Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Raffles to the Rescue!

Welcome, welcome, welcome!!!! 

I am so happy to be joining this month's Bright Ideas Link Up!

So for my post today, I'm going to tell you all about how I use BOOK RAFFLES in my 2nd-grade classroom and how it RESCUED me from a huge stress factor! 

I posted a couple of snapshots of my book raffle set ups on IG a while way, way back. There was lots of excitement and interaction on those posts which lead me to write this blog post.

In order to explain this in an organized manner, I'm going to address the questions that were asked of me when I posted on IG in the hopes that I will explain it clearly enough that YOU can implement Book Raffles in YOUR classroom on Day 1 this upcoming school year! Yay!

Answer: In a nutshell, book raffles are a way of motivating students to work hard and get excited about reading! Students earn tickets for various things and then get to try and win a book that they want. I pick random winners to keep those books and then it starts over again. 

Now to expand upon that with more detail.... 

Answer: There are truly many different ways you could set up book raffles in your room. I will tell you how I do it, and then feel free to adapt to fit your classroom needs! 

I set the raffles up in 2 different ways this past year to see which I liked better:
As you can see, I tried cups and I tried with baskets. I found that the cups worked better for my set up personally and by displaying the books on the board, they were able to be seen easier. The baskets worked well too so definitely give that a try if you don't have any cups handy for ticket collecting!

Here's the process for implementing raffles into your classroom:
I raffled 4 books every 6 weeks. For drawings near a holiday, I added a few extra books as a bonus! I displayed the books using the tray of my whiteboard and next to each book was a cup where they placed their tickets. I drew an arrow from the book to the corresponding cup so they knew exactly where to put their tickets for that specific book. I wrote the drawing date and how may winners there would be right above where the books were displayed so they knew their deadline for those particular books. I also had frequent discussions with my kiddos about how to be strategic about using your raffle tickets. For example, if you like all of the books up for raffle and you see that one cup has very few tickets in it, you'll have a better chance of winning that one if you put your raffle tickets in there. On the other hand, if there's only one book you like, work hard to earn lots of tickets and put all of your tickets in the cup for that one book to raise your chances! 

I allowed my students to earn tickets for a variety of things although I mostly centered it around AR. You may ask WHY I centered it around AR and that's because my students were not motivated. They did not want to read books more than once. They did not want to take quizzes and when they did take quizzes, they were BOMBING them. It goes on and on and something had to change. For them. And for me. That's why I started book raffles in the first place and WOWZA, it worked! It became such a success that I added more ways for students to earn tickets that focused on the behavior side of classroom management. 

Tickets are earned as follows:
- 1 ticket for every 100 on an AR quiz.
- 6 tickets for meeting your AR goal. 
- 3 Bonus tickets if you met your AR goal EARLY
- 1 ticket for every student anytime we receive a class compliment in the hallway or at specials.

Those are the main ways. I would also randomly find other reasons to give tickets. For example, give a ticket to the fastest table to get quiet or a ticket for someone doing something extra get the picture. My students became more motivated to read AND comprehend their reading. They became more EXCITED about reading and more interested in the different series out there in the world to read! They also became more focused and harder working because they just never knew when I was going to randomly give out more raffle tickets!  

I know this is probably the top question because we ALL know that, as teachers, we spend way too much of our own money on classroom items. 

The way I got all the books needed for my book raffles this year was through Scholastic Bonus Points. Every school year, the Scholastic Book Club program does a special bonus points offer such as "On a class order of $100+, you'll receive 3,000 bonus points" or something to that effect. The first one of the school year is always the best offer and the perfect time to capitalize on your classroom (and personal) orders. I really try and rally the parents to place orders during this first month to get my total class purchase as high as I can. I will then factor in any book purchases I know that I will need to make for my classroom that year and combine it. This allows me to have a fairly high order and then I can claim all of those extra bonus points. If you are strategic in using those bonus points, you can easily get enough books for book raffles for the entire year. I got enough last year to last me through this year's book raffles! 

If you don't use Scholastic book Clubs or you don't want to, I would try seeking book donations, a project on DonorsChoose, yard sales, Dollar store books, etc. 

Where there's a will, there's a way! :)

I stated this above, but in case you missed it, I raffled books every 6 weeks. This allows them time to work on their AR goal and make those 100s on their quizzes AND earn their tickets for meeting their 6 week AR goal. But as I said before, that's what worked for me! Adapt as you see fit! 

I wanted to make sure that the book raffles were fair. If a student had already won a book, I didn't want them winning another and another while some students hadn't won any yet. At the same time, I didn't want those who had already won to be discouraged either so I had to come up with a solution. 

After the very first round of book raffle winners, I added a PRIZE CUP next to the books that were being raffled off and wrote the list of prizes up for grabs (pencils, stickers, sharpeners, etc.) I made it a rule that once a student had won a book, they would then start putting their tickets in the Prize Cup for a chance to win a prize. When I picked book winners, I would also pick about 3 or 4 names from the prize cup. 

I made it a rule that once every student had won a book, we would start over fresh and THEN it would be OK for someone to win a second book. 

This was a personal choice because I wanted every child to feel the excitement of winning a book they had wanted so badly. You may want to do it differently! 

Kudos to you and THANK YOU for checking out my post about book raffles today! I truly hope you will give this a try in your classroom this school year. As the image I made above says, book raffles motivate students to read. It feeds their interests, and it gives them CHOICES which they don't always get. If there are any questions you have that I didn't answer, please leave a comment or email me!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, TpT or check out one of my other bright idea posts!

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

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  1. I have been wanting to do this with my kiddos and this post was just the inspiration I needed! I love it!
    Curls and a Smile

    1. Thank you so much! :) I know they will LOVE it!!

  2. I love this! It's such a challenge to keep books popular with our kids, but this would do it!

    1. Definitely! I've never seen my students so excited about reading!

  3. Great Idea! I would love to do this in my classroom to motivate my readers. I wish we still did AR and I do miss it a lot in my room. we stopped doing it a few years ago because of funds.
    Deb at Fabulously First

    1. Thank you so much Deb! It's certainly a HUGE motivator! I'm sure you can still implement it in your classroom without the AR component! Maybe spin it solely towards behavior, or earning a ticket every Friday if all of their homework is turned in, things like that perhaps?? I sure hope you find a way to utilize it!! :)

  4. I had to pin this! I love this idea and can't wait to share it with my 1st grade teachers.

    1. Thank you so much!! That makes my heart happy! :)

  5. This is such a great idea. I am always looking for ways to promote reading, so I will definitely have to try this. Thanks for sharing :)

    @ Wiley Teaching

    1. My pleasure! So glad it sounds like something you want to try! :)

  6. This is fabulous! I love that it helps foster an excitement and love for reading plus it's a great alternative for food rewards (so bad for kids).

    Upper Grades Are Awesome

    1. Thank you so much! Definitely better than food rewards! I'd much rather put a book in a child's hand than candy! :)

  7. What a great way to get students excited about reading. Many students in my school don't own any books. This would be a great way to increase that likelihood--and then the siblings could borrow books too! Thanks for sharing such a valuable Bright Idea.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Thanks so much Kim! My students are the same... very few have books at home to read and their eyes just LIGHT UP when they win their VERY OWN book to keep! Love that feeling!!!!

  8. I am in love with this idea and totally adapting it to fit the needs of my kindergarten classroom! Thank you so much for sharing this idea. All the great ideas in the link up this month have made me so excited to get back in the classroom next month!
    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

    1. I'm so happy to hear this! Thank you so much! So many great ideas for sure!

  9. I love this! I think I will do some sort of modification on this for students completing their homework. Last year I had issues with students not doing their RAZ-Kids reading. If they got tickets, they might be more inclined!! :) Great idea!
    Happy Teaching,
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)

    1. YES! Definitely give it a go! I think I'm going to add in ticket options for completing homework this year as well since that's one thing my kiddos always seem to struggle with! :) Great idea! Thanks for your sweet comment!

  10. Thanks for all the details! We have a school-wide behavior ticket system. I can see this working alongside it!

    My Bright Blue House