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A CLASSIC READER™ is one to whom the reading process comes easily and who naturally finds reading to be a pleasurable activity. Some children struggle with the acquisition of reading skills while the classic reader learns rather quickly and without much assistance.

I believe classic readers are made from the experience of being read to consistently in the very early years of development. I also feel that a home that values literature and provides opportunities for it to be present throughout a child's day intuitively creates a reader who functions independently at an earlier age.

In a quest to help my CHALLENGED READERS™ who struggled with independent reading, I developed reading routines and mindsets that patterned the natural characteristics I saw in my classic readers. The qualities I observed in them were:

Confidence in self as a learner

Loves to read

Ability to use strategies interchangeably

Sees literacy models in his or her environment

Strong alphabetic and phonetic foundation

Involved in his or her learning

Comprehends from asking questions and seeking knowledge

In attending to these identified qualities, I constructed literary experiences that promoted these behaviors in all of my learners. They are the foundation of my teaching premises which are clearly present in all Reading House routines and activities. Some of these premises focus on learning to love literature, seeking and obtaining knowledge cooperatively, using strategy, building academic self-esteem, and weaving reading opportunities throughout children's daily lives. Duplicating what works for successful readers sets the stage for success for those who struggle with the process.

By understanding the classic reader, we can develop more challenging and meaningful academic experiences for them so that they remain motivated and excited about learning. The Reading House STORY EXTENSIONS and COMPREHENSION experiences aim to do just that.

The classic reader perspective also guides us in finding literary experiences for our challenged readers (and beginning readers) that teach to those qualities. That was the goal of developing the Reading House STRATEGIES, LOVING LITERATURE, ROUTINES, WORD PLAY, AND LANGUAGE ARTS skill sets. I welcome you to try some of the activities and let me know how it goes!

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