It’s time for Thrifty Thursday!!!   That means a fun, simple, and cheap project for your classroom!!  
This week I even have an assistant!   Thanks to my beautiful niece for helping out!  She’s sassy…like her Uncle Greggy!
So….I love roaming the Dollar Tree and finding things to use in my classroom.  Combine that with Pinterest and it’s a match made in heaven…worthy of glitter throwing!!!
For this project you need:
Stones ($1 a bag at Dollar Tree)
Sharpie Paint Pens (I got mine from Amazon!)
Simply write letters on each stone.  I chose to do mine as CVC words so I wrote each letter of the cvc word.   You can do sight words, letters, or even spelling words!   
Or…wait for it…math!   Numbers for number order…
Equations for adding and subtracting!  
So many possibilities!  HELLO!   You know how I love things that can be used in lots of ways!  (work smarter not harder!!!!)
Then students can build the words!   My niece is building words but you could also have them choose a picture card and say the word and build the word!   
Wait?!  Did he say picture cards?!?!  OH, yes he did!   And know there are some freebies at the end of this post!   Oh yes I did!  SNAP!
Click the picture to get your free CVC word picture cards and a recording sheet!  (Everything needs a recording sheet!)

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Ya’ll know how much I love me some Dollar Tree.  And ya’ll know how much I love my DIY lightbox.  So you know I love combining the two loves into fun, hands on, differentiated, engaging, rigorous centers/workstations/hippopotamuses for my ‘staches!
I really love little plastic shot glasses from Dollar Tree!   They’re $1.  They’re bright colors and they’re useful for many things!  And when you buy them in large quantities and the Dollar Tree workers get all excited because they think you’re having a party and you tell them the “shot glasses” are for 5 year olds…the expressions are priceless.  (PS  It’s even more fun to not explain…just say they’re for 5 year olds and leave!)
So…if you don’t have a lightbox in your classroom, you now have a summer assignement from Mr. Greg.  MAKE ONE!
I made mine for about $20.  It’s a huge hit in our classroom.  And you need one!  To see how I made my lightbox, click the picture!
Now you need manipulatives for your fancy, schmancy greg-tastic light box.  HELLO DOLLAR TREE SHOT GLASSES!
And you’ll need some labels (or you can use Sharpies to write on the cups…but I have the worst teacher handwriting ever…so labels it is!)
Now you need to download the PDF files for the uppercase and lowercase letters and the beginning sounds pictures!
Print your labels!
Stick your labels onto the plastic cups.
I did all uppercase letters on one color, lowercase on one color and beginning sounds on one color just to keep them organized and neat!
Now your students can match uppercase and lowercase letters.
Or they can match letters to the beginning sounds pictures!
BUT WAIT!  That’s not fall!   Call now and we’ll send you another  set for $19.99…oh wait…this isn’t an infomercial!
You can have students put the letters in ABC order and write the letters.
You can have them match the uppercase and lowercase letters and write the letters.  
And of course, you can use the recording sheets!
They can match the letters and color the letter!
They can match the letter and picture and color the letter! 
Just click the pictures!
So much differentiation.  So little work!  
I’ve also done this same activity with numbers!
Click to see the post about lightbox numbers!

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  • Reply Tiffany July 16, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    What a FAB idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing. The possibilities are endless!

    One Fab Teacher

  • Reply Kalyn Fisher July 17, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Love it! Have you seen the story stones on pinterest with little pictures?

  • Reply Debbie Eccles July 20, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Love this activity! Thanks for sharing your thrifty ideas.

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