Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dollar Store Treasures for Common Core & a FREEBIE

Classroom Set-up #5:
Here is my latest find from the baby section of The Dollar Store for helping me teach Common Core math:
Aren't these plates & covered cups cute?
The plates come 2 in a pack for $1 and so do the cups.  The cups have lids and one little matching spoon.
If you like the dry erase contact paper that this plate is
sitting on, you can find out where to get them
by clicking here.
How I plan to use these:  I'll put a set number of counters in each cup (like maybe 5 counters) and give each child a cup and a plate.  You can use anything from glass beads to teddy bear counters, to  quiet pieces of Fun Foam.

Common Core is all about the hands-on experience.  This activity makes addition & subtraction real.  

Wouldn't the frog set go GREAT with our Frog Subtraction Book?

You can grab our Frog Subtraction Mini Book by clicking HERE or on the images:

   Click the image.

Click the image.
Subtraction:  Students can start with a set number of counters (like maybe 5), they spill them into the bottom half of the plate and then subtract a certain amount by placing that amount of counters in the top section of the plate.  The bottom section shows the difference or the remaining counters.

You can create an entire set of bears, frogs, bees, or ladybugs.  I didn't get any ladybugs.
All of the plates are exactly the same shape, so they nest
nicely.  This is my kit for meeting with small groups.

I plan to put teddy bear counters in the bears, tiny flowers in the bees, an frog counters in the frogs.

The plates are divided into two sections.

Addition:  The child will spill the counters onto the plate and count how many pieces landed on the top section of the plate and how many landed on the bottom section.

Then, they can compose their number sentences:
0 + 5 =5
1 + 4 =5
2 + 3 =5
3 + 3 =5
4 + 1 =5 or
5 + 0 =5

This will go great with our Circle math templates.  Students can color the circles one color to show how many counters landed on the top section and another color for the counters that landed on the bottom section.
Click the image.

Here is a little FREEBIE for you:  These are our "Perfect Number Cards" and we call them that because the 1 does't have that extra hook at the top or line at the bottom, the 3 doesn't have a straight top, the 4 is not pointy, and the 9 is not curly.  They are perfect!  And they are FREE!

I still haven't come up with a use for the cute little spoons.

I also grabbed some cute sponges for my paint center.

Remember how I cover the paint containers with wet sponges so I don't have to clean brushes every night?  I'll poke a hole in the center of these and use them to keep my paints fresh.  Click here to see how to make paint container sponges.  Here is a picture of the paint containers with regular sponges:
Click the photo se see how these work. 
The cashier at The Dollar Store asked me if I was buying things for a baby gift.  I laughed and just said, "No, I'm a kindergarten teacher and I teach addition and subtraction with these things."  :oD

Come back tomorrow for more classroom set-up ideas.
Palma :)


  1. Verrry fun ideas. Keep them coming!

  2. Thank you! I'll be posting new school year ideas all month :)

  3. Don't forget about placing a plastic baggie in your paint cups before pouring paint into them. Helps keep the cups clean and easy to throw away old paint.

    1. That is a great idea Lauren. I am so going to do this with my paint buckets.

  4. Thank you, Lauren! That's a GREAT idea! And one I never thought to do. This is going to make my life so much easier! :)

  5. check your number sentences.....3+3=5 should be 3+2=5.