Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Musical Fun with the Alphabet: A Critical Thinking Co. Review

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
As a lifelong student of music, I know that adding music to just about anything in education has the potential to increase its benefits.  It may feel silly sometimes to put data or information we need to remember to a child-like melody, but if you have tried it, you know it works!  We had the chance to play around with a fun combination of music and letter sounds learning which was perfect for my 3 year old!  She's very verbal and internalizes songs overnight it seems.   The Letter Sounds Song and Game 2-PCs Win Download from The Critical Thinking Co. has done a great job of increasing her understanding of the alphabet while having some great fun too.
Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

The Letter Sounds song goes something like this:

"A is the ah in apple.  B is the buh in bat.  C is the cuh in candy, in cookies and in cat."

The melody is simple, but catchy, as it repeats throughout the song.  For someone who internalizes the words she hears, putting words to music is perfect for miss Z's learning style.  There are 7 different games that come with the software download that challenge a child's letter sound knowledge in various ways.  The first game begins with just testing the memorization of the song, but then the games progress to sound association and letter identification.  The entire program involves the visual and auditory senses, while the games have the added tactile response through a mouse or hand.  As we all know, the more senses we employ in learning a skill, the better our brains respond, especially when music is involved! 

As the description states, this is geared towards preparation for preschool level children and designed to prepare for Kindergarten.  J who is almost 6 and reading just fine enjoyed it right along his sister.  He sang the song on his own pretty quick and was a great help to miss Z on the games when she might not be ready for some of them quite yet.  It wasn't something he particularly needed educationally, but it engaged him and provided a good relationship building opportunity for them.  While we aren't currently suffering from any atypical learning struggles, I believe this program (and the others I mention below) would be a super fun and effective way to smooth those out.  A struggling reader could blossom with a break from their normal and a few fun and catchy games.

The Letter Sounds Song and Game that we used was a delightful addition to miss Z's activities.  While we only reviewed this one activity, it is actually part of an entire preschool bundle from Critical Thinking, Co.  Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™ includes 5 different apps/downloadable programs.  In addition to letter sounds, there are ones highlighting the alphabet, vowels, phonics, and arithmetic.  If they are as catchy and engaging as our letter sounds program, then it should be a great adventure into preschool. 

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Check out the other programs the Crew reviewed!
Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
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