for waiting almost a month to do it this year. Anyway, I once again have typed way more than I planned to, but I just wanted to post because I'm in a pretty good mood now thinking about how excited my class is going to be tomorrow with all of these new things.