Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is It Worth a Buck? - Dinosaur Cut-Outs

Our local dollar store (Dollar Tree in this case) has a nice selection of teacher supplies - mainly bulletin board decor, reward stickers, posters, and such. Many of the items aren't really all that useful to the general homeschooler (though I am a sucker for a nice-lookin' bulletin board).

Other items, however, can be modified to fit a homeschooler's needs. For instance, they have a pack 30 paper dinosaurs cut-outs, about 4"x5" in size. Their intended use might be for the teacher to write the names of all the kids in the classroom on them and then post on a "Welcome to School!" classroom bulletin board. Since I only have 2 kids in my classroom, it doesn't really make sense to buy a pack of the-same-looking 30 dinosaurs, much less to have a "Welcome to School!" bulletin board. But I bought them anyway - mainly because my oldest is majorly into dinosaurs right now.

So what can I use them for? Should I really have spent a buck on them?

I finally decided on using the dinosaur cut-outs as spelling practice for Cedric. He can write the spelling words for the week, one per dinosaur. Ten spelling words a week means we can Dino-Spell our Dino-Words for 3 weeks. And as an added bonus, I discovered the cut-outs are double-sided, so we can use them for doubly-long! 6 weeks worth of spelling words!

We can post the dinosaurs on the wall somewhere where Cedric can see them. Or he can carry them around with him to 'play' with. Overall, just a fun way for him to practice his spelling words.

Another way to use these cut-outs for spelling practice is to write one letter per dinosaur, with a few extra needed letters on the extra dinosaurs. Laminate them for durability, then use them to spell out the spelling words. In this way, the Dino-Letters could be used for longer than 3 weeks. Younger kids could also then make use of the Dino-Letters for their letter-learning - ABC ordering, etc.

Will this pack of Dinosaurs be worth my buck? Yes! With the variety of uses one could make of these - definitely worth it!

What fun, educational ways can you come up with for these type of paper cut-out packs from dollar stores?

A Hundred Bucks for Homeschool Curriculum!

Could you use an extra hundred bucks to spend on curriculum for your homeschoolers?

Hearts at Home is holding a giveaway for $100 gift card to be spent on curriculum at their store. They have over 9500 products available to choose from. If I won, I'd like to get either Apologia's Zoology 1 (I already have Zoology 2, and I love it!) or some of the character curriculum for boys (since I've got 3 of them now) by Pearables.

If you want to enter, head on over to The Crafty Classroom to find out how. The giveaway ends on Friday, July 29, so make sure to enter soon!