ABC Bootcamp Research

I want to share some ABC BOOTCAMP research that supports ABC BOOTCAMP which is learning sounds and letters in 26 days.    We have done ABC BOOTCAMP for 12 years, and the results are always phenomenal.  More on that later!  Like everything we do, I want ABC BOOTCAMP to be research-based, so as I was creating the curriculum, I was researching best practices for learning letters and sounds.

The Research

This research is from the International Reading Association Pre-Institute on Early Literacy.  Their findings found that students who did letter a day scored higher on DIBELS testing than students who did letter a week.
The main research behind ABC BOOTCAMP is The Law of 10-20 for Memory Sets.   It says the optimal review cycle for something you want your students to remember is 10-20% of the time you want the students to remember the items.  (Please tell me that is just as confusing to you as it is to me!)
So here it is in plain English.
You want your kids to know all 26 letters and sounds and remember them for about the entire school year.  That’s 180 days days on average.  10-20 percent of 180 days is 18-37 days.   So, the optimal time for learning letters and sounds is 18-37 days.    18-37 days is scientifically research-based as the most effective number of days to learn letters.
What number is in the middle of 18-37??  26.   Which means 26 days.  There are 26  sounds and letters and 26 days!
Here is a link to the research:   Law Of 10-20 For Memory Sets

Research says ABC BOOTCAMP is optimal! 


The Science Of Reading

ABC BOOTCAMP is aligned with the Science Of Reading.  When I started teaching 16 years ago, we were teaching reading using the science of reading, so that’s the foundation of how I teach.  We’ve gone through the balanced literacy phase in our district. Still, we always focused on phonics, phonemic awareness, language, vocabulary, and phonological awareness, which is why ABC BOOTCAMP and the entire TKS BOOTCAMP curriculum are successful!  This curriculum is based on science and best practices.

Uses a speech to print approach (introduce the sound first, the letter is how we spell the sound)
connect sounds to known words helps students store the sound in their brain by creating a memory peg

students learn best through exploration of letter names, sounds of letters, their visual representation and motor movement in formation of letters

systematic-goes in order from alphabetic principle to basic phonic skills in progression of difficulty •explicit-provides direct and explicit language to use instead of requiring students to discover or infer the letter sound relationships

Learning sounds and letters in context

Making meaning with words and text

Additional Research Supporting ABC BOOTCAMP

  • Direct instruction on decoding skills is fundamental for early grades.

  • 50% of our reading block should focus on decoding

  • Phonological awareness-recognize all 44 sounds in the English language

  • Print concepts-recognize letters, parts of a book, capital letters, lowercase letters, etc

  • Phonics and word recognition- know which letters/letter combinations make which sounds

  • Fluency-put it all together by reading books and sentences and practicing!

  • Source:  Narrowing The Third Grade Reading Gap-Embracing The Science Of Reading EAB  eab.com
  • Research shows that the ability to identify all of the letters and sounds by Halloween (in kindergarten) is a primary predictor of later student reading success (Allington, 2016).

ABC BOOTCAMP:  Classroom Proven

In 2016-2017 we commissioned a blind study of the effectiveness of ABC BOOTCAMP.  The study consisted of 200 classrooms from all areas of the country and across all demographics.  The results of the study showed the following growth in just 26 days:
  • Upper case letter proficiency went from 26% to 84%

  • Lower case letter proficiency went from 26% to 79%

  • Letter sounds proficiency went from 16% to 79%

We also see these same results throughout the entire TKS BOOTCAMP Curriculum!  Check out the entire year long math and literacy curriculum here:

Learn more about ABC Bootcamp:

abc bootcamp research

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