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Memorial Day FREEBIE and a Big Thank You to Undercover Classroom!

Memorial Day

My thoughts and prayers turn toward gratitude on this special observance, Memorial Day, as our nation remembers and honors the brave men and women who have lost their lives while defending our freedom.

Although our school district has ended the year for summer break, I still wanted to create an activity that supports children in understanding what this important holiday is all about.  (I know that many schools are still in session, and many parents continue activities throughout the summer months whether homeschooling or simply keeping their children sharp!)

This Memorial Day crossword puzzle features relevant vocabulary, and also includes a little extension activity where the student writes down three ways we can remember our troops.

Click on this graphic to download the freebie :o) 

A Big Thank You to Undercover Classroom!

I was so touched when Chrissie from Undercover Classroom recently nominated Hedgehog Reader for a Leibster Award!

I learned from Chrissie that this award aims to support and encourage new bloggers in the very big world of blogging - what a great way for bloggers to get to know each other better!

Related Factoid:  When Mr. Hedgehog and I watch our daily dose of Jeopardy!, one of my very favorite categories is Word Origins.  So I was very interested to learn what "lobster" means.  When I translated it (Thank you, Google Translate) from German to English, I came up with "dearest."  I like that!  It also has multiple meanings including welcome, valued, beloved, nicest, and lovely...  all of them wonderful words indeed!

Part of the fun - and the way that we all get to know each other a little bit better - is that I am supposed to answer eleven questions.  After the Q & A portion of this post, you'll find the names of five wonderful bloggers to whom I'll be passing along this fun award!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I started blogging about five years ago as an avid scrapbooker and crafter as a way for me to share my creations and ideas with others.  I had set that aside, but then in September 2014 decided to blog about children's literature and education.  I love sharing wonderful books with children in real life, and recommending books to families to read at home.  I also love to share ideas and just generally participate in the wonderful community of teacher bloggers!

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
At the heart of my blog is LEARNING.  Whether I'm reviewing children's books, discussing activities I've shared with students, or posting some thoughts about an aspect of education, it's really all about developing lifelong learners!

3. Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey that you wished you knew before?
I am starting to understand that it's not about being perfect; it's about sharing on a regular basis.  I'm working on this and consider myself a work in progress!

4. What is your favorite pastime other than blogging?
I have so many interests!  I've listed a lot of them in the About Me section, but one thing I don't think I included there is that I love to volunteer in our community.  Some of my favorite philanthropies are TAPP (encouraging and supporting pregnant teens to stay in school), Chemo Companions (offering companionship and comfort for patients going through chemotherapy), and Cinderella Affair (providing free prom dresses to high school juniors and seniors).

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog/TPT?
I dedicate about 40 hours per week to creating activities, but am only now learning how to make that time more productive and purposeful.  I have not been putting enough time into my blog, and my goal this summer is to spend more time writing book reviews.

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I would say at this point my favorite blog posts are "book and resource roundups."  I love saving other teachers time by curating and sharing resources that enhance learning.

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
I'm most inspired by the question "What is the best way to use this with a third grader?"  If I apply that to just about any book, activity, or topic, a blog post can come out of it!

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I'm my own worst critic, so I don't know if I'm truly proud of any of my blog posts yet.  But my favorite thus far is probably my 100th Day of School post.  I liked it because it showed my students in action, shared a packet of activities that I created, and revealed a little bit about myself (and a very unflattering picture of me as a 100-year-old teacher!).

9. Is there a post that you are planning to do but have been postponing it for a while?
So many!  As I mentioned in my answer to question #3, I am just now getting better at losing the perfectionism.  Perfectionism can be paralyzing... hey, now that is another great topic for a blog post!

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
My favorite aspect of blogging is the warm community.  I love reading other bloggers' posts, and it is so much fun to meet other teacher bloggers in real life!  Here is a photo from when a few of my Hello Sunshine friends met up for a My Favorite Things party two weeks ago:

Cassandra from Mrs. 3rd Grade, Caitlin from The Kinder Garden, me, Teresa (peeking over the gift bags!)
from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie, and Ashlyn from The Creative Classroom
11. Which idea from a blog would you like to try yourself?
I enjoy reading the regular link-ups that so many other bloggers are great at participating in, and I would like to get better at that also!

Thank you again, Chrissie, for nominating me!

Now it's my turn to nominate these fabulous bloggers for the Liebster Award!

1. Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do
2. Kirsten Tulsian from Kirsten's Kaboodle
3. Shelly from Appletastic Blossoming in 5th Grade
4. Sarah from Kovescence of the Mind
5. Kathleen from Kidpeople Classroom

Here are the Liebster Award rules:
*Link back to the blog that nominated you
*Answer the 11 questions posted by the nominator
*Nominate 5-11 blogs (with less than 200 followers) and link to them in your post
*Contact the nominees and let them know they have been nominated

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!


  1. Oh, Pamela, congratulations on the Liebster Award! I think you have an adorable blog and I find good stuff on here whenever I visit. And thanks so much for nominating me for a Liebster, too! Recognition always feels great. To let you know how much I appreciate the Liebster I have to share that not only did I get a Liebster last year, but I started a Liebster page where people can go to find out more about this award AND where bloggers can link up their blogs so they can be more easily found. Now that you are a Libster blogger I encourage you to check it out and sign up! Hope your nominees will, too. Here is its address– there are quite a few bloggers linked up on it now:
    And congratulations again :) Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome resource page you've created, Kathleen! I visited a moment ago - I don't know how I hadn't seen it before! - and linked up... I hope you don't mind that I'll be mentioning it on a future blog post (and will link up to you when I do of course!) because it is such a great place for bloggers to know about! xo Pam