Viva Las Vegas! A TPT Conference Linky Party

As you may know, quite a few of our Elementary Entouragers have been pretty busy strolling the strip and taking in the sights of Las Vegas, Nevada. However, during the day, we've been soaking in a ton of TpT knowledge throughout the different courses at this year's Teachers Pay Teachers Conference.

As Drew Carey once said, "Everything and anything you want to do, you can do in Las Vegas." When he said that, I doubt he knew he would also be referring to meeting all of our fabulous blogging friends and TpTers!

For the rest of July, we're hosting the Viva Las Vegas linky party where all of the Elementary Entourage will be sharing some of the fun we had together! For one week, we're asking that bloggers who also want to share their exciting times to link up with us! We can't wait for you to see all of our fun and slightly crazy experiences meeting so many inspirational teachers!

If you would like to link up with us, you can anytime until next Monday, July 20th!

Thrifty Teacher Finds & a Giveaway (with Tickled Pink in Primary)

I LOVE going to the Dollar Tree and down the Dollar Spot aisle at Target as I know many of you do too. As teachers, we spend so much money on our classrooms that finding a good deal is important. Recently, I found these HUGE dice in the Target Dollar Spot aisle which are even bigger than the ones you can find at the Dollar Tree. They came in a lot of colors and were only $1!!!! I had to snatch some up for all my games at math centers. 
I found these HUGE fly swatters at the Dollar Tree last spring and knew exactly what I would use them for. We play a game called "SPLAT" where I have 2 kids compete to see who can smack the sight word I say. We had some boring fly swatters and the students still LOVED the game, but these fly swatters make it SO much more fun!
I actually did a whole blog post about a month ago on my blog, Tickled Pink in Primary, for some more thrifty finds. I love shopping at the Dollar Tree and know many others teachers like good deals too, so I put together a list of 20 things that most teachers could use. 
I am SUPER excited that our EE family is growing! We have such a fun group of bloggers already, but these at these amazing and talented 8 new ladies and gentlemen we have joining us! I met many of them at the TPT Vegas Conference last year, so I'm super excited to be collaborating with them now. We are having a HUGE giveaway to celebrate our the new additions to our family, so make sure you enter below.

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Thrifty Teacher Finds & a Giveaway { with Mrs. D's Corner }

Let me start today off by introducing myself. Hi, my name is Stephanie and I brake for yard sales. Phew! Admitting you have a problem is the first step, but seriously. Let me know you what the current situation is in my home office.
 Besides my Target stash from this weekend, which included those 4 gray bins, the purple cardboard mailbox setup, some pointers, and other random school supplies, everything else is from yard sales. 

You're probably saying "what!?" or "I need to go yard saling with you!" ...and you for real do because I feel like I've hit the jackpot this summer.
This is a picture of my total book collection from 2 Saturdays of yard saling. Not only has this pile now doubled tripled, but summer isn't over yet! My goal this summer was to organize my classroom library... which turned in to leveling my entire library... which led me to already leveled books... which has been the majority of my yard sale finds.
Since I found all these books, I needed something to store them in. I wrote a blog post about using Post Office boxes for book bins, and while I felt like it was super time consuming (and I may have purchased Ikea book boxes afterwards), I did end up having my husband help me make some more.
But my scores don't stop there with just books! Katie (Mrs. Decatur's Little Gators) and I went yard saling together one Friday and hit up a retiring teacher's sale. Best. Yard Sale. Ever! Together we spent $30 and got all of the stuff you see above. Brand new scholastic games, books on tape with the books, and so much more. 

So how do I plan where to yard sale?!
Besides driving around aimlessly turning at every garage sale sign on the road, I use an app called Yard Sale Treasure Map (FREE and available on Apple/Android). You put in your zip code and it pulls Craigslist Yard Sale ads and puts them on a map for you. You can click on the dots to read the ad and even get directions through Google Maps directly to the sale. #perfection

What is your best #ThriftyTeacherFind at a garage sale?
I am so excited that our EE family is growing! We already have a fabulous group of teachers who blog here, but now we're going to be even better! Let's all welcome...
And with our new members comes a giveaway! This has to be one of my most favorite giveaways on this blog because I absolutely love everything we are giving away. I discovered Smencils in college and LOVE them. My favorite is the grape one, mmmm! And hello quiet pencil sharpener to sharpen up your new Smencils. #bestinventionever Plus if you still have not heard of Tallahassee Sunday and ordered yourself a custom mini pencil, you need to! I have a pencil and a huge anchor that was custom made for me :)

Thrifty Teacher Finds & a Giveaway {with The Sunny Side of Second Grade}

What teacher doesn't love chalkboard? I know it is old school, but there is just something about chalkboard that screams...Oh Teach With Me! With my three kiddos gone for the summer with Grandma, I decided it was project time. What better project than an outdoor art center? This is something that can easily be done for your classroom...or better yet outside your classroom.

When you have a handy husband like I do, you always have extra pieces of wood lying around. His latest project, building a television stand for our living room nook, left me with just enough pieces to play with. I had six pieces of wood, two different lengths and two different widths. I began looking at our fence and decided they would like mighty nice hanging outside as an outdoor art center. See the first set below:

I put these ones close together for my three kiddos, but I had handy husband cut them just so that the sweet nephews could play at their level too! {Yes the boards were even longer than what you see here} I think the kiddos approve! We staggered the second set since they were different lengths, and I think it displays creativity even more! Next step is to add an outdoor music center next to the boards. Oooooo I sense more dollar tree finds to bang on!

In addition to this cheap and easy outdoor project, I also scored some school supplies on the cheap from good 'ole Wal Mart! I just love these little mini bins for classroom supplies and manipulatives. I was happy to see they had the colors I needed from last year. I cannot wait to see my classroom all put together this year. And by this year, I mean next week since I get a new set of students on the 20th! :)

Bins $1 and Composition Books $.50....SCORE!

Don't forget to enter our Giveaway!! Since our family is growing, it only seems fitting we give away a little something to say thank you for your support and Happy Beginning of School!

First, say hello to our new family members:

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Thrifty Teacher Finds & A Giveaway {with The Kindergarten Connection}

Everyone loves a good deal, especially teachers! We often spend so much money on our classrooms that when we can find good deals and freebies it is exciting!

For my very first post with The Elementary Entourage, I am sharing with you a few of my favorite thrifty finds! 

I have learned that the dollar store can really be a teacher's best friend! There are so many ways to turn their goodies into fun learning games! 

I purchased these cutout sets that pair together - I knew I could turn them into matching games!

I teach Kindergarten, so my matching games may look different than yours, but with these sets, you could create words, math equations, and more

For the peanut butter and jelly cutouts I created a letter match for upper and lowercase letters. 

The lock and key I used to create math equations! The lock has the equation, and the key has the answer! You could even mark the answer on the back of the lock and have them be self-correcting if you wish!

I also found bags of foam cubes at the dollar store. They were called counting cubes, but I saw quiet dice! They are just about the right size, so out came my Sharpie and I got to work! They are great for math games and don't make a ton of racket!

The dollar store often has a lot of flashcards. I like to purchase them and not necessarily use them as flashcards, but in bins for games and such. For example, a bin with addition cards and counters could be used for my students to practice using manipulatives to solve equations in a hands on way!

This last thrifty find is actually my favorite - and it is simply recycling! 

Crayon cups are my absolute favorite way to repurpose and recycle in the classroom. In my classroom we use playdough quite often. Sometimes I make it, but often the parents send it in the cups. 

I discovered that a little playdough cup holds a pack of crayons perfectly! So now when my kids need crayons, they just grab and go! 

Don't use playdough? Recycle frosting cups or yogurt containers - they get the job done too! 

What are your favorite thrifty finds? We teachers are always on the lookout for more, so let us know!

Have you met the rest of our newest members? Don't forget to enter our huge giveaway below! 

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Thrift Teacher Finds with Dianna from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching

Hey Friends~
It's Dianna here today from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching! I'm all about the Clearance Rack & more!!! 
I have a chalkboard fetish & I never over pay for them! Here are some from a recent gathering at my house last week:-)
I love Michaels! Great prices, great discounts & great coupons!
I find so many things for work, my daughter's teachers, gifts, home & more!!!

As stated from my family here on the Elementary Entourage, who doesn't like The Dollar Spot @ Target! You never know what you'll find!

We're also having a giveaway celebrating our growing family!
This is the TRUE official welcoming for them! You can enter to win a CUSTOMIZED Tallahasse Sunday Pencil, Quiet Pencil Sharpener and a set of Scented Smencils! Even though it's summer, we're getting you all set for Back to School when it's time! Just enter the rafflecopter below and be sure to tell ALL your friends! Then, head back here tomorrow for more thrifty finds.
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Thrifty Teacher Finds {with Stephany from Primary Possibilities}

I found this table at a local thrift store for just 5 bucks!  As soon as I spotted it I knew it was the perfect size and height for primary kiddos who were working on the floor.  It's light enough that kids can move it to wherever they are working, high enough off the floor they can fit their legs under it, and just the right size to do sorts or work with manipulatives. 

I started by spray painting the legs to match the color of my room.

I was brainstorming how I would finish the top when I realized I could make it even more useful with a whiteboard top!  I headed over to Lowe's where you can purchase whiteboard and they will cut it to whatever size you need!  The boards are around $10 and even after cutting the top of the table, I have plenty left over for a few more projects this summer!  All you need is some heavy duty glue to adhere the whiteboard to the top of the table.

You can make almost any table top or surface a useful, easy to clean whiteboard surface with a little glue and just $10!  

P.S. Don't forget to enter this great giveaway to celebrate the new members to our Elementary Entourage Family!

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