Full disclosure: this school year I am blogging for Scholastic and I happen to have been a Book Club (now Scholastic Reading Club) fan for a long, long time. Book orders are one of my favorite things.There is always something new and always something to "ooh" and "ah" about as a class. Not only does the buzz about books fuel a love for reading, it also helps build our classroom community.
I pass out order forms just before the end of the day on Fridays as a great way to end our week together — with a book in mind. Once the forms have been passed out, we do two things: star and circle.
Students star the books that they have read and would recommend to others. We also write the titles on our whiteboard. This gives students the opportunity to be vocal about their reading. They become book critics and give the books a star rating on the board.
The circling is our opportunity to "window shop." As we go through pages, students are encouraged to circle titles that interest them. This way, when they get home and show it to their parents, they already have an idea of what they'd like to read. The important thing to me is having my students look through the order form and be able to express to someone why they circled the books they did.
Having the option to take care of everything online has been a wonderful addition to Reading Club. This is a great alternative for parents. I promote the online ordering because it takes one plate off of my tray and adds books to our classroom at the same time. I post the directions and classroom code on our classroom homepage, trying to make it as easy and convenient as possible for parents.
If a student orders one book, they get a raffle ticket from me. They can enter our monthly classroom raffle and have the opportunity to win a prize. The kids are so excited just to be a part of the raffle, and then to find out that they get another book for next month — it's a win-win!
Another great way I use the order forms has nothing to do with book acquisition. We recently started our work on genres and needed to classify books into the appropriate genre. Students were able to cut and paste the book covers that were featured in the monthly form under the appropriate genre choice.
Any way to get the kids engaged in reading, is worth a try. I find the more time they spend studying the form, the more eager and anxious they are to order from it. They become familiar with titles and it sparks an interest in their reading.
Storia is a great way to encourage electronic reading for kids. While there is Kindle and iBook, Storia has been created with kid readers in mind. The online books from Storia can be downloaded directly to your device. Many of the books offered also include engaging activities like games and comprehension activities. It is an eReading system like no other.
As a teacher, one thing I really love about Storia is the fact that you can buy a title for your classroom and share it with up to 40 accounts. This is a great feature that can be used to enhance whole class reading activities. The best part about Storia, everything is offered online. This makes it easy for parents to buy the book for their child and the download will show up on the device of their choosing.
Promoting reading in and outside of the classroom is a never-ending task. Book orders is one of many tools that aids in that process. It's a wonderful thing to hear a classroom of kids sharing about the books they have read and the ones they can't wait to read. The joy of being a part of a good book and a good conversation spreads around the room like a wildfire.
Thank you for reading!