Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Talking Shapes {TOS Review}

Talking Fingers Inc. has created an online version of their app, Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy. This online version is intended for children in preschool and kindergarten. The focus of this program is to teach children the 40 different phonemes {speech sounds} and the letters that stand for the sounds. Using 8 stories to present the sounds, the children will learn how to say and write the sounds, as well as how to make words from the sounds.

In each story, there are 4 different activities your child will do:
1.) LISTEN. Your child will listen to a story about two girls who "invented" the alphabet. They will learn 6 phonemes and their letters. Each letter is embedded into a picture to help your child visualize the letter when they hear the sound. For example, the C is embedded into a cat curled up.

2.) DRAW. Your child will learn to draw the letters using a touch-screen computer or a mouse. They will draw the letter with guidelines, with the picture, and then on their own.
3.) PLAY GAMES. There are several different levels of the games your child will play. Basically, he will be drawing letters and making words.
4.) READ. Your child will then read the words he has learned. He will "pop" the balloon with the correct word.
I had originally intended my newly turned 4 year old to use this program. After using it for a few minutes, I realized this wouldn't hold his attention long enough. My 6 year old son is already using two programs for phonics, so I didn't want to confuse him. My 8 year old daughter wound up using this program, and loves it! She is an excellent reader already, but has enjoyed reading the stories and playing the games. I think I will try this again with my 4 year old in about six months.
There are a few negative things I must point out about his program. The first one is the load time - it takes a very long time to load! I don't call my children to the computer until it has loaded or they will get frustrated. The other things is that if you don't have a touch-screen computer, drawing the letters may be difficult for your child to do with the mouse. It was nearly impossible for my 4 year old to use the mouse to draw the letters. My 8 year old had no trouble with it, but she has great mouse control as she uses several computer programs. If we had a touch -screen computer, my 4 year old may have enjoyed it more.
There are many more positives to this program than negatives. The stories are fun to listen to, I like the order the alphabet and phonemes are presented, and I like the games. I really like how the letters are embedded into pictures, as that will be great for my visual learners.

Check out what the other members of the Crew had to say about Talking Shapes by clicking on the banner below. Also, check out Talking Fingers Inc. and the other programs and apps they have available.
Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}

No comments:

Post a Comment