Friday, April 7, 2017

Teacher Finds!

It's all my fault. You can blame me. I put my snow boots away on Monday and NOW look what came back!

Those are big fluffy flakes of snow coming down!


As I write this it has turned mostly to rain, and nothing is sticking outside. But still. Some Spring Break. sigh

Enough on the weather. I link with Doodle Bugs Teaching today to share something I did for spring break... I went shopping! Check out what I found at both Dollarama (yep, I crossed the border) and IKEA. The IKEA items you will only find at IKEA, I think. But if you don't have a Dollarama nearby, I bet many similar items are in your local Dollar Store or Five Below.  If nothing else, reading today might just give you some new ideas on how to use common items. Buying new classroom stuff to spice up the last quarter of the year for not a lot of money makes my teacher heart happy, and will make my kiddos happy, too, when they get back from break. And I do have to admit, today's Five for Friday is more of a Quick Ten for Friday– there's lots you don't want to miss!

1.  I picked up a few cheap bunches of silk flowers.

They were $1.50 each, I think. The kids will enjoy a spring theme in their small world play.  I cut them up so there are little flowers to scatter about on the "green grass," and the stems and leaves can be turned into trees with a little plasticine to hold them up. I found these big leaves that will make trees and habitats, too. Plasticine bricks were also at the Dollarama– rather good sized bricks of one color, as opposed to packs that hold several colors, and which the kids muck together to make brown anyway. 


2.  These little shells will be fun in small world, loose parts, and our counting jars. I will use the cute jars for something else.


3.  I LOVE these letters, especially the small ones in the tray. 

There are four of each letter and they were only four dollars. I would have gotten more, but they only had two trays left. Letters are always handy for letter and word learning, but I think I'm going to put them out in loose parts play, too.

4.  More for small world play. 

The cutest little character erasers. Look! The pandas have already escaped from their neat plastic test tube jars... something else I will put to further use later.

5.   Google eye magnets? Are you kidding me.

I can see these popping up on the white board, the kids lap boards, lots of places. The pack was just $1.25.  It always feels like, somebody's watching me...

6.   How fun are THESE! 

Colorful emoji tacks. They belong on a special bulletin board display... which I have yet to make up– snort. But I Will! 

7.   I sure hope these are not just a Dollarama thing because I'm going to regret not getting more.

Very handy and inexpensive gadget bin boxes to keep bitsy bits in. One has adjustable compartment sizes, too– loose parts all the way. And only three bucks. Whoot! 

8.   I don't know about you, but I need lots of attractive trays and bins to use when I put out all these little parts, whether they are for small world or loose part play. 

I have round compartmentalized snack dip trays to use on our round tables. They are easy to find for just a dollar at the dollar store. However, we have two rectangular tables, too, and the round trays take up too much room. These long trays and the compartment bin trios were exactly what I was looking for. They will work well when lined up right down the center of the tables.

9.   Now for a couple IKEA items. Our green grass bases in small world play comes from this throw rug from Ikea. I didn't buy it on this week's trip, but I share it here because I saw they still have them and took a snapshot. Isn't it a lovely green grass color? And the knapp height is grasslike, too.

I cut the big piece into six pieces, making each about 10 x 15 inches, and less than two dollars a piece. And the back is really neat and easy to cut in straight lines. Even with lots of kid play they have not frayed at all. 

Here is a piece in action. 

10.  And this last little share I am really excited about. I know I have seen these at IKEA before, but just never thought about them. 

Note the size– 8.5 x 11. The exact size of a sheet of plain copy paper. My kiddos use this paper the most when creating freestyle in the Light Bulb Lab. Their creations will fit perfectly in these frames. I think I am going to find a place to hang two to highlight the "Artists of the Week." This little gallery won't be juried and everyone will get a chance to put things in, but it will be a little nudge for the kidpeople to do their personal best work, and give them incentive to look with a reflective eye at what their best work is. Teacher Happy!

AND I took off the backs and plexi on six of the frames and spray painted them black. (IKEA might very well sell them in black, but they didn't have any the day we were there.) 

These I'm going to use as simple empty frames. When put them out on the table top as part of loose play it defines the space nicely for kids and pushes them to design more in the space. The plexi pieces from the frames will be handy for some other project, knowing me. 

And BEST of all these frames are just THREE bucks each! Nice wooden frames, at this large size, and only three dollars. Whoot! 

Well, there you have it. Some people get out of town to warm and sunny places– I drive over the bridge in cold and dreary weather to shop for teacher finds. So much fun.  I HIGHLY recommend checking out Dollarama if you can get into Canada, or even look for these things in the States. If they exist in the world, they'll be coming to a Dollar Store near you soon! And as most of you know, IKEA is a teacher treasure trove and worth the trip. 

Hope you found some new ideas! Don't forget to PIN so you remember later. Scoot on back to Five for Friday now and see what other ideas you can find. Thanks, Kasey, for your weekly linky.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. The grass rug is a great idea. Imaginative play is so special for our kids. Happy Michigan spring!
    Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher


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