Books for Free? Say What!!!
My class and I have earned so many free books for our classroom this year and we want to share how! Even more awesome is the HUGE amount of growth in my students’ reading. Of course, this is coupled with sharing a love of reading everyday to my students, providing lots of book choice, an organized classroom library, and SSR. So how did we earn tons of free books you ask?
The Scholastic Book Club!
This school year we received more parent orders than ever before. My families are so engaged in Scholastic Book Clubs that we have parent orders EVERY month. If you aren’t already a member of Scholastic Book Clubs, I highly recommend you sign up! We did a few things differently in our room this year that increased our engagement and ultimately our monthly orders.
If you’re anything like me, shortly after becoming a teacher I learned about the greatness of Scholastic Books and how you can earn free rewards and books for your classroom. Of course I registered immediately! After choosing my grade level and receiving my monthly magazines, I quickly became overwhelmed. The amount of magazines was a lot and I wasn’t sure how to engage students past simply passing out the magazines. I thought to myself, “How am I going to spread the importance of these books for our classroom?”
It took years of trial and error to figure out a good system to successfully use this resource in our classroom. Every month I would copy and send home the letter that accompanied the magazines. For years, I would wait and wait in the hopes of having parents place book orders to help build our classroom library. I would see these teachers with thousands of bonus points and multiple parent orders and wonder what I was doing wrong. This year, after seeing an idea on Instagram, I decided to change the way I was handling the magazines.
I started from right during open house. The first thing I did when meeting my new students and their families was to gift them a book. I wanted to show them the importance of reading right from the very beginning. I explained to my families how important reading is to our classroom and how it is essential to the success of our students. Once school started and we received our first set of Scholastic magazines for the month, I was so excited. I pulled them all apart, had students grab their favorite color crayon and join me on the carpet. They looked through the magazine to decide what their favorite books were and circled them, while I recommended books I knew they would love. You should have SEEN their excitement. Here is a quick Clip of some of the excitement I see every month from them. I knew at that moment that this was the way I was going to do things from then on.
After that, I received one of my first parent orders in years! I had also ordered books for our classroom too so when we received all of our books, they were ecstatic! When I handed over the books that their parents ordered they were even more excited that they also had some to take home! I also let students “preview” the books I had ordered during SSR before I took them home and leveled them. Book Box Day became one of their favorite days at school!
I really hope you enjoyed learning more about how to help students LOVE reading AND gain free books for your classroom library! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Scholastic Wish List FREEBIE! But you will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram. This post is in no way sponsored by Scholastic. If you would like to read more about how I set up a successful classroom library, check out this blog post.
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