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Reading in the Wild: Self-Select Reading Material

We are in the third week of our Reading in the Wild book study!  This week we are learning about how Wild Readers Self-Select Reading Material.  Chapter 2 is hosted by Mor at A Teacher's Treasure and Michelle at Making It As a Middle School Teacher!

"Read.  Read anything."  Miller starts off chapter 2 with this quote from Neil Gaiman.  Students need to learn how to effectively select books for themselves.  If a teacher is constantly instructing them on which books to read, they will never learn how to do it on their own.  

When I walked out of my second grade classroom last year, I thought I was saying good-bye to read-aloud time.  But Miller says no way!  Fifth graders (and even middle schoolers) greatly benefit from hearing a teacher read a novel out loud to them.  One of the benefits that struck me was that they expose students to books, authors and genres that they might not choose on their own.  Using this premise, I plan to not only read-aloud to my students next year, but to carefully choose the book in order to share something new with them.

Catherine over at The Brown-Bag Teacher {and wonderful host of this book study!} shared how she runs book raffles in her classroom in an effort to "create book buzz."  Check out this post to see how she does it!  This is definitely something that I want to use in my classroom next year!

When my students set up their reading notebooks in the fall, I plan to have them keep track of their "Reading Life," as Miller calls it.  Here they will record the books they read as well as author, genre, date started/finished, a star rating and a reason for choosing each book.  This will give me a better glimpse into what they read and why.  It will also allow for students to look back and reflect on their selections, another tactic that Miller suggests in helping students self-select their reading material.

Join in the conversation and share your thoughts about Chapter 2!  We'd love for you to link up your blog post below.


  1. Read alouds are my favorite part of the day! I would never give them up! I was actually talking with a high school teacher the other day and she said that she does read alouds every day too. It brought a smile to my face to hear that others value them so much too!

  2. When I moved from 3rd to 5th I also thought my read aloud days were behind me. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my 5th graders loved read alouds! They would often beg me to not stop reading! It was great.
    Fifth Grade Wit and

  3. Same here, Sara! I assumed going to 5th grade I would loose read-aloud and that made me SO sad....Thankfully, my 5th graders love listening to me read. :) While we read "Wonder" aloud, my kids begged me to skip our mini-lesson, so we would have more time to read...gotta love them! Thanks so much for linking up, Sara. :)

  4. We focused on some of the same things Sara! :) Great minds think alike! I need to be better next year at making time at the end of every reading block to document their reading life-I start off strong and then as soon as time gets tight, it's one of those things that gets cut, but it's important so I have to carve time out and make sure it happens in my classroom all year! Let's check on each other! LOL!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. I love the fact that read-alouds are part of the requirements that I have to meet each day with my students.

    Think, Wonder, & Teach


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