Secret Codes




Learning to read is one of the most demanding tasks for a young student, particularly when learning to read the English language. It is estimated that 14.5 million students and 45.5 million adults suffer from a reading disability, reading disorder, or dyslexia.

Our research has shown that with utilization of Secret Codes average students thrive far beyond expectations, while at risk students are abe to achieve the same reading level as average students. In fact some studies showed that by leaving at risk students in the classroom instead of engaging them in one-on-one interventions proved just as affective, if not greater, in acheving higher reading levels. Many students were able to shed the “at risk” label by December testing. Take a few minutes to learn more about this remarkable curriculum.

With Secret Codes students are reading words by the second week and sentences by the second month. The students also frequently review the sounds, words, and sentences to increase retention.




Phonological & Phonemic Awareness

  • Students will develop the skills to identify oral language.

  • Students will understand how symbols and sounds correlate.

  • Students will use sounds to blend words.

  • Students will listen for beginning, middle, and end sounds in a word.



  • Students will comprehend what they are reading.

  • Students will read with punctuation symbols (Period, Question mark, Exclamation point).

  • Students will focus on phonological and phonemic skills.

  • Students will decode sounds to read words.

  • Students will decode words to read sentences.

  • Students will decode sentences to read paragraphs.



  • Students will improve their vocabulary skills.

  • Students will understand spoken directions, act upon the requests, and complete tasks.

  • Students will learn to speak voiced and voiceless sounds - This helps non-English speaking students to better pronounce sounds and words



  • Students will write capital and lowercase letters in the correct form and direction.

  • Students will blend their sounds when spelling words.

  • Students will learn to write words with correct spacing.

  • Students will learn to write sentences with correct spacing.

  • Students will learn to write paragraphs.


Punctuation Symbols

  • Students will learn to use a period.

  • Students will learn to use a question mark.

  • Students will learn to use an exclamation point.

  • Students will learn to write symbols correctly.

  • Students will learn to use symbols when writing sentences and paragraphs.

  • Students will comprehend the usage of each symbol.


Small Groups

  • The small groups will help the hands-on learners in the classroom develop and improve motor skills, visual learning skills, and creative thinking.

  • Students will learn to work well with others.

  • Students will learn to help classmates that struggle in their group.


Parent Involvement

  • The parents newsletters show what their child is learning.

  • The Homework Checklist is signed by the parents to encourage parental involvement.

  • Secret Codes provides fun learning games for the family to play to help the child with homework.


Assessment Testing

  • Students will test at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year (optional).

  • The tests help to track the students’ learning ability, which helps to see where they need improvement.

  • Students will have remarkable results with state and Dibble testing.

Teacher's Guide

Secret Codes Teacher's Guide



 The introduction explains the research behind the curriculum and why it’s so hard for students to learn to read. This also includes a symbols guide and the Secret Codes Clap.


Manipulative Supply List

A chapter supply list that helps teachers know what      manipulatives are needed for that week lessons.



Homework Newsletters

The Homework Newsletter will go home with the students every week. The newsletters explain what the student is learning for the chapter and what they need to do for homework each night.



Homework Checklist

This checklist is located on the back of the newsletter. At the end of each chapter, the parent will return the signed checklist to show that the student did their homework. This process helps parents be responsible for helping their child learn to read.


Test Forms

These test forms are provided for the school to see how the students improve throughout the school year. The test forms also help teachers keep track of the student(s) that might be struggling with reading and give the opportunity to work on any problems. The test forms are an option and not required to complete the curriculum, but are provided for student records. Testing is done at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year.


Report Card

Report cards are designed to evaluate students every 9 weeks. The report cards cover reading, writing, homework, sounds, and letter names. The report cards are provided as an optional tool for teachers.



Small Group Activities

The small group activities consist of learning games to help hands-on learners and to make the curriculum fun and engaging for the students. These games (rounds) are written into each daily activity, providing the learning game that best fits the lesson. The games give the students a break from their lesson, but allow them to learn while moving around the room and having fun.



The CD contains a copy of the entie curriculum package.


Secret Codes Worksheets


The Secret Codes worksheets are designed to challenge the student, but still allow them to have fun while doing them. All the worksheets are included on the Secret Codes CD, making it for an instructor to project them on a white board, and perform them with the students.


Secret Codes Units



Each day the teacher will start new activity that has brief overviews of what the daily lesson will be and laid out teacher instructions. Each activity is carefully planned to teach the students to read with learning games and fun activities. Each activity is between 20-45minutes.


Review Days

On the last day of each chapter, the teacher will have the opportunity to review with the students what was learned during the chapter. Review days are also a good time for new or struggling students to catch up. Review activities are included in the Teacher’s Guide and review time should be fun for both the teacher and the students. The last review day for each unit is a unit review to assess the students.

Teacher Cards

Secret Codes Teacher Cards

There are five types of teacher cards that are used throughout the school year. Each teacher card is similar to the student cards so that the students relate to what they are taught and what they take home for homework. These cards are dry erase so that teachers may demonstrate how each letter is written. The cards are also included on a disc to use with projectors and white boards.

Picture Card

Teacher Picture Cards

There are 61 different picture cards. These cards are used to teach the students to listen for the sound in each word. The pictures are 2D pictures that students love to look at.

Teacher Letter Card

Teacher Letter Cards

There are 44 different letter cards that will teach the students sounds and how to write the letter.

Teacher Word Card

Teacher Word Cards

There are 155 different word cards that will teach the students how to read words and learn the correct way of writing words.

Sentence Card

Teacher Sentence Cards

There are 82 different sentence cards that will teach the students how to read and write a sentence. Throughout the first part of the year they will learn what a period, question mark, and exclamation mark mean and how to use them.


Teacher Paragraph Cards

There are 4 different paragraph cards that will teach the students how to become familiar with what a paragraph looks like. This taught so students become familiar with what they will see when reading a book.

Animal Card 1

Alphabet Animal Cards

There are 26 different Alphabet Animal Cards that will teach the students letter names and the alphabetical order. These cards have fun creators from all over the world. Each creator has written a letter to the class to tell them neat facts about them learning where they came from, what they eat, and how they live. The students will even learn a little culture with each creator’s homeland names.

Student Cards

Secret Codes Student Cards

Student Classroom Card

Student Classroom Cards

There are 44 Student Classroom cards. After a lesson the teacher will give the students a card with the sound they learned for that day. They will use these cards in the classroom to practice spelling out words and laying the letter in correct order (left to right). This is a good exercise for students who learn better with hands on rather than pencil to paper.

Letter Card

Student Take-Home Letter Cards

There are 44 different letter cards that the students will slowly collect throughout the year. These letter cards are put onto a ring when collected and are used for homework. Throughout our study it showed that the students were more engaged with using the dry erase cards as homework rather than the traditional method of pencil to paper homework. Parents seemed to enjoy it as well!

Word Card

Student Take-Home Word Cards

There are 52 different Student Take-home Cards. These word cards are sight words, and most common words that the students need to be familiar with when testing comes around. These cards are also homework dry erase cards.

Sentence Card

Student Take-Home Sentence Cards

There are 23 different Student Take-home Sentence Cards that will teach the students practice reading and writing a sentence. There will be sentence cards with period, question mark, and exclamation mark to help them stay familiar with punctuation and how to continue to use it.

P Card

Student Take-Home Paragraph Cards

There is 1 Student Take-Home Paragraph Card that will help the students to stay familiar with what a paragraph looks like.


Writing System

Secret Codes Writing System


Welcome to the creative and fun way of teaching students how to write! As we all know the traditional method to teach a student to write is with arrows and numbers. Those days are over! Arrows and numbers can be too confusing for some students. Students will love the dry erase cards making this method fun and simple to understand direction!


Secret Codes Research


The Secret Codes curriculum was evaluated using a pilot program during the 2008–2009 school year. The kindergarten children were evaluated on Letter Knowledge, Letter-Sound Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Comprehension at the beginning and end of the school year. Statistical analysis indicated that there were significant differences between the Secret Codes group and the Comparison group. The Secret Codes group significantly outperformed the Comparison group.


The Secret Codes pilot group and the comparison group were both from Midwestern public school districts.


Chart 1

Quantitative Results

The pre- and post-test scores from the Secret Codes and Comparison groups were compared. The results indicated that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups on Letter-Sound Knowledge (number of letters in which the student knew their corresponding sounds), Word Knowledge (number of words correctly read), and Comprehension (number of sentences in which the student was able to understand). As can be seen in the following figures, the Secret Codes group had significantly greater gains in letter-sound knowledge, word knowledge, and comprehension than the Comparison group. Both groups were nearly the same and at maximum performance on letter name knowledge (number of letters in which the students knew the correct letter name).

Letter Sound Knowledge

Letter Sounds


Word Knowledge


Sentence Reading Knowledge



Letter Name Knowledge

Letter Name

  About the Writter


In January 1996, Dr. David P. Hurford, of Pittsburg State University, established the Center for the Assessment and Remediation of Reading Difficulties (CARRD). Dr. Hurford’s mission involved the prevention and remediation of reading disabilities, searching for strategies that will lead to the improvement of remedial processes, and providing educators and parents with intervention techniques regarding reading and learning disabilities. CARRD has developed procedures to identify young children who may be at risk for reading difficulties, dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Just as important, CARRD developed training procedures to help children become competent readers.

Dr. Hurford strongly believes that reading difficulties are not just an academic dilemma, but also a social problem. Learning to read is one of the most important and complex behaviors in which people engage. In our culture, success is largely dependent upon reading skills. It is estimated that 15–20% of American children have some form of reading difficulty. Unfortunately, this percentage is increasing. To prevent future reading difficulties, Dr. Hurford used his knowledge of learning and reading disorders to write Secret Codes, a reading curriculum for kindergartners.

Drawing from two decades of research, this unique curriculum is designed to reduce reading failure. The curriculum is specifically designed to target the difficulties and confusions that arise from the English writing system. As a result, all students using this curriculum gain fundamental skills to help them become competent readers.