Top Teacher Tools from Five Below

{Five Below} is a store that is similar to Dollar Tree. Instead of everything being $1.00, everything they carry is $5.00 and below! (Five Below-get it?!) There are not very many {locations}, but they do have a website! The nearest one to me is about an hour away, but it is well worth the trip! Here are my top teacher finds from Five Below. It is such a fun store! 
1. Memory Foam Mats
These mats are probably supposed to be used in some college dorm bathroom. They are soft, and so comfy...but are amazing to write on! These mats can be a fun change in the word work practice routine. They just swipe clean after the word is written. No other items are needed, just the mat and fingers! 
The same goes for these fun "mermaid" pillows! These smaller pillows would be great for PK and K rooms for letter and number practice too. 

2. HUGE Dice
These dice are HUGE! (I mean, check out my arm!) This dice specifically is like a Magic 8 ball. It has yeses and nos. It has a maybe and a try again later. I use this dice for those questions kids ask and it really doesn't matter either way! "Can I read in the hall?" Usually I don't care one bit! I do sometimes get annoyed being asked, and say no anyway... Now the kiddo asking can just roll the dice, and we can let the dice speak! This is a fun way to help make decisions! 
There are also number dice. Obviously these are great for math groups or math activities, but have you ever tried them for whole or small group reading?! Assign each number a category.
1. girls
2. boys
3. tie shoes (any kid with tie shoes on has to read)
4. Teacher (they love having a teacher category)
5. Blonde Hair (any kid with blonde hair has to read)
6. Short Sleeves (any kid with short sleeves on has to read)
You can make the categories whatever you want! They roll the dice, and those students who fit the category read the passage, paragraph, or sentence together! 
3. Emojis
Oh those silly faces! I love Emojis as much as my students! Five Below has a whole Emoji section!
Hello Treasure Box! But my favorite thing I found in this section was large Emoji stickers! These are perfect for papers or just handing out at random for classroom management!
I love that they have letters too! This can be used to make a fun word work game!

4. Camping Light
How many of you have seen {Lucky Little Learners' Camp Read-a-Lot}? Kids would love to get under a cabinet, desk, or inside a tent to read with these LED lights! LED also lasts (or is supposed to) a LONG time! 
There are also SO many decorative, fun pillows for kids to use around the classroom. Cuddle up with a pillow, a book, and a camping light! Minutes of entertainment! HA!

6. Ice Trays
For holiday's, I like to make crayons for my kiddos from ice tray molds! Peel the crayons and break them into smaller pieces. Put the pieces in the trays. I use aluminum foil on a cookie tray and then put the ice trays on those to catch spilling. Heat your oven to 350, and leave them in for about 20 minutes. Once they are all melty, carefully take them out and let them cool completely! When you bust them out, you have multicolored crayons in fun shapes! Cheap and super easy gifts are totally my favorite.  
7. Baskets
There is such a variety of basket sizes at Five Below. There are also separated organizers too! They have my favorite blue/green color, but you can always spray paint them too!



These are only $5.00 and really last! I have 5 that I use in my own room and they have been perfect all year so far! Some stores also have purple and pink colors! 

9.  If you are one to one or even just have a few iPads, these stylus pens are awesome! We use Google Classroom for so many things. Sometimes I have the kids type, but sometimes I want them to practice writing on the iPads too. They are also great for drawing pictures in apps. Oh did I mention they have the rubbery tip...that is so fun to pick off!? It's nice to find styluses that are cheap and not so painful to replace! 

10. Timers
This timer is one of those sand timers. It lasts two minutes and would be more fun than just the timer on your phone. It's also a great visual of how much time is left!
11. Gummi Candy
This gummy candy is LETTERS!!! Hello making words! 
12. Play-Doh
I use Play-Doh at the beginning of the year to entertain the kids while I deal with school supplies. I also like to make words with the Play-Doh. These are also great gifts for young students. 
13. Where's Waldo
I just LOVE Waldo! This would be a fun way for kids to get to know their new classroom. Find Waldo! Tell where he was and what could do there. This could also be a fun writing activity to use similar to an Elf or Leprechaun. 
14. Bean Boozled
WARNING: These are DISGUSTING. I would not use them in my room...but they sure are entertaining! {Two Teacher Friends} have a writing activity they use with these oh so gross jelly beans.  
I would suggest borrowing other trash cans and placing them in easy to reach locations all around the room before playing! 

Whew! There are just too many good things at Five Below!
-Aimee


Workout While You Work!

I love to fit in my clothes. I won't say I love to workout, but I am a teacher! I cannot afford to buy new clothes all the time, even though I argue the opposite to my husband every chance I get. Between the 26 birthday parties at school and the yummy treats in the lounge, it's hard to make good choices! So I just try to work it off later. In the summer, I am outside CONSTANTLY. I'm moving, sitting, swimming, laying out, whatever I'm doing: I'm doing it outside. 

Now that it is cold, I can't just go outside and move around like I need to. To keep active in the winter,   I got this Surf Shelf from Amazon so I can take my work with me on the treadmill! (Disclaimer: I am not part of the Surf Shelf Company nor do I benefit from blogging about it. I'm sure there are similar products that do the same thing, this is just the one I have!) My laptop sits right on the shelf and a velcro strap helps keep it in place. It looks like it would be too tall, but I am 5'4" and it's perfect! 
I can type, create, and work all while getting my steps in! It keeps my mind from thinking about all the walking/running I'm doing and helps me to not get bored. My husband, who works from home, loves using it for typing his reports too. 
I paid around $35.00 for the Surf Shelf on Amazon, and it is worth every penny! Now I don't have to put my computer down when I need to go workout! The company say they fit on almost all treadmills, and the shelf could also be used for grading, like a table! It is one of my favorite things in the winter to keep me active in this cold weather! 
-Aimee
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