I have been teaching 6th grade for four years now, and I myself need a change in my daily routine. On a weekly basis I request that the students do current events, this ensures me that they are reading (at least I hope they are) and that they at least know something about what is going on around the world. That i the only thing I do not want to change, at the beginning of classs the first 5 minutes the groups come up and tell us what they learned from their article. For example, group 1 is on monday and every monday they know that they are C.E. due. Any suggestions to that? As for my regular class, we read as a class. In my book lesson 1 normally talks about the geography of the place we are discussing. It goes into talk about the land, weather, bodies of water, etc. Every now and again I have the students draw the map as an assignment and label it. The other lessons goes in and talks about the people, history, and how its changed. In a week we have a whole group discussion at least 2-3 times and then they have questions to go along with it. If they paid attention in class during our discussion ( i use a beach ball to catch their attention) then they will do just fine on the questions. About every other chapter they have a 3d project to do, for example one of their projects is to build a pyramid with details ...or a model of Catal Huyuk. I do not have a curriculum since I am teaching at a private school, as long as we use the book and the students are understanding our principal doesnt mind. We don't take the TAKS which is the Texas standarized test, my students take one called the IOWA (yet im from TX) and they take it in Septemer, which doesnt give me much time to work with them. I am simply looking for ideas, suggestions, anything that can help. I don't want to bore my students. I have had many compliments, but I think I am getting bored of my own routine. I teach s.s everyday and i have my students for 50min.. Ideas ? Thanks!