November 11, 2015

Book Shopping- Literally!

Many teachers use the phrase ”Book Shopping” to describe their student’s process of choosing books. This year, after much discussion in our district around weeding and curating libraries and authentic experiences for students, I decided to have my students do some real book shopping.
In September, when I passed out our 1st Scholastic flyer along with our class code, I promised my class when we earned 3,000 bonus points they could choose the books we would order. Well… because of their extreme excitement over reading and new books we earned over 3,000 points in less than 1 month! So I kept my promise but I also made them work for it (a little bit!).
I gave the students some time to peruse our library, thinking about our bins, authors and titles. I asked them to look for authors they would like to see more of, series where we had missing titles, titles or series we were missing altogether, etc. They explored bin by bin. I’m talking book by book through A-Z Mysteries to find each book we were missing. They jotted their ideas then shared out and we compiled a class list. Then we logged into Scholastic and that’s when the fun really started!
They soon realized 3,000 points go quickly! So we had to compromise, think about which books would get more reads, what we were missing, and HOW MANY POINTS THEY WERE! They negotiated text worth based on how many points they would take and how many students would actually read them. They learned a lesson in value with value packs. Some packs had 3 or 4 newer books for more points than a pack with 5 or 6 books, even if they weren’t the newest titles. After about 35 minutes, full of great conversation (They were only 4 weeks into 3rd grade!), adding and subtracting and many lessons learned we hit “Place Order”.  They asked me everyday to track the shipment. They felt so much ownership over curating their library and were so excited to start turning the pages of these new titles. We added over 40 titles and used ONLY points. It was an amazing thing! We can’t wait to do it again.

Update: We are at 989 points so far!


  1. What a great idea to get kids excited about reading and feel ownership in the process!

  2. Such a smart idea! I'm sure they loved it and will remember that for a long time!