Monday, July 1, 2013

My Favorite Money Saving Teacher Tricks

Now that it is summer, it is time to relax, enjoy the time off, and gradually get ready for the upcoming school year. I have found that doing a couple things throughout the summer helps me stay organized during the mad rush of the beginning of the school year. Now that I have a new baby, I need to be more organized than ever!

In a quest to stay more organized, I have decided to share my favorite money saving teacher projects as I complete them this summer. My goal is to share at least one project a week. I hope that you find these tips and tricks helpful as you prepare for the upcoming school year!

This week's project is creating number tiles. Number tiles are a great hands-on tool! I use them for math, in centers, and in games. I like using the digits 0 through 9 when using number tiles. The only problem with number tiles is that they are so expensive! In the past, I have tried to reduce that cost by printing my number tiles on cardstock and laminating them. This method is cheap, but my students are always losing the one inch paper squares. So this year I am making my own number tiles.

Yesterday I went to Lowes and found some great one inch square tiles. They come on a 12 by 12 sheet for $3.98. That is 144 tiles for $3.98! I want to make 30 sets of the digits 0-9 for my classroom. So, I bought three sheets of tiles for a grand total of $12.66. That is so much cheaper than the $50 you would spend to buy them from a teacher supply company.

They come in a couple of different colors, but I went with the color dune. I want my numbers to really stand out.
Once I got the tiles home, I used a permanent marker to write the digits 0-9 on my tiles.

Once the permanent marker dried, I grouped the tiles into sets and stored them into Ziploc bags.

With the three 12 by 12 sheets, I was able to make 42 sets for my classroom. With the cost of the tiles ($12.66), and the cost of the Ziploc bags (I got two boxes of 25 bags from a local dollar store), my project only cost $14.66! That is $35.34 less than buying them from a teacher supply company! I can't wait to use these number tiles in my classroom! You could use the same tiles to create letter tiles too!

Happy Teaching!

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