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Help!

 

I am looking for a word processing package that our nursery children can use. Does anyone know of a programme that allows the children to type letters on the keyboard and the computer sounds the letters back to them....... and then I want it to blend the sounds into words....... and then read all of the phrase...... etc etc!!!

 

The High Scope 'educating young chn' talks about this, but I can't find what I want.

 

I have looked at the Curriculum Online site but I think it only caters for yr 1 upwards.

 

Jacq

 

PS Are there other forum topics about comp software?

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Hi Jacq

 

I use Talking Write Away - part of the Black Cat package. Children can type in a letter - highlight it and the computer reads it. It will also read back a complete word or phrase. I have used it with my reception class but they needed a lot of help. They found it funny when the computer read back their names to them as its very robotic and some of the pronunciations weren't too good :o . I don't know whether there would be anything more suitable for nursery!

 

Harricroft.

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Im a big fan of Clicker. It can say each letter, word, sentence as you type as well as repeat it again as often as you want. I dont think it highlights the words as you go along, I cant remember. Since has American accented voices and pronunciation, we record our own which is time consuming but once you have done it, its done.

Our children are not at that stage yet but those that are by the end of the year love it.

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Hi Jacq -

I'm afraid you're right, we don't have much in the way of software discussion - the last conversations I can recall were last autumn. We are trying to address this though, with a number of software reviews underway.

 

Harricroft, thanks for the reference. We're hoping to set up a recommendations page for software in the same fashion as our book recommendations page, and I'll bear this one in mind. Any others will be gratefully noted.

 

Helen enjoyed the mouseclub cd which has some sound and letter/word matching functions, but it sounds as if you're after something a bit more advanced. You can read her review of the mouseclub software here though, in case it seems useful! :)

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Thanks all, for your posts. I will look for info on Clicker, Mundia, and Talking Write away, Harricroft.

 

When I came home tonight, I found my son playing with my new laptop. He was typing in sentences and the computer was reading them!!!!!! As I jumped up and down saying I wanted just this in the nursery, he very cooly tells me 'oh it is in speech on the control panel'. I've tried it, and it does work saying (in a very American voice) what you type - even nonsense words! It is robotic, just like you said Harricroft, but I think the children would like that. Anything to get them using the keyboard a bit more, and to sustain or develop interest in phonics.

 

Now I just want that in a very simple version, on a clear screen, with large font, with proper letter 'a's.......and can it be free, like the one on my laptop!

 

Jacq

 

PS What fonts do people use for little ones? The best we can find is LEGO.

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The best word processing package I have found is Talking First Word... however you also have to have word installed on the machine you are running it on.

Talking first word is a cut down version of microsoft word and has 4 working levels depending on the age and abilities of the children... you can have different functions switched on or off and tool bars etc.. I like this as it is similar to what they will be seeing at home and as they get older and more computer literate you don't have to reteach them the skills on a different word processing package. :)

I can't remember whether or not it has a speaking function or not :o

 

My husband informs me that you can download speech programs for Windows XP... but you have to pay for them... and they are probably expensive.

 

As for fonts... I have used Jarman and Jardotty... but as I am in a school which uses cursive script the best I can find for Reception children is Montessori Script, or comic sans ms or century gothic all which do the a correctly.

 

There are many free font sites and if anyone finds a good cursive font with no looped letters I would love to know what it is.

 

Hope this is helpful

 

Lorna :)

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Hi,

I use Sassons Primary, which is a very suitable cursive script that is based on the handwriting of Rosemary Sassons.

It used to come as standard on school packages, but can be accessed free, although I can't remember where from.

It is very similar to comic sans but slightly different! If you are using Jarman as a handwriting style you won't want the tail on the F, if you're using Cripps you'll be set up!

 

I will try and remember to search for source, hubbie may even remember but he's not home yet! I think there was a reference to it way back on TES forum(early years).

 

Susan

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I'd love Sassoon infant primary font for free - I always see it for sale but not free, & I like it as they use it in Jolly Phonics!

 

I used to use Talking First Word with YR and it does have a talking function, it's one of the ttolbars at the top of the screen I think.

 

Not much help to anyone I know, hope you don't mind!!

 

Dianne xxx

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Hi all,

 

Like Dianne and Susan I love Sasson infant primary. It's very much like Comic Sans - which I used to use because it has 'child friendly a's', but Sassoon infant primary has flicks and so is much more in keeping with our handwriting scheme. It came as a standard package (I think) with our school PC's. Check it out if you're not sure - it saves having to draw the flicks on when printing things out for displays!!

 

Harricroft.

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I use Sassoon primary font - it came with a Ready for Writing disc when we loaded it! The aforementioned programme is better for Yr1. I use Clicker 4 you can make your own grids that are read by the computer. Textease is our main word processing programme in school - this needs to be customised for my class to make it simple enough for independent writing. It has been successful in enabling children to have a go and explore computer generated print. I think the use of the space bar is particularly good for getting across the idea of spacing words. Hope this helps.

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