Monday, November 17, 2014

Reading & Writing "Phonics-Secret" FREEBIES!

The more tools learners bring to the table, the more value they are able to take away...
In order for learners to take full advantage of the daily literacy experiences we provide in the classroom, they must be given access to as much of the "code" as possible, as soon as possible!

Knowing just 26 letter sounds and a handful of sight words doesn't get you very far in reading OR writing, even in Kindergarten!

Ask yourself, how much could YOU write about your favorite topic with only '26 individual letter sounds and 10 sight words' at your disposal? Not to mention trying to decode even the easiest, low- level reader?
No matter how many rich, literacy activities and experiences we provide daily for students in our classrooms, they are of minimal value to those without enough skills to fully partake in them!
Easy!  Just toss out some Secrets!
In conjunction with my guest posts on Mrs. Jump's Class Blog, let's take a peek at some student writing from her Thanksgiving Freebie, Turkey in Disguise and see how access to the Secrets gives this awesome activity even more "instructional-bang" for the buck!
The SECRET STORIES / Turkey in Disguise
The SECRET STORIES / Turkey in Disguise
The SECRET STORIES® / Turkey in Disguise
Notice in the last two samples above, the Outlaw Words, one and there, depicted as "mug-shots" for posting on the class Word Jail (the SECRET STORIES-version of a "Word Wall")  

The Word Jail is reserved only for words that truly are "un-figure-outable!"  As the Secrets allow learners to "figure-out" (as opposed to just 'decode') most unknown words in text , there are still a small percentage of words (mostly the high-frequency, one syllable sight words) that are simply "uncrackable!"  

These are the Outlaw Words and they are the only words that we commit to memory so as to recognize by-sight! Kids love discovering and capturing them throughout the day in environmental print as well as during instructional time when working with text!  (For more on this, click on the  text links above.)

You can download FREE Mrs. Jump's Turkey in Disguise, as well as A Secret Stories Sampling and SECRET Writing Pack below!  
Turkey in Disguise 
SECRET STORIES Graphic-Anchor Mini/ Sample Set
SECRET STORIES "Good Writers/ Zookeeper" Pack  (includes VLOG-link!)
Mrs. Mac's Class & the SECRET STORIES
Mrs. Mac's students, looking up the "ie" Secret in the SECRET STORIES book! 
(Mrs. Mac hadn't shared that one yet, but the kids said they needed it NOW!!!)
I received the series of short video clips from Mrs. Mac and her class on Halloween, along with the very excited caption- "And we have READERS!!!" 

And here are a couple more Thanksgiving-freebie that I wanted to share in time to use with your class before Turkey Day!  If you've been following my RED DIAMOND Pinterest Boards, you may have snagged them over the weekend, but if not, here's your chance!

The first is the popular Thanksgiving Turkey Mini-Unit from the The Bag Ladies (aka Karen Simmons and Cindy Guinn) and is one of my favorites!
The Bag Ladies FREE "Turkey Project"
The second is a very special Thanksgiving story by Michelle Condon, entitled Grandma's First Thanksgiving.  This book retails at bookstores for $20, but is being made available for teachers as a free download for a limited-time to share with their class for the Thanksgiving Holiday!
Grandma's First Thanksgiving A limited-time, Free Digital Download
This beautiful story provides the perfect springboard into many of the concepts covered in the Common Core, and includes a special "teacher-piece" with talking-points for class discussion and/or written response. Once you've shared the digital copy with your students this Thanksgiving, I know that you will want to add the published version of this wonderful book to your teacher-library! You can get more information on it here.

And last but not least,  a very special  freebie-surprise! 

The SECRET STORIES Guided Reader, Farmer Gobbler's Birthday FREE! 
Farmer Gobbler's Birthday- A SECRET STORIES Guided Reader
And to find out about all upcoming Free Download Window postings, be sure to follow my DIAMOND Pinterest Boards!

Happy "Almost" Thanksgiving!


Visit Katie Garner- Educational Author/ Speaker's profile on Pinterest.


  1. Love your secret stories, use them all the time with my kinders

    1. Yea!! I'm so glad to know that they enjoy them :)

  2. Thank you for all of the great ideas and freebies!

  3. Would love to hear strategies to use with child who have hearing loss and difficulty hearing the sounds.

  4. Thanks for all the great freebies!

  5. I always love to read your blog posts....they help me fine tune what I do with my kiddos!

    1. Love the way you phrased that, as that's EXACTLY my goal.... to simply "fine-tune" what you're ALREADY doing in your classroom!!!
      Thanks so much for your comment!

  6. Finally, someone who recognizes that one must be able to read and make sentences to write. Thanks for speaking up for the poor confused Kinder children who are told to write a story.