Using Dollar Store Deals in the Classroom


Teaching can be an expensive profession. Most teachers buy things for their classroom. This post highlights Dollar Store deals that can help students.

Dollar store deals can help save teachers lots of money while providing literacy support. The Dollar Store, aka Teacher Store, is the first place I visit to find unique tools for guided reading and literacy stations. Repurposing things you find sparks student interest and saves the teacher lots of money. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the ways I’ve used some of the Dollar Store deals I’ve snagged.

Dollar Store deals for the Classroom


Storage Containers, Dollar Store deals that can help students.

Can you tell what this container is for? Item #1 is normally used to make omelets in the microwave…not in my classroom.  This Dollar Store deal will now hold the old Scrabble letters I picked up and will become a word building center this fall.  If you don’t have Scrabble letters, you could make your own letter tiles with the 1 inch tiles from Lowe’s or Home Depot or print/laminate letter tiles.

VISUAL AIDS, the second of my dollar store deals

Do your students use the hamburger model for paragraph formation? These cute condiment coasters will become my visual aids when we work on paragraph formation. These “Sandwich” drink coasters are made of cardstock, but wouldn’t they work well for a center for creating a how to paragraph or to go with a sandwich graphic organizer from here.  I think I will return for additional sets!

visual aids...dollar store deals

BEHAVIOR INCENTIVES using dollar store deals

Item #3 is going to support my behavior plan.  I found these two part raffle tickets in the party section.  The price was right for “Caught Being Good”.  Even upper elementary students love to pick from the prize box! In addition to raffle tickets for behavior, I’ve found quite a few great classroom management tools in the teacher aisle. I love passing out compliment cones subtly when I’m observing my kids work.


plastic pouches for protecting books...dollar store deals

Item #4 of my Dollar Store deals will help my students stay better organized and *protect my books*.  I send home a book each night with my students for independent reading.  I also use the logs to keep my parents informed on how things are going. As I check them, I just jot a quick note about the day. Sometimes, it’s just a smiley face, but my parents appreciate knowing how the children are doing with their AR points/goals and in class.  


Finally, (drum roll…) item #5 is wood-grained contact paper for my bulletin board (I’ll leave the backing on it),  lots of jungle themed cut-outs, and tropical bird mobiles to hang from the ceiling of my room. Yep, it’s going to be a jungle in my room this year.  I already had leopard print beanbag chairs for my reading nook, so why not take the theme to the next level.

I hope you got a few ideas and can find these things at your local Dollar Tree. If not, I’m sure you’ll find other great things instead. The key is thinking how you can repurpose or use the great things we can get for just a little.

We all love great deals and creative ideas. If we go and peruse the aisle in the Dollar Tree with imagination in our minds, we can often find just the things we need.



Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I was so excited about the little sandwich coaster pieces…perfect for putting together a paragraph. I am seriously going to go back and get the rest. I'm envisioning a collaborative paragraph lesson with them. Anyway, you never know what you'll find! Thanks for stopping by.

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