The LDA Podcast

"Tricking" the Brain into Reading & Writing

July 01, 2020 LDA America Season 1 Episode 6
"Tricking" the Brain into Reading & Writing
The LDA Podcast
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The LDA Podcast
"Tricking" the Brain into Reading & Writing
Jul 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
LDA America

Today, LDA’s Education Committee Chair Kristina Scott Quinlan interviews author and literacy consultant Katie Garner about teaching strategies for new or struggling readers.

Garner tells us that the social and emotional parts of the brain are the first to develop, and teaches how to take advantage of these already-built highways and connections to teach reading and writing skills.

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Show Notes Transcript

Today, LDA’s Education Committee Chair Kristina Scott Quinlan interviews author and literacy consultant Katie Garner about teaching strategies for new or struggling readers.

Garner tells us that the social and emotional parts of the brain are the first to develop, and teaches how to take advantage of these already-built highways and connections to teach reading and writing skills.

For more resources from LDA, visit

Lauren  00:13

Welcome back to the LDA podcast, a series dedicated to improving the lives and education of all learners. Today, we're talking to literacy consultant Katie Garner to learn some techniques on how to trick the brain into reading and writing.

Kristina Scott  00:38

Hello, everyone, I'm here with Katie Garner, internationally known literacy consultant, and keynote speaker and author of Secret Stories: Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind. Thank you for joining us, Katie.

Katie Garner  00:49

Thank you for having me.

Kristina Scott  00:50

So in your reading and your writing, you talk about how student's social emotional systems are connected to their learning. Can you give us some examples of that or explain how?

Katie Garner  01:03

The way that I really kind of tap into that part of the of the science with those social emotional superhighways is for a different purpose than the way that they're usually discussed, I tend to like to look at the brain like a chess opponent sometimes to see why what we're doing isn't making its way in and then looking to see what the processes are that are naturally occurring, that we might be able to kind of work around if we just know what to anticipate. So with the social emotional development, we know that area of the brain is much earlier developing than the higher level processing centers, the brain develops back to front and those areas are in the mid rear portion of the brain. So they're on board very early in kids, I like to call them their tattling centers, the social emotional learning centers, because they're the part that at the least in the most small form, you know, they help them keep track of who the line leader is, who line leader was, who got fired from being the line leader who's never allowed to be the line leader again, all of the things that are everybody else's business, how they feel about things, how they respond, all of those connections are earlier developing onboard and have much more grounding in an ability to use to make sense of things. So I tend to like to take advantage of those already laid superhighways to transport high leverage phonics skills, rather than social emotional learning for social emotional learning's sake, which I think oftentimes is what we do focus on because it's such a, you know, a perfect place to look at citizenship behavior, and how to make good choices and develop social emotional intelligence. But you can take advantage in a different way, if you just know how much power lies in the already built connections that are tight and streamlined and strong, and then use those to transport skills that typically have to go down roads that haven't been built yet, or that teachers can struggle to build, or that for some kids have some roadblocks for so basically, to social emotional learning from the purpose that I am kind of coming at it from is, is to kind of repurpose those connections to make use of them for academic content, ease in retrieval, as earlier access to these pieces that kids need to really maximize what they're doing everyday with reading and writing.

Kristina Scott  03:24

So it's not just social emotional learning for social emotional learning's sake, responsibility in decision making and how to work well with peers, etc. Instead, it's social emotional learning tied to academic content.

Katie Garner  03:36

Yes, and what's fused together is used together, so they will work backwards. And in other words, all of the things that you just mentioned, which are perfect, those help drive their decision making every day, you know, if they see a student on the playground without a friend, the idea that, you know, they might feel empathy and then want to go play with them. And if they see...if they decide they want to hit Susie over the head, you know, not that they should be deciding that, but let's say they did, they're not going to do it when they're the line leader, everybody knows that. When you're at the front of the line, you behave like a perfect angel, but at the back of the line, you can get away with murder back there. So the decision making about those types of behaviors that already drive their behavior every single day, we're going to use that as a compass to start driving decision making about letters and the sounds are most likely to make in words they've never seen before. So like you know, positional sounds of Y, for example, as a phonics skill it's a high leverage phonics skill and it's typically taught mid to end of first of second grade. Kids need to know that in kindergarten, really, really on the first day because we tell kids you know Y says Yo yo yes, yes, yes. And then we want to march two feet to our calendar and we blow it to heck by looking at where it's like July, January, Sunday we read a big book that's by this author tell them that's the boy's bathroom. So every time they turn around they see a letter that's never making the one sound we say it should but it's doing everything else. So if kids understand and there's a whole little you know, little story about sneaky Y and it's actually pretty simple but he's only sneaky when he's at the end of a word, and no one can see him. You know, he'd never be sneaky when he's a line leader, he does exactly what he should up there. And why he's sneaky or what it does when he is sneaky is connected with what he did that made him sneaky. Y he took a couple of capes from a couple of superheroes and he uses them to have their powers so that he can say their name at the end of words like mommy, candy, daddy, sky, July. So kids have this ability to manipulate words and decision making about what those letters will say in words by thinking about what they would do, what would drive their behavior. Y is going to be sneaky at the end because that's where they would be more likely to do something they don't want to be seen doing at the front when everybody's looking. That's where you put on your best behavior. Yeah, yeah, yellow, yes, you, yak. So just little tiny things like that kind of help kids gauge and get a foothold in how to work with text that's all around them and just get more of the code faster. So that it's not just about individual letter sounds and then blends and then digraphs, it's not a three year track to get the whole code, we can kind of start giving them like a smorgasbord of access far earlier than they should have it by taking advantage of things they already understand. And just connecting new information to it's already deeply entrenched in their daily experience, their daily behavior. So it's that kind of an idea. It's just a way in to open up faster access to more of what they need to milk the reading and writing they're already doing every day.

Kristina Scott  06:31

So you really tap into tricks and strategies that relate to their personal lives in order to then fast forward this reading for them.

Katie Garner  06:41

Absolutely. And that's so important. If you think of the code, you know, the code or phonics is just one part of the recipe that's reading, you know, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, all of those pieces are equally important. But the problem is, if kids don't have that one piece of the code nailed down, it just wreaks havoc with the entire dish. And it makes it impossible for you to work on comprehension at upper grades, kids can't read, they can't build the vocabulary they need in order to comprehend if they can't read and you surely can't work on fluency if they can't even just read. So it is just one piece, but it's the piece that's pivotal. And from any corner of the world, you view it from whether it's kindergarten or upper grade, you know, it's a big hurdle. When kids don't have it at the upper grades it's a hurdle because it blocks access to curriculum. You know, they can't read the information from old texts, they can't construct the persuasive argument that's supposed to be the focus of your lesson. But at the early grades, you can't do diddly squat with just individual letters and sounds, you can't do anything. You know the word 'How' is h-ow , like I said the word August or I didn't say the word August, but I was in my session. So this feels like a continuation of it. You know, we look when we talk about capital A and we sing little songs that A says "ah" and A says "ay" and then we walk to the word August and we say the words August. So we're constantly contradicting ourselves as long as we're forced to piecemeal this puzzle out and in bits and pieces and a puzzle. Like I like to ask teachers at the beginning of the session, you know, what do you do with a puzzle that you only have like some of the pieces for, and their first response is we throw it away. Now teachers don't throw anything away, like ever, there's nothing we will throw away unless literally, there is no possible use for it. And that's how a puzzle is when you don't have all the pieces, you can't do anything with a puzzle unless you have all of it, that's by definition, and the code is the same. You know, I can't write about my pet mouse in kindergarten. If I look at the alphabet training, there's no letter that says "ow." And if you let your program be the teacher, programs are a great playground. But the teacher and the program is not going to give the "ow" sound until second grade or middle of first and middle to end of first or second. And my mouse could be dead by the time I get the "ow" sound that I need to write about him. So it's just kind of the idea that kids need whatever is necessary to write the story they want to tell or to pick up a book they want to look at or just even make sense of what's on the lunch menu. And so fast tracking, it's key at the early grades. To do that you have to find a way in upper grades, they've got to fast track what kids don't know. So they can plug holes fast and get to where they're supposed to be going. So using the neuroscience, looking at the brain from a perspective of what's strong, what's weak, brain plasticity, lets us tap into areas of strength to bypass areas of weakness, and it's all based on how we wrap up the skill content. So if we wrap it up with a social emotional disguise, we can trigger those stronger areas to engage and retrieve and hold the information to get around areas that maybe haven't quite gotten on board yet. And then little by little let those developmental changes occur as they can but we're not waiting to front load the code, we're giving them access to things much sooner. Or if you're at an upgrade much quicker, so that they have what they need to see that transfer to what they're actually doing every day. That's where we lose a lot of our value is the skills we're teaching when they're piecemealed out there not transferring to what they're actually seeing in real text all day long.

Kristina Scott  09:52

So you mentioned prescription programs and I work with a number of districts that buy into a prescription reading intake program that...

Katie Garner  10:01

And those are good.

Kristina Scott  10:02

that piecemail out. So how do you supplement that because it sounds like we should be supplementing those programs. 

Katie Garner  10:09

Well in order to really maximize, I look at programs like playgrounds, you know, having taught for a long time we've had playgrounds we love, and then they take the darn thing down because it's a liability. And then they give us a playground that nobody likes, or maybe we get a playground that they can use most of the pieces, but nobody's allowed on that thing. Meanwhile, that just becomes like the behavioral problem because everybody wants on it. So programs or playgrounds are going to come and go as mandates and initiatives shift and change. And they are your playground, that's the place where kids can flex their reading and writing muscles, but the teacher has to give them the muscles. And to do that teacher expertise, you know, research has shown teacher expertise is the most critical variable for effective literacy instruction, the program is going to give you opportunities to engage those kids with reading and writing. But the ability to read and write comes from your ability to teach them how, and that's where there's a big disconnect, because we weren't taught, I mean, phonics was not a focal point of instruction for most of us who are teaching. Currently, I got a master's in reading. And all I got that involved anything with letters and sounds was one song. And it didn't even give me both sounds letters can make by themselves if they were a vowel, let's say, or soft. So it's not a skill set we have and it's not intuitive, phonics isn't something that you can just create an obvious way to make sense of letters that seem to not ever be consistent. So what I try to bring to this is a deep and to get skill set for teachers to have that allows them to put meaning where there wouldn't be so that they can really milk what's in their program. The program dictates the path you're on that day, what if it's August, like I said, if it's August, we're gonna be looking at this word August every day, I'm going to look like the world's biggest liar. If we sing this alphabet song every morning, and I tell you, while I'm pointing to the capital A that A says "ah" and "ay," and then I marched and pointed to the capital A in August. So obviously, my program or my daily experience will be with this scenario until it's September. So this kind of dictates what key I might need to help unlock that pattern. And the brain is a pattern making machine. So to keep it in the game, you have to be connecting dots and laying a bread trail that doesn't just stop. And so whether it's the calendar, or whether it's your reading story and your reading program, whether it's a phonics program, and you're on page 24 with our controlled vowels, whatever it may be, you've got kind of two choices when things don't have a logical meaning attached, repetitive use in practice, use it or lose it, which is what happens with phonics, or cheat. Make it make sense, align it with something that already makes sense that they already know. So it's not new learning anymore. It's something that's brand new connected to something they've known for as long as they can remember. And now you get this leg up to start actually letting the use it or practice come in for the real purpose of reading and writing. You know, for example, if I tell them that there are two letters in the word August that are in love, they have this huge crush on each other. And the reason you guys thought this word was ah-aw-gust, you guys just didn't know this secret. They have been head over heels in love forever. And anytime they have to stand like right up against each other in a word, they get so embarrassed that they always put their heads down and go, aww, and that's the sound they make. It's actually not just AU, it's AW two, then I'll have a little picture of them with little hearts, and they look like little sweethearts. And look guys, they're not just in this word. Look there in Austin's name tag. Look, Austin, look over here. We just read this book yesterday about Alexander's terrible, awful, horrible, no good day. Look at all these words that have this grown up reading secret. If you didn't know the secret, you know, you think this word was "ah-guest", or you might call him "ah-stin", or that word would be "ah-wa-ful." But now you know the secret. Now, once you've tossed that out, you have so many opportunities throughout the day to milk that because not only every day of the month of August will you have an ability to show them how that key unlocks that word, but if you go to the cafeteria, and there's spaghetti sauce, that's one of the choices or when they see the word saw, or if you read a book about a dog and his paw got hurt, there's so many opportunities because text is everywhere. The problem is kids can't make much use or value from those experiences if they don't have anything to connect it to. And with those individual sounds, you know if I can tell that little secret, yes, kids can go "aww", when they see the little hearts with those letters. But if they don't have the other piece of the pie, which is the individual sounds, they might not know they could read the word "saw." So what happens is, what powers things up is when they have both, because when they have the sound and then they also have the "aww", they "saw," so I can read that word, but it takes two to tango. So if all they have is the individual letters and sounds and they don't know what letters do when they come together, it's like one hand behind the back. The secrets are an immediate thing. You walk out the door as soon as you hear it, it's yours. There's no practice needed, because it makes sense. The practice will come in the form of transfer. Let's use it. Let's use it, let's use it. But you can't even really do that until you get these individual sounds, but that comes up at the same time, and that's a big point I really try to impress is, you know, when it's about cheating the brain another way we do it is muscle memory. Not typical rote singing, but knowing what the brain does that's so beneficial when we learn through a song, but then taking out the one piece that's not as helpful, which is that we go on autopilot. And if we have a way, if we know why that happens, why does the brain lock a song into a whole read-only disc from beginning to end? Why does the kid have to sing from the beginning to end to get the piece they need out of the middle. So if you know why you can cheat, so they don't have to do that they can start right on the part they want. And that's how the individual letter sounds are taught. So they take two weeks to two months. And I shouldn't even say taught, I actually realized this morning. So I thought about this yesterday, they're not taught, it's called the better alphabet, and you can Google it, and you'll find it. Even on YouTube. If you put my name in with it, you can pop it up, see how to do it and do it with your kids. But it knocks out the individual letter sounds in two weeks to two months, and it's pre K and kinder, same acquisition time. It doesn't teach them. It doesn't. It doesn't teach them, it doesn't practice them, it imparts them. It literally implants them into their lips, tongue, and teeth. And that simultaneously is occurring while you're also taking opportunities to share these secrets about what letters do when they don't do what they should. And only by doing both, do you maintain the credibility of being consistent. Because if you only do one, if you trek bits and pieces of the puzzle out in little piecemeal increments, then nothing you say holds water ever, and transfer never happens. And so you get no value out of all those text experiences other than going through the process, kids aren't taking out what you intend, because they're not bringing enough tools to the table to make sense of it. So it's that access and getting to fast track these critical pieces of the code, so kids have more sooner, that really powers up your instruction that's already built in. And that's your program. And not just your reading program, your math program, your science, every access point throughout the day where kids are engaging with words, all of those are ripe opportunities to extend your reading block to a never ending all the way taking to home commercials, road signs, billboards, I mean text is everywhere, as long as kids have some tools to kind of try to make sense of it years before they normally would if we make them wait until the end of second grade. And that's if they're on track. If they're not on track, it's a never ending process for a lot of our kids, you know, and sadly, a lot of our kids who don't pick up all these skills by the third grade, it's the time to get them as considered done because testing hits. And so then it's all about how do I learn to work around everything if I can't read. And that almost becomes the focus of instruction, which is really sad, you know, for kids who never capture what they need to really be proficient and literate through life.

Kristina Scott  17:43

So you mentioned the issues with piecemealing out programs. You also mentioned some tricks. Can students handle multiple tricks at the same time? Or is there like a cognitive overload at some point?

Katie Garner  18:00

The brain is always looking for a logical explanation. So anytime you say anything, the first thing we try to do, our brain is like the ultimate pattern-making machine. So whatever you say to me that flies in the face of what I think I understand, I'm going to start patterning out what could possibly account for that. And when I can figure that out, I usually will give you a nice big brain burp that goes, "Ah, I get it." And that's what we're on a track to do all the time. So with text, when we're talking about things, I mean, you pick and choose. But obviously if it's a key that only applies, you know, if it's the last day of August, there's nothing pressing, about the need for you to know the secret about "aw" that I have to toss it out. But if it's the first day of August, we got a long road ahead of us with me making no sense every day. So that's kind of where you pick and choose. It's not that...the beauty of really the other piece of this is two parts. One is anything that's a story-based framework, there's no expectation, so you're not a waitress sticking it on someone's table going 'eat this' and once you finish it, I'll give you the next part. It's a buffet and on a buffet there's no pressure, a story allows you to come to it and connect with it as you can and walk away with what you want, based on what makes sense to you. And if it's a story that's rooted in what they already know, and that's really a key piece with brain-based learning is using stories to teach is to go with what they know, don't have aardvarks and anteaters and crazy farmers with queens. I mean, that's random. If you can dig into stories to match up or align with the content you're trying to teach and their stories that they already have their bearings with. They already know in that sort of scenario, what they would do, why they would do it, who they would do it with, that's where you get this incredible compass to drive decision making, with text, with math, you know, with whatever the new content area might be. So it's a powerful tool, and it's one that you can't overwhelm. You can't be overwhelmed by a story because at the end of the day, it is to you whatever you're able to make of it. So I would also say there's no point in overloading things that aren't needed, like, if I'm gonna give you a key to a door we're not going to be walking in, that's kind of pointless. So that's where your program becomes very important because it is dictating 'where are we playing today? What's the story that we're reading? You know, what's the math directions that we need to read in order to do this?' Or if I'm an upper grade teacher, you know, what's the informational text passage that we have to make sense of in order to construct an opinion about what we're going to be writing. So you know, the code doesn't change whether you're five or 50. We just need all of it, the text level changes, but the code doesn't. So what you're applying it to is based on what your corner of the world looks like, if you're inclusion, push in fifth grade, second grade kindergarten. So you toss out what they need when they need it. And you use your own judgment of is this going to be like a most needed piece? Like, is this one of the biggest holes in the boat for this learner that we're going to need based on what we're doing and where we're going? Or is this random, and I don't really need to hit it. Now, kids will become very quick. And this is the other piece of the brain base kind of strategy ideas. Setting up this need to know, where any time letters don't do what they should "there's a secret you didn't tell us! I know there is because that word doesn't make sense. See those words. Our our, that doesn't make sense, there's got to be a secret in it." So what happens is when letters aren't doing what they should, they've become conditioned to realize that means there's a grown up reading secret in it that you didn't tell them. And all of these are secrets, that's a really big piece, because for kids who either are at upper grades, and they don't know what they don't know, and so they don't have a need to know, you know, and then kids that are in early grades where they don't even know there is anything they're supposed to need to know, teaching the brain with a need to know already there is a night and day difference in terms of how it sticks. So you always want to put that catcher's mitt in place first, secrets are a really great way to make sure that you've got that focused attention. And it's not just a cute little gimmicky thing. There's a lot of ways to get that need to know to trigger secrets or one way, it's a heightened state of alert, you know, there's a change physiologically heart rate, pulse rate, the information that you receive, when you're in a state of need to know, you actually are able to mark that information from memory and prioritize learning in the brain just by triggering that first. So it's almost like that information goes down a different chute. So if you have a way to get universal curiosity piqued, that's the goal. One way is it's a secret. Another way is a novel approach, meaning a pitch change, or an extreme body gesture, what that will do is trigger the brain's need to know from almost a self preservation end, which is 'what's going on, what's happening?' And that's fine. All I need is that moment of interest to get you to look up, which if you don't speak English as your native language, you might be used to just tuning me out sometimes and not looking up. So if I'm going to give you something that's really critical that I want you to take in with a need to know I have to trigger the need to know first. So there's all kinds of fun ways to do it. But that's really the key.

Katie Garner  22:59

I give an example in a workshop about a little girl who is a four year old, she's the daughter of a teacher brought to a workshop because I do PD. And this was a I did pre K through second grade in the morning, and I had the teachers for upper grades in the afternoon. And she was along for the ride with no babysitter, and she was playing on her mom's phone the whole time. And she only looked up one time during that workshop. And it was when I was talking about the two letters that were in love. And I was holding up their picture with the hearts and I went, "aww," and I had my body like all sideways bent over like I was kind of in love and embarrassed. And she looked up from her, she was playing on her mom's phone the whole time, and she looked up for a minute and gave me about four and a half seconds of this real focused attention trying to figure out what was going on because she was sparked by this strange sound and an extreme gesture. And then she looked back at her phone and totally lost interest. So about an hour later, we took a break. And after the break, I went up to this little girl with this card with the hearts and I said could you tell me what these letters say. And I had an "aww" with the hearts and they had blushing cheeks. And she looked at me and she went "aww", and she did the same little head tilt arm wiggle, same vocal inflection. And that's really the key there is, had you not triggered the attention first, she never would have had a need to know. And it's almost like I wasn't trying to teach it. She wasn't trying to learn it. She just looked up at the wrong or perfectly right time. However you look at it, she got stuck with it. And now it's hers. Now what she does with it will depend on how I model use, or give opportunities for what it's there for. And I wouldn't expect her at four to maybe need to do anything with it at all. But maybe she will go home and when mom reads Alexander and the Terrible, Awful, Horrible, No Good Day, maybe she'll point to the AU or "aww". That would be surprising but depending on where her readiness level is on that bell curve, it's just who knows and that's where it's a buffet, it's kind of open-ended, not buffet as in laissez faire or whenever something happens, more so fast tracking, you know access giving more access sooner but not teaching with an expert quotation, not a waitress that expects something to be done before you get to go on to the next thing. So fluid learning, that's not as linear. And the code is really best served in a more fluid way. Because poor little Howard, you know, like the little guy with a mouse, I mean, he's just out of luck till second grade in why he's Howard, because that's a second grade skill. And yet, obviously, for him, he wants to know now why his name should be spelled the way it does. And it's so easy if he just knows those letters play rough, and somebody always gets hurt and goes "ow!" and it's not just OU it's OW too, and flying overhead is Superhero O, because he's their all time favorite superhero. And they'll always stop roughhousing when he flies by and go, "oh, oh," and that's so important, because that's a default for words like slow, glow, flow. So having some visuals to have up for them to just kind of keep track of things, it becomes like an extension of the alphabet, that just starts to take on its own momentum. And then the kids start driving their own learning, that just continues to facilitate that need to know. And you just kind of get dragged along behind, and your program is dictating where you're playing. So it just all feeds together, it's all interesting, if you really think about how teachers worked blind, you know, trying to make sense of a program that has been reading words that hasn't yet given them the skills kids need to read the words with, and then figuring out how to connect that gap, themselves and the kids. You know, it's hard, it's not intuitive. And teachers need tools. And they need their own skill set. So that whatever comes and goes, they bring to the table, an effective high level of expertise that they feel comfortable with, at any grade level, at least from just this piece, just this little piece, you know, and then you have to learn everything else that goes with the grade level. But this piece is a huge and critical piece for every teacher to really have in their back pocket.

Kristina Scott  26:43

So I'm in teacher preparation. I, obviously, through the teacher preparation program I had not learned any of these strategies. So where do I go to learn these strategies, because it was not part of my training?

Katie Garner  26:58

It's not and it's really sad that it isn't. But I think the neuroscience connection to it would shift the way it would look anyway if it were, because typically traditional phonics is taught on a trajectory of several years with a lot of very specific and repetitive practice based methods to impart these skills. And while that's certainly a great, comprehensive base of knowledge for anyone to have, it's not practical for a lot of teachers and districts where they're not going to be sent off to get high levels of training, you know, at this stage in their career. So having access to the neuroscience and being able to make sense of things that wouldn't is a real...the kids and the teachers learn in a very similar way, the same way that the kids are picking things up by what they already know, teachers are doing the same. So on YouTube, I mean, if you look at, there's so much already posted that I've tried to make sure that it's just free and available for teachers to really make this paradigm shift and then start pulling in these tools. So if you Google just even my name on YouTube, you will find probably more than you would ever want to watch on any concept that you're probably trying to teach that involves the code, whether it's higher level concepts with multisyllabic words, or working with little guys who literally don't know anything, or everything in between. If you just like I said, my name is Katie Garner, if you just even Google me alone, it'll pull up things underneath a little box and you can see things. Secret Stories is, it's not a program, it's really just a way to make sense of what otherwise wouldn't exist. There are, there's not stuff because it's not a program. But there's a book, posters, and CD that can be gotten to be comprehensive with it. But in my workshops or in my sessions, I really make sure to give teachers a download that is filled with everything I use, share, and show to make all these points I'm talking about. So they can actually take it and use it the very next day in their classroom. If they want to be comprehensive and go all the way with it and have all of the anchors up so that they're removing themselves from the kid's process independently to get back, then that's available for them to do that. I just make sure that they've got what they need to really make this shift in their thinking. And even that download is available to anybody that wants to get it now. And it's free. And it's on the website. There's actually a couple websites you could go to. But if you go to the or, and you go to the conferences page, there's a drop down menu, it's a session packet handout. It's about 65 pages, and each page has about two or three clickable links that go to those videos that go to anchor posters, strategy packs, everything's free. And you can just really kind of go down different rabbit holes and see, you know, how to learn more about whatever it is that's really making it difficult for your kids to connect with skills.

Kristina Scott  29:47

Thank you, Katie, and thank you for making all of that free. I think that'll be super beneficial to our teachers especially because like I said, I was never prepared in any of what our conversation has been.

Katie Garner  29:58

Me neither. And it's so important. And it's so easy. And anytime you can take something that's in opposition to the way the brain learns and line it up with the brain system for learning, it should feel easy. It should feel very natural. And so it's fun.

Kristina Scott  30:13

As you shared your brief examples in our conversation today, I'm like, "oh that makes sense."

Katie Garner  30:16

I hope they make sense out of context. In the session, I know what I talked about before. And here I'm saying things that you did, I mentioned this piece that goes underneath that. So hopefully, it all comes together. But if not, on that YouTube channel are a lot of...also from national conferences, where I'll do keynotes or general sessions, and then breakouts, a lot of those are videos, and that's fine with me. And so they're up there, you can find conferences... so if you don't ever get to go to a conference like this one, because this is a wonderful conference, but not every teacher gets to come, you know, and leave their school. So you can also kind of get the same idea of what I'm talking about and snippets here by looking at some of those hour long session or keynote videos and get a good,fuller picture of how this all fits together.

Kristina Scott  30:59

Thank you for your time. 

Katie Garner  31:00

Thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you so much.

Lauren  31:11

Thank you for listening to the LDA podcast. This series was made possible by The Learning Disabilities Foundation of America. Our theme music is little idea by Scott Holmes. In our next episode, we'll talk to Dr. Anneke Schreuder. To learn more about dyscalculia and how this learning disability is often overlooked. For more resources from lda, visit