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December 17, 2013 Boost Your Book Orders! By Lindsey Petlak
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    I love Scholastic Reading Club orders and Book Fairs for countless reasons. Of course, it brings the joy of reading into the homes of my students, but (let’s be honest) it also helps me earn freebies and teacher reward points that can be used to purchase more books and goodies for my classroom and professional libraries. Take a peek at my tips and FREEBIES for boosting student book purchases and making the most of your experience with the book fliers!


    Make Ordering a SNAP!

    Online Ordering: Scholastic changed my world and boosted my ordering frequency the day they started offering online book orders! I send home paper copies of the book fliers, but I find collecting, placing, and tracking online orders to be significantly simpler and more efficient. This has resulted in better promotion of book orders on my part, and greater parent participation because the process is much easier for them, too. As a BONUS, both parents and teachers get FREEBIES for placing orders online.


    Book Order Parent Volunteers and Classroom Jobs

    Parent Volunteers: Send home your monthly fliers, class code labels, and extra send-home materials from Scholastic each month. The volunteers assemble the materials to be sent home with students, and parents return them to class with their child. Home helpers may monitor your online orders, add to your wish list or recommended books, and place the order at the end of the month. If reminder emails or notes need to be sent home, this parent volunteer may also be perfect for that task.

    Class Jobs: Two jobs in our classroom are for student librarians. They help run our class library, keep it organized, make recommendations, and check out/in books. Another aspect of their job is to help with book fliers, deliveries, and passing out book orders when they arrive. Students LOVE this job, it has many benefits for them, and is a HUGE help to the teacher!


    Make the Most of Book Order Fliers

    Book Order Buddies (kids reading together): At our school, grade level classes across the school are paired together for weekly or bi-weekly activities. For example, I teach fourth grade and we have a kindergarten buddy class. If you have a buddy system at your school, try incorporating activities with the Reading Club fliers into your visits together. Keep reading for some activities that make combing through the fliers both fun and academic!


    Academic Activities: You can squeeze a plethora of academic activities out of your book fliers for Reading Club and Book Fairs. I have searched online and even created my own activities that engage students in the fliers without even realizing they are working on numerous academic standards. Try some of the FREEBIES below with your students (and possibly with your buddy classes, too).


    TONS of literacy and math activities in the Book Bonanza pack from Middle Grades Maven.

    Dig Up a Good Book at these literacy centers by SunnyDays.

    Go on a Book Fair Shopping Spree with this math activity from Ashleigh.


    Featured Flier Books: Whether for Reading Club or Book Fairs, never underestimate the power of reading aloud and completing coordinating activities for a book featured in the Scholastic fliers. Check out examples of featured books from our Top Teaching bloggers. See how they incorporated a text from one of the book fliers into their daily routines to get students excited!

    Book Box Fanfare: By the time students are in fourth grade, they know EXACTLY what the Scholastic Reading Club book delivery box looks like. Catching a glimpse of this wondrous box always results in gasps and cheers from students. They know some of the books may be for them and others are for our classroom library. They also look forward to any freebies (stickers, posters, and/or bookmarks) that might be included. Play up this excitement by creating fanfare around the delivery of the box.


    Special Book Fair Events

    We just wrapped up our winter Scholastic Book Fair. Our PTO does a fantastic job of incorporating special events to make the book fair super exciting for parents, students, and teachers. Below are a few suggestions:

    Special Person Book Fair Lunch: On Friday of our Book Fair, students are encouraged to invite a “special person” to join them for lunch and then a walk through the fair. Students and guests LOVE this opportunity for a special mid-day break. Since it’s a “special person” event, students may invite parents, grandparents, a sibling from another class, teachers, school friend, or other school worker (secretary, principal, nurse, custodian) to join them, so that no one is left out.

    Family Reading Pajama Night: Families, students, and parents all dress in their pajamas for a family reading night. Teachers sign up for 10-15 minute read-aloud slots and students come to listen to stories with their families. When they’re not listening to their teacher(s) read, families peruse the Book Fair.


    Give the Gift of Reading

    Book orders and fair times can be disappointing for students who are not able to order books. Try these suggestions to make every student’s book order/fair dreams come true!

    $1 Books: Scholastic offers many books for just $1 each! Be sure to highlight these to students, consider using your points to purchase these bargain books to pass out to students who may not be able to order, or make these part of your class reward system (whether you have students earn points, tickets for drawings, class cash, etc.). 


    Gift Book Coupons: Stock up on gift book coupons, and give them as special treats or rewards to students. Certainly, these are great for birthdays and holidays, but can also be used randomly for good behavior, special academic achievement, or as a special treat for students who cannot afford to place book orders.

    Parent/Teacher Free Book Coupons: Last year, one of my kindest, most generous parents suggested that we make it an option for parents to donate the free book coupon they receive as part of ordering to our class stash to be used for students who cannot afford to purchase from book orders or fair on their own. This might be a discussion you could have with your parents, and those who are interested may donate their coupons to the class stash. Those who wish to keep them, may also do so. 

    How do YOU make the most of your Reading Clubs book fliers and Book Fairs?

    Have you found a great way to provide free books for students who don’t order books on their own so that they may enjoy the excitement of receiving goodies from the Scholastic Book Box?

    Please share!


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Susan Cheyney