Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back to School Deals @ Dollar Tree

Don’t forget that it’s the perfect time of year to stop in your local Dollar Tree’s teacher’s corner for some hard-to-beat deals on some handy items for your homeschool.

Do you use a lot of posters in your classroom?  It can be difficult to store them without damage, and those professional poster-storage items you can get at teacher stores and office supply stores are certainly costly.  Instead, stop in your Dollar Tree and get one of those rigid tri-fold presentation boards that kids use for displaying their science projects in school.  They are actually the ideal size for holding your assortment of classroom posters!  I just stack the posters inside the tri-fold board and then slip the whole thing behind my kids’ workboxes out of sight.  It would fit nicely behind a cabinet or other piece of furniture, as well.  Dollar Tree doesn’t carry them all year, so now is the time to get one for just $1.

They also have plenty of large, plain white as well as colored sheets of poster board for an array of projects you might have going on in your homeschool.  They are only 50 cents/sheet!

Do your elementary and middle school kids like file folder games?  They can be a lot of fun and a nice way to review and practice particular concepts across your curriculum.  This year, Dollar Tree has some really colorful, well-made file folder games ready for you to use…no prep work is needed on your part.  Isn’t that just the way we like it?

If you like to make your own games, there are plenty of supplies there to make it easier, like dice, library pockets that are handy for holding game pieces and trivia cards, and even pre-made spinners.

Are you teaching calendar skills to your early elementary students, or do you want a large, easy-to-read calendar to display in your classroom?  This is the time to pick up one of the many styles of calendar kits that Dollar Tree has to offer.  You can make them durable and long-lasting by picking up a cheap roll of clear contact paper (they sell small rolls at Dollar Tree and larger ones at Dollar General or Office Max) and using that to laminate the calendar itself and all of the month, date, and holiday tags.  Then pick up some packs of Velcro dots and attach them to the calendar squares and to the backs of the date and holiday tags so you can easily shift the dates and holidays around from month to month.  I punched two holes in my month tags and hung them from stick-on hooks (also purchased at Dollar Tree) above my calendar so I can switch it out each month.  I’ve had mine mounted on our hall closet door for many years, and I have never had to replace any of it.  I write appointments and field trips on the tags with dry erase marker so the kids can easily see what we have coming up.

Dollar Tree also has neat little incentive charts and stickers that you can use for tracking whether or not your children are completing their chores or school assignments each day.  This year, they also have little wristbands they can wear as rewards instead of stickers.  I’m always open to new ways to reward my kids for staying on task with their school work, and they love the recognition.

They also have sheets of foam board.  This has innumerous uses…just think out of the box.  I cut one in half, taped the two pieces together on one side only to create a foldable hinge, punched a hole in the bottom center of each half, and tied them together there with a length of cord.  When you stand this up with the string opened, it creates a stable tabletop easel.  You can pin things to it like student helpers, charts, mini posters, or even pocket charts.  I pinned one of the $1 pocket charts from Target’s Dollar Spot to it and used it with little cards for matTeaching Tree Assorted Reproducible Worksheets, 38-ct. Packsching, sorting, and spelling games for my youngest.  When he was a preschooler, I made little card sets by cutting apart the bulletin board strips they sell at Dollar Tree.  I had some for colors, shapes, and similar preschool skills. 

I also spotted some great new workbooks for K-3, but especially for grades 4-6.  I picked up a few on history, geography, and science for Haylee to use this year and next.

If you are teaching your children how to write checks, they even sell little practice checkbooks at Dollar Tree.  They also sell little plastic cash drawers with plastic coins in them that you can use to teach your children about counting money and making change.

There are so many great resources and materials there for the homeschool teacher in you!  Take a harder look the next time you’re there.

Happy shopping, and good luck with your back-to-school plans!

If you have unique ideas on how to use Dollar Tree items to teach in your homeschool, or if you’ve spotted something new there that makes teaching easier for you, please share in the comments!