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Meet Elizabeth

Dated: 7 Nov 2008
Posted by Rachel Coleman
Category: Behind the Signing Time Scenes
20 Comments

Meet Elizabeth

Filming Baby Signing Time is always an interesting process. I often, semi-jokingly state that the whole idea of Baby Signing Time was based on a dare. I mean really! Who in their right minds would take 50+ children ages 2 and under and try to film them signing? Kids that age sign because they need or want something. They sign to communicate. They RARELY do it on cue. So, if your signing toddler refuses to “show off” their mad-signing-skills, no worries, WE believe you! Babies sign to communicate, NOT as a fancy baby trick.

Last March we received an email from a mom in Texas, Katy Barrett, she and her husband are speech pathologists. Their story had been on their local news and now they were writing to share that the Today Show was going to be telling their story!

The Barrett’s daughter Elizabeth was the focus of this national media tale and the phenomenal part is that Elizabeth has incredible reading skills for a toddler. The Barrett’s contacted us because Signing Time was the only show they had ever let their daughter watch and they felt that signing not only fostered early language and early communication, they believe it also impacted her amazing early reading skills.

The Today Show producer contacted us for some clips of Signing Time to use in the piece and the segment aired March 10, 2008. Since I wasn’t sure how much they would say about Signing Time, I didn’t make a big announcement, but anxiously watched. There were three segments with the Barretts and sure enough, one of them showed some clips of Signing Time.

March 2008 Today Show Clip

March 2008 Today Show Story in Print and Video

My mom called early that morning and said, “Rachel!!! I JUST saw you on The Today Show again!!!” (She “screamed” it more than “said” it.) She said “again” because in February 2003 The Today Show did a story about my little family! It was called “Against The Odds”

We thanked the Barrett’s by sending them the complete Signing Time Library. I mean really, that’s the least we could do. (And if YOU manage to garner positive national media attention for Signing Time, I’ll send you the whole enchilada as well!)

Around the same time in March, we started the casting process for our new Baby Signing Time shows. I got in touch with the Barrett’s again and invited them out to the shoot, giving Elizabeth the chance to appear in her favorite show!

Fireese and Elizabeth sign FRIEND

Fireese and Elizabeth sign FRIEND

Elizabeth’s mom, Katy agreed to do an interview with us about the benefits of signing and how she feels it made a difference for her little girl. From that interview, we created the following piece that appears as a special feature that you can see that on Baby Signing Time Volume 3 – A New Day.

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Can’t get enough of little Elizabeth reading? Don’t believe it? Well, I sat down with her myself, wrote up some pretty big words and phrases on cards and had “Reading Time with Elizabeth and Rachel!” Take a look. I was shocked. I bet you will be too!
(Included in the following video are some additional behind the scenes shots.)

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THIS morning, (Friday November 7th) The Today Show is planning to revisit little Elizabeth and her family and give an update. This time they asked for clips of Baby Signing Time. So, set your DVR or tune in to see more of this incredible little girl. (Barring any breaking news, of course)

Who knows… maybe my mom will call me screaming again.

Meet Fireese

Dated: 21 Oct 2008
Posted by Rachel Coleman
Category: Behind the Signing Time Scenes
14 Comments

With the recent release of Baby Signing Time 3 & 4, I wanted to introduce you to one of our incredible signers and her exceptional mother who we were fortunate enough to have involved.

You may not know her by name, but Fireese Berg may be one of the most famous signing babies on the internet!

Her mother Laura Berg posted a great video clip on YouTube of 1 year-old Fireese signing, which has to date garnered over half a million views!


I saw the video almost a year ago and thought, “I wonder if they know about Signing Time?”

I started to do a little research and found out that Laura is not only great at marketing, but she is the founder of My Smart Hands. My Smart Hands offers baby sign language classes in the US, Canada and Europe and can even train parents, like YOU to become baby sign language instructors.

As we began the massive process of auditioning children ages 3 and under for the upcoming Baby Signing Time shoot, I received an email from Laura. She was so cute, she prefaced it by saying that I probably had NO idea who she was or who her daughter was, but she had received SO many emails through youtube from “Fireese Fans” suggesting she audition that she felt compelled to write.

I called Laura on the phone and confessed that I too am a Fireese Fan! We invited them out for the shoot, without an audition… all you have to do is watch that youtube video to know, that Fireese is a little girl who can REALLY sign!

You will see Fireese signing away throughout both episodes of Baby Signing Time 3 “A New Day” & 4 “Let’s Be Friends”. I was able to be on set during some of her filming and her expressions and signs were just fabulous!

While the Berg’s were here we went to lunch and talked quite a bit. It was really clear to me that Laura is a bright, educated professional who really cares about making a difference in the lives of families. It was also clear to me that Laura is the type of gal I could easily be friends with!

We filmed an interview with Laura and had anticipated adding it as a special feature on Baby Signing Time Volume 4. I am disappointed that the piece was not completed in time for our release deadline. I am sure Fireese Fans were disappointed too. It is still being produced, editors are working on it right now and I can’t wait to share it with all of you in the future.

So, I won’t wait :) I am going to share a couple of clips right now!

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You can currently see the first clip (above) on our new Baby Signing Time web-site under “Testimonials”.

Because Laura was willing to share Fireese’s signing experience through youtube, she has helped countless families see that not only is it possible for one-year old Fireese to express herself through sign, it is possible for all children, everywhere.

Laura and Fireese,
Thank you for signing with us!

~Rachel Coleman

And Then There Were Twins!

Dated: 3 Oct 2008
Posted by Rachel Coleman
Category: Behind the Signing Time Scenes
25 Comments

You are not going to believe this!! I guess it is only fitting with all the babies being born around here that I would have some babies too. Twins!

It took a few tries to get them started, I mean, just ask Brad and Angelina, when you are going for twins, it’s a little tricky ;) Then it took just about 9 months for them to be ready to present to the world. It was, of course, a labor of love. Yesterday, I delivered them!

I am a proud mommy and happy to introduce you to, the only kind of babies I will personally be making: Baby Signing Time 3 & 4!!!

They even arrived with their very own web-site, www.babysigningtime.com – such technologically savvy babes!

Just like any parent, I am completely biased. In my opinion, these shows are the cutest shows we have done to date! I am very proud of these little babies!

As we neared completion on Baby Signing Time 3 & 4, we thought it might be cool to have some folks preview them, before the shows were released. We went straight to the internet. First let me share an amazing fact: 80% of Signing Time fans hear about Signing Time from a friend or family member! See, your friends do believe you and they listen to you and they even follow your recommendations!

We contacted a number of bloggers who had over the past year, blogged about using Signing Time, we asked if they would like to preview and review the shows. I figured it is a little way to say “Thank you!” for spreading the news about what we are doing. Sometimes, I hop on and comment on their posts… and some of them don’t think it’s really me doing that, but it is really me… I mean YOU guys know that.

Our reviewers were honest. They shared what they liked and didn’t like. They shared how their children reacted and how the grownups reacted. Me, I’m too close to it all, I had to keep reminding myself as I read them, “They are not talking about me, they are talking about my show.” Oh, but some of them were talking about me too. ;)

So, in no particular order, except for #1… it really is #1… because it is by far my very, very favorite!! (Odd that it is the most flattering, the most hilarious and at the same time it is slightly disturbing!)

Here are 10 great bloggers reviewing Baby Signing Time 3 & 4!!!

#1. Backpacking Dad
Wandering Scientist
F is For Fischer
Rhett’s Journey
Stay At Home Mommy, Adventures of The Baby Chaser
Blogging Hallie (Thank you for mailing us cannoli, they rocked!!)
Maternal Instincts… Flying By The Seat of My Pants
The Family Update – Because Things Change So Fast
Raising Allie Kaye
If Only I Had Super Powers

I just have to say THANK YOU to all of the reviewers and to all of you out there who share your Signing Time experiences with people in your world, virtual and real. It is an honor that you welcome me and my family into your home and invite us to teach you and share our lives with you!!!

~Rachel
PS- Backpacking Dad, Call me! ;) (I am totally kidding!)

Sneak Peek for Chatters

Dated: 30 Jul 2008
Posted by Rachel Coleman
Category: Behind the Signing Time Scenes
5 Comments

I promised something special for tonight’s Signing Time Weekly Chat. We chat every Wednesday night from 7-9pm Mountain Time.

Here it is!!! A sneak peek at one of the new songs from our upcoming Baby Signing Time release. The song is called Strollin’. You will only be able to view it for a limited time this evening. Come chat with us!

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