Press Release

New Early Literacy Program – A-Z For Mat Man® And Me – Launched By Early Education Leader, Learning Without Tears
Digital Integration Ensure Flexibility; Social-Emotional Learning Supported by Diverse and Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Contact: Josef Blumenfeld
EdTech180
JosefBlumenfeld@gmail.com

Cabin John, MD, September 29, 2021 – Learning Without Tears, a leader in early childhood learning, has announced a new supplemental early literacy program, A-Z for Mat Man® and Me.  This new program builds foundational literacy skills through 26 steps – one for each letter of the alphabet – with an engaging and flexible curriculum.  LWT’s beloved classroom friend, Mat Man, brings learning to life and connects with earliest learners in diverse and contemporary settings that mirror their own home or learning environment.  With the success of students at the center, LWT has also developed a range of professional learning classes and workshops that teachers can use to ensure the best use of the A-Z for Mat Man and Me curriculum, and to ensure that students master the skills necessary for foundational literacy.  

The program’s instruction and practice are driven by four, research-backed approaches to teaching early literacy skills: oral language, phonological awareness, word recognition, and connected text – foundational skills that support alphabet learning, putting students on a solid path to reading.  The instructional design builds alphabet knowledge by integrating phonics with connected text, helping students develop foundational literacy skills.

“We drew upon 40 years of classroom success to develop A-Z for Mat Man and Me and combined that with the best, leading research into reading science and teaching effectiveness,” explained Terry Nealon, Learning Without Tears CEO. “A-Z for Mat Man and Me was designed to flexibly fit classroom needs for all students. This new curriculum builds foundational literacy skills for virtually any young learner, including emerging and developing readers, and English language learners. With multimodal learning options, play and creative interactions translate into effective active learning that excites kids, builds self-esteem, and boosts their confidence in learning.  We are using technology to support differentiated and data-driven instruction.” Research Report for A-Z Mat Man® and Me can be downloaded here.

Social-emotional learning is woven into books and lessons, as students read, think, talk, and write/draw about five key habits:  problem solving, understanding feelings, persistence, cooperation and kindness. These areas of vital importance, combined with unprecedented diversity which allows all children to see themselves in A-Z for Mat Man and Me stories and lessons, impacts overall student development.

This new foundational literacy program includes Student Letter Books, a Teacher’s Guide, teacher read-along books, and student practice books for both developing and emerging readers. 

Digital Enhances Learning and Teaching

Through world class implementation, A-Z for Mat Man and Me provides a robust digital learning experience, with both a student app and a teacher app that support in-classroom and at-home learning, along with a host of other resources and interactive elements.  

The student app allows students to read a letter book independently or access the read-aloud feature to follow along with the words as they are read. With the app, students can complete practice work, print and upload teacher assignments, and receive independent skill-building practice through a number of foundational learning activities.

With the teacher app, educators will have an interactive teaching tool that includes a host of features, all designed to increase student success.  The teacher dashboard provides an at-a-glance look into everything needed to plan lessons, assign practice work, and maximize the time spent teaching foundational literacy.  The read-aloud feature allows A-Z for Mat Man and Me to be presented on an interactive white board, highlighting words as they are read to the class. Combined, the student and teacher apps allow teachers to assign reading and letter-learning to students in a differentiated way, track student progress, customize the order or content for students, and send progress reports home to a student’s family.

Professional Learning that enhances the teacher’s use of A-Z for Mat Man and Me will be offered remotely and in-person, bringing both real-time and just-in-time professional development to educators using LWT’s newly announced Inspire, Empower, and Thrive approach.

Mat Man for Today’s Foundational Literacy

A beloved classroom presence for decades as part of other LWT foundational learning programs, Mat Man has evolved to reflect the diversity of today’s classrooms and early learners.  A-Z for Mat Man and Me is diverse and culturally responsive – children encounter characters and situations in which they can see themselves, while also experiencing other cultures at the same time.

“Mat Man is a classroom character that embodies the Learning Without Tears approach to building confident readers and writers through helping young learners develop the comprehension and cognitive skills that are the foundation for ongoing academic success. Through music, building, playing, and incredible stories, Mat Man serves as a flexible, hands-on teaching tool that students embrace, personalize, and then often becomes a class superhero,” stated Dr. Elizabeth DeWitt, a curriculum expert at LWT. 

For decades, educators around the world have embraced Mat Man, sparking the creation and sharing of teacher-made worksheets, flashcards, student activities, videos, and other resources through Teacherspayteachers.com, Pinterest, Facebook groups, and other learning communities.

Additional information on A-Z for Mat Man and Me can be downloaded here.

A-Z for Mat Man and Me is available for order now. 

Note to editors:  A-Z for Mat Man and Me is available for independent review.  Please contact us to receive product for review.

About Learning Without Tears

Learning Without Tears (LWT) is an industry leader in early learning. With a 40-year track record of success, LWT’s mission is to make a difference in every child’s life, by giving them the fundamental tools for learning. LWT’s pre-K to elementary school-level curricula adapts easily to support diverse learners with multisensory, developmentally appropriate, and proven practices, backed up with time-honored strategies, innovative technology, and unparalleled training and support for educators and families. LWT’s four decades of dedication to better outcomes for students is rooted in superior educational products for classroom-based, remote, or hybrid learning, underpinned by ongoing research and development, world class implementation, and tailored professional learning. The company has reached more than 31 million students worldwide, building key foundational skills with its flagship product lines Handwriting Without Tears®, Get Set for School®, and Keyboarding Without Tears®.

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