Friday, May 20, 2011

Typing and Spelling All in One - A New TOS Review!!

Earlier this year our family was able to review Read, Write, and Type which is a typing program which also helps with phonics and reading, also created by Talking Fingers.  Both  my girls loved Read, Write and Type, so when we were afforded the opportunity to review Wordy Qwerty, their follow-up program, we were excited.

The Product:
This program, geared for 2nd - 4th (7-10), is an online program that helps children who know their basics in phonics and are ready for those next steps in reading and decoding.  Wordy Qwerty does this in twenty fun and captivating lessons that cover 20 spelling rules with 6 sections to each lesson.  These lessons are created to help improve fluency and comprehension both in reading and writing.

You can take a product tour here which will give you a much better detailed explanation of the program.  But since Arianna was the one using the program I asked her to explain the program to you.  (As a side note there may be some steps missing, but she's only 7 and I think she explained how the program really works.)  So I will put my "questions" about the program in blue so you can distinguish the questions from the answers.

Can you tell me what is the first thing you do when you go to Wordy Qwerty?  Yes, first you have to go to the main page and you will have a choice (actually she has a choice because we have access to both Read, Write and Type as well as Wordy Qwerty) of which program to choose and you will choose Wordy Qwerty.  Once you get there you start with the first lesson which tells you two things and teaches you the spelling rule.  For example, one lesson was on "wh" and "w" so it told me that "wh" has the /hw/ and "w" has /w/.  Then it sings a little song about the spelling rule -- I really like that.

So after you hear the rule what to you do?  Well, then it brings you to the next activity which is where you need to find if the word is correct or not.  So we had to choose between whit and white for the color.  If you choose the wrong one the at the end the words are all scrambled up and then are sucked into this vacuum on the screen.  At the end of 10 or 20 of these you can replay and do the activity again or hit next to go on.  I usually do this one twice.

Is this all or is there more?  There is more.  At the next activity you hear a short story that uses words from the lesson.  After listening you then have to type the missing sentences.  If at the end of the whole story you have gotten words wrong it automatically has you go back to typing the story.  This is the one that takes me the longest.

The next activity is where you fill in the missing words in a story that uses lesson words as well as words from previous lessons.   You get to choose the correct word out of three.  If you pick the wrong word it alerts you that your choice is wrong right away and you get 3 chances.  On the third chance it's the only one left so you know you have the right one.

Is that all? No, not really.  Once you are all done then you get to see Midi (one of the characters) build the next part of the music machine.  Then there's another song about the spelling rule at the end.

Do you like this program?  Yes, I like this one and Read, Write, and Type.  They are fun and they help me to learn how to type and spell all at the same time.

Would you think that other children your age would like to do this program too?  Yes, I think they would enjoy it a lot.  I think Audrie will like to do it to ... well, as soon as she gets to reading better.

My Thoughts:
As you can see, Arianna really knew the program and she knew that it is helping her to learn.  She asks for it almost daily, although sometimes because she gets some things wrong and then goes back to correct them it takes her a long time which then makes her frustrated.

There are some features I like which include the ability to put a "passing grade" requirement and the ability to view your child's status in the program as well as exactly where they are in the program.  However, I did notice that even though I had a passing grade of 70% she has completed a few lessons with a grade lower then that.  The program does not make your child return to a lesson even if the score is not passing.  It does allow you to go back and work on any lesson you want to (or that the teacher wants), but that is not "forced."  I'm not sure I like that.

I love that the program is teaching vital spelling rules and that they come about it in a fun and entertaining way.  I also love the little ditty's or jingles.  My children all love music so teaching rules in a sing song format works well for them ... they sing it all around the house.  And Arianna told me that the songs were her favorite part.

One of the very cool things I found was the pricing info.  You can purchase a single user license for just $25.  To make that deal even better that price covers you for 5 years!  There are also price options for multi-user license (and they are also good for 5 years.)  If online programs are not your thing you can also check out their products on CD, which are also available. If you are interested in this for your family you might also want to check out their online demo of lesson one, which will also allow you the opportunity to earn a chance of getting the product at 20% off.

Don't just take my Arianna's word for it go on and read what other Crew members thought about this program and how they used it in their families by visiting the TOS Crew page for Wordy Qwerty(usually there are pictures but Blogger has not been cooperating with me tonight so I will add them in the morning.)

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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