8th July 2005 at 01:00
SCALLY'S WORLD - LETTERS NOUNS. Topologika. pound;34.

Recognition of letters and nouns from the National Literacy Strategy and the Down's Syndrome Association's First Spoken Language checklist is achieved by playing with a collection of 16 games. As well as a "lucky dip", these are picture-based, letter-based, word-based and first letter matching activities.

The games are based on a grid which teachers can set from two to 16; other options include the number of questions, turns, whether to re-ask incorrect questions, show the right answer and use initial consonant clusters, special effects, speech clues, type of voice, rewards and so on - all via the spanner icon. You can also opt for one of five background themes, from the jungle to space.

When children start they are offered a range of "profiles" for reception to Year 2. Or teachers can set particular words and games for a specific group or child. Saving and tracking progress is complicated but the games allow for flexibility while building skills and confidence.

Pam Turnbull

ICT co-ordinator, Heys primary school, Ashton under Lyne

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