Reading in the Wild Chapter 5: Wild Readers Show Prefences

Hi Friends,

 I am so super excited! Today, I am hosting The Brown Bag Teacher's Reading in the Wild Book Series. Are you a wild reader? I am a wild reader! In fact, I love reading so much that I own over 1,500 of my own children's books. Hopefully this summer, I will be able to get it all organized! Then, I will do a blog post! Click on the picture to download this adorable poster.
Ok! Let's get to the good stuff. I could not put this book down. The knowledge that I learned from Reading in the Wild has made me want to be back in the classroom RIGHT THIS SECOND!


Today I will share my thoughts about "Opening the Magic" for your students. How do we as teachers know what books will jump off the shelves? Whenever I am at Barnes and Noble (which is a lot), I am always looking for that one book that will be the big hitter of the year. Miller shares the importance of giving reading surveys at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. As we know, student's change and so do their interests.
One survey that I give at the beginning of the is the Garfield Reading Inventory. I love this survey because the children rate their love of different types of reading with Garfield Expressions. Some of the questions are: How do you feel about starting a new book? How do you feel about reading on summer vacation? How do you feel about reading a textbook? I tell my students or tutoring students to be completely honest; it won't hurt my feelings if they have 30 screaming Garfields. The pdf comes in full black and white sheets. Since I love to have colorful everything, I printed each sheet on a different color and then cut them out. I then got a binder ring and hole punched them together.

Another survey that I love is Young Teacher Love's Reading Survey. I agree that  we must get to know students as readers which will help us prepare them to become WILD READERS! Click on the picture to grab yourself this little reading gem! I will definitely be using it next year!

Book Recommendations!
I love when students share about their love for READING! Let's think about it. When we hear a prodcut is really awesome or the new rage, do we Google the product to find out more? YES! I know kids are the same way. Having students recommend books is an easy way to spread book love, but also build a community of readers. Since I am a little OCD about papers going everywhere, I created a book recommendation binder for student use! It is as easy as 1-2-3. Donnalynn Miller explains the importance of keeping a record of reading materials to help identify reading preferences.

book reviews, bubble gum, back to school, 40 book requirement
Book recommendations can also be used as a summative tool. Did the students understand the book well enough to give a thorough summary of the book? I love how two different students interpreted, "Rate this book by bubble gum". :)

After a student has read a book, they can fill out a Bubbilious Book Review. Then he or she will place inside the binder under the correct genre. Students who are looking for new books to read can browse the genre sections that appeal to their mood.  After reading READING IN THE WILD, I am going to change the way I have been doing my book review binders. Miller invites her students to read forty books across various genres during the school year and graph their progress. I love this idea. I have a feeling my book recommendations binder will help with the comments of "But, I don't like any other genres!". I am still in the works of connecting the graph to my book review requirements. My thought is each student will complete at least ONE review for every genre.  BUT they must read a few books from each genre. They must complete a total of 12 reviews. Again, this is just me thinking out loud. :)
Here is a picture of a completed  "A Foxy Recommendation" Book Binder.

My favorite line from the entire chapter, "The main reason Susie and I expect students to try a little bit of everything is so that they can find what they like to read". I love this statement because I feel it is the statement of life. We try new things in life in order to grow.

What Miss Hinshaw Does:
I learned this from my good friend Sarah, and it works! Every morning, when the students come into class, she has them silently reading for 15 minutes. It sets a calm tone for the classroom day. I started doing this last year when I long term substituted. When the students were done reading, I pulled 3-5 sticks and asked the students what they read about. This perked many interests of the students. I could hear them talking during class and recess asking more information about the books shared that day. 
I think it is important to share with the children that I LOVE TO READ! I have shown them pictures of my book collection. The expressions on their faces are priceless. When they are reading, sometimes I will read along with them. Being a reading role model for my students is important to me. I want my students to leave my classroom LOVING to READ and seeing how important READING is in life. Can't do much without this powerful tool. 
I've talked about how the children recommend books for each other, but I haven't shared what I LOVE TO DO! First off, READ ALOUDS are A MUST!!!! Read Alouds are wonderful book commercials. In fact, I am reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in summer school and I have had many kids go buy the book to reread it because they love the Candy Room Chapter. Read Alouds are important because you lengthen your students' genre belts. I heart READ ALOUDS!!!!
You should see me at book fairs. I am buzzing around the fair pulling books left and right. This year I "sold" about 15 copies of Prisoner B-3087 and 15 copies Snicker of Magic.  The kids LOVE recommendations from their teachers. Other times I will just walk up to kids (not awkwardly, promise) and ask what they are reading. I like to call it Striking Up A Paging Conversation. Based on their answer, I will provide them with 1-2 books that I think they would enjoy. It's a great time. When the students recommend books to me, I write them on my Wishlist.

Before I go....
Do you need any book recommendations? 
Click here for some wonderful FREE picture book and chapter book recommendations created by yours truly! 

P.S. Every Tuesday (sometimes more) I write a blog post about different books that are MUST HAVES in the CLASSROOM! 

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Come link up and share how you engage your students get out of their reading comfort zone!


  1. I am so happy that I finally had some time to sit down and read this post! I love it!! There are so many fabulous ideas for students to get to know themselves as readers, and for teachers to get to know their students as readers! Thank you so much for the great ideas! Thank you also for including me in your great ideas! xoxo

  2. Hello! I was browsing through other teacher blogs and stumbled upon yours! I was wondering if you had copies of those book reviews on your TPT store? I looked but didn't see them. Are they available to use? Thank you! My email is


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