Friday, April 12, 2013

My love of dollar tree knows no bounds aka how I make cheap articulation decks

I love the Dollar Tree. I could seriously write an ode to them. They have some of the cutest stuff that can be modified for therapy. Not to mention the godsend that is their Teacher Tree section. Almost all of the posters I have in my room are part of their classroom decor options. 

One handy thing about their Teacher Tree section are the pre-made die cuts. They have packs of single images, related objects, and varieties based on themes. The arts and craft section also has really cute foam shapes in packs of 8-10 pieces. I love the bright colors. 

The worst part about them is laminating. 
This is just a tiny glimpse of my collection. It's spread between home and work at the moment. I like to keep the cards handy in case I start feeling bored (at home) or fed-up with paperwork. Yes, dear readers, when I start getting frustrated with my paperwork I vent via creative projects. That is literally how half of my ideas are born. I will start thinking of all kinds of neat things I could be doing rather than typing my life away on the computer. The nice thing is that my procrastination is at least productive. 

I haven't quite finished with my cupcake set yet. The deck is for /k/, but I am also forcing myself to make each double-sided card about two related things. I love knowing that the completed cards will serve a dual purpose. 

Here is a partial picture of a completed set that I used for St. Patty's day. I used foam shapes from the Dollar Tree for this one. The glitter is a bit annoying when you are trying to write the words. I recommend getting sets that don't have those if you can help it. My articulation students hunted for shamrocks and my language groups hunted for gold (just butcher block paper) to put in the cauldron.

The cost per project varies on the size of the pack. I usually buy three smaller packs (8-15) or one large pack (36). I usually use these worksheets as my word lists or a quick google search for whatever sound I happen to need. Enchanted learning has a pretty good little phonetic dictionary too.

Edit: I've had several questions for ideas on how to use these guys via facebook. Here are some:
-Multiple meaning words matching. The kids have to give you one on their own based on the two cards they have.
-Synonyms, Homophones, Antonyms
-Pronouns using small magazine pictures in the middle of the cards
-Following Directions. You can break 2 step directions down to one per card. This creates more variety and some interesting combinations to say the least.
-Phonemic Awareness with the single image cards
-Word Associations
-Irregular plural match ups   -Regular plural sort via -s vs. -es endings
-Matching items to their description
-Scrambled sentences with the single image cards            -Parts of Speech Sort
-Rhyming word match up   -Sight Word Cards      -Upper/lowercase letter match up  -Open ended games

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