Teacher $1 Spot Hack

What teacher does not love the Target $1 Spot? I have yet to meet one. $1 deals are great especially when you can turn them into hands-on, student centered learning opportunities for your classroom. Keep scrolling to see how I turned a $1 pack of borders into a literacy center for my kinders.

I actually got this idea last year and used it in my classroom. My students loved the letter center so much that when I saw the new alphabet borders this year... I just had to get them to add to our collection. It's a simple, effective, and fun literacy center for roughly $3 that will last the year and years to come.

Supplies Needed:
  • Chip clips $2 (Target storage section)
  • Sharpie or paint marker
  • Pack of alphabet borders ($1 Spot)
  • Decor item *optional (poms, stickers, eyeballs, etc)
  • Hot glue *if decorating 
  • Tape 
  • Access to a large laminator 


The prep is easy and fast, I promise. I'm all about using my time efficiently and this took me about 15 mins to prepare. 

Start with your "chip" clips and leave them on the white paper they're clipped to in order to save some prep time. Using the marker, write all the lowercase letters from a-z on a different clip. Once you're done and the clips are still intact, place a few glue dots onto the clips and start pressing on your *optional* decorative piece. 

The border comes split. To make it whole and sturdy, you will need to connect the two pieces with a small piece of tape on the back side. (Last year, I laminated my borders both long and stacked just to see student preference. For long, I let the kids use the pieces on the floor and stretch out.) Once your arrangement is connected, you can run the pieces through a laminator to make it sturdy for long lasting use. 

There you have it! A very low-prep and cheap literacy center for your primary learners.

The objective: 

In centers or at the teacher table, each student will get a alphabet border and share a bucket of alphabet clips and practice matching upper and lowercase letters.  Students will pull a lowercase clip form the bucket, say the lowercase letter, and match it to the corresponding uppercase letter on their border mat. 

For stacked borders, they were able to sit at the table with enough room to complete the activity. To store clips, I tossed all my clips into one bucket. I did make enough clips per border. Example: (5 borders, 5 sets of alphabet clips). 

To store the borders for easy student accessibility, I clipped them all together with a binder clip and hung the clip onto a magnetic hook against a magnetic storage cabinet in my classroom. 

Free Teacher Gift Tags

Looking for an affordable, fun, and cute teacher gift for your teammates or your child's classroom teacher?  Look no more! I have you covered with this FREE tag set to pair with socks for all your gift giving needs this coming school year. Keep reading for your free download link.

I found my socks at the Target Dollar Spot for just $1 a pair! I really liked the composition book, notebook paper, and pencil socks but there were tons of graphics to choose from within the collection.

Next, I picked up a box of binder clips (large paperclips would work too) to attach the sock to the gift tag. To get your free gift tag, you can download it here from my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.

I printed my tags onto colored cardstock, cut around them, and just used the binder clip to quickly attach it to the socks. And there you have it - easy, purposeful, and cheap gift giving for back to school.