Entries by Katie Garner

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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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Displaying Secret Stories® Phonics Posters in the Reading Classroom

Everything You Need to Know I love watching the kids use our Secret posters on the wall to read and write whatever they want. It’s amazing what our youngest learners can do and how easily they can do it when we just give them the tools they need and let them ‘play!’ Which Posters/ Kit […]

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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 […]

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“Phonics on Steroids” for Kindergarten Reading and Writing

It Takes More Than Individual Letter Sounds to Read and Write! I sneakily took this pic at the end of snack the other day…. These 6 kids were engrossed in telling the Secrets (and trying to figure out the ones we haven’t learned yet!) The little guy in the stripes has become our unofficial “Word […]

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Teaching the Reading & Writing Connection in Kindergarten

I received this adorable picture and description from kindergarten teacher, Kjersti Johnson, along with the following email… I teach two sessions of half-day Kindergarten, with my morning class tied to our Intensive Support Class (4-8 fully inclusive kiddos) and my afternoon class with half ELL, plus a few in the am too!) I knew the […]