Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Scholastic Reading Club: A Guide For Teachers

You're a teacher... that's why you're here, right?
If you're a teacher then it is almost certain that you know about Scholastic Reading Club.

When I talk about the efforts I make to stock our classroom library Scholastic is mentioned every time. Using Reading Club in my classroom is the NUMBER ONE way I get books. Last year, we added over 100 FREE books to our classroom library by utilizing book orders.

This is the part where you turn into Negative Nancy. 
"My kids never order books."
"I teach in a Title 1 or low income district."
"Book orders are too much work."
"No one orders enough for it to be worth the work."

Well, don't be negative! I promise that I can give you some tried and true tips for making the most of your Scholastic Book Orders.

Things to do that you might NOT be doing

-Send home multiple flyers

Check with other teachers in your building. Not everyone uses Reading Club & sometimes you can snag their flyers! You can see which flyers you receive under My Account. If you are having trouble online, call Scholastic. They are so nice and helpful!

-Attach a letter or informational sheet to your multiple flyers

Your letter should include this information:
1. Your class online activation code (get this from the Teacher's Desk section online)
2. The due date
3. The website address
4. Payment method- send in checks or money orders, online orders can use credit cards. No cash!
5. A small blurb about why we do book orders (to get books into the hands of kids and to get bonus points for free books for your classroom library)
6. How many books? I have always included the amount of free books from the previous month's order. This helps parents see that their money supports the class in a big way! 
Plus, it's fun to see that number go up all year.
7. Monthly book suggestions- make some suggestions based on what your class is loving. Big Nate, Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels and Dork Diaries are huge hits in my class. Sometimes parents just need some suggestions.
8. A wish list section for students to fill out when you pass out flyers.
9. Did I mention the due date?? :)
10. Did I mention not to send in cash?? :)

If you do not want to make your own forms, these can be found here.

-NEVER put orders in mailboxes, instead host a Book Club Frenzy
Hand out your flyer packets and give the kids time to look through them!

 Have students write their classroom wish list books on the board, in a notebook or somewhere that the teacher can see them before placing the order.

-Work together as a class to set a goal for the month
NEVER EVER EVER MISS OUT ON THEIR SEPTEMBER BACK TO SCHOOL 10,000 BONUS POINTS! If you go hard one month a year, make it September!

Don't be afraid to set high goals. You will be pleasantly surprised when you see how excited the kids get as the picture gets colored in. This visual works for us as a class. Do what works for your students. Keep in mind that I never include students names, we don't make a HUGE deal about the signs, I think the casualness helps students not feel badly if they don't order. We have a lot of conversations about how some months we can order books and some months we can't. This should be used as a fun visual and should not be tied to any rewards or punishments.

-Be intentional with orders and bonus points
Every year my kids eat up Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet Series. This year I got smart and ordered a complete SECOND set to satisfy the classroom demand. Free with bonus points!

Balance the books you order! Actually sit down and write out the books you plan on getting with your next order. I even label the genre sections so I can make sure that I'm not favoring (ahem... realistic fiction and graphic novels) any genres or formats.

-Have a book raffle when the order comes in!
This keeps the buzz going even longer! For more information on how I do book raffles, 
check out this post!

Good luck! Leave any questions below. 
I am happy to help anyone who is trying to grow readers.

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