Category Archives: Blog Hop

Classroom Reveal 2015-2016

Before I take you on a tour of our schoolroom, which I prefer to refer to as “the library” I will introduce you to the cast of characters here at CandL HomeLearning.

  • Curly, our oldest son, will soon be 17 years old. He’s a Junior this year, but he’s also enrolled in a class at the nearby Community College for Dual Enrollment.
  • Larry, our second oldest son, is 15 years old. He’s a Freshman this year, and he’s excited to rise to the challenge of taking accelerated courses.
  • Mo, our third oldest son, just turned 13 years old this summer, and he’s looking forward to tackling 7th grade head-on and so far he’s risen to the challenge.
  • Li’l Bro, our youngest son, turned 10 years old this summer, and he’s ready to be a 4th grader. He’s still trying to figure out where he fits in best, whether tagging along with his almost-twin sister or wanting to be with the big boys too.
  • Li’l Miss, our oldest daughter, is 9 years old but just 4 months younger than Li’l Bro, and she’s excited to continue learning in 4th grade this year.
  • Li’l Bit, our youngest daughter and the baby of the family, is 5 years old, and she couldn’t be more excited about being a Kindergartner this year and being “in real school” with her brothers and sister.


These wonderful T-shirts were designed by Mo and Li’l Miss, and we’re really happy with the way they turned out after ordering them custom on-line. Some of the biggest kids decided they’d rather not wear them on the “same day” as their siblings, but they were gracious enough to pose for a photo for me.

As my students enter our library, which is where 75% of our bookwork, as I like to call it, is done, they can see our rules at the top of the door. They are as follows: Continue reading


Spreading the Homeschool Love: Blog Hop and Giveaway

I am so excited to be a part of the Spreading the Homeschool Love Blog Hop and Giveaway. I am joining with some great homeschool teacher-authors to introduce you to some great sources for encouragement, ideas, collaboration and resources!
TpT Homeschool Blog Hop Image

I will share with you some more information about myself first. I added my first priced resource to my Teachers Pay Teachers store Page Protector Printables and More a little more than two years ago in May 2012. I have added more resources over time and also learned a lot about providing the highest-quality resources. I was inspired to begin my store when a resource I created to help my then kindergartners work with a calendar during Morning Meeting led to them actually understanding the calendar! That resource is now one of my best-selling resources: Build A Calendar.


I continue to seek out high-quality resources at Teachers Pay Teachers, and I can ALWAYS find just what I need to supplement my children’s educational journey. While there are a wealth of free items available at TpT, I encourage you to look there for resources priced at all intervals to teach your preschoolers through high schoolers in any subject. One of the free resources I’ve found useful was created and shared by Rebecca of Line Upon Line Learning. Be sure to check out her blog and find the free resource {here}.

I have several free resources available in my TpT store as well. One of my most popular resources that you can download for free is my Number 11 Sample pack. You will find 10 different ways your child can explore the Number 11 in this free download. If you like what you see, you can find a link to a larger version that contains these same 10 activities for Numbers 1-20 (or Numbers 1-10 and Numbers 11-20 are available for separate purchase as well).

PPP.Number1-20TenWaysBundleCOVER PPP.Number10-20COVER PPP.Number1-10COVER

One of the best aspects of Teachers Pay Teachers is that you can take confidence in knowing you are purchasing one-of-a-kind resources from actual people who are teaching children! These resources are more often than not created from a teacher’s desire to make a resource to meet the need or needs of students in his her classroom. If you need a specific resource or need help intervening in your child’s learning journey, I am 100% certain you can find what you need at Teachers Pay Teachers! I would encourage you to start your search at one of the stores owned by the amazing bloggers I’ve teamed up with for this Blog Hop and Giveaway.

Before you hop over to another blog to read about more of the hard-working homeschool teacher-authors of TpT, be sure to ENTER our AMAZNG GIVEAWAY using the rafflecopter below! First check out the wonderful resources you are entering for a chance to win!

Blog Hop Prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are so glad you stopped by and hope you’ll continue on to another blog below!  Please be sure and share with your FB friends and blog friends about our Blog Hop and Giveaway. Link back to my blog or another, so they can join in the fun and learning!


Getting Organized! School is in Session on Monday!

I have had a LOT of piles going on in our library … piles of books, piles of notebooks, piles of trash bags, piles of NEWLY purchased school supplies including Ticonderoga pencils! It always feels good to clean out stuff you know you’ll never use again, and it feels good to try some new things and some old faithfuls (like those pencils)! I snagged a pile of spiral notebooks because Office Depot had them for 1 cent! They let me get up to 10 of each color, but I think I ended up with 5 of each.


I started working on our new “I Can Write A … ” board on Tuesday.

I didn’t get to work on it again until today, and I LOVE the way it turned out. Here is a very poor-quality picture of the BEFORE including yet another pile that is now gone as of today!


The resource includes so many writing choices that I didn’t have space to put them all up on the board at one time, but I think that is a good thing! I am still finishing up the notebook with all of the full-size writing helps and templates, but I have it all printed out! I should add Joey doesn’t suggest putting all of the templates in a notebook, but I’m going to *try* it since I have just two students using this! I reserve the right to adjust as needed. 😉 Continue reading


Cool Tools for Addition and Subtraction Fact Mastery


This past year, one of our focuses in math was to master those addition and subtraction facts within 20. Some days, the recall was instantaneous. And other days, well, it wasn’t! I found it helpful to give my students a plethora of tools they could use to help them gain confidence and master those facts!

I would include these on a rotating basis in a bin they could pull from for independent review, free choice, or when waiting on me to work with them one-on-one. I am going to try something slightly different with our bin system, but they will still include cool tools for math review and mastery.

I rarely if ever pay full price for tools such as these. I am including links to these tools on Amazon, but I would encourage anyone reading to frequent garage sales, thrift shops, and consignment sales, because teaching tools are ALWAYS to be found at these places! Oh and retiring teachers can also be a gold mine of resources; they have certainly blessed me and my students!

I found these Math Wrap-ups at a local consignment sale for school supplies. I have the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division sets. They really do work, and my students enjoy the kinesthetic component of this tool.


I found the Magic Math Machines at our local dollar store for … you guessed it, $1! I bought the addition and subtraction versions and now I wish I had purchased the multiplication and division versions which the store had at the time. They are simple but cool. They don’t require batteries and they don’t make any noise just like the wrap-ups. 🙂 These tools are useful for self-checking as each fact answer is revealed when the student pushes the buttons. You really can’t read the answer until you push it, which makes for a fun activity. Another thing we discovered is that these really help students see the patterns in those basic math facts!


The Math Shark is one of our favorites. Not only does it have options for those basic addition and subtraction facts, but it also covers fractions, decimals and percents. DO NOT purchase this at amazon! It is really overpriced there. I found mine at a local liquidation store for $15. I remember contemplating the purchase, but I knew it retailed for much more at amazon and I really wanted to try it. It is electronic, but it is very basic and can be silenced! Again, we use it for individual review work and for challenges too. The feedback from this is instant, and if the student answer incorrectly the correct answer is displayed along with the original equation so they see the whole equation correctly. I like that feature very much!


This simple tool, Number Dice, goes the distance in our school! I do have on my wish list at amazon some 10-sided number dice. In the meantime, I use other creative ways to get them thinking and challenge them! In this photo below, my student was instructed to add shake the box and add the two numbers together inside it. Then he rolled and added the third die to that number. This could be used with any number of dice and with any type of dice.


Summology is a unique game I picked up at a conference a few years ago. It wasn’t cheap, but to be honest, I loved that the tiles are all wood and the storage case is as well. I also knew the uses are many, and that it isn’t something you could easily replicate. We use it infrequently, but when I put it in a math bin, they get excited to see what equations they can make. It includes tiles for all four of the basic operations, but they are easily pulled since they are white. You can use all of them or just one operation or some of them. Whatever works for your students! You can purchase Summology only at the Simply Fun site or at one of their conference booths.


Last but not least, I am always thinking of new ways to use my Page Protector Printable concept to practice math facts. This Brick Builders Math Pack turned out to be bigger than I had originally planned, and it includes some ELA in addition to the math focuses on math facts within 20, place value to hundreds, and some word problems too! We pull this out on occasion for review and hopefully in the not-too-distant future I’ll be making a Multiplication pack sure to please the brick lovers in your classroom!


For your next stop on the Just the Math Facts Blog Hop, check out Sally’s blog post at Elementary Matters!