Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Free SECRET STORIES® Math Anchors with Highlighted Phonics "Secrets!"

Happy Spring..... and Happy Easter!!!

I'm guessing that most of you are either in the middle of, or soon to begin a well-deserved Spring Break! 

I just wanted to make this quick post so that no one missed out on a second chance to grab a couple of quick freebies that will be in the Free Download Window over the next couple of days! 

I also wanted to let everyone know that I finally received word a week ago that the recipient of my stem cell donation last February to an unknown 21 year old male w/ Stage 4 Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma was SUCCESSFUL! Not only successful, but he is now ONE HUNDRED PERCENT HEALTHY!  

And to receive such long-awaited (and amazingly awesome!) news just before Easter makes this special holiday the best one EVER! 

If you're not already signed-up to be a donor on BE THE MATCH, I would encourage you (as well as your college-age or older children!) to do so!  It's easy, and it's free when done in conjunction with any blood donation. Otherwise, you can request a 'swab' to be sent to donate through the BE THE MATCH website, although there is a $50 donation to register this way.  However, if you are under 45, the donation is only suggested, not required, as younger donors, especially minorities, are so desperately needed! 

Now on to the freebies.....

First, back in the Free Download Window (just in case you'd missed it last time!) are the SECRET STORIES Alphabet Mini-Mats (as seen with Mrs. Mac in the picture below.... and love the red "secret story" dress!!  Lol!)

They're perfect for use as individual student references, especially when working on simultaneous mastery of the "Secrets" and the individual letters and sounds via The Better Alphabet Song and the Letter Runs musical brainteasers!   

SECRET STORIES Alphabet Mini-Mat

Second, are the SECRET STORIES Shape Anchor Posters with highlighted SECRET STORIES phonics patterns!

*highlighted Mommy e making say its name!
*highlighted al-SECRET and 'Babysitter Vowel' a making o say its name!
*highlighted cy-SECRET and er-SECRET

And for those who haven't already downloaded it, the Free SECRET STORIES Mini-Sampler!

And finally, just in case you missed them last time, the Calendar SECRETS 
Calendar SECRETS, last but not least, this short video clip that will make you "re-think" what you tell learners everyday at Calendar about the letter y

The"Lie about Y"

In closing, (and to make you laugh!) here are some first graders talking about how the book they're reading in guided group is (in their words) "throwing-up" SECRETS....

"This book is just 'throwing-up' SECRETS!"

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday~

PS  If you're only following me here on my blog, and haven't yet found me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, I would strongly encourage you to, as while I do my best to announce and share all of my free teaching finds & "too-neat-not-to-keep" teaching tools here, the only way to be sure not miss anything is to stay connected!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

There's an Elephant in Your Classroom!

There's a giant elephant in your classroom.
And it's huge!

You side-step it everyday, several times in fact, probably without even realizing it.
For example, Morning Calendar....this is one of the elephant's favorite times!

Still don't see it?
Watch this.  

Now do you see it? 

Think of the 'grown-up' Reading & Writing SECRETS (aka Secret Stories®) as the elephant exterminator!

They provide logical explanations where there would otherwise be none.  
They're the reasons WHY letters make the sounds that they do.... or don't.... or should!

And no where are there more letter-sound discrepancies than on the Class Calendar!

Take the letter ‘y’  for example….
It’s in virtually every word and not once is it found actually making the sound that it should!

Don’t believe me?
"January, February, May, July, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…"

Not to mention...
“This book is BY blah-blah author.....the BOY’S bathroom….” 
And the 'all-time' favorites — “mommy, daddy, candy, pretty"

I could go on and on and on...

Learn the Sneaky Y® SECRET!

The Sneaky Y® 'Cheat-Sheet' from SECRETS of the Superhero Vowels®!
(and for a video on teaching the Superhero Vowels® & Sneaky Y®, click here!) 

So what about words like: Sunday, Monday & May?
Why isn't the 'y' making the 'e' or 'i' sounds in those words...?
Because that's NOT Sneaky Y®!

That's 'ey/ay'! 

And they're just too cool, like Fonzie— "AYYYYYYYYYEEEE!"


And now there's a NEW Secret Stories® Guided Reader that's all about Sneaky Y® and his sneaky shenanigans! Here's a sneak-peek, and you can find the full version (which includes the makings for a Sneaky Y® reading puppet to use in guided group) here!

Sneaky Y®'s Secret with Guided Reading Puppet Craft 

Until Next Time,
Katie :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sneaking through the Brain's Backdoor!

I'm super excited about this post for 3 reasons!

the latest SECRET STORIES Guided Reader, "Troy's Quest" is now available FREE through the end of this another freebie-surprise after that on Monday, so stay tuned!

SECRET STORIES Guided Reader- "Troy's Quest"
SECRET STORIES® Guided Reader- "Troy's Quest"
SECRET STORIES® Guided Reader- "Troy's Quest"
SECRET STORIES Guided Reader- "Troy's Quest"

I'm finally getting a chance to post a couple of awesome peeks into kinder and first grade classrooms! 

The first is a minute-long video clip that fits perfectly with the free reader download. In it are some VERY smart (and VERY excited!) first graders during guided reading.... apparently discussing how this particular book is literally "throwing-up SECRETS!"  

These kids are just TOO funny!

 ....did you notice the Porta-Pics (above right) for easy-access to the SECRETS

And next are pictures from two different kinder classes. 

The first was captured by kinder teacher, Mrs. Dismukes, and shows the daily 'after-school' ritual of her student playing teacher! The kids love to quiz each about the SECRETS and their sounds and see who can find the most in words around the classroom!

The best part? 
Their EXCITED about text!!!

This second photo is actually a wedding photo! 
These kindergartners were standing-in for the letters au & aw in their SECRET STORIES wedding celebration......"ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!" 

.....s & h also said "I-Do" along with the other SECRET couples!

I've got more special vids and pics I'll be sharing in-conjunction with target-topics in upcoming posts.... as well as FREE resources you can download to use them with YOUR class, so stay tuned!

And third...
This super short, 3-minute clip from my talk at last month's National Title I Conference in Salt Lake City which contains probably the biggest speaking gaffe that I've ever made in a presentation—which if you've ever seen me speak, says a lot!                                                                                                                                                     
I thought for sure that Title I  would edit this bit out before adding it to their Videos-on-Demand website, but apparently it made it into the final cut!  

The whole clip is only about minutes long, and my gaffe is just 2-minutes in, so you can't miss it!

You can watch the full-length version here, and subscribe to the YouTube Channel for notification of all new video uploads.

Luckily, the wonderful and engaged Title I audience took no offense to my unexpected (and completely inappropriate) analogy.

Have a wonderful weekend, don't forget to download the guided reader freebie, and keep an eye out for the email notification about the fun-freebie that I'll be posting to the Free Download Window immediately following this one (below) next Monday. 

Until next time,
For more information on the SECRET STORIES®