Saturday, May 21, 2011

Talking Fingers Word Qwerty

Talking Fingers was established in 1994 with the purpose of developing quality educational materials. Neuropsychologist Dr. Jeannine Herron and her staff has continued to work on new research and development to create programs to help engage children and their left side of the brain where skilled reading and writing are processed. Extensive research has been done using their program Read, Write and Type in California schools and formal research was done in 2006 in Dallas schools for their Word Qwerty program.

Word Qwerty: Foundations of Reading and Writing Fluency is designed to improve phonological and morphological sensitivity. To develop a deeper understanding of how words are constructed in English, create useful activities that provide helpful feedback. Word Qwerty has 20 lessons with 6 activities per lesson that provide the following:

1. Some sounds can be represented in several different ways.
2. Most words follow about 20 easy spelling rules.
3. There are many word families, (words that sound the same, or rhyme). By changing the first letter(s), you can make hundreds of words.
4. Some words are "outlaws". They don't follow the rules. They must be recognized quickly and automatically.
5. Writing to dictation develops vocabulary, comprehension and fluency as well as spelling skills.
6. Reading (and filling in missing words) develops vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency skills.

Wordy Qwerty is targeted at 7 to 10 year olds who have learned the basics of phonics and word identification and are poised to master more complex reading and writing skills in order to become enthusiastic and capable readers and writers.
The six different lessons each day are as follows:
Step 1: Patterns

Your child generates two lists of words by typing the names of pictures and sorting the words by a given characteristic. They are directed to notice the patterns," or spelling rules, by comparing the two lists. If they can't sound out the words or spell them correctly, the Helping Hands will assist them. Qwerty and Midi talk about the differences between the two lists and derive the 20 spelling rules which then are woven into the lyrics of delightful songs.

Step 2: Karaoke

Rhymes and songs are memorable and fun. There is a catchy song about each of the 20 spelling rules.

Step 3: Recycler

Lots of words that rhyme can be made just by changing the first letter or letters of the word. Some words sound the same, or rhyme, but use a different combination of letters to represent the same sound. In this game, chidren learn different vowel combinations that can make the long vowel sound. They watch the RECYCLER drum whirl as it changes the first letter(s) of two rhyming words. They learn to quickly distinguish real words from non-words. The non-words are vacuumed away.

Step 4: Pop-a-Word

"Outlaw" words are best memorized by learning to recognize them quickly. In this arcade-type game, children find words in a 4 word phrase as each word appears briefly, along with non-target words, in a cluster of colorful balloons. As children click on the correct balloons, they "pop". The faster they recognize the correct words, the more points they make.

Step 5: Write Stories

In these cleverly illustrated 8-line rhymes, children hear and see the first line, and have to type out the second line after it is dictated. They can see and hear the dictated line as often as they need, but get more points if they remember the sentence and try to spell the words correctly. These little stories are full of words that require using the spelling rule just presented.

Step 6: Read Stories

Here are some short, engaging stories that develop comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Every so often, there is a word missing, and children have to choose among three possible words, the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence. These stories also include words that utilize the spelling rule, or the "outlaw" words learned in that lesson.

I am very impressed with the technique and practice of the Word Qwerty program. The variety of methods adds interest and excitement while strengthening their reading and writing skills. I like that it is using multiple sensory learning. I saw a great improvement with Kaiden's spelling and sounding things out immediately. I am grateful that we were able to review and use this program. You will not regret giving this one your time!

To learn more about Word Qwerty go their website for a free online lesson.
The Word Qwerty Home Edition is $35 which includes 1 CD-ROM, 1 program guide in a 3-ring binder and 1 JingleSpells audio cd of the 20 songs contained in Word Qwerty.

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for my thorough use and honest review of them. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.