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Smart Talk & Rosetta Stone

We started out the day working on the date and time again.  The girls are getting better at understanding telling time though it is a hard process to explain why in minutes one number represents another.  The flipchart clock we use has both hours and minutes identified but all clock faces do not and it is a hard concept to grasp as a child without it staring back at you.

After this we started with Smart Talk.  I love the Smart Talk system as it has grown with the girls.  Before they were reading they were interacting with the system and learning words to picture.  Now that they are advancing to reading skills they can flip over the picture card and show the backside which reads out in words the sentences that the card information reads on the Smart Talk computer system.  Smart Talk is an machine that reads out cards from different sets and categories like flashcards, but adds the element of language and sentences.  So there is a button that says, “This is”.  and the next button reads about that object.  The last button reinforcing the first saying “What is this?” So it is helping the child to understand language, read and identify different objects etc.  And at the same time you can work on categorization as all of the cards in the box set are based on category.   Both Maggie and Lily love working with it.  There was a time where Lily had  a very hard time getting the card into the machine as you have to insert the bottom first and then lie the card down flat.  That motion was difficult for her.  Now she can do it effortlessly.  For this reason I think it is a great motor planning and fine motor skill tool too.

The alphabet flipchart was brought back out and the sand letters with chalkboards to practice writing more letters.  Lily is proud of her achievement of independent writing skills now and Maggie is working on neatness.

Rosetta Stone makes a great program for learning the English language.  It is great also to help with articulation as there is an interactive element of speech recognition that accompanies the software.  But over and beyond their language learning program is a Kids Reading program which is fun for learning and a Core 5 Learning Language program that the kids love.  They worked on the computer for at least 45 minutes before they even looked up for the next activity and they did great with their language while working on it.  The computers are Lily’s Dynavox and a small laptop touch screen computer.  The girls enjoy trading computers as each has something different to offer.

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