Let's face it, purchasing books for a classroom can be ex.pen.sive.  Most schools require the teacher to provide a majority of the books for their classroom.  We want quality books for our students to read, but they can cost up to $25 each!   Is it possible to create a classroom library on a budget?

The answer is YES!  I just added over 100 books to my classroom library for less than $25 total.  Let me show you how.


My favorite place to purchase books for cheap are book sales.  I use Book Sale Finder to search for those happening in my state or nearby.  Most of the book sales near me are located at neighborhood libraries.  The books are gently used library books or books donated by the community.  More often than not, they are in very good shape.  The children's books are usually 25 cents each.  I always go the first day of the sale in order to choose from a wide variety of books.  I walked out with 35 books for only $8.00!


Scholastic is a wonderful resource.  I send home book orders with my students every month, along with a parent letter.  Parents can order books online (with a credit card) or send in an order form (with a check).  I usually send a variety of three different book orders home with the students, depending on what Scholastic sends me that month.  Usually there is a combination of non-fiction, grade-level and seasonal orders.  

Every time a parent places an order, the teacher receives bonus points.  These points can be used to purchase books or materials for the classroom.  You can also earn book coupons when parents place an order online.  The student receives a coupon too!  Scholastic also offers specials each month, sometimes offering free books.  How awesome is that?  Even if you don't earn bonus points or free books, you can still get some pretty good deals from the company.

I received free books for ordering before the end of the month and also used bonus points and coupons.  I spent $0 on more than 40 brand new books!


Another great place to grab books is a yard sale.  Oftentimes, they are selling books that their grown kids don't read anymore.  Sometimes, you'll hit the jackpot and stumble upon a yard sale of a former teacher!  Once you find books at a yard sale, make sure they are in good condition and aren't smelly or moldy from being in a basement.  Also, don't be afraid to bargain!  Most people are willing to give you a better price if you explain that they are for a classroom.  I purchased over 40 hardcover books for less than $15.  This set is worth over $400!


Lastly, check your local thrift stores.  Not all stores sell books, but some have quite a collection!  I like to visit Savers.  Again, always make sure the books are not moldy or dusty.  In my experience, the thrift stores are a bit more expensive than a yard sale or library book sale.  The books range from 30 cents to $1 per book.  Still a lot cheaper than a book store!


For more Bright Ideas from over 100 awesome bloggers, browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade-level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!



I am so excited to announce that Educents.com is bringing back their HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From August 13 - 15, they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year!

Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

Preschool - Kinder Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 72% OFF

Preschool

Kindergarten Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 75% OFF

Kindergarten

K-2 The Write Stuff ELA Bundle - 68% OFF

GradesK-2(writestuff)

First Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF

1stGrade

School Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 2-3) - 74% OFF

Grades2-3

Poetry Curriculum & Activities Bundle (Grades 2-6) - 75% OFF

Peotry

Tricky Math Curriculum Bundle (Grades 3-5) - 69% OFF

Grades3-5(trickymath)

Complete Full-Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 6-8) - 77% OFF6-8

Management, Decor & Organization Bundle - 76% OFF

Management(allgrades)

Don't Miss It!

Today I am joining Stephanie for her Meet the Teacher Blogger linky!


Hi!  My name is Sara.  I am 28 years old and live in the Ocean State.  This will be my first full year in fifth grade, after 5 years in second {and a 1/2 year in fifth}.

This photo pretty much sums up my life:


My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years and our daughter is 4 months old already!  We also love our lil yorkie pup.




THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
Family. Beach. Paperback books. S'mores. Board games. Organization. Red Sox. IPhone.

 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
I've wanted to be a teacher since before I was even in school, so this is a hard one!  I think graphic designer would be my choice.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Positive...Determined...Happy.

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
Ellen DeGeneres.  She is just an all-around fun person with a zest for life!

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
Smiling through Life

 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
Teleport.  I hate spending so much time in the car everyday!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  ~ Steve Jobs

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 
Sweet Caroline!  I am a huge Red Sox fan and this may or may not be the inspiration for my daughter's name.  Please don't watch the episode where I sing, though.  It won't be pretty.

 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Morning!  I'm cranky if I sleep any later than 8:00.  I know, crazy.  I also need to be in bed by 10:00pm or else you do not want to be near me.  Luckily my infant daughter agrees with my sleep habits!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
The Calendar Notebook!  Remember how I said that I love calendars?  Well, I'm super-duper picky about what they look like.  So I decided to make my own!


Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU! 
Except for sports, I hate watching TV.  My husband was gone for a week and the television did not go on once.

The Back to School Ebooks are out!!  Have you checked these out yet?  Seriously, they are awesome.  It is over 75 pages of tips, freebies and great products from Tpt sellers, just in time for the new school year.  Click the picture below to snag the ELA 3-5 edition and find links to the other grade-level books as well.



Now it's time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!  

Sooo...I went shopping this week.  I really went shopping.  I think I checked out over at the TpT sale at least three times.  I am so excited about this school year!  Want to see some of the items I bought?  Check out this post!

Oh, and then after the sale was over, I decided to continue shopping.  Please, please don't tell my husband.  I snagged some of Jen Bengel's Units of Study for Reading and Writing.  I bought some fun colored binders and made my own covers.  I've printed all the resources, now I just need to hole-punch them all!



I borrowed this book from my sister a few months ago and knew that these strategies would be perfect for my writing classes.  I knew it would be put to such good use in my classroom, that I purchased my own book!  I foresee a lot of post-it notes in this book in the future.



Another book that will be put to good use in my classroom this year is Reading in the Wild by Donalynn Miller.  One of her suggestions is to take a Status of the Class.  I searched through Pinterest and came across a blog post by The Teacher Studio.  Her post outlines how she utilizes this concept in her classroom.  I was inspired!  I'll share more once the binder is complete.  

We named our class groups by fictional settings.  Hence, the Wizard of Oz theme!


 I decided to teach my 4-month old (!) daughter to read this week.  I think it is going well.


I'm off to the beach!  Have a wonderful weekend!
Have you started shopping yet at the Back to School sale?  Or if you're like me, have you stopped shopping yet?!


I was asked what my favorites in my own store were and I really had to think about that one!  I went through my whole store and chose 7 to share with you.  There's even a freebie in there if you look close enough!

These products are not necessarily my best sellers.  I chose products that I not only enjoyed making, but enjoy using in my classroom.  Just click on the links below the picture to take a peek at each one!

 Writing Journal Prompts                              Bitten by the Poetry Bug

         The Calendar Notebook            Open House: The Basics          Write Me a Letter {free!}

            Summer Brochure Activity                                               Create a Calendar

My whole store is 20% off and, if you use the promo code BTS14, you will get an extra 10% off!  Don't forget the code though.  I have definitely made that mistake before!  Happy shopping!
That's it.  I have found the downside to TpT.  Wait, there's a downside?? you ask.  Yep.  And it's especially prevalent around sale time.  Here it is.

I. Want. To. Buy. All. The. Things.

Seriously, there are some amazingly talented and inspirational teachers out there!!  And the fact that they share it with other teachers on TpT is awesome!  Except that I want it all and, folks, there just isn't enough time in my teaching day/year to use it all.  

I've had to weed through my wish list multiple times.  I've checked out twice.  I'm going back for more.  Let me show you what I've got so far.  Emphasis on 'some.' 


Just click on any of the pictures to check out the product!


I read this post by Runde's Room and knew that this clip chart was for me!  It will help students set goals for themselves and allow me to easily pull small groups for mini-lessons.  Perfect!

I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy out Teaching with a Mountain View's store.  I love her task cards!  I've actually never used task cards before, so this will be a learning experience for me.


I also grabbed some Reading Exit Slips from Wild About Fifth.  I started using exit slips last year but was not very consistent.  I have big plans for this year, though!  Stay tuned for more!



Finally, I grabbed some activities for the first few weeks of school.  Not having a set schedule is the hardest part of the year for me.  I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared!

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