I love when my students read high interest books at their independent reading levels. But sometimes it is hard to find enough copies for my small reading groups. I may easily find two or three copies, but I usually need enough for a group of five or six. Over the years I've found a few ways to find enough copies of books without breaking the bank!
Do you send home book orders with your students? If you're not already sending them home, now is the time!! Click HERE to request what you need to get started!
Scholastic gives you points for every dollar spent each month! With those points you can get free books. That's right, FREE!!! And Scholastic offers a lot of popular books in sets of 6, which are perfect for your small groups! And they always have the best coupons!! So, you can not only use your points, but you practically get $10 in free books every month! I have used Scholastic book orders over the years to really build my classroom library as well as my small sets of books! They also allow parents to order right online, which is so convenient & the kids love when book orders are sent home!! Scholastic always sends a few extra book orders too (okay, sometimes it gets excessive) but I love to use the extras to teach lessons on genre or summarizing.
If you're new and just signing up, ask a teacher friend for their referral code. They'll receive points for referring you. And then you can reach out to others to tell them how amazing book orders are & use your own referral code!
You can grab a free "teacher recommendation" sheet below to send home some of your favorite books offered each month! You can write write on the slip before copying them or personalize for each student!
This summer, get out those classified ads and check for garage sales! Many times, right in the ad it will state that it is a retiring teacher. I have hit the book (and storage bin) jackpot at retiring teacher garage sales! You may not get a set of books, but you may find some good books to add to your library while you continue to hunt for more to complete the set.
Check for local virtual garage sales on Facebook as well. You can ask within the group for a title you're looking for or keep your eyes open for books your class might enjoy!
If you find a "good" good will, you may hit the jackpot again. But it's hit or miss so it doesn't hurt to call ahead if there's a particular book you are looking for.
I heard about thriftbooks from Katie @teachruncreate on Instagram. Thrift books is a site with cheap new & used books & free shipping on any order over $10. This site is perfect for small sets of books or to round out your incomplete sets!
Are you in a BST teacher group for your area on Facebook? You can ask for titles you are looking for and hopefully someone in your area will have what you need!! You can trade if you have something you are looking to get rid of or just buy at a cheap price!
If you are looking for specific books, call your local library! My library will do a search within our county & gather all copies in one location, I just need to pick them up! No searching or anything, they're right there for me to checkout. Call your library & see what is available. You may be able to find books online easily too! (But when they are borrowed from my library using my own library card, I do not allow students to bring them home.)
You can also talk to your school librarian as well, there may be copies of the books you're looking for right in the library at your school! When I am looking for specific books our librarian will contact all other libraries at schools in our region. They send them through the region-wide pony mail system & it usually just takes a couple of weeks so I need to prep a bit in advance. Ask your librarian, he/she might be able to contact other schools for what you're looking for!
When you need just a few copies of a book don't be afraid to ask the students in your class if they have copies. They might have a copy at home from an older sibling or maybe they've ordered from previous book orders! I've also had wonderful parents take out books from their local library too!
And of course...ask other teachers in your building too!!
I have used all of these methods to help build my classroom library as well as my small sets of books. Thinking and planning ahead & choosing books for small group instruction & book clubs gives you time to prepare & gather the books you need! I hope this was helpful!
You can check out my book club pack that I use in small groups here.
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