Saturday, April 11, 2015

From Apathy to EngagementI— Targeting Phonics Instruction to the Affective "Feeling" Domain

The brain is a "pattern-making" machine, 
constantly seeking out patterns and creating new ones.

Secret Stories® Phonics— The Brain is a "Pattern-Making" Machine!

These first graders were transformed into analytical "word doctors" upon coming across the "ie" Se Secret during guided reading. Watch as they think-through (i.e. pattern-out) all of the Secrets they know about Superhero I to account for his sound behaviors, and while doing so, ultimately identify a brand NEW pattern. The diagnosis? Apparently, Superhero I has some sort of obsessive "cookie-eating and then exercising" disorder— Lol! (Kids who know the "ie" Secret will LOVE watching that clip!)

Secret Stories® Phonics—  The Superhero Vowels® I Poster
Secret Stories® Superhero I 
Secret Stories® Phonics Poster—The  IE "Secret!"
Secret Stories® Phonics "ie" Secret

And now for some teacher-fun! These very talented teachers from Bremerton, Washington are bringing the ie-Secret to life in their own way, which you can watch below. You can find this video and more on the free Secret Stories® Youtube Channel!

Underscoring existing reading curriculum and instruction with Secret Stories® makes kids privy to all of the letters' Secrets, creating a "learner-driven" instructional environment that transforms daily reading and writing into a virtual playground for critical thinking and deeper literacy learning! 
Secret Stories®  Brain Based Phonics
The measure of intelligence lies in the ability to see patterns where others see randomness.

Now let's watch the same first graders (from Mrs. Mac's Class) in a whole group mini-lesson, during which the kids have noticed that in the word light, the "i" is making its long sound, despite the fact that there is no Mommy E® or Babysitter Vowel® in sight! This conundrum sparks a creative (and highly imaginative!) conversation about letter-sound behavior that is purely driven by  learners' "need-to-know!"  (This is actually one of my ALL-TIME-FAVORITE clips!) 

It's difficult to imagine, given the high level of interest and student engagement seen in this video, that these first graders are actually discussing the impact of the gh phonics pattern on the sound of the letter i. Their enthusiasm for debating letter behavior is similar to that which is shown when discussing the behavior (or misbehavior!) of their classmates. This is because both concepts are anchored in the same, familiar framework of social and emotional learner-understanding. 
Secret Stories®  Phonics— From Apathy to Engagement!
"It's neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things you don't care about."
— Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (Harvard Neuroscientist)
By aligning letter-behavior to kid-behavior, Secret Stories® forges personal learner-connections to otherwise random letter sound skills, which allows inexperienced, beginning (and struggling upper) grade learners to easily hypothesize and deduce letters' "most" and "next most" likely sounds.  Targeting phonics instruction to the affective (social-emotional) "feeling" domain transforms letters and sounds from skills they have to learn into "secrets" they want to know! And the fact that they are grown-up reading and writing "secrets" makes them even more important and helps mark them for memory and prioritized learning in the brain!

Secret Stories®  Brain Based Phonics
Secrets make information important to learners, 
marking it for memory and prioritized learning in the brain.

And if you were wondering how these first graders so easily identified the different sounds for gh, you can learn the Secret in the video, below. (Note the little girl standing next to the lady who is re-telling the Secret, as she is watching her closely to make sure that she doesn't screw it up— Lol!)  

Moving Phonics Instruction from Apathy to Engagement  

All kids are naturally fascinated by who did what and why,  and it is this inherent "need to know" that naturally drives their desire to learn more Secrets! Even kindergartners can easily remember who the line leader is, who can't sit together, and who always gets in trouble. And the same "social-emotional" learning networks that store and retrieve this information can be used to help them keep track of behavior, making it easy to predict their "most" and "next most" likely sounds. 

Secret Stories® provides the logical explanations that our brains crave about why the letters do what they do! The Secrets make phonics make SENSE because they are based on social and emotional frameworks that are already deeply entrenched within the learner. Knowing the letters' "secrets" spark their natural curiosity. motivating them to engage more with text.  

Secret Stories® Phonics— Sneaking Tricky Letter Sound Skills through the Brain's Backdoor!
Secret Stories® Phonics— Accessing the Affective "Feeling" Domain 
Secret Stories® Phonics— "Giving" Skills, Not "Teaching" Them for Accelerated Access to the Code
"Giving" Phonics Skills, Not "Teaching" Them for Accelerated Access to the Code

To wrap things up, I just had to share this wonderful email and picture that was sent to me by Aimee Meyer and her first grade class from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Receiving letters like this one mean EVERYTHING to me, and I cannot thank her enough for taking the time to send it!

Secret Stories® Phonics Poster by First Grade Class
For More "Kid-Made' Versions of the Secrets, Check Out This Post!

Dear Katie,
I just wanted to share our latest first grade classwork at St. Thomas More in Baton Rouge. 
My student made up their own Secret Story posters....."Drop the "y" to add "ed" and "es!"

We adore our Secret Stories! I'd feel so lost without it! My school sent me to New Orleans a couple of years ago where I got to meet you and listen to you speak.  Afterward, I went home and purchased the Secret Stories Classroom Kit as soon as could!

Thank you so much.
You don't know how many little lives you've changed.

Aimee Meyer

PS Every K-4 classroom in America needs to implement Secret Stories!)

Amy, I cannot agree more!  So let's make it happen!! There are two things that you can do to become part of the Secret Stories® tribe. First, subscribe to the free newsletter so that you are up-to-date on the latest research, strategy-shifts, video postings, free download links and general Secret Story-gossip! ;-) Second, follow, share and interact with me on social media. I'm on all of them, so pick one and let's enjoy a virtual cup of coffee (or cosmos!) together as we banter online! You can find all of my social media buttons below, as well as on the right sidebar at the top. I am most active on Instagram, and would LOVE to see pics and vids from your classroom! Just tag @TheSecretStories and be sure to use hashtags #SecretStoriesTribe  #SecretStoriesPhonics 

Until Next Time,
Katie Garner— Author of Secret Stories: Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!

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Secret Stories® Makes Phonics Make SENSE!
Secret Stories® Phonics Secrets
Try a "taste" of the Secrets with YOUR class 

Katie Garner Education Author and Keynote Speaker/ Literacy Consultant
For a list of upcoming conferences, or for information on scheduling a school or district professional development workshop, click here. 

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1 comment :

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