Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Book Fair Update

The Spring Book Fair was a HUGE success! We raised about the same amount of money as we did in the Fall, which surprised me.  I didn't expect to sell as much the second time around.  We also sold out of items more quickly than we did in the Fall. I wish I could figure out what I did differently so that I can do it again next year.  ;)  I am very glad that we're located so close to a Scholastic warehouse so that our restock orders got here by the next day, and sometimes in the same day if I sent the email early enough.  I guess it was a good problem to have, though. 
The Book Fair arrived late Friday afternoon and it was to begin the following Monday.  Even though I stressed about getting things ready in a hurry, setting up took much less time than it did in the Spring.  Perhaps that's because I learned a few tricks from my first go round.

Moving the furniture around to make room for all the Book Fair stuff is always a pain, but a necessity.

With the help of one my wonder parent volunteers, we got the tables set up with table clothes and boxes laid out in the correct sections.

Within just a few hours the Media Center was in full Luau swing.

I even got the posters hung with without too much of a hassle this time.  I decided not to put out as many doo-dads during this Book Fair so that students might buy more books instead of "junk."  Yeah, uh, they still bought up most of the doo-dads, but at least I tried.

Something I did this go round that I didn't do last Book Fair was label books that were AR books using a file from the Scholastic Tool Kit.  I really think that helped students and parents pick out appropriate books.

The downside of that was that it took forever to look up the books and then to write them down on the signs.  I ended up only labeling the books on the shelves and not on the tables and sometimes a shopper would ask about a book on the table.  If I was running the Fair by myself at that time, I would tell the shopper that I didn't know if that particular books was an AR book or not.  That was a bit frustrating, so I am not sure if I will put out the AR signs again next year.

Super Brain Quest made it's way back to the Fair again.

This time students had to guess how many "fruit" slices were in the guessing jar.  It always tickles me to go through the guessing as I get both ends of the spectrum from 20 all the way to 1,000,000.   Guess we need to work on estimating skills.

This Book Fair, we did a luau theme.  I used the free files that Scholastic provided on their chairperson toolkit and created some cute decorations.  I also bought some decorations from Oriental Trading as well as borrowed a few from others at my school.  The decorations seem to come together much easier than it did last time. And I think they turned out cute. Take a look and see what you think.  =)

This is the Media Center entrance.

And here are the doors on the inside of the Media Center.

We also did a Coffee House Poetry Night to bring the night crowd out to the Book Fair. 

I decorated the hallway outside the Media Cetner to give it a Coffee House feel.

Teachers and students were invited to share their favorite poems throughout the night.  Everyone could come and go as they pleased to the Book Fair.

I even got in on the luau fun by dressing up. The kids thought it was hilarious.  I'll do anything to get more books for our Media Center.  LOL

The teacher's wish list board got in on the luau action, too.

Because our Book Fair was the week before Valentine's Day, I tried out an idea some other Media Specialists in my county had done/were doing...Valentine Grams.  Parents and grandparents could buy a book from the Book Fair on the sly and write a special Valentine message to their child. 

I then wrapped the book and the treat up with the note and it was delivered to on Valentine's Day.  It was kind of popular...about 70 students got Valentine Grams and there were only 2 small issues that came up.  One Valentine Gram disappeared...still don't know what happened to it.   I ended up apologizing and refunded the money to the parent. Another one got delivered to a teacher instead of a student, but the teacher happily gave the book to the student and all was well.  I will probably attempt Valentine Grams again, but I think I will keep better track of who bought what book for whom.  Live and learn.

One of my favorite things that we did this go round was ONE for Books.  We collected donations throughout the week and then used those donations to let students who didn't get to buy a book from the Book Fair, for whatever reason, get a free book.  We collected over $187 and anyone who gave money got to put their name on a "shirt" and then put that "shirt" on the ONE for Books display in the hallway. 

By the end of the week, the display was full.  I ened up doing a drawing of the names to give away the posters I displayed during the Book Fair since Scholastic doesn't want those back.

We collected over $187 and 44 students were able to get any book they wanted from the Book Fair. We made up the difference with the Scholastic Dollars that we earned.  I had tears in my eyes as those students walked out with their "purchases."  I heard them saying things like "This is the best Book Fair ever!" and "Yes!  This is so awesome!"  All the hard work was worth it to hear the joy in their voices.  But I am glad that the next Book Fair isn't until November.  I am Book Faired out !


  1. Wow! It sounds like your Book Fair was AWESOME! I love the idea for a coffee house poetry night. And kudos on the amazing luau ensemble!

    1. LOL Yes, I was feeling the Hiwaiian vibes that night. I think I might have even done a hula move or two. The things we do for our students! I think I may revisit the Coffee House Poetry Night next year during Poetry month. It was fun and a few students read some of their own poems. I'd like to make it more about the kids next time. Something to put on the to do list, any way.

  2. You have some really cool book fair ideas! I really love the Valentine Grams and can see how that would be really popular. I have a book fair coming up next week, and I may give One For Books a try this time. Love the shirt/drawing idea! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I definitely recommend One for Books. It was really easy to do and so many kids benefited from it. It really made my heart sing. =)

  3. I didn't put labels on the books one time and I went crazy because they are CONSTANTLY asking for AR level or "could my 2nd grader read this?" to which I have several snide answers "I don't know. Don't YOU?", etc. not voiced of course! Soooo if I didn't have helpers for the book fair, I contacted the high schools to see if any students needed some volunteer hours for beta club or some other organization and then planned an afternoon/evening when they could come and label the books with AR. Depending on how many show up, it has all been done in less than an hour before. I just get a couple of laptops and let them go at it. They have even put the labels on the books that do NOT have AR quizzes and put the Reading Level - and mark it NO AR in BOLD marker. Books FLY off the shelf when they are labeled.

    1. I hadn't thought of getting high school students to help out. That's a great idea. I'll have to do that in the Fall.