Talking Fingers is a company that was established in 1994 by the same team of researchers that were a part of California Neuropsychology Services (CNS), a non-profit organization for research and education which was established in 1982. They have since created many research-proven products.
Their most recent creation is Talking Shapes.
Talking Shapes is a new iPad app teaching children that letters are just talking shapes that stand for each speech sound. This app is aimed at the preschool and kindergarten age but
I have been loosely researching Dyslexia. In my research of that I have found that it is best for children to use as many of their senses as they can to learn a letter. This app uses 3 of our 5 senses to teach phonemic awareness.
Sight- you see the sounds/letters
Hearing- you hear the sounds
Touch- you trace the letters
and you also
Say- the sounds (out loud into the microphone which uses voice recognition)
So by using all these you truly get interactive learning.
When you first start the app you get 3 choices.
- Read To Me
- Draw Letters
- Play Game
In Read To Me you choose from 3 stories, each story uses all the interactive ways I told you about above.
Throughout the story the reader uses positive reinforcement to let the kids know they are doing a good job. My son’s face lights up when she would say Good Job!
In Draw Letters you choose one of the three books to draw letters out of. It has you say sounds, then trace the sounds all while interacting with you. It doesn’t let you turn the page until you interact with it, well it does after two chances which worked well for us since our iPad has a case over the microphone it didn’t pick up our voices very well.
In the Game You choose one of the three books again to start with. You then choose to Find the Shapes, Find the Letters, or Draw the Letters. At the end you find a picture and then match the words to sentences as it reads you a short funny story.
A day/week in our life:
I chose to review this with my 4 year old in mind. He does use it quite often and it has helped him immensely in his letter and sound recognition. It has even helped him to spell simple 3 letter CVC words like Hat, Cat, Fat, Sat, and many more. I appreciate that since it shows that letters make sounds at more than just the beginning of the words.
Our thoughts and feelings:
Apps and electronic learning are really all the rage today. While I have wavered back and forth about the use of them. Sometimes I am all gung ho and other times I am like we are having an electronic free day, or week…
It seems to me that apps are either fun or educational, they are very rarely both. I can generally get my kids to use an educational app for a certain length of time but they always go back to the fun less educational apps.
Talking Shapes is different. It is both fun and educational. This app can hold my preschoolers attention and he loves the interactive learning.