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15 Dollar Store Finds to Use in Your Classroom...Right Away!

This week I had 13 of my sweet friends staying at my house for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference, and we had a blast!!  Some of my friends went home on Friday morning so the rest of us decided to hit the Dollar Tree to see what we could find!!   We decided to do our very first Facebook live video and share what we found.  Many of you asked us to do a follow-up blog post so you could grab the pictures of our ideas, so we decided to do a blog hop. Be sure and visit all five blogs to see all 15 of the ideas!

Here are the ideas that I shared during the video:

Hungry Shark Missing Addends Game

Materials Needed: Plastic shark sand toy, goldfish crackers
Here's how you play:
  • The students will play the game with a partner.
  • Determine what number your group of students will be working with and have them count out that many goldfish and say the number.  "SIX"
  • Player one will hide his or her eyes while player two has the shark "eat" some of the fish.
  • Player two will open his or her eyes and try to determine the missing addend.
  • They must frame their answer like this, _____ and _____ is 6.  So for example, if player one had the shark eat three fish it would sound like this,  "3 and 3 is 6.
  • Have the players switch roles and keep playing.   

 Materials Needed: Plastic fish sand toy, gummy worms
Game is played the same as Hungry Shark

Materials Needed: Coconut bra (use just one side), gummy bears
Game is played the same as Hungry Shark

Five Little Fishies

Materials Needed: five fish puppets (bath mitts from the baby section), shark bath mitt (this one is from Target)

  • Choose five students to be fish and one student to be the shark
  • The students will stand in a line as the class does the Five Little Fishies poem.  The children will sit down once their fish gets chomped.  
  • As a class state the equation, (for example, 5-1 is 4) each time a fish is chomped.
  • When you first start subtraction, you may only want to work on ONE LESS, so the shark would only eat one fish at a time.  Once your students have mastered one less you can let the shark chomp more than one at a time. 

Flash Card Holder

Materials Needed: plastic cutting board from the kitchen section, drill, metal ring, flashcards

This makes a great holder for your flashcards that you use for literacy and math warm up.
Just add your cards and you are all set!  I've included the ten frame cards and a template so that you can make your own cards. 


Are you ready to shop? Would you like a $25 gift card to get you started? Here's how you can win one! It's really simple. All you need to do is...

Follow each of us on Instagram. Each blogger will provide their link in their blog post.   Here’s mine:

•Visit each blog and read the ideas. Each post will have a link at the bottom to take you to the next blog.

•On the last blog you will find the rafflecopter to enter! 
So....what are you waiting for?  Click on the button to hop on over to Kim's blog and see her great ideas!

  • Not required, but I would love it if you would  leave a comment about your favorite activity


  1. I LOVE the flash card holder! Such a brilliant idea!!!

  2. Adore the flash card holder. It was a real duh moment...ingenious!

  3. Love them all--but am really excited to go and find the shark/fishies puppets and plastic toys to work on subtraction and missing # with! TFS!

  4. Adore the flash card holder. It was a real duh moment...ingenious!

  5. Love love love the flashcard holder. What a fabulous idea! I just asked my hubby where his drill is. 😂

  6. Thank you so much! I would have never thought about those ideas!

  7. I really love using the shark, fish, coconut bras to help with subtraction. I think they are so engaging and easy to have out for multiple centers or even when kids finish early to work on. thank you!

  8. I love the flash card idea. Great to use in math for subitizing. I always have a hard time flipping to the next card but this will help a lot!!

  9. Love the adorable fish and shark puppets to practice subtraction (I'm still looking for 4 more fish and the shark!). The flashcard holder - BRILLIANT!!- I bought mine and hope to have the hubby drill a hole this week :)

  10. Love the shark and fish puppets!

  11. Love the cutting board flash card holder! So fun!!!

  12. Five little fishies is my fav!

  13. I liked the hair roller and number trick!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing! I love your ideas!

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  16. And I thought I'd never, EVER buy a coconut bra! Who knew you could use them in the classroom! I love all of the missing addend activities. I teach third, but I'm thinking I could still use this with my students. I'd start with a higher sum. It would be a PERFECT first day partner activity! (Goldfish would be better than gummy worms for me since I'll have higher sums! Less sugar!)
    Laughter and Consistency

  17. Looks like you all had a great time....thanks for sharing your ideas. My favorite is the cutting board paddle.

  18. Love the flash card holder idea! Off to $$ Tree now :))

  19. I too love the flash card holder! To the dollar store I go.

  20. Coconut bra into a bear den! Great!

  21. Love the ideas! This is my 4th year in kindergarten and I love seeing ways of using basic and cute materials for fun and engaging lessons.I can't wait to go shopping and buy some new materials.

  22. I loved the coconut bra idea so much that I went out and got it today...LOL. My daughter is having a luau for her birthday party this weekend and my oldest daughter was with me when buying things for her party and was in complete shock when I picked it up. She said, "There is no way you are wearing that to the party! "They" won't fit in there!!!"


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