Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Talk Points

I'm so, so excited about my new Talk Points!

One day, I was exploring all over the web and I came across these little gems. I saw this picture on Amazon and read the descriptions.

Talk Points are little recordable devices. There's a switch on the back that you flip to record a message. Then move the switch to "play" and press the button to hear your message. I saw them and thought that they would be so useful at literacy centers. Sometimes when the activity is new, students need a reminder about what to do, even if I've already given directions. If I had Talk Points, I thought, students could press the button, hear the directions again, and get on with their work.

I began reading reviews... and honestly, they were mixed. Some people said that the Talk Points were really useful for classrooms, that children thought they were fun and engaging, and they were easy to use. A few people said that they were great for giving students directions. Others complained that it was too easy to erase the recorded messages on the Talk Points, that they were not made well, or that students played with them rather than using them for their intended purpose. A few reviews said that the time limit, ten seconds, wasn't long enough to be useful. (I got out my iPhone stopwatch and recorded myself giving a few different directions that I might use for literacy centers. I figured that if I was going to need more than ten seconds, then perhaps I need to teach the center better to start with.)  So those negative reviews sounded more like management issues than product issues to me, and I decided to order the Talk Blocks, anyway.

Of course, that two-day, Amazon Prime shipping was a little to slow for me. Haha. I was so excited thinking about the possibilities that every time I heard a truck drive by I nearly ran out to the front porch!

And two days later...  they arrived, right on schedule! Here's a photo to show their size.

I unwrapped them immediately and began trying them out!

Though I haven't used them with students, yet, I think they are going to be just exactly what I wanted! No, the sound quality isn't nearly as good as the Bose speakers in my car. And no, ten seconds isn't even close to an entire lesson. But for a quick review of instructions (for students who can't read instructions!) they will be great.

I had another thought, as well. The set I got has five Talk Points, all different colors. I was thinking that I could record a different math problem into each one, and put all five at a math center. Students could listen to the problem, discuss with a partner, listen again to clarify and solve together!

I just know I'm going to come up with tons of ways to use these! I can't wait to try them out with my students!


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