Saturday, August 22, 2009

How to Earn 4,000 Scholastic Bonus Points

Every year I cross my fingers in August, hoping that Scholastic will repeat its back-to-school deal. This deal is so terrific that I love to share it with other teachers!

Did you know that with a little bit of know-how and persistence, you can get 4,000 Bonus Points in just a week or two? I've been able to do this every year for at least 5 years, whether I worked at a Title I school or a more affluent one. I've created a system that works every time! Read on to learn how you can do this, too!

How to Earn 4,000 Bonus Points

The Deal:
  • Put together a $200 or larger order from one catalog and you'll get 20 times the Bonus Points! With a $200 order you'll get 4,000 points.
  • The larger the order, the more points you'll get up to 10,000. Don't panic about how you'll get a $200 order when you usually can't get a $10 order! Just read on. Follow my system and you can do it! It works!

  • If you don't want to do this on your own, you can work with another teacher or your grade level. After you get the 4,000 points you can call Scholastic and have the points distributed to each person's account according to the amount their class contributed to the total.
Secrets of Success:
  • Make sure you have a Scholastic account. If you don't, go to to set one up. Then hunt around your school for a September catalog or wait for one to be mailed to you.

  • Look through the Scholastic September catalogs for the ones that offer 20X bonus points for getting a $200 order. Choose one and only one catalog. You have to get together a $200 order from one catalog to qualify, and if you send home 3 catalogs you'll never make it. Just pick the one that has the most books that would appeal to your students. Choose Lucky, Arrow, Tab, or whatever, but make sure it has the 20X bonus point offer.

  • Compose a letter to send home to parents with the order form. See the sample Scholastic Arrow Book Letter on the Teaching Resources Back to School page.

  • If you haven't set up online ordering, do that at this time. I've found that parents order more books when they are using a credit card online. Go to to set this up. Do not activate the option that gives parents 500 more book choices at this time or parents may place orders in that catalog. You want all the orders to come from the catalog you chose earlier. Write down your Class User Name and Password for reference.

  • When you give the order form out, devote some class time to discussing the books. Have the kids highlight the ones they like and allow students to tell the class about books they love. Tell them that if the class can get a $200 order, you'll be able to buy over 100 books for the classroom!

  • Distribute the letter and go over your book picks with the kids. Require them to get the letter signed by a parent even if they don't think they want to order. That way the parents will be aware of your goal and may want to help out, even if they don't usually order books.

  • Make a deal with students. If the class gets a $200 order, anyone who places an order will get a free book pick worth $3 or less from a future catalog. You can use the Scholastic Coupon on Teaching Resources to do this.

  • If you have access to a computer, demonstrate how to place an online order. That way your students can help their parents with this process. Make sure they know the Class User Name and Password.

  • As the orders come in, keep a running total on the board. Do not post individual student names and the amounts of their orders! Just announce the daily total. You can also use the Scholastic Stars $200 Countdown on Teaching Resources. Each section is worth $10, so you can color in the sections as you work to reach your goal of $200.

  • If you have a parent night or open house, put out some extra order forms and be sure to mention your class goal. If you have a copy of the Scholastic dictionary, display it. Explain why you want the bonus points - to order free books and materials for your class.

  • If the deadline passes and you are close to $200, send out another message letting parents know how close you are to the goal. If you have parent email addresses, send them a note and include a direct link to Scholastic's ordering page. You can also combine orders with another teacher to reach that goal and share the points later.

Other Strategies - Have you developed any strategies for cashing in on Scholastic's September deal? Please share your experiences!


  1. Laura, I started using this idea a few years ago when I found it on your site and it has never failed me. Part of my incentive, besides the free book, is I offer to throw my kids a pizza party and movie party as a reward for reaching their goal, even for those kids who didn't order. Every year we've made and/or surpassed our goal!

  2. Thanks for your willingness to share all of your wonderful ideas. Yes, I used your sample letters last year and earned a lot of points. This year I will keep track and let you know.

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  4. So far- I have only had one student- order 1 book. I work in a Title I school. I took the time to highlight all the books,sent home the letter, emailed my parents, offered the free books for those kids that ordered, and I used our smartboard to demonstrate to the kids how easy it was to order online. Do you have any other suggestions that you did specifically in a Title I school. Congrats on making your order! Thanks for all your ideas as always!

  5. Our school uses an online gradebook. I post the Scholastic Book order with due date as a ungraded listing. It serves as an excellent reminder. I have already earned 12,000 points this year on the September and October orders.

  6. I followed Laura's instructions this year and I not only got $200 in orders - I got almost $300! I couldn't believe it. I normally felt lucky to get $50 in orders for a month. I'm thrilled and shared this with all the other teachers on my team - one who was also able to earn 6,000 bonus points this month. Wow!