Entries by Katie Garner

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What Dyslexia Isn’t….and How to “Fast-Track” Orton-Gillingham Phonics Instruction with Secret Stories®

What Dyslexia Isn’t… As promised, I’ve asked reading specialist, Heather Vidal, to come back and shed more light on dyslexia, what it is, and more importantly, what it isn’t—despite the common misconceptions. If you are a new subscriber, or if you missed Heather’s previous guest post about how she uses Secret Stories® in conjunction with […]

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Wanna Know a “Secret” About Orton-Gillingham Phonics Instruction?

Learn the “Secrets” About Orton-Gillingham Phonics Instruction I receive so many questions about whether or not Secret Stories® can be used with Orton-Gillingham phonics instruction, and if so, how. If you’re familiar with or already use Secret Stories®, then you know that it is not a phonics program, but an “accelerant ” used to fast-track […]

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Not More Reading Instruction, Just Better! (And Taught with the Brain in Mind!)

Kids don’t need MORE reading instruction, they need better reading instruction… and taught with the brain in mind! Happy Summer to All of My Dear Teacher (and Principal) Friends! I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me, but like many of you, I haven’t stopped running, and feel like I am […]

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National Title I Video Delay Due to Katie Garner’s Dumpster Diving in Detroit!

No, you didn’t misread the title. If you’re subscribed to my Secret Newsletter, you were probably expecting to receive the video link to my presentation at this year’s National Title I Conference in your email last weekend. The reason I was unable to send out the Title I video link last weekend as promised, was […]

“Kid-Created” Phonics Secrets!

I received an email from the mom of an adorable little boy who had been diagnosed with high functioning autism. Her frustration and despair were heartfelt, and her words really struck a chord, both as a mom and as a teacher. With her permission, I wanted to share it….. Hi Katie, My son is in grade […]

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Skip the Phonics Instruction ‘Scope & Sequence’ Bus and Catch the ‘Brain-Based’ Teaching Merry-Go-Round!

§ Does it ever feel like every day is a new day in Johnny’s head? What I mean is, have you ever spent an entire week teaching something, only to have some kids look at you like they have NEVER seen it before on the following Monday? With so many skills to cover in so […]

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The “Thinking Vowels” Head-Bop Trick for Teaching Tricky Vowels that Make the Schwa Sound

Teaching Sight Words— Never Make Kids MEMORIZE What They Can READ!!! The Secret Stories are the life-blood of our classroom. They are always in view, always in our whole and small group conversations. We couldn’t read words without them. They are our best friends. They are always there, always teaching. They are the tools that students will take with […]

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How to Teach the Sounds of Y (a.k.a. Sneaky Y®) so kids just GET IT!

Why Wait to Teach the Sounds of  Y? There’s an elephant in your classroom. And it’s huge. You sweep by it every day in your classroom, several times in fact, and probably without ever even noticing. It’s most conspicuous during morning calendar time, as that’s its favorite time of day. If you can’t see, watch this. So […]

The Aha! Moment of Teaching

Another professional development day…. Oh joy! Another 8 hours of sitting while thinking of all the productive things that could be accomplished in my classroom!   That’s what many teachers think when we hear the dreaded professional development “training days” agenda.   That all changed in October 2016 when I heard Katie Garner speak about the […]