Thursday, August 4, 2016

Talking Shapes: A Phonics Program Review


Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}Today we're going to look at a product from Talking Fingers, Inc.   Talking Fingers, Inc. was created when Dr. Jeannine Herron and her staff began to research the effective use of computers as tools of learning.  Their work resulted in the development of several online programs including Read, Write, & Type, Wordy Qwerty, and Talking Shapes.   
For this review, we are considering a one-year subscription to the online program Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy. It is intended for Preschool to Kindergarten age (4-5) children preparing to read and designed to take the words children say and teach them that those same words can be seen.
Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Talking Shapes is a web-based (used in a browser, not an app) series of 7 interactive stories about two sisters who invented the alphabet.  Throughout the stories, letters are embedded to help them remember their sound and shape.  There are activities like tracing the letters, reading games, and read alouds. With it's multi-sensory approach, the activities encourage new or struggling readers to actively engage for better understanding.  

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}

The concept of interacting with the letters and sounds as kids are entering the realm of reading is not only founded on research, but looks like a lot of fun.  I would caution those who are considering purchasing this program to double check your computer system capabilities with the programs requirements.  I failed to do that right off the bat and ended up not being able to use the program at all on my devices.  I am certainly not the technical one in my marriage because I didn't even know what 32-bit versus 64-bit meant!  The Talking Shapes program requires a 64-bit Mac/PC system in order to run and in my research learned that it often works best with the browser Firefox from Mozilla.

I am told that there are app versions of this in the works that I expect to completely circumvent my issue so I'm looking forward to trying that out!  Despite any technical difficulties, the important things to remember about this fun program is the benefits:
  • children learn that spoken words are made of individual sounds (phoneme awareness).
  • children learn that letters stand for those sounds (phonics).
  • children learn how to draw those letters.
  • children learn how to sound-out and write 3-letter words.

Keep up with Talking Fingers on Social Media:

For more information from other reviewers who may have had a different experience with this program, check out other Crew members' reviews below:

  Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}

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