Posts

 

Spotting Secrets EVERYWHERE!

 

FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Posters

Can your kids spot the Secrets in text around your classroom? 

These free shape anchors with highlighted Secrets in the text will help them make the connection between the “secrets” they know about the letters and how they can help them to read (and write!) the words that they see every day in the classroom. You can download the entire pack FREE here! 
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchors!
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchors!

 

Secret Stories Mommy E® Phonics Secret
Mommy E® Pack on TpT
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchors!
Secret Stories Superhero Vowels®
Secret Stories® “Cornerstone” Secrets
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchors!
Secret Stories Babysitter Vowels®
Babysitter Vowels® on TPT
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"

 

FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchors!
Secret Stories® Phonics Secret— ING, ANG, ONG, UNG
Secret Stories® Phonics “Original”— ING, ANG, ONG, UNG 
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchor Pack with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"
FREE Secret Stories® Shape Anchors!

Spotting Secret Stories® in Math— The “ci” Phonics Secret!
Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets— CE, CI, CY/ GE, GI, GY
Secret Stories® CE, CI, CY/ GE, GI, GY

 

If you would like to try a FREE “taste” of the Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets, CLICK HERE! 
FREE Secret Stories® Phonics "Appetizer" Anchor Posters
FREE Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets “Appetizer” Poster Pack
FREE Secret Stories® Phonics "Appetizer" Anchor Posters
FREE Secret Stories® Phonics "Appetizer" Anchor Posters
FREE Secret Stories® Phonics "Appetizer" Anchor Posters

 

FREE Secret Stories® Phonics "Appetizer" Anchor Posters
And to all those who subscribe to the Secret newsletter (or follow me on Instagram) you should have received the free download link for the Secret Stories® Calendar Secrets, which are similar to the Shape Anchors in that they also contain highlighted Secret Stories® phonics patterns in the text. Below are a few pictures from the pack, along with the link. But grab them fast, as they will won’t be in the free subscriber window much longer! 
Secret Stories® Phonics Calendar Secrets
Secret Stories® Calendar SECRETS!
Secret Stories® Phonics Calendar Secrets
Secret Stories® Phonics Calendar Secrets
Secret Stories® Phonics Calendar Secrets
Did you happen to notice in the calendar pics above that the letter Y appears to be making every sound possible except for the ONE SOUND that kindergartners and first graders would likely expect it to?
Secret Stories® Makes Phonics Make SENSE!
That’s because there are “grown-up” reading and writing Secrets in those words! You can learn them here, and then check out the video clip (below) for more! I promise that it will make you “re-think” your “calendar time!”  
“The LIE About Y”
(and why we keep telling it in kindergarten and first grade!)
Secret Stories® Phonics BETTER Alphabet Anchors
Secret Stories® BETTER Alphabet Chart
(for use with the “Better Alphabet Song” for accelerated letter-sound mastery in 2 wks- 2 mos!)
And as for sound that Y makes in words like: May, play, day and they… that’s not Sneaky Y®, that’s ey/ay, and they are just too cool! 
 
Secret Stories® Phonics Secret— EY & AY are just "too cool!"
EY & AY are just too cool….. “Aaaayyyyyyeeeee!”
Just like this kindergarten teacher from Washington State who does a fantastic job bringing the “ey/ay” Secret to life in this video!

Secret Stories Phonics Secrets— The "Best Betting-Odds" in Las Vegas!
Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets— The “Best Betting-Odds” in Las Vegas!
I’ve said this before, but it always worth repeating! The prize for memorizing a sight word is ONE word…. but the prize for knowing one Secret is HUNDREDS of words!!! Secret Stories® give kids the “best betting-odds” in Las Vegas when it comes to predicting the most (and next most) likely sounds of letters in text…. like, for example, Y! Underscoring existing reading curriculum and instruction with the Secrets allows you to break down the grade level walls of phonics skill introduction that limit early learner-access to code— which they need ALL of to read and to write!
And the proof lies in the fact that all of the above sounds (i.e. Secrets) for Y (with the exception of “yuh”) fall on second grade’s scope and sequence for introduction (as per traditional core reading/phonics programs). Just think about that for a minute….. pretty ridiculous, huh?  We literally spend ALL YEAR LONG in kindergarten teaching and assessing kids on the ONE sound that the letter Y is the LEAST likely to make—“yuh!” They won’t learn its MOST likely sounds until the SECOND grade!!!!  So what are they supposed to do until then?  You guessed it! Memorize lots and lots of sight words!
But the good news (for kids who know the Secrets) is that you don’t have to memorize what you can READ!  And this is something that the first graders in this video know. They spot Secrets everywhere! In fact, they are finding so many in their guided reading, that they’re convinced that their book is “throwing-up” Secrets…..


When you spot SO many Secrets, 
it’s like the book is just “throwing them up!”

 

Until Next Time,
Katie Garner :-)
Katie Garner Education Author and Featured Keynote Speaker

Never Miss a Secret! Subscribe to the Newsletter!

 


Katie Garner Secret Stories LinkedIN pageSecret Stories BlogSecret Stories Facebook PageSecret Stories Youtube PageSecret Stories TwitterSecret Stories PinterestSecret Stories Instagram
Secret Stories Banner
Secret Stories® Makes Phonics Make SENSE!
Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets
Try a “taste” of the Secrets with YOUR class 
and see the difference they make!
Click to Download the FREE Secret Stories® Mini-Sample Poster Pack!

 

Katie Garner Education Keynote Speaker and Secret Stories® Phonics Author
For a list of upcoming conferences, or for information on scheduling a school or district professional development workshop, click here. 

 


Katie Garner Secret Stories Linkedin pageSecret Stories BlogSecret Stories Facebook PageSecret Stories Youtube PageSecret Stories TwitterSecret Stories PinterestSecret Stories Instagram
Secret Stories® Phonics — Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!

Secret Stories Banner Bottom


It Takes More Than Individual Letter Sounds to Read and Write!

phonics posters

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 Jail Warden!” He can spot an ‘Outlaw Word’ a mile away! We will start ‘paroling’ some of them soon!”
Kjersti Johnson- Kindergarten Teacher

Phonics on Steroids: “Warp-Speed” Access
to the Reading & Writing Code in Kindergarten!

A Guest Post by Kindergarten Teacher Kjersti Johnson
Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets— Accelerating Access to the Code in Kinder!

As teachers, I think we have all had that moment when we sit down with one of our students and they completely knock our socks off! This post is all about one of those moments.

Yesterday, I had just gotten my afternoon class of kindergartners settled into our Dailies….they were spread around the room, some reading, some writing, some listening to books on iPod shuffles, and a few shopping for new books.

I looked around to see who I would confer with (one of my favorite times of the day, by the way!) I started with Abel.

Now let me tell you about a little kindergartner named Abel.

He is one of the sweetest little guys I know. He has an amazing smile, and he is also VERY excited about learning!

He is an English Language Learner who entered kindergarten knowing 7 letters and 0 sounds. He worked SO hard the first weeks of school to learn his ABC’s and by October, he knew ALL 52 upper and lowercase letters! (the Better Alphabet Song was a huge success!)

So back to yesterday……
I sat down next to him and asked him to read to me. That’s when he pulled out Arthur’s Halloween.

I looked at him and said, “Oh, this looks like a great picture read. Can you tell me a story to go with the pictures?” This is kindergarten after all, and it’s a tough book! He gave me a strange look, and then…….He was READING it!

Later in the day, I had him read it again so that I could video it, and here he is reading Marc Brown’s Arthur’s Halloween.


ELL Kindergarten in October—”Spotting Secrets” in Arthur’s Halloween 


“Was” …..?

No problem with the “head-bop” trick!
Secret Stories® Phonics "Head-Bop" Trick— No More Sight Words!
Secret Stories® Phonics Head-Bop Trick for Fickle Vowels


“Night”
….with its tricky /gh/?
Got it!

Secret Stories® Phonics — The "gh" Secret!
Secret Stories Phonics Secret— Positional Sounds of gh

“Before” ….?
Didn’t stump him. He saw that Babysitter Vowel® o telling e to say its name!  He also spotted /o/ and /r/ who can “never make up their minds when they get together,” and read it like a pro!

“Family” ….?
That Sneaky y® didn’t trick him!

Secret Stories Sneaky Y® Phonics Secret!
Sneaky Y® Phonics Secret

Then we got to “making”…. and guess who was able to use the Babysitter Vowels® Secret to figure out whether /a/ would be long or short?!
He knew it wasn’t right when he first read it, but then he remembered the Secret! (and please excuse me telling another student, TWICE, to go color their work! ;-)

ELL Kindergarten in October—Arthur’s Halloween with Babysitter Vowels®
Kinders Decoding Multi-Syllabic Words with Secret Stories® Babysitter Vowels®!
Secret Stories Babysitter Vowels®— How to Know Whether a Vowel Will Be Long or Short?

 

“House”….?
Rough-housing /ou/ and /ow/ saying “Owwwww!” No worries.

Secret Stories® Phonics — The "ou/ow" Secret!
Secret Stories® Phonics ou/ow Secret!

 

“Look and spooky”….?
Knowing the Secret, he switched sounds for /oo/ like a pro!

Secret Stories® Phonics — The "ou/ow" Secret!
Secret Stories® Phonics /oo/ Secret

I was BLOWN away! And so I made poor Abel read that page to everyone I could find! I was so proud of him! (and by the way, he is determined to read the whole book now, and I have no doubt that he will!)

This morning, I shared the video with my principal, our Dean of Students, and our LAP teacher. The question of how and when I use the Secret Stories in my class came up, and I thought to myself, “When don’t I use them???”

The Secrets aren’t limited just to “reading” time. We use them ALL DAY LONG,  which in half-day kindergarten, is only about 2 hours and 40 minutes. (Oh, did I forget to mention that I teach half-day kinder?!) That’s not very long, which is why getting the most bang for the buck in the short amount of time we have is critical. Secret Stories® makes what used to seem impossible EASY! (It’s like phonics on steroids!)

Literally not a moment that goes by that the kids aren’t spotting Secrets.

We look for Secrets in our poems…..

Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets — Spotting Secrets in Poems

We use yellow and blue for “popcorn” words. We “butter” the new ones and put blue dots under the ones that we already know. Then we use a green highlighter to find Secrets.

And honestly, I have to say, now that the kids know the Secrets, I spend almost no time at all on memorizing sight words, except for the small handful that really break the rules and have to go to jail, as most of the words the kids can just read.

We look for Secrets in Science….

How Secret Stories Babysitter Vowels® make reading BIG words EASY... even in kindergarten!

 

Look at the picture above to see how many variations of the word hibernate we found when reading our big book in our whole group Science lesson! One of the kids spotted the er Secret, then another spotted the /or/ and /ing/ Secrets, and we were off! Next came the Babysitter Vowels®, which they used to help them figure out whether the vowels would be long or short. Some students knew the Secret sounds immediately, and others had to check the posters first before sounding out each part, but they were all able to read all of the words— and write them!

No one was left out of the reading and writing fun because we all had one thing in common— we all knew the Secrets!  That day, we did more reading and writing in Science than in our designated reading and writing blocks, combined! What better way is there to show beginning learners what these Secret skills are actually for!

My favorite thing is what happened the following day when I was working with a small group and heard Abel yell from his seat across the room, “Mrs. Johnson! Mrs. Johnson! Look, I found the word hibernate in my book!”

And sure enough, he had.


Even for an ELL Kindergartner in October, sounding out the word hibernate with the Mommy E® was easy!

 

We use Secrets when we write…..

See the /ow/ and /ing/  in snowing and the /ou/ in mountains!

Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets in Writing
We look for Secrets when we read the directions on our math papers.

 

Words like draw and count with the “letters who love each other” (au/aw) and the “letters who don’t” (ou/ow) can’t fool us!

Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets in Math
Spotting Secret Stories® in Math!

 

My kids are OBSESSED with these Secret Stories! ......Secret Stories "ou/ow" Phonics Secret!
As usual, ou & ow are not getting along!
My kids are OBSESSED with these Secret Stories! ......Secret Stories "au/aw" Phonics Secret!
The “anniversary” of au & aw Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I almost never have to read the math story problems to my kids anymore because they can do it all by themselves using our Secrets!

Secret Stories® has opened up so many possibilities…..there seems to be no limit to what my kindergartners can do. It has really changed everything.

And while I do still have kids that are just chugging along at their own pace, like sweet little Abel, they are ALL sucking up the Secrets— even those who are not always ready to apply them. And that’s okay, because I know they have the “keys” in their pocket that they will need to unlock the words they want when they are ready, just like Abel did.

Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets— "Secrets Make Things Important!"
Transforming letters and sounds from skills they have to learn
into Secrets they want to know!

Thank you, Kjersti!

I can’t thank Kjersti enough for that deep dive into all of the wonderful things that she’s doing in her kindergarten classroom. I will be doing a part 2 “follow-up” to Kjersti’s post, so stay tuned! (You can catch another post by Kjertsti here!)

And if you haven’t tried the Secrets but would like to try sharing then with YOUR kiddos, you can download this mini-poster “appetizer” anchor pack FREE! 

 

Free Phonics Posters by Secret Stories

 

FREE Secret Stories® Phonics— Mini-Poster "Appetizer" Anchor Pack!

FREE Secret Stories® Phonics— Mini-Poster "Appetizer" Anchor Pack!

FREE Secret Stories® Phonics— Mini-Poster "Appetizer" Anchor Pack!

 

FREE Secret Stories® Phonics— Mini-Poster "Appetizer" Anchor Pack!

FREE Secret Stories® Phonics— Mini-Poster "Appetizer" Anchor Pack!

 
 
 

 

 
Until Next Time,
Katie Garner :-)

Katie Garner— Keynote/Featured Education Speaker and Literacy Consultant

For a list of upcoming conferences, or for information on scheduling a school or district professional development workshop, click here.