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Book Orders
Old 08-26-2006, 07:30 PM
 
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I was wondering how many of the students in your class order books from Scholastic book clubs? The past few years I've had only 3 or 4 students order and it's always the same 4 students. I am looking for ways to get the other students' parents to order. I know that not all parents are financially able to do so, but I don't work in a completely low-income area, so I think that a few more should be able to take advantage of the low Scholastic prices. Some of my kids tell me they can't/don't want to read at home because they don't have any good books. I tell them they can check out books from the library or order books from the catalog, yet I still don't get a lot of participation.

Do you include a letter or anything with suggested books they can order? Do you offer some sort of incentive?


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Scholastic Orders
Old 08-26-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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I too have low orders. Some months no one orders books. I do usually send home a letter with some book suggestions. I always put the 95 and $1.95 books in the letter as well as favorite authors, books about current classroom topics, and anything else I think they might be interested in. This has helped a little bit, but being in a very low income area really inhibits orders.
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Old 08-26-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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I've had really good luck with parents purchasing books from the monthly Scholastic Book Club. I always send home a letter with the book forms, including the following information:

Since our school is BIG on AR, the first thing I do when a new form comes out, is to make a list of the AR titles.

Also, usually the September issue offers the Scholastic Children's dictionary. This is the same one that I use in my classroom. This dictionary usually runs about $18.95 and it usually sells for about $10.95 in the September issue. I mention in my letter that if parents would like their child to have the same dictionary at home that we use in school, they might want to consider it, since dictionaries are not allowed to go home for homework. (At our Open House, I always have a few of the dictionaries out on the desks for parents to preview before purchasing.)

Another thing I do is tell my parents that the book club gives us points that I redeem for things used in my classroom. I have a television, a VCR, and a Stereo that I have acquired through book points. I also have a pretty expansive classroom library. Each year, I set a goal to what I will be using the points for and I tell the parents what this goal is. This fall, I am going to get a new stereo, since my old one doesn't function fully anymore. (The cassette player died, but the CD and the radio still work. Since I have some awesome cassettes, I really miss not having that component.)

Also, when Scholastic offers novels that I plan on reading in class, such as Charlotte's Web, I mention that we will be reading it. I explain that while I do have enough copies for each student to use in school, these books are not allowed to go home, either. IF they want their child to have a copy of their own, where they can read it at home or school, parents might want to consider purchasing it.

Of course, all of these are suggestions, but they work. I've sent in book orders that totalled over $400!

Hope this will give you some ideas that work for you! JKB
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Reading Tips Information Letter
Old 08-27-2006, 04:27 AM
 
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I just found for the first time this year a fun informational letter for parents that offers reading tips, some information about the Editor's Pick of one of the books offered in the book order which provides some information about the chosen book. I found it on the Scholastic website for download.

If I was good at making quick graphs, I thought about making some kind of line graph to show our monthly orders.
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here's a copy of my letter
Old 08-27-2006, 05:41 AM
 
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tips:
1. announce early that there will be a limited # of book orders. I only do 3 a year, carefully scheduling them near to Christmas (for gifts) and away from school book fairs

2. offer to keep books a secret so that parents can save them for birthdays and christmas

3. give recommendations

I've attached two letters: the first one since it's fall didnt have as many recommendations. The one from February has some ideas to help parents with kids on different levels.


Attached Files
File Type: doc Book Order.doc (27.0 KB, 118 views)
File Type: doc Book Order Feb.doc (46.5 KB, 71 views)
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Bookmuncher
Old 08-27-2006, 06:15 AM
 
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Thank you for the excellent ideas. I have also had a lack of excitement about book orders. I admit that I am a bit random and have not put out a letter. I'm going to go with your idea and make some recommendations and modify your letters a bit for sixth grade. Thanks again! Great idea.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:46 AM
 
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I put out the order forms monthly along with a letter stapled to the front of the ordering packet (I usually have 4-5 of the club forms stapled together) cluing parents in to particularly good deals or significant titles in the order. I also give these out at the end of the day and allow students to look throguh them while they wait for the bus. I usually get about 7-8 of my children ordering from multiple clubs and around christmas I do mention to parents that I can keep the orders back as a secret for christmas presents. I just call when the books arrive and they come pick it up. Parents for the most part realize that the books in scholastic can be really inexpensive and on top of that, knowing we earn points for classroom resources really helps too. Good luck!
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book order-software
Old 08-27-2006, 12:00 PM
 
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I addition to the standard book order, I send home the Scholastic "Click!" order each month. This is for software. Each year I have a couple of students whose families buy this type of media. You get a lot of book order points for your efforts as well, since most items are a minimum of $14.95. I have found attaching a letter to be helpful as well,including explaining that our class gets lots of books from the bonus points earned as other posters have indicated. Good luck!
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Thanks
Old 08-27-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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Thanks for the great suggestions everybody and for posting your letters, BookMuncher! I've gotten some good ideas.
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online ordering
Old 08-27-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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Has anyone tried the new onlne ordering for parents through Scholastic? I am interested in trying it, but would like to hear from others who have tried it...I currently place my student orders online, but I wonder if more orders would be placed if parents had the opportunity to order on their own?

What are your thoughts???


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Old 08-27-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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I've had the online option for a year, but haven't received any bites that way. I notice that the kids really order a lot at the beginning of the year--those that want to order at all! My orders tend to lessen with time. If you can get the 20 dollar minimum, you can use your coupons. I have purchased the teachers' resource books with points AND dollars if I want the resource and don't have the points or the kids didn't order 20 dollars' worth of merchandise. Thanks to my devotion to Scholastic, I have collected a beautiful class library. My home kids also have access to great literature. I get a lot of birthday/Christmas gifts this way. I'm the aunt that always gives books!
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The kids are your best salespeople...
Old 08-27-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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I like to give the kids a few minutes in class to look through their book order packets with me. I try to "sell" them on a few books or point out some of our read aloud favorites for them to buy for themselves. I then let them use the classroom hiliters to hilight what they are interested in so that they can schmooze their parents when they get home. Like a previous poster, I send home the December book orders w/ the option for parents to secretly drop off and pick up Christmas gift orders in the office. I get many takers this way. I also make a big deal about all the free books we get with each order and set the new books in a special place for a few days for the kids to appreciate the new material. Like others mentioned, I also always attach a letter to the orders and give recommendations as to the best titles and bargains.
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book orders
Old 08-27-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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I have started giving out my first book order with my parent information packet on back to school night. I can emphasize to the parents that we do have a monthly reading assignment, and that Scholastic's prices are usually better than the local bookstore's. I really push that September order because the bonus points are the best. Good luck
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Don't Get Discouraged!
Old 08-27-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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Please don't be discouraged...for the last several years I was not getting but a couple of orders each month. I got so discouraged that I didn't even bother doing them last year. Well, I thought I would try again this year and IT WORKED!!! I got smart this year and sent the forms home on Monday and then at our Thursday night Open House I put out extra forms right by the sign in sheet. Then during my big Open House "Lecture", I made sure to mention that the more books that they ordered to "build their home library" the more books we would be able to get to "build our classroom library". (Like the home-school connection?!?!?) Anyway, by the following Monday, I had over $275.00 worth of book orders!!!! And this just happened to be the month to earn 5000 bonus points...Am I excited??? So that just goes to show you, when you give up all hope...the book fairy will sprinkle her magic fairy dust upon your class!
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