How Letters alive Ignited My Virtual ABC Boot Camp

virtual teaching in kindergarten

“Letters alive brings animals to life in 3D so we can use those to review and practice letters, sounds, concepts of print, science, and more! And yes, we ARE using it virtually!”


virtual teaching for kindergarten

Guest Blogger: Mr. Greg Smedley-Warren
Kindergarten Teacher, International Speaker, Curriculum Developer
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“About ten years ago I began developing a 4-6 week program for introducing letters and letter sounds. Having done tons of research, I learned the two biggest predictors of early reading success are phonemic awareness and letter recognition. I also learned about the Law of 10-20 for Memory Sets and how 4-6 weeks is considered ‘optimal time’ for remembering items in a set. So, I wanted to develop a program that considered all these best practices and also included direct instruction, multiple exposures, motor movement, and review.. all of the most effective methods for success.

When my ABC Boot Camp™ was born, I never thought I’d have to teach it to 20 kids who were each sitting in their homes. Y’all know how challenging it is to keep a 5 year old’s attention in person.. Just imagine over a computer across town! Now, my ABC Boot Camp™ is engaging, fun, interactive.. all the things a little learner would want. But, presenting it through a computer screen made me wonder if it’d work.

virtual teaching for kindergarten
5-minute sneak peek of Mr. Greg teaching virtually

Well, I found out it does! And even more so with Letters alive! Letters alive now includes a specialized “zoo keeper version” of my ABC Boot Camp™ in its learning kit as part of its supplemental curriculum. It takes letters and 26 zoo animals and springs them to life in 3D augmented reality and has added a new level of engagement to my camp!

This fall, we started the year out virtually as did many classrooms across the country. The first 26 days is… you guessed it… ABC Boot Camp™ with Letters alive! Any doubts I had about engagement went out the window when my kids saw all the animals and letters jumping off the screen! They can’t get enough! They giggle and squeal just as if they were in my class.

I’m anxious to see how my kids do compared to previous years. I’ve been collecting data for four years since I started using Letters alive in my Boot Camp. The numbers are almost hard to believe. In only 26 days, my kids already have a solid foundation for reading. This opens up so many other options for learning additional skills as we progress through the school year.

My kids always have the highest and best scores in our school, even though over 90% are English Language Learners! I owe a lot of that success to Letters alive. Based on my kids’ excitement and motivation so far this year, I think they’ll do just as well even virtually from home!”

If you’re interested in getting Letters alive® for your classroom and need help with funding, we are pleased to provide four great options here.

~ Cynthia Kaye

4 Learning Resources that Engage Preschoolers At-Home

Learning Resources for Engaging Preschoolers At-Home

Recently, we received a phenomenal success story from a mom whose preschooler is excelling at home with four of our remote learning resources (three of which are FREE!). I instantly knew we had to share her story with you! See how she uses our Zoo Crew Alphabet Show, Journals alive app, Letters alive Journals, and Interactive Alphabet Chart to get her daughter, Adaline, excited about learning:

“So my daughter, Adaline, is almost three years old, and I am always looking for creative ways to engage her with her learning, Learning Resources for Engaging Preschoolers At-Homeso she will be prepared and ready to go to school. Just watch this video of Adaline and you’ll be amazed, like myself, how self-motivated she was to learn. It was very easy and fun for me to be there just to assist.

I know our local schools are looking for ways to engage our little ones remotely that will really hold their attention span. Little kids, like my Adaline, need that one-on-one, in-person contact in order to be excited about learning and understand exactly what is being expected. One of the key skills at her age is letters and letter sounds. My educator friends have told me that a child’s ability to recognize letters and their represented sounds are a major determination of literacy success.

Learning Resources for Engaging Preschoolers At-HomeMy mom actually introduced Adaline to the Zoo Crew Alphabet Show on YouTube. It’s a free remote learning resource with 26 individual lessons. The lessons teach an animal, a letter, letter sounds, and a social emotional growth skill. Each one is about 12-18 minutes long, which is perfect for Adaline’s attention.

Adaline instantly fell in love with Chief Zoo Keeper Cynthia and her little sidekick, Gerdy Giraffe. An added surprise was that some of the shows can become interactive with the free Journals alive mobile app. We are very sensitive to how much screen time Adaline gets each day, so we are very selective on what she actually gets to watch. When I saw her glowing with excitement and interest as she followed along with the show on her iPad, I was amazed.

After watching several of the lessons, Adaline quickly picked up on the repetitive catch phrases and began imitating them as she learned about the animals and letters. She will not be three until next month, yet already knows all her upper and lowercase letters and most of the letter sounds. I can honestly attribute this to the Zoo Crew Alphabet Show, the Letters alive Journal, and the mobile app.

We purchased the Letters alive Journal so she could follow along with all 26 animals and letters Learning Resources for Engaging Preschoolers At-Homeand be even more actively engaged with each lesson. It’s the best $10 I’ve ever spent. 🙂 I don’t normally promote or brag on companies or their products, but this is one that all parents of 2 to 5 year olds need to know about. I’ve never seen such an effective resource for helping kids learn their letters and letter sounds.

Learning Resources for Engaging Preschoolers At-HomeRecently, we learned about the Interactive Alphabet Chart, another FREE resource from Alive Studios. It’s a pdf file that lets you click any letter to instantly watch that lesson from the Zoo Crew Alphabet Show. This makes it so easy to find each lesson.

Anyway, from a mom and her preschooler, ‘thank you!’”

~ Leah (mom)