Entries by Katie Garner

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“Butter or Buter?” The Best Vowel-Trick EVER!

“Why do I have to write two T’s in the word butter when I only hear one sound?  And how do I know whether to make the long or short sound for the letter u?”  As teachers, we know that the trick to figuring this out is based on the syllabic division of a word. VCV […]

“Go-To” Student-Made Holiday Gifts for Parents!

Now you can cross at one more thing off of your December “to-do” list… finding the perfect holiday gifts for students to make for their parents (or class volunteers, secretaries, custodians, etc…!)   Follow Me on Pintreret and Save All of My BEST Teaching Finds! I thought I would save you some precious holiday time and […]

The NEW Secret Stories® Phonics Book— Version 2.0!

Sharing the Secret Stories® just got a whole lot easier! Teachers’ favorite secret weapon for teaching all (and I mean ALL!) of those tricky letter sounds and phonics skills just got a “face-lift!” Introducing the latest edition of Secret Stories® Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!— Version 2.0!  This NEW edition of […]

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Backdoor Learning Channels for Phonics Skill Mastery – The Social & Emotional “Feeling” Networks

“Beware of the stories you’ll read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.”                                                                      […]

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How to Avoid Having Too Many “Cooks” in the Phonics “Kitchen!”

Too Many Phonics Rules, Too Little Time Dear Katie, I have been a Reading Specialist for thirty years, as well as an adjunct university professor. I have enjoyed great success with the Secret Stories, and my kindergarten through fifth grade students have had such an easy time mastering them and their reading levels have soared! Have […]

Just Like the Secret Stories® Phonics Posters….only SMALLER!!!

Introducing, the NEW “Dual-Use” Placards and Individual “Porta-Pics” Secret Stories® “Dual-Use” Placards  (Also included in the Space-Saver Kit AND sold separately (for ‘hands-on’ use!) AND the “Porta-Pic” Packs (25 Individual, trifold desktop references for individual student use at school or at home!) Individual Porta-Pics Trifold Desktop References    The Placards and Porta-Pics are the perfect supplements for Secret […]

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Secret Stories® Home School Connection— Sharing Reading & Phonics “Secrets” with Parents!

The Home School Connection Letting Parents in on the “Secrets!” “Last year, a lot of parents in my class were asking about the Secret Stories® and how they could use them at home to support what their child was learning in school. I want to respect the copyright, but I also love that parents want to know!  […]

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Posting Secret Stories® Phonics Posters!

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About The Secret Stories® Phonics Posters! The Creatively-Cut “Original” Secret Stories® Posters! (Note: This post was written before the NEW Decorative Square Phonics Posters were created, but you can view them here, as well as in the video and pictures, below.) Which Secret Stories® phonics poster-style is the MOST popular?  […]

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Breaking Down the Grade Level Walls of Traditional Phonics Instruction

Dear Katie, I love reading your blog! I’ve used your free Zoo Keeper Writing Strategies with my kinder class and the children really related, always showing me “how many animals (i.e. sounds) they caught” in their words! I’ve taught both 1st and 2nd grades for years, and now am in my seventh year of teaching […]

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Working With the Brain to Fast-Track Phonics Skills for Reading

The brain is a pattern-making machine—seeking-out patterns and creating new ones. This is its natural system for learning. And yet, when it comes to teaching abstract letter sound and phonics skills for reading, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to feed the brain the logical explanations for letter sound behavior that it craves! The […]