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July 12, 2019

Building Your Classroom Library

Years ago a colleague and friend told me the secret to getting class sets of books for cheap on Scholastic.  It has everything to do with their Birthday Book Coupons and their Back to School deals.  Do you know the secret too?

During that first order of a new school year, this year pick up a set of their Birthday Book Coupons.  In past years it's been 32 coupons for $32-34.  Yep, that makes each of those magical coupons only $1, BUT each coupon can be used for up to a $5 book.  That makes my teacher budget very happy!

Yes, I have gotten a lot of my class sets of books when they are $1 each (don't use the coupons for those books), save them for those $5 books that you have been eyeing.  Last year I picked up THREE of those coupon books, my goal to add a couple more sets of class novels to our mix, for our monthly book clubs, and to add some surprises into our class library.

Another way to add more free books to your classroom is to get a gigantic order together first thing in the school year (when they are giving out TONS of extra bonus points).  I send home an email to parents to give them a heads up that the order is coming home.  I put ALL the 4-5 book club orders together to give the students a lot of options.  I give students a challenge to see if everyone could order at least one book to help our class... with the idea that if everyone orders at least one book, that our order will reach those higher bonus points.  

We go through all the catalogues together (I have mine under the document camera), and I make a list of everything they see that they would want me to order if I get enough bonus points.  I show them where those dollar books are, and with their highlighters they circle everything they are interested in.  I tell them that as a mom I love buying books for my boys, but I need to know exactly what they want - so they need to let their parents know too.  I log onto my Scholastic account and show the kids exactly where to put in our class code... I also tell them that I use all the bonus points that they order on them - meaning they will see all the rewards that our class earns.  It's motivating!

That's with adding new books, but there are so many other places to get more books that may have been used.  Here are my list of places to beg and visit:

*friends cleaning out their child's bookshelf
*asking my class families for donations when their child is done 
*cleaning out my own child's bookshelf
*public libraries in their for sale room
*thrift stores
*retiring teachers
*garage sales
*Scholastic warehouse deals
*clearance racks
*Half Price bookstores

Just mention you're a teacher and some places have thrown in additional discounts.  Where else have you picked up books?  

I hope this helps someone!

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