Research shows that teacher expertise is the most critical variable in effective reading instruction and yet, few teachers have adequate training or are equipped with the tools to teach kids to read. Teaching phonics is not intuitive, and most teachers in early grade classrooms today have received little to no training on how to do it effectively.
“If teachers don’t have clear purchase on what it takes to become a good reader and what some kids might be missing, then their instructional successes will be fortunate accidents. The same can be said for the principals and district leaders who supervise them.”
—Dr. Timothy Shanahan
Explicit, Systematic and Multi-Sensory Phonics Instruction
Using brain science as a roadmap, Secret Stories® equips teachers with the knowledge, tools (and tricks!) needed to make phonics make sense to kids—and the Secrets are as easy to teach as they are to learn. Secret Stories is not a program, but a critical base of support to existing reading curriculum and phonics instruction that provides the explicit, systematic and multi-sensory approach needed to teach all kids to read.
Research on early literacy shows that many readers read poorly because they were taught poorly at the earliest grade levels (Allington, 2016), suggesting that there are three kinds of kids: those who are easy to teach to read, those who are hard to teach to read, and those who are very hard to teach to read.
Yet, only 25% of kindergarten and first grade teachers fall into the category that the research suggests can teach almost everyone to read, with 50% of teachers capable of teaching only those in the easy-to-teach group, and the remaining 25% unable to teach almost anyone to read. Worse still is that the 25% of teachers who were unable to teach almost anyone to read were also responsible for 75% of all referrals and retentions (Stuhlman & Pianta, 2009).
“My students always feel so smart when they learn complicated phonics patterns (as “secrets”) that even their older siblings don’t know! There’s simply nothing else like it— the kids hear a Secret once and start using! The Secrets take no effort for them to remember, and even help me by providing lots of cues so that I know how to help them with words they can’t read. We can look at the posters for a quick hint to the “secret” story and instantly know the story for the phonics pattern or sound they need. I can’t say enough about the difference they’ve made!” — Isabel, Kindergarten Teacher
With Secret Stories®, teachers gain knowledge and understanding of how the brain learns best, making use of the same backdoor learning channels for teachers that it does for students so that learning is non-conscious and effortless.
Gates & Yale (2011) notes that the difference between the most and least effective teachers in a building is twice as large as the difference between the most and least effective schools in the nation. Allington (2011) and Sanders (1994) report that students that have three consecutive years with effective teachers, achieved 50 percentile ranks higher than those with three years with less effective teachers.
In the end, enhanced reading proficiency is determined by classroom teachers and their ability to provide expert and exemplary reading instruction. Exemplary teaching is based on children’s needs, not the regurgitation of a common script (McGill-Franzen, 2000).
“As a new teacher, I learned more in the first hour of Katie’s workshop than in all of my teaching classes combined! I love how the Secrets provide such a strong framework for my reading instruction, while still allowing the flexibility to adjust to individual student needs and my own creative teaching style. I feel like a new door has been opened for me and my students! THANK YOU!!!”
—Leslie, First Grade Teacher
Surveys conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research have repeatedly shown that primary schools employ many teachers who, despite the overwhelming research, still cling to a “random assortment of mixed methods,” an approach Dr. Michael Pressley describes as a “disastrous strategy.” Pressley contends that the problem is that there are too many ineffective teachers, estimating that up to a third of the teachers he has observed over the years were weak when it came to literacy instruction (Pressley, 2002).
Unlike core reading and supplemental phonics programs that provide only sequential and often scripted lessons, Secret Stories® builds up the knowledge, skill base and tool set of the teacher. Secret Stories® helps to ensure that all teachers “know their stuff, know who they are stuffing, and are able to stuff every minute into every lesson” (Torgeson, 2004).
The key to effective classroom reading lessons is teacher expertise and a coherent and rich reading plan. Core reading programs alone offer teachers the least powerful instructional options. In order to increase student success in the area of literacy, educators need to change their instructional design.
Effective phonics instruction should align with the brain, rather than move in opposition to it. Shifting phonics instruction from brain antagonistic to brain compatible allows teachers to circumvent areas of inherent early learner weakness and tap into alternative areas of strength to accelerate skill mastery.
Brain compatible teaching emphasizes the way the brain naturally learns. Instructional lessons that are brain compatible teach to the multiple intelligences, appealing to as many senses as possible through movement, visuals, sounds and props. Alternatively, brain antagonistic practices diminish proper brain function due to the use of explicit memory pathways (Sprenger, 2013).
Secret Stories® accelerates early and struggling learner access to critical reading and writing (phonics) skills by aligning reading instruction with the way our brain naturally learns and appealing to as many senses as possible through stories, movement, visuals, sounds, experiences and feelings. By engaging multiple modalities and pathways for learning, phonics skills are stored in different learning networks, providing learners with more avenues for easier retention and retrieval.
By introducing information to the brain from as many angles as possible, Secret Stories® sneaks “hard-to-teach” reading and writing skills through the brain’s “backdoor” rather than trying to force them through the traditional front. The result is that teachers and students are able to get twice as far in half the time, and with half the effort. Secret Stories® brain based approach to phonics skill mastery makes Secret Stories® one of the most highly effective reading instruction concepts available to educators.
“The ongoing advances in brain science speak loud and clear to today’s educators, but it is up to our state and district leaders to ensure that message is heard.”
—Dr. Kurt Fischer
Phonics Instruction that Supports Kids as Readers and Writers
A Principal’s Perspective
Our first graders were very upset by the implication in our school newspaper that our mascot Rocky is anything other than an actual coyote.
The sixth graders who wrote the article about our mascot theorized that perhaps Rocky was a former school employee in a costume, or maybe a ghost? Naturally, the first graders were appalled and felt the need to express their displeasure by writing letters to the editor.
The simple fact that six-year-olds would WANT to write in the first place is impressive, let alone view it as an authentic, everyday strategy to make your opinions heard. And did they ever!
Because of the Secret Stories® and our first grade teachers’ emphasis on applying the Secrets to writing (as well as reading)the kids’ letters were not limited to simple statements like “We are mad!” On the contrary, our first graders were tossing around words like “unacceptable, offended, and apologize,” and even if the spelling wasn’t perfect, their message rang out loud and clear.
The Secrets gave them access to higher level phonics skills that the reading series did not. This allowed them to write what they genuinely wanted to say, proving that they were not only fearless in their ability as writers, but also well on their way to becoming highly proficient writers down the road.
Most impressive to me, however, was the charm and compassion that was reflected in their writing, as evidenced by one little girl, who after writing five sentences of complete disgust and disdain for the slanderous journalists, still closed her letter with a simple, “Love, Kaylee” ….because it is possible to be really, really mad at someone and still love them! (Kind of makes you want to say “aw” …. oris it “au?”)
Chris, Elementary School Principal in Hesperia, California
A Classroom Teacher’s Perspective
Did my six-year-olds just ask to write letters to the editor, or was I dreaming?
I was just standing there in utter amazement, just watching this situation unfold before my eyes…The same kids who couldn’t even read the word “the” at the beginning of first grade—let alone write it—were now analyzing the school newspaper article, underlining the offensive parts, and then angrily scribbling out their responses to the editor… ON THEIR OWN!! Was this the Twilight Zone?
No, I was witnessing the power of Secret Stories. With the Secrets, they could figure out almost any word, not just the basic sight words—which meant that they actually enjoyed reading. They could sit back and focus on what the words actually meant, rather than on what sounds the letters make. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.
Then my principal walked in and we had to fight to hold back smiles, as this was such a serious matter to my kids. He was able to calm them down and explain that the article was an “opinion piece” and that, of course, we all believe that Rocky is real.
As their little faces slowly started to smile again and the tears started to dry, faith was once again regained in our society! Then my principal looked at me and said, “This is amazing.” My response? “I wish I could take credit, but this was all them.”
This amazingly perfect lesson was never planned. It was not in my teacher’s manual, and it will probably never happen again. It was driven solely by the kids’ passion to read. I had done nothing but give them the tools they needed to be successful. They, in turn, used those tools to create something amazing that never in a million years would I have ever thought possible from a class of 6 and 7-year-olds. And that is why Secret Stories will forever be the lifeblood of our classroom.
Renee, First Grade Teacher in Hesperia, California
A Critical Base of Support to Existing Reading Curriculum
Many kids need more… I am a first grade teacher in a high-poverty, Title I school. I snapped a picture to show how important Secret Stories are to our 1st graders, who couldn’t read almost any of the words in our Journeys Reading Series (Lesson 3) without it. The Level B Reader, Curious George, had 17 words that my students couldn’t read without the Secrets—including the title—which makes me so mad on behalf of these struggling students! I don’t even have enough time to teach them all they need this week, so without the Secrets, we would be lost!
The second picture shows the words from Lessons 2 in our Journeys Reading Series Leveled B and C Readers that I will be reviewing today so the students continue to see the need and connection to our Secrets. I seriously wonder how other Journeys first grade teachers in Title 1 schools with ELL learners use this series without Secret Stories?!! —Tara Settle, First Grade Teacher in West Virginia
What Every Elementary Principal Needs to Know About Phonics and the Brain
“How to Spot the Elephant in Your Early Grade Classrooms”
We had a third to about a half of our students reading at or below grade level at the beginning of the year. Within three months, 90-to-95-percent are at or above grade level. Secret Stories is the only tool that has proven successful. When kids cannot decode words, they cannot become life-long learners. Charlotte, Elementary Principal in Texas
How do I begin to thank you for the fabulous job you did today! The staff has fallen in love with you! You had as much passion and energy at 3:00 as you did at 8:30! The feedback from the staff was amazing! Nearly every teacher thanked me for bringing you to the school, and they’ve already requested a follow-up training! I even have teachers requesting the book immediately so they can plan to implement their new learning over the summer! It is the highest honor when you are able to motivate a staff that has been working since the beginning of September, and has nearly run of steam at this time of the year. Thank you for a most informative and pleasurable day! Joanne, Elementary Principal in New York
Needless to say, I have had numerous messages since your workshop with teachers in our district last Saturday, and they are all very positive—
Best session Mercer County has had in quite a while
Katie is FANTASTIC
Every K-5 teacher should hear her
Please bring her back in the Fall
I am going to being using what I learned on Monday…”
And that’s just a sampling of what I received!
Rick, Assistant Superintendent in West Virginia
The Secret Stories have made their way into the Main Office with a ‘Wall of Secrets’ outside my door! Students just love to share them with myself and my assistant principal. I am so thrilled to see staff so rejuvenated about teaching reading! Charlotte, Elementary Principal in Texas
After your presentation for our district, my school was buzzing the following day…”Was there enough money to purchase your book and materials for all the grade levels?” Nobody wanted to be left out! Our principal was so thrilled that so many teachers were interested, she assured us that every K-5 teacher would be able to have for their classrooms, and that she would even “find the money” to have you come out to work with our staff personally! Every one of our teachers has requested a copy and and now we are all anxiously awaiting their arrival. Your presentation was like a breath of fresh air! We can’t wait to begin ‘cracking the reading code’ with out students! Marie, Reading Coordinator in Florida
Since your workshop, I’ve seen your strategies in action in many schools, and the SAI/ Reading Teachers have all been praising the results with their students throughout this year. I’ve recommended you to several principals and just wanted to let you know what a hit you were!
Sandra, District Director in Florida
Your strategies are wonderful!!!! I love how they are being used at the different grade levels. My superintendent came through and was EXTREMELY IMPRESSED! He now wants to take them district-wide!
Beth, Elementary Principal in Michigan
Several of our teachers just returned from the workshop you presented at our state reading conference and were so excited! I am the Title I coordinator for the district, and I have never seen my teachers this excited about anything before. Congratulations on such an inspirational presentation, and I hope to have you come out and work with our schools directly next Fall! Joanne, Title I Coordinator in Louisiana
We really enjoyed having you come out to our district for the staff workshop! I have already had many positive comments and my principals and teachers are already asking for more!
Donna, Elementary Director, Texas
My goodness, what an impression you made on my staff and I! Our district has 12 Pre/K- 6th elementary schools, with many attending the Dallas GT conference. My teachers returned to work today begging me to bring you to the school! Our librarian couldn’t wait to tell me about your presentation, and she doesn’t get excited about workshops as such. Only one day back and already she and two of my other teachers have been by to show me and tell me all that they learned at your session, so know that you are kind of a rockstar amongst my staff! Thank you for breathing new life into a very long school year with your inspiration and wonderful ideas about teaching reading with the brain in mind! Linda, Elementary Principal in Texas
I have not seen so much excitement from our teachers in the four years that I have been the assistant principal here. They all LOVE the ‘secrets!’ On a more personal note, I have twins in the first grade. Well, just one week after their teachers started using the Secret Stories, they both came home and started telling me the ‘secrets!’ I was amazed at their interactions as well, as they couldn’t keep from telling each other the ‘secrets’ from their respective classes- from the “Momma E” to the “Super Hero” vowels- their interest and excitement was remarkable!) Once again, thank you from the entire staff! P.J., Assistant Principal and Parent in Georgia
I have been singing praises since I saw you present a workshop a few years ago at the Florida Reading Conference when I was a Title I teacher. I was so thoroughly impressed by your presentation and would love to see it again! Everything you shared in regard to teaching reading/phonics with the brain in mind just made so much sense, and the increase in student reading levels was phenomenal! Please let me know when you’ll be in our area, as if there is anything I can do that will allow our teachers to experience your wonderful workshop, I would love to do it! Sharon, Elementary Principal in Florida
I thought of you while doing observations in my primary classrooms as I attended a workshop with you a few years ago, and have since implemented your strategies in two schools. I intend to make them part of the ‘woodwork’ here, as well. We are hoping to be Title I next year, which would allow for some additional Professional Development and hopefully for you to come out and work with my staff. I want my teachers to experience the incredible learning you have in store for them! As the kids would say- ‘You Rock!!’ Danielle, Assistant Principal in Florida
I love the way that Secret Stories helps children become fearless seekers of knowledge, who ask questions and are curious, instead of putting its focus on having the child be a receiver of knowledge. Karen, Director of Headstart in Arkansas
I was meeting with our Primary Curriculum Coordinator about having you come and train our entire district, and when I told her about you, she said that SHE was actually trained by you in another district she had been in prior to ours! She couldn’t stop singing your praises!! All this to say…We want you to come!!!! And soon!! Stephanie, Elementary Principal in Virginia
I am listening to Katie Garner talk about Cracking the Reading Code. OMG, she’s soooo good. I LOVE her!!! Scott, a Principal in Texas TEPSA Committee Member
My goodness, what an impression you made on my staff and I… Thank you so much! Our district has 12 ‘Pre/K- 6th’ elementary schools, with many of them attending the Dallas GT conference. My teachers returned to work today begging me to bring you to the school. Our librarian couldn’t wait to tell me about these “Secret Stories,” and she doesn’t get excited about workshops as such, but she and 2 others so far have been by to show me and tell me all about your presentation and resources. So…I know that you are highly sought after by my staff! Thank you so much for your inspiration and wonderful ideas about reading! Linda, Elementary School Principal in Texas
What a mind altering session for me on improving phonics! Mrs. Garner was awesome, genuinely funny, and her presentation was very, very, informative. It helped to change my mindset on phonics. I can’t wait to get back to my classroom and try some if not all of the strategies she taught! Lena, First Grade Teacher in Colorado
I thought I might share some of the messages I received after Katie came and trained our teachers to get them started. We have had a few collaboration sessions on how to implement what she taught us, and since then, I’ve received some of the following messages from other teachers in other schools in my county who I’ve helped implement this amazing tool….
—You can hear Secret Stories all over our building!
—Everybody has embraced the Secret Stories and they use them every single day….singing ‘The Better
Alphabet” Song’ and sharing Secrets, decoding their names and every word they see. They love it!
—I’m so thankful you introduced this [Secret Stories] to us! Thank you!
—They [Secret Stories] are so easily incorporated!
—I love it so much! Thank you!
—When I’ve been testing my kids on letter sounds, they use the sound cues to remember the short vowel
sounds (short & lazy) and their [superhero] arms for the long vowel sounds.
—Best part of my day is walking down the K-2 hallway and hearing the kids singing ‘The Better Alphabet
—Thank you so much for bringing this to our county!
And my absolute favorite was from a collaboration session with teachers about how using Secret Stories is going in their classrooms, now that they’ve had a chance to get started, and it’s from veteran kindergarten teacher, Deanna Bailey:
—When Katie came and showed us those writing samples, I was really intimidated! I’m just going to be
honest. I thought, there is no way I am going to get my kids there by the end of kindergarten! BUT…
after using them in my room with my students, I can now say to anyone who feels this way….
“The intimidation needs to go down and the expectations need to rise up…a lot!”
So there you have it! What a testament to the power of backdoor learning with the Secret Stories! Expectations are rising in Wyoming County, and with them, our reading levels, test scores, and most importantly, our enthusiasm for reading and writing! Amy, Title I Teacher in West Virginia
Katie was amazing! She was so knowledgeable, and what she had to say was definitely a game changer in teaching phonics—just brilliant! So many great take aways that I can’t wait to implement immediately! Ruth, Third Grade Teacher in Colorado
How do I begin to thank you for the fabulous job you did today! The staff has fallen in love with you! You had as much passion and energy at 3:00 as you did at 8:30! The feedback from the staff was amazing! Nearly every teacher thanked me for bringing you to the school, and they’ve already requested a follow-up training! I even have teachers requesting the book immediately so they can plan to implement their new learning over the summer! It is the highest honor when you are able to motivate a staff that has been working since the beginning of September, and has nearly run of steam at this time of the year. Thank you for a most informative and pleasurable day! Joanne, Elementary School Assistant Principal in New York
I learned more in Katie’s half day workshop than I did in quarter long graduate course on teaching reading!
The Secret Stories are just so easy to teach…. the stories, music, visuals, and movement engage students with the complex rules of phonics! Thank you for truly making me a better and much more effective teacher! Lerline, Kindergarten Teacher in North Dakota
Needless to say, I have had numerous messages since Saturday and they are all very positive…
—Best session Mercer County has had in quite a while!
—Katie is FANTASTIC!
—Every K-5 teacher should hear her!
—Please bring her back in the Fall
—I am going to begin using what I learned on Monday!
…And that’s just a sampling of what I received! Rick, Assistant Superintendent in Virginia
I have to tell you that the day our staff spent with you on Wednesday was the best in-service training I have attended. I was able to immediately start using the strategies- I am excited and so are my kids! My family at home thought I had be ‘abducted by aliens’ and was nuts because at dinner I was telling every ‘secret’ that I could remember! My teenagers were impressed that you had motivated all those teachers without any power points, videos, or ‘stuff.’ Your humor was wonderful. You are so accurate on the reality of a real classroom. Even one of my most struggling readers picked up the excitement of the first few ‘secrets’ I shared and was so excited about going home to tell them to her parents. Thanks so much! Julie, First Grade Teacher in Tennessee
Katie was so engaging and I loved all the content that she shared! I would pay out of my own pocket to see her again and learn more! She was that fabulous!!! Deanna, ESOL Teacher in Nevada
Thank you!! I was at the SoMirac conference in Hunt Valley, MD. You were an absolute inspiration for me!! I am/try to be a”singer” of songs to reinforce and cement concept attainment as well.. (even though I can NOT carry a tune in a bucket or anything else!) I find your creative style is almost strikingly similar to mine.. I am not comparing what you do with what I do ….but our approach to learning seems so similar. I was awestruck by your presentation and my reading teacher could NOT WAIT for me to see you present… As a matter of fact, I am presenting some little tidbits of your material at a faculty PD next week. I want to engage and motivate my staff to check out your blogs and also try to implement some of your awesome ideas!! Thank you so much for sharing your creative spirit and inspiring me to try new and innovative ideas!! :) Meredith, First Grade Teacher in Maryland
I had the pleasure of sitting your session this morning at NAEYC and want you to know that it was a true honor! I am a former 1st grade teacher and current lead editor for the Literacy Team at “—–” Publishing House. I found you to be one of the best presenters I’ve ever seen. Your passion for and expertise for literacy left me wanting to give you a standing ovation at the end of your presentation! It’s not an easy feat to find people who really get the challenges students and early childhood/early elementary educators alike face on a daily basis! Jamey, Educational Publishing Editor in California
I attended your workshop at VSRA, and wanted to let you know that Secret Stories was the talk of the weekend! Everywhere I went, people were raving about the ‘Secret Stories’ and how wonderful the workshop was! It’s the perfect ‘support’ to the strategies I use in Reading Recovery- I know my kids will love it! Jill, Reading Recovery Coach in Virginia
I saw Katie at the ASCD Conference many years ago and LOVED her, and then, I was fortunate enough to see her again when my district brought her to present a workshop to all of our schools. It was, and still is THE BEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE I have ever had 15 years of teaching! —Krystal, Second Grade Teacher in Illinois
I had the pleasure of coming to your session at our state reading conference last year and it was AMAZING! I was extremely excited to start implementing your “secrets” from the beginning of the year, and they are working huge miracles in my Kindergarten classroom! My kids are writing more than they ever have before, and they had their vowel sounds down within a month of introducing the “secrets!” Thank you for understanding children and developing these awesome tools! —Amanda, Kindergarten Teacher in Maryland
Our teachers saw your workshop at the National Title I Conference and couldn’t stop talking about you! The students absolutely LOVE the stories that have been introduced so far! Much Appreciation from our entire team! Tasha, First Grade Teacher in Louisiana
My teachers just returned from the workshop you presented at our state El. Ed. Conference and were very excited. I am the Title I coordinator for the district, and I have never seen my teachers this excited about anything before! Congratulations on such an inspirational presentation, and we look forward to using the SECRETS soon! Joanne, Title I Coordinator in North Carolina
I could listen to her for a very long time. I love how she used every minute to give us the best information she could. Also very comical! Her ideas make such sense and she provided amazing free resources as well. I enjoyed it immensely! Tabitha, Literacy Coach in New York
Thank you for the fabulous workshop you presented in Santa Clara, California. You certainly wowed me! I have been an elementary grade teacher more years than I can count, and the strategies you shared were of more use to me, and more beneficial to my students than anything I have ever brought to my classroom
Thank you for ‘revitalizing’ my year! Carolyn, Kindergarten Teacher in California
Thank you for your presentation of “Secret Stories” in our district. The school was ‘buzzing’ the following day…”Was there enough money to purchase ‘Secret Stories’ for all the grade levels?” Nobody wanted to be ‘left out!” Our principal was so thrilled that so many teachers were interested, she assured us that every K-5 teacher would be able to have the “Secret Stories” for their classrooms—that she would ‘find the money from somewhere!’ Every one of our teachers has placed an order for “Secret Stories” and now we are all anxiously awaiting their arrival. The ‘secrets’ are like a breath of fresh air!! We can’t wait to begin “cracking the reading code” with our students! Marie, Reading Coach in Florida
As a newer teacher, I am so grateful to have had the chance to see Katie a couple of months ago at our state reading conference! I learned more in just that one hour session than in all of my teaching classes combined! I love how the Secrets provide such strong framework for instruction while still allowing the flexibility to adjust to individual student needs and my own creative teaching style. I feel like a new door has been opened for me and my students! THANK YOU!!!! Carrie, Kindergarten Teacher in Michigan
Everyone at my ‘new’ school just raved about the Secret Stories, so while at the National IRA conference, I attended one of your workshops….THEY WERE RIGHT!!!! It is sooooo easy, even with my ‘intermediate’ background! I love how it fits with whatever I am teaching, in any subject! I even dragged my husband in over the weekend to help me hang up all the posters so I could begin first thing Monday morning!!! I am very excited, as I truly believe this is not only helping my students tremendously in reading, but in their written expression, as well! Elise, Fourth Grade Teacher in Florida
I ran into a teacher who attended one of your institute presentations at Harvard University, and has spoken of nothing else since! She described your workshop as ‘life-changing,’ and couldn’t wait to try some of the strategies with her students! Well, we wanted you to know that having attended your workshop wasn’t just ‘life-changing’ for her, but for all of our students, as well!!! Just watching their faces as everything started to ‘come together’… WOW!!! Edie, Fourth-Fifth Grade SLD in Massachusetts
I learned more in Katie’s half day workshop than I did in quarter long graduate course on teaching reading! Leanne, Reading Specialist in Texas
I saw your workshop at KRA, as my teachers had actually told me about you before I attended the conference. In fact, they INSISTED, in a very nice kind of way—“WE WANT HER!!” The teachers are so excited because of the ‘buzz’ going around the school about you. Apparently one teacher heard about you in a class she was taking- She came back, and you have been the “thing” ever since!! (Your workshops must have had a very beneficial impact on some other school districts in Kentucky as well!) The teachers want you as soon as possible—I have never seen them this excited over anything before!!!! Suzanne, Reading First Literacy Specialist in Kentucky
As a newer teacher, I am so grateful to have had the chance to see Katie a couple of months ago at our state reading conference! I learned more in just that one hour session than in all of my teaching classes combined! I love how the Secrets provide such strong framework for instruction while still allowing the flexibility to adjust to individual student needs and my own creative teaching style. I feel like a new door has been opened for me and my students! THANK YOU!!!
Leslie, First Grade Teacher in New Mexico
I attended a district-wide in-service with you last week and absolutely loved the workshop! I came back to my 2nd grade room and introduced some ‘secrets’ immediately. My kids are in love with them, and are so ‘into it,’ just like you said they would be! Thank you so much for such a rewarding, & enjoyable day!!! Grace, Second Grade Teacher in Charleston, South Carolina
I love Secret Stories, and have been singing YOUR praises since I saw you present a workshop 5 years ago at FRA when I was a Title I teacher. I was so thoroughly impressed by your presentation, and would love to see it again! The ‘secrets’ just make so much sense! Please let me know when you’ll be in our area, as if there is anything I can do that will allow our teachers to experience your wonderful workshop, I would love to do it! Sharon, Elementary School Principal in Florida
We really enjoyed having you come out to our district for the staff workshop! I have already had many positive comments about the ‘secrets’ you shared, and my teachers are already asking for more!!!! Thanks so very much! Donna, Elementary School Principal in Texas
I thought of you while doing observations in my primary classrooms, as I attended a workshop with you about 7 years ago and have since implemented the SECRET STORIES Strategies in two schools. I intend to make it part of our ‘woodwork’ here as well! We are hoping to be Title I next year, which would allow for some additional Professional Development, and include the Secret Stories. I think they are wonderful, and can’t wait for the rest of my teachers to experience the incredible learning you have in store for them!
As the kids would say- ‘You Rock!!’ Danielle, Assistant Principal in Florida
My intermediate teachers that attended your workshop at a neighboring school were amazed at the ‘common sense’ approach of the SECRETS to ‘explain away’ all of the inconsistencies in our language……simply telling learners the ’secret’ behind the pattern. It’s just so simple! Barbara/ Reading First Literacy Coach in Pennsylvania
I have not seen so much excitement from our teachers in the four years that I have been the assistant principal here! They all LOVE the secrets! P.J., Assistant Elementary School Principal in Georgia
I have been an elementary grade teacher more years than I can count, and the strategies you shared at workshop were of more use to me, and more beneficial to my students, than anything I have ever brought back to my classroom!
Thank you for ‘revitalizing’ my year! Carolyn, Second Grade Teacher in California
I share this information with EVERY teacher I meet because I know the difference it makes! Heather, Second Grade Teacher in Florida
These ‘secrets’ have even make their way into the office! I have actually created a ‘Wall of Secrets’ outside my door for students to share with myself and my assistant principal. Only one of my fifth grade teachers had attended your workshop at a neighboring school, and he liked it so much that he shared the information with his team members, and now they want kits for their classrooms! I am thrilled to see staff so ‘rejuvenated’ about teaching reading! Charlotte, Elementary School Principal in Texas
Since your workshop, I’ve seen these strategies in action in many schools, and the SAI/Reading Teachers have all been praising the results with their students throughout this year. I’ve recommended you to several principals, and just wanted to let you know what a ‘hit’ the ‘Secret Stories’ were becoming here! Thanks so much! Sandra, S.A.I Director/ Supplemental Educational Services in Florida
I was meeting with our Primary Curriculum Coordinator about having you come and train our entire district, and when I told her about you, she said that SHE was actually trained by you in another district she had been in prior to ours! She couldn’t stop singing your praises!! All this to say…We want you to come!!!! And soon!! Stephanie, Elementary School Principal in Virginia
First, on behalf of our school, I want to thank you SO MUCH for sharing all the awesome tricks you have created with the Secret Stories!!! We all feel like we couldn’t absorb enough of the wonderful things you had to tell us about. What an absolutely amazing experience! Shawna, Kindergarten Teacher in Texas
I am listening to Katie Garner talk about Cracking the Reading Code. OMG, she’s soooo good. I LOVE her!!! Scott, a Principal in Texas TEPSA Committee Member
Do You Like Secrets?
Subscribe for FREE “secret” goodies, including Secret Session posts, professional development videos, teacher chats, beta product downloads, and links to FREE resources!