Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: A Serendipitous Discovery

I love dollar stores.  If you’re a teacher reading this, you’re thinking, “DUH! Don’t we all!?”  But this is my blog and not yours.  ;)

Today I’m featuring TWO good finds, the first of which is an idea I came up with last year when  I was teaching the concept of time.  I wanted a more active and fun activity to do with my math small groups, and this idea popped into my head. 
I bought a dollar store shower curtain liner and freehanded a large clock (no clock hands) with a Sharpie marker.  Then, I had my students lie on the “mat” and use their arms/legs to show me a certain time.   They had a BLAST doing this, and the shower curtain has lasted the last two years with no tears-  even with the kiddos wearing shoes!

Here's one of my sweet girls showing 12:30.  I once was that flexible...

To adapt it for math centers, I created large hands out of construction paper that they can place on the clock to show the time (my class is a little wild and I didn’t think that letting them use their arms/hands would be as successful without me there to keep them on task).  Then I wrote digital times on an index card so that they could draw a card out and show the time on the clock mat.

My kids ask to play it every day now and it only cost me $1 to make!  I can just see a pre-made clock mat like that retailing for $20+ at one of those teacher supply stores.  I love cheating the system!
I’m sure there are other great things to make for the classroom with a cheap shower curtain.  I’m picturing something Twister-esque.  I'm anxious to hear if any of you have any ideas for repurposing shower curtains in the classroom!

The 2nd idea is a little bonus addition because I found these puppies today!  I was at Dollar General (which in our small Arkansas town, we happen to have FOUR of these!).  I was checking out when I saw a clearance basket so I sifted through the items.  
I found these little desk calendars, assorted colors.  Originally $1 but clearanced at 90% off!!!!

That's $.10 people!  So I had this idea... I bought 6, for a whopping total of $.60.  I took them to my classroom and cut them into two sides, separating the numbers from the calendars.

I realized that the numbers on the left would only have the numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3 in the tens place since they corresponded to the calendar dates, so I bent the bindings on 3 of them, and removed the numbers from the once place to replace the numbers in the tens place on the other.  That sounds very confusing, so I hope this ends up making sense.  Regardless, I ended up with 0-9 in the tens place and 0-9 in the ones place.  So I bent the bindings back in place and ended up with 3 cute little flip charts to use for place value in a math center!  Plus, I have 6 adorable little flip-chart calendars that I can use to create a calendar concepts game for a math center as well!  

Check out these little cuties!  Too bad they're all in super girly colors, but they'll make fun additions to my math centers!

Well, tomorrow is FRIDAY and just so happens to be a triple whammie: day....Spring Break Eve!!!!!! Yeeeeeeeeehawwwwwwwwww!  I'm just a tiny bit excited.  I hope you all have a fanTAStic weekend and are getting to enjoy some sunshine like we are here!  I'd love to hear your latest thrifty finds, so leave some blog love to share!  Tah-tah!

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