Friday, 15 April 2016

Talking Fingers - TOS Review

Talking Fingers, Inc. have created a unique program to teach keyboard skills alongside reading skills called the Read, Write & Type program which they asked the TOS crew to look over and review.

Read, Write and Type have developed a one of a kind, multi-sensory program that was originally geared at 6-8 year olds learning English as a second language or for those struggling with learning conditions or disabilities, however its interesting to note that this works equally well for any children who are learning to read and because of how its designed, it adapts well to various learning styles.

There are 40 on-line lessons, each approximately 15 mins long. They start by introducing the two hands (left and Right) and each key which has an individual story to help defeat the evil Vexor the virus villain. 


Lessons start by introducing a letter, its position on a keyboard and which finger types it. Lessons include stories, entertaining games, fun characters and activities, they set tasks like identifying the starting sound or middle sound of a picture, spelling words and teaching thousands of letter combinations. 


The instructions were easy for both Tulip and Rose to follow and if they made a mistake the instructions were repeated so they could try again. They even have a feature where you can press the space bar and it will 'say' the picture if you can't identify what it is. The lessons were easy to use and often resulted in giggles. The lessons use lots of repetition (like typing fat 10 times) but I was happy to note that because the games were such fun the kids didn't tire of it. 

In addition to the compliments given when they perform correctly in the game (their favourite being when Vexor says 'if you don't make just one mistake, I get so mad I start to shake'), they award certificates which are a great confidence booster for the girls.

There is also a teacher’s portal which allows me to track their progress which is great because I was able to leave them to work independently (with just the occasional glance to make sure they were sticking to the correct finger positioning)


I love that this is such an engaging product and really enjoyed seeing the smile Tulip's face when she won the games, it's also a good sign that she is happy to do multiple lessons in the same day (and that the older girls were busy looking over their shoulder because in their words 'what she doing? that looks like fun' and sulking when I told them they were too old for it. If you are looking for a fun way to improve vocabulary, keyboarding or just build your childs confidence with their phonics and reading skills, then what better way than to play your way through learning : )

Read, Write and Type is available for $35 for one student or $55 for two. They also offer a free trial of the first 8 lessons so you can see if it works for your family

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the TOS Blog.


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