Sunday, July 28, 2013

Did I Just Leave The Dollar Tree With That Many Bags?

Ok, let's get back to talking about school stuff. I bought at a lot of items for the upcoming school year at the end of last year, as a way to not end up in August panic mode. However, no matter how prepared you think you are, I am sure that all of my fellow teachers know that there will still be a list of items you need. If you are like me, this means 50 post-its in random places, each with one item that you think of as you are watching TV, working out, etc. Oh, the post-it notes that we find around the house. My husband loves it  It drives my husband crazy!

Anyway, as I was feeling ahead of the game, I figured I'd take a trip to The Dollar Tree to pick up a few items that are still on my list (the one that I made from my stack of post-its...lol). I grabbed a basket and began my shopping. I mean, how much can you fit in a basket, right?

How about THIS MUCH?

Yes, ladies and gentleman, for the first time in my life, I spent over $50 at The Dollar Tree! Thank goodness for TpT earnings!

I'm sure you are wondering...is there a NEED for each of these? The always correct answer would be YES! I am going to break my purchases down below in hopes that you might see something that you NEED as well and then you can be savvy and grab it from The Dollar Tree too! Are you ready for my breakdown and justifications? Here we go: 

Super Blow Pops 4-Packs
These are a part of my birthday gift for each student throughout the year. You can read about my birthday rewards here:


Computer Paper (40-packs) for Homework Superstar Rewards, Birthdays, and whatever else may come up. Office Depot charges $6.99 for a pack of 100. Though these are a bit thinner, I still consider them to be a great deal and I should be set for the year, maybe even next year too!

If you were to use your inferencing skills, you might think I make my students brush after every meal all year long. However, this is for our first week Toothpaste Activity. Students work in groups to squeeze an entire tube of toothpaste out as fast as they can on to the paper plate. Then, the next task is to take the toothpicks and try to get as much toothpaste as possible back in. I maybe give them 10-15 minutes before they realize that they aren't getting it back in. That's when we have a discussion about words. I let them have an open discussion about words or phrases that have been said to them that have hurt them. I write all of the acceptable words and phrases on the board (and if an inappropriate one comes up, I don't freak out, I just tell them that the word is so hurtful that I can't even write it on the board). Then I take a step away from the board and say, "Students, these are toothpaste words. When I asked you to squeeze the toothpaste, it was like the words that sometimes come out of your mouth, some of which are hurtful. Then I asked you to put those words back in and what happened?" Students will recognize that they can't take the words back and a discussion begins about how carefully we should choose our words, even when we are angry. This is an amazing lesson, and my students referred back to it often. You can grab a print out of the directions and a reflections sheet here: 

Squeeze toys! 

Gosh, these are so fun! My students loved them last year. In my class, these are used to identify the person in the group who is sharing. The only person that is talking is the one holding the toy, and they pass it around until everyone has held it and shared. Great for group discussions. Bonus points because they look forward to discussions because they get to touch the toy. They do get a little icky after a year, which is why I got these replacements. I love the caterpillars and wish they had more than just those two!

Mini Tote Bags in packs of 2!

I have a strict policy on signing out books from my library overnight. I keep a separate sign out sheet and everything. My biggest concern is that the students don't ruin or lose my books. I am going to decorate these and call them the book overnight bags. I'm even contemplating adding something else to the bag, like a little bear or something. I'll post them when they are ready for use! 

Smarties

Smarties are part of my Welcome Bag, which you can read all about here: Welcome Back Bag. They are also great for use with test motivator notes. In other words, I like to have them on hand at all times. Why pay $3 for a large bag at Walgreens when I get can get the same amount in two bags for $1 each? 

The snack stock

Seasoned teachers will probably know right away why I bought these. There are always going to be kids who skipped breakfast and then feel sick around 9am because their bellies are empty. Instead of sending them to the nurse, give them a pack of crackers. Problem solved, no learning time missed. You're welcome new teachers!


The basics: bright, neon colored index cards and colorful eraser caps. Items teachers can never get enough of! Enough said on that!


Stickers, stickers, stickers! In my Coupon Reward Post, I talked about a great rewards system that I use where students earn tickets that can be used for different items. I've decided that sticker sets can easily be worth 40 tickets. I love that I found stickers that will appeal to boys and girls. I also love that I can still find Lisa Frank stickers. What a throwback to my youth! 


Sets of 2 Posters! That's right, TWO!
These posters were a great find in the teacher section (yes, The Dollar Tree has a teacher section) since I am going with an owl theme and I am going to be teaching science this year! Score for Mrs. O! 

Now you know why I left The Dollar Store with more bags than ever before. I might have spent more than $50, but I came out with so many wonderful items, I felt overcome with joy for only spending $1 on each item I needed had a reason found a reason to purchase! If you aren't hitting up your local Dollar Tree, you are probably missing out, and spending way more money than you need to! 

I know it's still July, but the store ads are out, and I'm getting up early to find the best deals on scissors and pencil sharpeners. I think I'm officially in back to school mode! 





25 comments:

  1. Love your haul! I did the same thing last week. We share a lot of the same ideas. I don't know if you saw the little gumball machines at Dollar Tree BUT you can put the cap erasers you bought in them. Check out my post here to see my pic.(scroll to bottom) http://teachingisagift.blogspot.ca/2012/08/classroom-setup.html
    The kids in my class LOVE this dispenser!
    Sidney
    Teachingisagift

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    1. What a great idea! I am going back to the Dollar Tree today to see if they have them! Thanks Sidney!

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  2. I love the Dollar Store! I also liked your toothpaste activity. I think I may just do that this year before i introduce Bucket Fillers! Thanks for the tip.

    Debbie

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    1. You're welcome! I really think it's a great and meaningful activity. The students really enjoy it and will refer back to it throughout the year, which I always take as a sign of an awesome lesson! Let me know how it goes if you do try it!

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  3. Whoa! Totally craving Smarties now!!! Nice haul :)
    I'm your newest follower! I teach fourth grade in VA so I think we'll have a lot in common!!! Can't wait to see more of your posts.

    -Caitlyn
    Fourth Grade Lemonade

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    1. Thanks for the follow! We do have a lot in common...like not having common core...lol! Do you sometimes think that if you moved to another state you would be clueless about common core? As a military wife, I definitely do!

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  4. Great purchases! You made me jealous!!!!!!

    Alison

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  5. Woow...what a good collection..I do love these things..

    I am your newest follower,

    I'd love you to stop by my blog and join with me,If you get a chance.

    www.mysmartangels.blogspot.com

    Nilangi

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  6. The tooth paste lesson is brilliant! I'm going to give it a try in my classroom! Thank you for sharing!
    Teaching 3rd with Mr. G
    Follow me on Bloglovin

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Mr. G! It's definitely a great activity! Please let me know how it goes!

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  7. Love the toothpaste lesson! So wonderful for the beginning of the school year. I shared this on my Five on the Fifth post!

    Megan
    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

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    1. Thank you Megan! I'm flattered to be on the Five for Fifth post! Your blog rocks!

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  8. I am your newest follower and I will be doing the toothpaste lesson this year! Thanks for sharing. I do a lesson that is similar where the kids crumple up and piece of paper and try to flatten it out again. It shows them that sorry doesn't always make it better.

    ✰Becca
    Simply 2nd Resources

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    1. Thank you for the follow! Be sure to check out my giveaway if you haven't already! I love the crumpled paper lesson as well. I usually do that one in January as a reminder as we start the new year. If you do both, it's also a great way to do a compare and contrast lesson!

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  9. I love, love, love the toothpaste activity. I've already sent it to my team at school and I'm heading to the Dollar Tree tonight! I found your blog via Megan @ I Teach. What's your Superpower? and a new follower!

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    1. I am so glad that you love this and that you are sharing it with your colleagues. I hope that it is a powerful lesson for all of your students, and one that they remember throughout the year and beyond. I find that some students share words that we wouldn't always consider hurtful and it really helps students to think before they speak. Some adults could use this lesson too! LOL Thanks for the follow! Now I'm following you!

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  10. Love the toothpaste activity! I might have to try that one this year.
    -Jen
    Tropical Teacher

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    1. Thanks Jen! I hope that you give it a try and that you love it!

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  11. That toothpaste activity is awesome! I'm so glad you shared it! I'm sharing it with the teachers at my school. :)

    Wendy
    Read With Me ABC

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    1. Thank you Wendy! I'm happy to hear that other teachers will be using this fun yet important activity!

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  12. I have never heard of that toothpaste activity before-definitely using it with my kiddos this year! :) Thank you for sharing.

    NotJustChild'sPlay

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    1. I'm so glad to be sharing this fun activity with others. The toothpaste world is going to see a stock rise in Seotember! :-)

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  13. I love the toothpaste idea! I've done it for several years with my kinders every year!

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    1. Awesome! I love to hear that others are using it at different levels too! Whoever dreamed it up was a genius!

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  14. Your toothpaste activity is a great idea. I'm not a teacher but a Cubmaster for a local cub scout group. My guys can definitely benefit from this as we promote anti-bullying. Thanks.

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