Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scholastic Book Order Tips


Just hearing that makes me happy.  I LOVE book orders.  I have since I was 5 years old.  Today I'm going to tell you about my Scholastic story as a kid, about how I use them in my classroom, and how to get more families ordering so you can get more POINTS!

My childhood Scholastic story:
I loved when my teachers in elementary school would hand out the new monthly catalogs.  Before I got home I already knew what I was ordering.  My mom would always let me order what I wanted.  In reality she could have limited me to an amount...I don't remember.  I just remember I'd get quite the pile every month.  Sometimes the teacher would just let me carry them in the box when the bell rang to go home.  I love that my parents encouraged me to read and would spend their money on books.  

When I see those flyers every month, I still feel like a kid!  

My teacher Scholastic story:
Now that I am a teacher I still love them and I love them even more because we can earn points to go towards books and classroom items.  My first year of teaching I sent them home for a few months and not a single family ordered.  I was bummed out and I just gave up.  

Fast forward to my second year of teaching (this past year) and I had at least 3-4 kids order a month (sometimes more!).  Every month we were consistently getting about 500 points for our classroom.  Now don't get me wrong, you may try this and still have no one order...but the chances are slim. 

Now I am going to tell you what changed.  Yes, the group of kids changed but something else did too.  I completely changed how I did Scholastic Reading Club orders.

How to Use Scholastic:
When you are separating your flyers, make sure you write your class code and the due date.  I like to highlight it afterwards.  Yes this is time consuming but you could also have a parent volunteer do this for you.  

I like to then staple a tiny sheet of paper (maybe 1/4 the size of a normal paper) that tells parents when the orders are due by, the code, what books stand out to the kids, and a quick how to order.  I also include at the bottom a thank you for ordering and tell them that it gives us points to buy free books.  I usually tell them what kinds of books I'm going to buy with that months points and what I bought with them last month.  They like seeing what the points are going to.
Here are the small sheets I staple onto the flyer.

This is a little haul that I got from using bonus points!

The day I send the flyers home:
I pull up Scholastic's website, explain how to order to the kids, and we look through the flyer online.  The kids love seeing the flyer HUGE on the SmartBoard.  They squeal, they point at books, and they get really excited.  I also ask kids what they want to see.  Once one child said Legos.  So I typed Legos into the search bar and showed them that there are a TON of books online that your parents can find for you.  One girl wanted to see princesses, Frozen, cars, trucks...you name it.  I then ask them what kinds of books would they like to see me get with the points.  

I generally let the families look for 2 or 3 weeks and then I send off the checks and submit the online orders.  

My new general info sheet I'm sending home at the beginning of the year.

This year I am sending home a general info sheet about Scholastic orders.  You want a *FREEBIE*?  Well, click on the picture and it will take you to my freebie on my TPT store.  All you have to do is print them out and write your class code on it.

Oh, I almost forgot!  A really fun thing I love is that I tell parents that if they want to buy books as a gift for their child...give the order to me (or order online) and when the box arrives.  I'll put that order in a bag and I hand it to the parent when the child goes to put their backpack up in the morning, or afterschool when they pick them up I quickly hand it to them.  It's very secretive.  :)  I had quite a few order last year at Christmas and a few for birthdays.  

I hope this helped explain how I've seen awesome results with Scholastic book orders.  I absolutely love how it gets parents and students excited about books and at the same time it gives our classroom new/free books!  Feel free to share any tips that you do in the comments section.

Today I made my info sheet and already got September's flyers ready to go!

Happy reading!


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