FAQs

Do you have a question about

Getting Started?
Creating class lists?
Choosing the right letter sound for a student’s name?
Uploading letter-linked pictures?
Printing letter links?
Manage Licenses?

Getting Started

What do I do the first time I use letter links?
Follow these steps:

  1. Login. The first time you use Letter Links Online, you will log in using the password assigned to you by e-mail after you buy the program license. After logging in, the licensing agreement will appear on your screen. Please read the agreement and scroll to the bottom and click the button to agree to the contract. Next, we recommend that you go to the CHANGE PASSWORD page (click the link in the left-hand navigation) and create a new password. Then go to MY ACCOUNT and confirm that your information is correct — if not, please correct it and save. Note that the program provides instructions as you go along, in both English and Spanish.

  2. Create a class list. You may then click on CLASS LISTS to get started with Letter Links. The CLASS LISTS page will allow you to name and select a picture to identify each group in your class. The program allows you to list the names of multiple groups since many classrooms have more than one small group or may have more than one daily session (for example, Sue’s Morning Group, Sue’s Afternoon Group). Do not attempt to add students or print the list while you are still on the CLASS LISTS page — this page is only for entering group names.

  3. Add students and select pictures. After you have at least one group name listed on your CLASS LISTS page, it’s time to add students. To do this, click on the name of the class (for example, Ernesto’s Class). This will take you to the STUDENT LIST page. There you can add the names of the students in Ernesto’s group and select a picture for each student that matches the first sound in the child’s name. Follow the instructions on the page to select the correct letter sound for each student and then a corresponding picture. Even if there is only one sound to choose from, you may still have to click on the sound to make the pictures appear. You may need to scroll down to see the pictures.

  4. Print. Now you are ready to print your letter links names or labels. (Or the program will save the list of students if you don’t have time to print right away. If you return later, you will have to click on the group name on the CLASS LISTS page to return to your list of students.) To print, first scroll down your list of students on the STUDENT LIST page, and check or uncheck students to be included in your printout. Then click the purple Print button (not the print command in your browser). The PRINTING OPTIONS page will come up, showing you all the different ways you can print your list. Check the options you want, and click the purple Print button. This will open up a PDF showing your print selection. Next use the printer icon or the File menu to print the PDF. You can use the print dialog box to select any options you need, such as printing particular pages or using “fit to paper.” If you have problems getting the PDF to appear, read the section on printing problems later in these FAQs.
Congratulations! You have successfully printed out Letter Links for your students. If you have any further problems note that tips and instructions are available to guide you throughout the Letter Links site. You can find further help in the remaining FAQs, or go to the HELP page to contact us.

Creating Class Lists

Can I create more than one class list?
Yes. Although your Letter Links Online license covers just one classroom’s use, many classrooms have more than one group, so the program allows you to create multiple lists. For example, you might create one list with all the students’ names and two shorter lists for small-group activities.

Are my class lists private?
Your list can only be accessed by you, using the password you have created.

Can I download the PDF file listing my students’ names and letter-linked pictures?
No, your files are stored online. However, you can always save a hard copy of any list to use for making additional copies.

Choosing the Right Letter Sound for a Student’s Name

For some letters, the program only gives you only one choice of letter sound, while there are a number of choices for other letters. Why?
The letter links system is most effective in promoting beginning reading if the child’s name is matched with a picture of something that starts not only with the same letter but also with the same letter sound. Sometimes only one choice of a letter sound is given for a letter, as with the letter N, because that letter always stands for the same sound in English. However, some letters can stand for more than one letter sound, especially when used in combination with other letters. For example, a student’s name that starts with the letter G may begin with the hard G, soft G, Gr, or Gl sound, so the program gives selections of matching pictures for all four sounds.

Tips
Be sure to read the examples to select the correct sound. For example, acorn, not alligator, would be a good choice for Abe; for Claire, you would choose clock, not cake.

What if I can’t find a letter-linked picture that matches the beginning sound in my student’s name?
It is not always possible to find appropriate nouns to match the first sound in some children’s names. For example, the program’s developers could not find a matching English word (starting with I) for the first sound in the name Ian, which is pronounced like a long E. In cases like this, one option would be to upload the child’s own picture to go with his nametag — the Upload feature at the bottom of the SELECT PICTURE page permits you to do this. Or, for names of children who are learning English, you might choose a letter-linked word from the child’s home language. If the child’s name is Spanish in origin, the program will allow you to upload an image for a Spanish word. For example, for José, you could select from the Spanish choices and upload a picture of a giraffe for the Spanish word jirafa. For other languages, you may ask a native speaker to help you find an appropriate word, and then upload a drawing to create the letter-linked image.

Can I use English and Spanish letter links in the same classroom?
Yes, you do not have to do all your letter links in one language. For example, when one or more children in a classroom are English language learners who speak Spanish at home, many teachers choose to use letter-linked pictures for Spanish words with those children. All the children will benefit from the exposure to letter-sound connections in more than one language.

Uploading Letter-Linked Pictures

I don’t like (or have used up) the picture choices for a given letter. How do I add one of my own?
Choose another word that starts with the same letter sound as the child’s name, and find or create a drawing for it. Then add the drawing by using the Upload feature found at the bottom of the SELECT PICTURE page, below the drawings. Your illustration should be in jpg, gif, or tif format and file size cannot exceed 4 MB. The program will size the picture automatically and add letters in the corners of the image.

I have a great drawing of a letter-linked picture that would really add to the program. What should I do?
You can always use the Upload feature at the bottom of the SELECT PICTURE page to add the picture to your own class list. If you are interested in sharing the idea with others, please send us your drawing and/or word choice at [email protected]. We’ll consider adding it as a regular choice to the online program.

Printing

Okay, I’ve now created my class list of letter links, selected the desired print options, and hit the Print button. All I get is a blank screen. What should I do?
Try disabling the pop-up blocker in your Web browser (for the letter links site only). You should then get a print preview of your PDF, showing your class list or letter-linked nametags just as they will be printed. Then hit the Print control on that screen to print this out.

I’ve done the above but no PDF appears. What next?
Have you downloaded Adobe Reader? You can find it at adobe.com.

I still can’t get my list to print? Any more ideas?
In addition, to these common reasons for print failures, occasional printing problems result from mistakes in using the program, so consider the following:

  • Are you trying to print from the CLASS LISTS page instead of the STUDENT LIST page? Note that the CLASS LISTS page is only for naming your class or groups (multiple groups are okay) and for assigning a picture to identify each group — not for adding students or printing out the student list, which you must do from the STUDENT LIST page. After you have named at least one group and selected a picture for it, you can go to the STUDENT LIST page by clicking on the name of the group on the CLASS LISTS page. Then follow the instructions to add students and print.

  • Is there an incomplete name on your student list? If you have accidentally entered a blank student (no name or picture) or a student with a picture but no name, the list may fail to print. To correct this, either delete the row or complete the information (use the Edit Name button).
Letters are overlapping and not displaying properly when I print.
This is happening if you use Firefox because of a built-in PDF viewer they have in their browser. If you change web browsers you will not have this issue. However, if you want to continue using Firefox, you can follow these steps to view your PDF:
  • Click the print button for the item you want to print. When the print preview PDF appears (with the font bold and names squished), download the file following these simple steps

  • In the PDF, click the download button on the right side of the document header (the button is shown here in a red box)


  • You can choose to either open the file with the default PDF program on your computer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) or to save it to your computer. Check the box to “Do this automatically for files like this from now on” to avoid having to go through these steps each time you want to print from Letter Links Online.
Some of the borders of my labels or nametags are getting cut off when I print them. Ideas?
When the print dialog box comes up, make sure “fit to page” is selected, not “no sizing.”

What size labels can I use?
Labels must be on a 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet, 14 labels per sheet. Standard label size is 1 1/3″ x 4″. We recommend using Avery Label 5162, however, compatible Avery labels may include 15162, 18162, 5162, 5262, 5522, 5962, 8162, 8252, 8462, 8662, 48462, or 48862. Other brands may work if the dimensions are the same.

I’m using the label feature, but the positioning of my labels is a little off. Can I adjust this?
The grid for the Avery labels is correctly spaced, but there may be slight differences in how these will print out on different printers. Small adjustments may be needed. For best results, print only one sheet of labels at a time. Many teachers find it useful to print out their labels first on a blank sheet of paper to see how the grid aligns with the actual labels.

When I print out my name labels, one student’s name is too close to the picture or the end of the name is overlapped by the picture, in one or more label sizes. Can I fix this?
This may happen in rare instances. For a quick fix, add a space after the name in the CLASS LISTS page. Then try printing again. Please also notify us by sending us a message specifically describing the problem at [email protected].

Manage Licenses?

Add Users
Click on the MANAGE LICENSES link in the left-hand navigation bar to add users to your account. Complete the form for each user and assign a unique username (e.g., the user’s first initial and last name). Next, assign and confirm the password. Add any notes that you may want, and, finally, click the Add button at the bottom of the screen to add the new user. Repeat these steps for each of the additional licenses you have on your account. A welcome e-mail will automatically be sent to the new user, providing him or her with a username, temporary password, and steps for getting started.

Searching for Users
To see a list of all of the users on your account, click the Search Users button and then click the down arrow next to Select User field. You can search for individual users on your account by entering their e-mail address, username, or last name and then clicking on the Search Users button. Their information will be displayed, and you can either update the user’s information or delete the user by using the corresponding buttons at the bottom of the page.

Update User’s Contact Information
Locate the user’s information (see Searching for Users). Correct any information and click the Update button at the bottom of the page.

Assigning a New Username to an Existing Account
By assigning a new username to an existing account, you will preserve any Class Lists and Student Lists that were previously created on that account. If you prefer to delete these lists, see Deleting a User.

Locate the user’s information (see Searching for Users). Click the check box next to Modify Login Information. You can now change the username and/or password. Click the Update button when you are finished. You will need to provide the new login information to the user.

Assigning a New Password to an Existing Account
If a user has forgotten his or her username or password he/she can request the information by clicking on the “Forgot your username or password?” link on the Login page. The user’s username will be e-mailed to him or her, along with a temporary password.

You can reset a password from the Manage Licenses screen. Locate the user’s information (see Searching for Users). Click the check box next to Modify Login Information. You can now change the password and/or username. Click the Update button when you are finished. You will need to provide the new login information to the user.

Deleting a User
By deleting a user you will free up a license on your account. Note: Deleting a user will also delete all Class Lists and Student Lists that were created by that user. To remove a user and still retain the lists that the user previously created, see Assigning a New Username to an Existing Account.

How Many Licenses do I Have on My Account?
This information is listed on the Manage Licenses screen. The number of available licenses for your account is listed under the Search Users field. If you need to purchase additional licenses, please e-mail [email protected].

In addition to being a site manager, some managers have also opted to be a user on the account. Note: Your user role (e.g., manager or user) was specified at the time you purchased Letter Links Online. You may e-mail [email protected] if you have additional licenses on your account and want to become a user, or if you need to purchase additional licenses for your account.