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Our Teachers School Us in Low Project Cost

Check out how these three teachers created high impact, low cost projects for their classrooms.


You already know your chances for full funding are much higher when project cost is low. But how do you pull this off without sacrificing materials that your students need? We’re inspired by the creative ways DonorsChoose teachers keep their costs low and success levels high.

Breaking Up is Wise to Do

This back-to-school season, Mrs. Smithpeters funded $1210 worth of books for her classroom. She must have posted an impressive project!

Except she didn't. She posted four impressive projects.

Mrs. Smithpeters divided her book needs into groups, each priced well under $400. Now her room is stocked with engaging favorites like Nate the Great, Dork Diaries, and Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots—all titles that her students helped select—as well as issues of Scholastic News.

Two students are sitting at a table and reading

Same iPad, Double the Benefits

Technology costs add up quickly. On average, projects that have tech components total much more than those that don’t. Mrs. Matthews wanted to incorporate more technology into her classroom, but didn’t have enough equipment to go around.

Instead of additional tablets or laptops, Mrs. Matthews successfully funded a project for headphones and splitters, making the most of the tech tools she already had. This way, she explains, her kids can “listen to a story, watch an instructional video, or complete assignments while sharing an iPad or computer.”

She continues, “My students' learning needs will be met. They will also be able to work effectively with technology, a necessary part of preparing students for living and working in the 21st century.”

Mrs. Riker Keeps It Simple

Sometimes, your classroom just needs that big-ticket item. Mrs. Riker knew she wanted a rug large enough for all of her students to sit together. Rugs can be expensive, but by creating a one-item project, she kept the price low and her mission clear. Add to the mix her fantastic essay about the ways in which the rug would affect every student on a daily basis, and you have the recipe for success.

She describes the unfurling: “The day we rolled out our rug, we sat on it for a few minutes and just enjoyed the newness. After that, it was time to get down to business, learning about the continents, oceans, poles, equator, and compass rose.”Try to look at her pictures without smiling.

4 students get ready to unfurl a rug
The rest of the class looks on as some students unroll a rug with a map design on it.
The entire class sits on the rug in rows with their arms slung across each others' shoulders.

Don’t worry. I couldn’t do it either.

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