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How to Teach Persuasive Writing in First Grade

How to Teach First Graders About Persuasive Writing Teaching persuasive writing is not easy, and getting kids excited about doing it, especially first graders, is even harder….but not when there are leprechauns involved! Now you might be thinking, “This lady is crazy! Look at that mess! Why would anyone purposely ransack their own classroom for […]

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The Phonics “Home-School” Connection for Reading

Phonics “Secrets” to Support Reading and Writing at Home This was originally posted on Tara Settle’s popular (and totally FREE & AWESOME!) teacher blog, Settle on In, entitled, “The BEST GIFT I Have Ever Given. It’s about the holiday gift that she gave to her students this year, and I asked Tara if she would […]

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“Secret Sundays” with Katie Garner LIVE on YouTube 5pm EST | Brain-Based Phonics for Accelerated Reading and Writing

Join me LIVE on Youtube for “Secret Sundays” at 5pm EST for Brain Based Phonics for Accelerated Reading and Writing Instruction! If you tuned in last Sunday for the very first Secret Sundays LIVE at 5 on YouTube, then you know it was a blast! (And if you didn’t, you can catch it by clicking on […]

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Transforming Phonics Instruction: Becoming a “Secret Agent” of Change in Your School!

Title I Teacher (a.k.a. “Secret Agent” Amy Mitchel) Goes Undercover…. and takes her “student detectives” with her! My name is Amy Mitchell. I am a reading specialist and Title I teacher in Wyoming County, West Virginia. In all the years that I’ve been working with kids, I have never had more fun or more success […]

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Boost Your Existing Reading Program with Brain Based Phonics Instruction!

When Kids Can’t READ the Reading Program Fast-Tracking the “Too-Slow” Pace of  Traditional Phonics Skill Instruction If you’re frustrated with your reading program and the intractably SLOW pace of phonics skill instruction, or, if you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the sight words that kids have to memorize because they can’t read them, then […]

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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 […]