We were given a set of Touchtronic Letters from Quality Classrooms to try out and review. This is a new resource and combines the more usual physical letters with the digital world, which our students are now familiar with. I am a fan of good phonics teaching resources, having taught many EAL students, and so was excited to try this resource with Fred.
Fred just recently turned four so he has had no formal teaching yet. His daycare is play-based and he is a book lover so any information about letters he has was picked up organically through reading and play.
Fred was very excited to play with an iPad, he doesn’t get to use it very often. These Touchtronic Letters work on a regular iPad and a mini iPad. Daisy organized the letters into the alphabet format and although this doesn’t mean much to Fred, it helped her find the letters. She was happy to lead the activity and is a natural teacher. The Touchtronic letters were colour-coded which made letter recognition easier for Daisy but not a noticeable difference for Fred.
There was no need to learn how to use the app. Daisy and Fred went straight into placing letters and learning their letter sounds and a corresponding word with the same initial sound.
He accidentally placed a letter upside down and the voice corrected him. There is no time lag and Fred remained engaged.
He did have a few issues placing the letter correctly. Occasionally the app did not seem to read the letter until it was lifted and placed a second time. Daisy had it figured out within a minute, Fred may need a few reminders to place the letter gently and, if it did not read right away, to lift and place again gently.
The word building CVC game was a little advanced for Fred but with help, he was able to find the letters correctly and have success. The part of the app he will grow into.
I liked the colour coding, vowels in red and consonants in blue. This is consistent with many other phonics resources and consistency often makes learning easier. The app is easy to use, free and allows students to work independently. I would use these as a centre in kindergarten or for early EAL students to learn letters, sounds and shapes. At home, Fred will continue to learn his letter sounds in a fun and engaging way.