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 :)


  1. These are great! How do you explain the ar sounding like air? Thanks.

  2. great question... once learners know the SECRETS, they own all that's 'in the box,' which means that their ability to 'think outside it' when it comes to letters and all of their most-likely behaviors and next-most likely behaviors (i.e. sounds) becomes easy!

    With 'air' however, it's really not that hard, as the 'ai' is actually doing just what it should, given that whenever '2 vowels go a walking, the first will do the talking'..... and as for the 'r', it's just making it's normal sound as well. Take the word 'hair' for example... you've got the 'h' sound, then the 'long a' sound, then the 'r' sound.... all of which are making their most likely sounds in that word.

    One little trick that will help to bypass any regional accents that might interfere with these sounds is to role play "speaking like a Brit" with learners..... in other words, foster your best English accent and read a story together! This can really help to fine-tune the authentic sounds in the English language so as not to fall for what might appear to be exceptions, but are actually just words that have become "Americanized" in their pronunciation. I talk more about this in a vlog here-

    As for how to work with words in which letters actually DO make, what appear to be a 'complete departure' from their traditional or most-likely sounds, you can check out this blog post-

    Thanks so much for your question, and keep'em coming :)

  3. Thank you for such wonderful and interesting article.

    Hidden Secrets of Success