We are just like the next teacher – we LOVE ourselves a Kmart spending spree. But even more so, we are so thrilled when we discover an awesome Kmart hack to use in the classroom. There are so many out there, I mean, we could go broke trying them all!
However, our aim is to help teachers here at Rainbow Sky, not send you broke in Kmart. So we decided to share just 7 of our favourite hacks we created using everyday items at Kmart:
1. Place Value Charts and Random number generators
We turned these pill organisers into random number generators and place value charts.
This little project has so many positives:
- Dice don’t get thrown all over the floor or room (trust us, we have had those classes that you have had to duck for cover when a die gets catapulted through the air)
- When rolled, the dice are already in place value positions which is a great scaffold for kids
- These Kmart boxes are so bright and colourful and they also come with a clear storage box
- You could have these all set up and ready with the dice inside – timesaver right there!
- Noise pollution from the dice is at a minimum with these babies!
- They are grouped in 3 so if you teach older grades that are working with larger numbers, the different colours could indicate the different periods (ones, thousands, millions).
These nifty pillboxes are sold in sets of 7 for $5 (what a bargain!). We took the black text off the front of the boxes with nail polish remover.
Note: We have tried this before with pill sorters from the chemist but the sections weren’t large enough for the dice to turn (we don’t want you to make the same mistake as us!)
2. The Rounding Box
A Kmart money box hack! Kids always have trouble with rounding so this is another great activity to throw in the mix to help them.
This box is great because you can move the parts around to create up to 6 columns, making an activity like this easy to differentiate for those different abilities in your classroom. You can grab the print outs to match this activity for free here.
We have used the money box for rounding, but really, you could use it for so many things in the classroom. For more ideas on how to get your students fluently rounding, read this post.
3. Who is it game
Times table fluency game for the win!
Do your kids ever struggle to enjoy working on times table fluency? Over our years of teaching, we have found the only strategy that works is practice makes perfect. That is why we are always on the lookout for new and inventive ways to keep students engaged and motivated to learn those tables!!!
This is the Kmart version of ‘Guess Who’ (and is only $5!). We exchanged the people cards for numbers. Each student needs to take turns picking up a ‘Do you have…’ card and reading to their partner. The partner then answers it and flicks down the number if they have it on their board.
This game has endless possibilities in the classroom:
- Working on Number Bonds
- Sight word fluency
- Number recognition
- Rhyming words
- Adding and subtracting 10
- Identifying 2D shapes or fractions ….and the list goes on!!!
4. Peg messages
Peg them to students’ bags, desk tags, book covers, and spread some positivity in your classroom.
We would have them in a central spot to allow the kids to get in on the action and acknowledge each other too! A simple and cheap idea that could have a huge impact in making your students feel brave, loved, and seen in your classroom community.
5. Hole punch hack
We hate having to cut out the inside of display letters, so this one is a winner in our books! Use a hole punch to get your scissors in and started.
This single hole punch was $2 at Kmart! Definitely an investment guaranteed to save a future injury from how we were getting to those middle bits previously!
6. Makeup Whiteboard Erasers
We have used many things in our time as mini whiteboard erasers because nothing makes us cringe more than the students falling over themselves to empty the class tissue box (I mean what a waste!). To date, our favourite way to erase whiteboards was to use an old sock and the kids kept their whiteboard marker inside it. That was, until we found these…
They are compact makeup pads and are ideal because they have the little ribbon on the back that allows the marker to slide in so easily. You could keep a class set together like this or give each student their own marker and eraser to put in their pencil case or desk etc
They honestly work so well and are cheap. We found them in the beauty section of Kmart and they come in a pack of 3!
Speaking of mini-whiteboards, we wrote a blog post about how awesome they are for learning. Read it here.
7. Clipboard Dry Erase boards
We used to laminate our learning intention posters and write on them with a whiteboard marker. But we have discovered a clear clipboard (turned over) works perfectly too! They are sturdy, can move it around the classroom (ideal to use with small groups), are cheap, and it is better for our planet (they clean really easily with a damp cloth).
We could continue on, but we won’t. We realise you need to leave and do a Kmart run!
If you have any awesome Kmart hacks for teachers or learning, be sure to let us know. We love learning new things from our awesome community.
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