Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cheap Teacher Buys

I have nothing to type about tonight.  I have started this post four times and erased when I was a paragraph deep after rereading it to see it was totally blah.  So, instead, here's what I bought tonight {and I'm pretty sure only those who eat, sleep, and live school will appreciate it}. 

First off, how much do you love The Dollar Tree?  Everything is a dollar, so you pretty much can't beat that.  I was pretty pumped about this insta-snow that I snatched up.  It's pretty expensive at the teacher store (like 12 bucks for a tiny bottle!) and kids adore it.  I'm doing a snow/winter unit starting next week, so it was a complete necessity.  Go getcha some!  I also got some great super-sized, fun-colored post-it notes.  Anything that is self-adhesive and colorful and I can write on it is pretty much right up my ally. 

Then, I went to Christmas Tree Shops.  Which, if you're not familiar, doesn't sell Christmas trees, but a grand assortment of all things cheap and wonderful.  I might have to take my camera with me next time so I can show you all the greatness you can get for under $10.  You will be amazed. 

Anyway, I'm trying to step up my math block by incorporating some critical thinking centers that involve little upkeep and can entertain my kididdles for 10-15 minutes.  Enter: the often ignored jigsaw puzzles - which are great for problem solving, fine motor development, reasoning, and hand-eye coordination.  I found some mini puzzles in their own storage tins for - get this - 89 cents!  Love it!  Then, I rounded the corner and, whadayaknow, imposteror Wikki Stix!  For $3.99!  And you get 120!  I pretty much could speak only in exclamation marks at that point.  {FYI: real Wikki Stix sell are around $9 for 48 stix on Amazon.}

Lastly, I went to my beloved teacher store.  Where I fell in love with the dazzling assortment of paper cut-outs, manipulatives, and any and everything DJ Inkers.  I bought an assortment of things to use for upcoming centers.  Oh, and glitter too because life is so much more fun with a sparkle.


{PS.  I'm finishing up my Penguin Unit tomorrow, so I will be posting an entire Unit Plan along with pictures and downloads sometime this weekend!  I just didn't want to post it until I had the chance to complete all the activities so I would know what works or what didn't!}

TGtomorrowIF!

25 comments:

Brittany said...

Great finds! I love the Dollar Tree for teacher items. I stock up in the summer!!

Kathleen said...

Ahh- LOVE.IT.ALL. We use puzzles in my class in groups to practice cooperation, patience, communication...

Starting formal unit planning for student teaching tomorrow. Any tips? :-)

Stephanie said...

Love all the teacher finds!!! I just started student teaching 1st grade this week and I am really enjoying it so far. So if you have any 100 day activities that you can pass on - I would LOVE IT!! ;)

cassandra said...

I do the same thing when i create something new...i don't like to share until i know it's going to be some what successful! I am very excited for your penguin stuff, i haven't done anything with penguins in the past but have felt in the spirit and started with a book about penguins today...can't wait to see what you have!

Michele said...

Dollar Tree has so much great teacher stuff. I had no idea until a few years ago and now I have to limit my trips there. My husband is quick to remind me that a $1 + $1 + $1....you get it, adds up quickly. He's a math teacher so I can't hold it against him.

lovetwoteach said...

OOOH, I have the best puzzle center for you for math and language arts! I have to go digging through my stuff. It is a response sheet to go with puzzles. I will post it on my blog as soon as I find it! The kids have to work "synergize" as a team and complete a puzzle, draw the completed puzzle, then write about the process and the puzzle. You will love it! I should have it up tomorrow.

Kristen
first-grade-teachers.blogspot.com

Jamie said...

Great finds!

I went to a Christmas Tree Shop for the first time a while back and was amazed at all the stuff they had there!

Can't wait to see your penguin unit!

Have a great Friday :)

Allison said...

Love the dollar store! We are getting ready to start a winter unit as well! Hopefully we will have some real snow to go along with it come Monday!!

Have you ever heard of Investigations? It is what we are required to use for our stations. The games are actually fun and very engaging! Let me know if you want more info!

Happy Friday!

Curly J said...

I love finding good, cheap, teacher stuff!! Makes my day! =)

I am really super x 10 eager to see your penguin unit!!! I'm a student teacher and I go into my grade 1 classroom on Monday to show my teacher the units I've come up with. Penguins is my Language Arts unit (so much fun!). I would love it if you could post your unit asap!!! (or email it to me??? I don't mind if it's not 100% complete).. I would love to have some "teacher tested" ideas!

Laura said...

Abby! Love the instant snow idea! Can't wait to incorporate it in my winter unit next week also. Espically since we don't get a whole lot of snow! Thanks for the great idea!
Laura
http://laurasopenhouse.blogspot.com

Lyr said...

Those are some great finds! I guess maybe I should head to the dollar tree. Haha

Katie K. said...

I love the Dollar Tree and am constantly stocking up on things for my first classroom when I am there. I almost always buy the seasonal pencils and games and dice there all the time. I wish that I had a teacher store closer to me but I have to go an hour to get to one. In the big picture though I am glad it is not too close or I would be broke all the time!

Miss V said...

Sooo excited for the Penguin unit!!! Anddd I love the dollar tree for classroom stuff!!

amanda said...

As a student teacher I love all the ideas you post! I'm already in love with the dollar store for supplies!

Jodi said...

Instant snow...fun :) I'll have to go and get some this weekend. I'm also very excited to see your penguin unit. We started ours last week and am finishing up next week so I'm excited to see what else I can throw in there. If you want to check out what we've done so far, you can visit www.fun-in-first.blogspot.com

Tiffany said...

These are great ideas!! I'm not a teacher but several of my friends are so I will definitely be sharing your ideas with them!

Ari- Audrey Onassis said...

I wish I had been nicer to my elementary school teachers! I had no idea how much thought & work goes into planning lessons!

MJ said...

I love these finds!! Nothing like the cheap thrill of school supplies to make a teacher's night :)

According to Ashley said...

I heart the Dollar Tree and I never ever go to the teacher store, even though it is approximately 2 minutes down the street from my house. It's crazy expensive!

Gina said...

I had no idea about the wonderfulness that is Dollar Tree.

Headed there this weekend!

Tickled Pink said...

Haha... I feel you! I stopped at Michaels and Target for the $ isle... time to stock up my treasure box... Teachers love these little things!

Cassie said...

I have just recently started reading your blog and I love it! I teach K and my new years resolution is to become more "thrifty"... I would love you to post more about your goodwill shopping trips--I would love some tips on how you find all your great buys! I've never really shopped there but I'm willing to give it a go :) Post away PLEASE!!

Amanda said...

OH Abby!
I am so jealous of your awesome purchases! Dollar Tree and Christmas Tree Shop are a must in my Pre-K teaching life! Love hearing about the great items you purchased!

A Wedding Story said...

LOVE this! I used the ice cream cut out buddies once for CVC rhyming pairs...the kids loved it!

drjumper said...

The Dollar Tree is great for many teacher finds. I tend to spend a lot of money there, so, I have to forego the cart or basket. If I can carry it to the checkout I can purchase it. This has helped my budget stay intact. LOL