Professional Development

March 17, 2018

10 Guided Reading Tools from Dollar Tree

With guided reading, it always seems like there are so many tools.  I think this is right.  There just are so many! I have written HERE about my favorites, HERE about some more things I used all the time, but it just never fails. Every time I walk into the Dollar Tree I can’t help but think, “This would be a wonderful guided reading tool and it’s only $1!?!?” If you are just getting started with guided reading and are having to purchase your own tools because your school doesn’t have any, here are some GREAT guided reading tools that you can snag at Dollar Tree.

Guided reading tools do not have to be expensive at all. Grab these 10 guided reading tools for your guided reading groups while you are at Dollar Tree and save!

1. Dry Erase Board

I feel like this one is a no brainer. What classroom DOESN’T use dry erase boards? I know that I didn’t use them often my first year of teaching because I just wasn’t sure how to use them. Here are a few ideas for them in guided reading:

  • Word work
  • Practicing writing and read sight words
  • Guided writing after the lesson
  • Writing summaries of the books read

Dollar Tree dry erase boards are perfect for guided reading!

2. Dry Erase Dice

These are so versatile! You can turn them into retelling dice, word family dice, story element dice, questioning dice, and the list goes on! You, the teacher, can write whatever you desire on them and then use them as a fun way to grab students’ attention when doing an ordinary task like retelling the story.

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

3. Tweezers

You may be thinking, “Tweezers? What in the world?” Here is my idea—what if we used them to squeeze in some fine motor work, especially for our little kindergarten readers, when using elkonin boxes? They could use them to pick up pom-pom balls and move them into the boxes as they segment the words! Two birds with one stone—why not?

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

4. Tin Cake Pan

Are you ever running short on magnetic letter boards? Here is your simple solution! Another plus is that it has a lip and the learner can scoot the letters down or up and not worry about them falling off of the board.

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

5. Magnetic Letters

And you can’t forget the magnetic letters to go with the tin cake pan! The one downside to them is that they are all upper case, BUT they still get the job done and you can always discuss how “silly the words look in all capital letters! That’s definitely not how we write our words!” I might have done that a time or two! 😉 When you are in a pinch, need more letters but don’t want to fork over more money for this set that I love (but is more expensive!), then you can just work with the upper case letters! By the way, the magnetic letters are in the kitchen section!

6. Die Cut Shapes

Two words—fancy flashcards! Yes, making a simple change to your sight word flash cards or fluency phrases that you are using to help build fluency excites our students and engages them. It’s the little things, isn’t it? You could also use them to play a quick sight word game like “Slap It!” or “I Have, Who Has”.

7. Reading Glasses

This was the best tool I ever used as a “signal” for my students to not interrupt me. When I had my reading glasses on, they knew our rule of the 3 Bs applied! You can read more about that rule HERE in this blog post.

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

8. Erasers

Basically, these are fancy manipulatives for stretching out words, counting words in sentences for writing, and using in elkonin boxes! Target also always seems to have seasonal ones you could snag for this same purpose!

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

9. Drink Stirrers

These are the perfect little pointers for our little readers who still need to be tracking the text!

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

10. Transparent Sticky Flags

We always go on a word hunt to find the sight words or word patterns in our text before reading. You can read more about that HERE. We like to highlight them with highlight tape, but I found this transparent sticky flags that will work just as easily!

Guided Reading Tools are everywhere at Dollar Tree!

What are your favorite tools? Have you grabbed any lately from Dollar Tree? I’d love to hear what treasures you found for your guided reading tools!

I can always find awesome tools for guided reading at the Dollar Tree! I'm sharing my top ten favorite finds on my blog. You can use these in kindergarten and first grade small groups all the way through upper elementary. Whether you're just getting started or need to spruce up your guided reading tools, you're sure to find something new to use!

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Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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9 Responses

  1. Do you organize the magnetic letters for each student in the group or is there just one big bucket of letters? Thank you for sharing!

    P.S. Love your ideas-fun, practical, and easy to understand!

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