Archives For Phonics

Wordy Querty Review

Heather —  May 20, 2011

Wordy Querty supports reading and writing fluency for young readers, through fun computer gaming. The software is a part of the Talking Fingers program.

Although Wordy Querty was new to us, I am familiar with the Talking Fingers website and program, as we have used Read, Write & Type, the first component of the program, for a bit over a year now. My daughter enjoys working with that program. You can read my Read, Write & Type review to find out more about that level of Talking Fingers.

As we like RW&T, I was pleased to try out Wordy Querty. We played the games (lessons) online and it was easy to just go online and login. The program picks up where RW&T ends and offers 20 lessons, with 6 activities per lesson. The lessons are based upon developing reading fluency in students ages 7-10, by understanding and using these core concepts:

  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.

There are six types of games and then the overall “game” in which the kids eventually complete a music machine with the help of their friendly robots.

Take a look at the website to see the games and how each one improves reading fluency. My favorite was the Recycler, but Em likes the Pop-a-Word best.

The Recycler:

I thought the games were great, silly and useful and colorful….and I was disappointed that at times they were too challenging for my little one. However, she is not at the recommended age level, so I suppose that could have been expected.

I will definitely continue to let her play the games she enjoys as we finish up RW&T. I do think Wordy Querty is a great way to let kids play around with spelling and just become more familiar with how words work in a fun way. Parents may enjoy the fact that students can work on this completely independently.

If you have a beginning reader—whether a quick or slow learner—this may be a great way to improve their reading and spelling fluency through a bit of daily gaming! I think the price is very reasonable with Wordy Qwerty available as an online subscription of $25 for one subscription, or $35 for the Home CD version. There are other pricing options, see here.

Curious? You can try out an online demo. Also, you can save 20% by signing up for their email newsletter.

See what my crewmates have to say about Wordy Querty.

I received an online subscription to Wordy Querty through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

Talking Fingers TOS Review

Heather —  October 11, 2010

She is concentrating on keeping her fingers in the correct typing position!

Talking Fingers is described as “Revolutionary reading software that includes phonics, spelling, keyboarding and word processing.”

To be honest, when I first logged my five year old into the program, I was a bit put off by the talking hands.

BUT, after working through the program and seeing how it actually works, how interactive it is and how appealing it is to my daughter, I have to say, this program is a winner.

Last year, I reviewed a few great programs. One was a typing program. One was a phonics program. They were both good. But, I want to say that this is different, better. This program manages to effectively teach several things at the same time.

With this program, my daughter is learning to type, and learning phonics, reading…spelling. AND, she wants to do all these difficult things, mainly because she is involved in the story.

talking fingers1

What story? Well, the program for Talking Fingers incorporates a storyline. Your child will be fighting off a bad little green guy, and making plenty of friends (one for each letter of the alphabet) while working through all their lessons.

I was surprised how into the lessons/game my daughter got! The plot and experience definitely appeal to a 5 year old.
From time to time, she has gotten a bit frustrated—mainly because this work is not easy—this is a serious learning program. She has to use the correct fingers for typing, and listen and sound out things…and she is in the beginning levels.

Yesterday, just when she was the most frustrated, she managed to pass a “level” and then got an award certificate to print out. This certificate had a couple of her favorite characters, and she was so proud!

If you have a child about 5 or older, I recommend trying out this program. You can find a link to try 8 free lessons or just a sample here:

After poking around a little, I found out that Talking Fingers was “Founded in 1982 by neuropsychologist Dr. Jeannine Herron, Talking Fingers has based its software development on many years of research on how the young brain learns. In addition, the software is field-tested extensively in California schools.”

The Talking Fingers program is also correlated to State Standards.

Also, If you join their mailing list, you can get 20% off of your order.

You can also find info about Talking Fingers here:

See what my crewmates have to say about Talking Fingers

I received Talking Fingers online lessons for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.