Using Dollar Store Hacks in the Classroom


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 Hacks for the Classroom


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.


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!


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.


Item #4 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.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Carla

    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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