Monday, June 30, 2014

Market Mondays: Top Ten Dollar Deals

I don't think there is a teacher alive that doesn't love a great deal.....and of course their local Dollar Store.  I was happy ridiculously elated when a Dollar Tree opened up right down the street from me. It's so close, I could walk there. And I love it.  I should work there. But I don't. But I do buy tons of things there for my classroom and my own kids.  Here are my top ten favorites:

Dollar Tree Mugs
  1. White Mugs: These plain white mugs are perfect for decorating.  This past Father's Day, I bought 20 of them and had my students go to town creating a one of a kind mug for their Dads.  Using our array of Sharpies, the students wrote and colored them up.  Prior to wrapping them up, I popped a little slip of paper that encouraged the Dads to handwash only and to bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees prior to using.  The outcome = adorable!  And the price - $1 each. Bam! You can't beat that.
  2. Picture Frames: So speaking of gifts, every year for Mother's Day I do my annual poem in a frame.  I pick up a simple frame for each of my students, they write an amazing poem, and I snap a cute picture of them. Again, only a buck each for a gift they will remember. 
  3. Picture Frames
  4. Baskets, baskets, and more baskets:  Teachers are addicted to baskets. It's a known fact. We love to use them for all sorts of things, including our classroom library, to store supplies, etc.  I have NEVER paid more than a buck for my fabulous baskets that I use in my classroom. 
    Baskets from Dollar Tree
  5. Art Supplies: Pipe cleaners, puff balls, stickers, gems and more can all be found in your local dollar store.  For only $3, I was able to fill up my PuffBall Machine.  I use pipe cleaners in my daughter's hair on crazy hair day. Stickers go on my students' awesome work. 
  6. Basic Tools: I love to keep my own hammer, screw driver, pliers, and broom/dustpan in my classroom for those odds and end jobs that pop up.  I even store the stuff in one of my colorful baskets!
  7. Tissue Paper: I buy all my tissue paper at the Dollar Tree. Seriously! This stuff is great for wrapping all the gifts my students give to their parents.  Not to mention, all the birthday parties my own kids have to go to. (Which brings me to their gift bags - NEVER EVER PAY MORE THAN A BUCK FOR A GIFT BAG OR GREETING CARD!)
    Tissue Paper
  8. Fun Pencils:  I hand out fun pencils to my students for every single holiday that happens throughout the school year.  They love using them.  State testing coming up?  We crush it with a brand new pencil in our hands.  Partner up a pencil with a free homework pass and you got yourself a very happy student.  :-)
  9. Nail Polish: Everyone should buy nail polish here. It's cheap and perfect for some fun art projects in the classroom.  (Plus nail polish remover is great to have in your drawer at work as well.)
  10. Teacher Supplies: The Dollar Tree has a great little teacher supply section just for us.  They have borders, cut-outs, resource posters, stickers, etc.  Seeing this section just makes my heart happy.  
  11. Holiday Decor: I try to decorate my classroom accordingly for each holiday (and since I'm at a private school that includes Christmas and Easter).  I love that for $10 I can get a ton of decorations to make my room festive. And not feel bad if I throw it out and buy new again the following year.
These are just some of my favorite things from the dollar store.  My daughter's favorite was this adorable apron we picked up for her and the makings for Cloud Dough.  Provided quite a bit of fun!

What do you get from your local dollar store?


Friday, June 6, 2014

How to turn Wikipedia Pages Into eBooks

Did you know that you can turn any Wikipedia page/article into it's own ebook?  This past week I spent 5 days up in Cupertino, CA at Apple Academy.  It was an awesome experience and I highly recommend my fellow educators to apply themselves and try to attend. I learned a lot and am ready to amp up my professional development training at my school.

Wikipedia page turned into an eBook

While I learned so many things, one of the coolest was how to turn a Wikipedia page into an ebook.  And the best part about it?  IT'S SUPER EASY!  I created a quick tutorial video for you below.  Let me know if you have any questions.


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