Five for Friday & a FREEBIE

I have been MIA from the blogging world for a little while as I try to get caught up with LIFE!  This is the last Friday for me before my first full work week next week {sniff, sniff}.  Not sure where my summer went!  I am excited to get my new group of 2nd graders, but I sure am going to miss sleeping in every morning!  To get back in the groove, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  Click the button below to join in the fun!

So here are five random things that I've been up to lately!

First, let me tell you how I've spent my summer!  I'll tell you one thing I haven't been doing and that's blogging.  So sorry, my friends.  I needed to prioritize and spend some time with my family without the stress of deadlines and to do lists.  So this is how we spent most of our summer....

First, we went on two {yes you heard me right} TWO beach vacations this year!  The first one was just us three and the second one was with our entire family - in ONE condo!  Haha!  We had some wonderful times and made some unforgettable memories.  We laughed until we cried and I'm pretty sure it was one of the best vacations we've ever been on.  See why I needed to prioritize!  I didn't want to miss out on any memory making this summer.

When we weren't at the beach, we spent our time outdoors.  We are a family of 3 who LOVE the great outdoors!  One of our favorite memories from this summer were the times we spent floating down the local creeks and rivers in our kayaks.  This was the first year that our little boy was able to be in his own boat, so again, there were some awesome memories made.  I love this picture of my boys up ahead.  :)

If you follow me on Facebook, I'm sure you have already downloaded this.  I uploaded a FREEBIE for Back to School!  It's a sample Common Core Writing activity that's all about making friends.  It's perfect for the first few days of school.  The students will write an informative/explanatory piece on how to make new friends.  It includes two graphic organizers and publishing paper (both primary and intermediate lines).  You can find it {HERE} or by clicking on the picture below.  I would LOVE if you left some sweet feedback when you download the freebie! ;)

You can find all of my other Common Core Writing Activities {HERE}.

I have also been super busy getting this new product line ready to post in my TPT Store!  Introducing.... Perfect Paragraphs One Step at a Time: Back to School Edition.  I am SO excited about this new product launch!  I just think it will be so helpful in so many classrooms.  

This product series will give your students a step-by-step guide for writing awesome, detailed paragraphs!  It is Common Core-Aligned for Grades 2-3 so the students will be writing Opinion, Informative/Explanatory, and Narrative paragraphs.  It is simple enough that any student can grasp the concept of writing a good paragraph with an introduction, three details or reasons, and a concluding statement.  It uses a painting analogy that the students can visualize as they are writing their paragraphs.  Included are 2 seasonal paragraphs with a back to school theme and 2 generic paragraphs that can be used any time of the year.  I can't say enough how excited I am about this new product line!  Check it out in my TPT Store {HERE} to get more details.  I will be creating these for every month, so continue to check back in my store!

I also got super busy creating a new product that promotes leadership in the classroom.  Creating Superstars in the Classroom: A Tool to Promote Leadership is a classroom management and classroom job tool that creates a real world simulation in your classroom.  Students will begin to recognize positive behaviors and leadership skills in themselves as well as their classmates.  I think this will be a wonderful addition to your classrooms!  You can find more information in the Product Description in my store (including the entire contents of the product) by clicking {HERE} or on the pictures below!

And finally, last but not least, back to my personal life.  If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook Page, you might have already discovered that I am quite the fitness freak these days.  I have completely changed my lifestyle and eating habits for the better.  I am in the gym at least 5 days a week and am now into clean eating as far as my nutrition goes.  As of today, I have lost 18 pounds and am not done yet!  In order to keep this journey separate from my teaching blog, Instagram, and Facebook Page, I have created a fitness Instagram account and Facebook Fan Page to highlight and share information regarding all things fitness and food fun!  Both accounts are called Stronger Every Day, because through this journey to fitness and weight loss, I have discovered that not only am I stronger physically every day, but I'm also stronger mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well.  If you want to join in on my fitness journey, you can come follow me by clicking the links below.  Be prepared for sweaty gym pictures, flexing fun, and before/afters!  :)

Stronger Every Day on Instagram - @strongereveryday3

If you want, feel free to PIN any of the pictures above!

I have enjoyed getting back to blogging.  I hope I've shared a little personal info with you, as well as product info.  I never like my blog to be a straight infomercial for my TPT Store, so I hope I've mixed in a little fun from my personal life in this post too!  Thanks for reading!  Don't forget to click on the Five for Friday Link at the top of the page to join in on the linky or read more Five for Friday posts on Doodle Bugs Teaching Blog.  Thanks!


  1. I love getting ideas for writing, it's never clear throughout the school year, so I will have to take a peek at those! I found out by the end of the year that my students were not the best at writing "good quality" paragraphs so I plan to make improvements this year. Congrats on your fitness goals! I've been starting to make a change in my eating habits and doing a little bit of Tone It Up! You Go Girl!



  2. Hi there ! I am a fellow 2nd grade teacher here! I love your posts Jamie , and I was looking for your email to ask you a question. Don't see a contact me button but feel free to drop me a line at so I can get in touch! Thanks! Looks like you had a super summer by the way!
    Reading and Writing Redhead

  3. I love your post Jamie! We have a lot in common - writing and fitness. Woot!

    The Write Stuff Teaching