Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goin' to the Salvation Army

I made a recent post about one of my favorite thrift store haunts, but it is not the only thrift store that is near & dear to my little SLP heart. I also enjoy finding good deals on games and books at the Salvation Army.

Via wikipedia: "The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over 120 countries.
It was founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom by William Booth and his wife Catherine as the north London Christian Mission and with a quasi-military structure.[3] The theology of the Salvation Army is "mainstream Protestant".

I have been going to the Salvation Army store in my community since I was little. It was the little run-down store I got dolls, stuffed animals, and jewelry at until I reached middle school. At that point, I thought my thrift store days were over unless you count used bookstores. This was helped by the decision to close the store's downtown location and relocate a larger building on our "major" road. The new location brought the store major traffic as well as turning into a target for donation theft. My mom and I no longer felt entirely safe going to our favorite thrift store. 

I started going back to the Salvation Army a few months ago with the expectation that I would find nothing of use. Life, however, likes to surprise  us with the unexpected. I found a Guess Who? game for two dollars as well as some brand new scholastic paperbacks for .69 cents. I was hooked. 

Top 5 reasons I love Salvation Army
1. Their games are ALWAYS cheaper than the ones at Goodwill. I can buy games for $1-2 dollars there when I end up paying $2-4 at Goodwill.
2. Their books are TYPICALLY cheaper than the ones at Goodwill. Paperback books are usually .69 cents and hardbacks are $1. I have gotten some new hardbacks for $2. (This is similar for their school supplies too) 
3. I'm collecting random objects for an phonics tub/alphabet tub (similar to picture below from Teaching Treasures) and small toys are .29-.50 cents
4. I can usually find crafting items (Goodwill in my area never has them) that I can use for therapy art projects for .50-$1
5. In general, everything (except for their clothes and "antiques") are cheaper than Goodwill (and yes, this does vary from store to store)

1. The clerk at our store is usually in a bad mood. 
2. It's always crowded and the parking lot is crappy.
3. After hours donation theft (which makes me worry about people trying to break into my car during store hours). 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New to me

Yesterday, I felt like I hit the jackpot during my lunch break. One of the EC teachers cleaned out the closet in her room and left three huge boxes of old supplies in our workroom. I don't know if all schools do this, but at my school this is an open invitation to grab some new materials for my room.

I snagged several old phonics readers from the 1970s that are PERFECT for carryover activities with my articulation groups. (The Seal, Spot, Tim, Ed, The Mitten, The Surprise). I like that the text is simple, repetitive, and has several sounds that I can target in each book. I used one today, The Seal, with one of my kindergarten groups. It was a great way to have them speak in sentences about Neal the seal as he tried to go home to his owner. We also retold the story, which is great for sequencing activities.

The next thing I snapped up is a wh- question game. The kids can develop questions or formulate sentences. This will be great for a student that I'm about to pick up.

Lastly, I grabbed a brand new social studies card deck. Each card has a picture of a person performing some type of activities. There are so many ways to use this kind of material. Have the students ask each other questions to figure out which card they have, using pronouns, building vocabulary, formulating sentences...etc.

It was a great haul!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hey everyone,
      It's been a while since my last post. I've been overloaded with last minute screenings/evaluations. However, I want to post today about being a thrifty SLP. (I think that really should be the name of my blog..TheThriftySLP).Today I will share with you some insight into one of my favorite places........................: GOODWILL.

According to their website:

"Goodwill Industries International's mission is to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work."

This mission is a noble one indeed. One, that I value considerably due to the current economic state of our country and the socio-economic status of the majority of my students. Many of the students at my school come from families who are unable to purchase clothing (of any type be it new or used) and school supplies. They also get very little contact time with their parents as they are working overtime in the hopes of making ends meet. This is a very disheartening and eye-opening state for me to be in as someone who is in the "privileged" middle-class family.

Anyways, I like what Goodwill stands for: OPPORTUNITY. Shopping there has such a dual purpose unlike larger chain stores that shall remain nameless. Plus, I've gotten tons of great stuff at a great price for therapy in the course of a year. The EC program facilitator's jaw dropped when she learned that I had gathered a room full of materials in just one year thanks to goodwill shopping (among a few other stores, but most of it is from goodwill).

Some of the highlights: games for .99-2.99
                                   toys for .69-3.00 (including Melissa & Doug)
                                   puzzles (both wooden & cardboardish kind) for .69-2.00
                                   books (scholastic- like new, golden books, etc) for .75-2.00
                                   stuffed animals/puppets for animated literacy  .99-3.00
                                   storage containers for .69-3.00
My favorite finds:
          Laura Numeroff books ( for .80 cents with my mom's discount card.
          Picture dictionaries/encyclopedias- my kids love to look at animals and talk about them
          "Sammy" Snake puppet which I use for beginning /s/ articulation drills with my younger students
           Namits Junior game which is awesome for categories (
          Melissa & Doug dress-up set which is popular with the girls. It's great for naming & language expansion for lower level students
          Pop-up pirate- hands down a favorite in my room. It's a great way to trick the kids into cooperating with artic. drills for swords.

What good buys have YOU found at a thrift store?