For this review we used Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy by Talking Fingers, Inc.
Previously we had reviewed the iPad app version of this program, however, this program was for our PC.
My 5 year old used this program. He enjoyed it a lot. He worked on it in sections, to fit his attention span, during the review period.
The program is story based, and introduces letters and sounds in relation to objects to help remember their shapes and sounds, and help learn to write them. It was designed to work with touchscreens, unfortunately the writing portion did not work with our touch screen. I notified them of this problem, and they are working on it. He was able to use the mouse, but, it was difficult for him to draw the letters with it, and ended up really just scrolling over the letters several times until it drew itself. So because of this the writing portion of the lesson wasn’t very beneficial.
There were games and activities after each story where they would build words with the letters. I really feel like this program has helped him learn to put sounds together and give him a stronger understanding of this concept. He knew most letter sounds before starting, but wasn’t really putting them together or doing much for reading in regards to CVC words.
In the beginning he would ask for my help quite often, but towards the end of the review he was doing it all on his own! WIN!
I wish they used a different object for T then tree, b/c although it does start with T, it doesn’t have a strong T sound (I made this comment on the last review too). Otherwise, the objects used to go with the letters, were quite fun and creative.
This program was very similar to the app we reviewed previously, however it has been built upon. It takes it quite a bit further (if I’m remembering correctly). After completion of each level, the next book is unlocked and becomes accessible to the student.
The story is based on two girls (Pat and Nat) who invented the written alphabet based off of stories they have told and wanted to write down and preserve. The place is held where you leave off, so there is not need to complete an entire story or lesson in one sitting.
The stories focus on the introduction of rhyming words. So the first book is words like Cat, Fat, Hat, Sat, etc.. The 2nd book is Hen, Pen, etc.. The 3rd book is Pig, Wig, Jig, etc. The 4th book is Fox, Sox, Box and so on
My 5 year old enjoyed doing the app, sometimes he did quite a bit, other times not so much, but he never complained when I reminded him to do it. It was hard for us that it could only be used on the desktop/laptop though. We have 3 kids that have computer work, and juggling the computer time can be difficult, it’s nice when we can use the iPad to spread it out.
This is NOT a full curriculum and is designed to be a supplement. It’s not designed to do one book/lesson all at once, but to be spread out over time. I think this is a really fun way to supplement for early learners. It would be perfect for PreK-1st grader range.