Many people, especially teachers, say, “Why did you change it? I like SLF. I used it for years and even made great teaching aids to go with it.”
The answer is: SLF is a great and powerful teacher! It has exactly the same rhythm for each word using two syllables and it is easy to pronounce and sing.
Sounds Like Learning was born from the constructive criticism of certain teachers who loved Sounds Like Fun but thought it could be even better.
One teacher, Sandy Lakin, (ABC Adult School, Cerritos, California) was particularly helpful. She loved not only Sounds Like Fun, but many of our other CDs and was using them regularly in her classroom to teach counting skills, manners, opposites and much more. She loved the accuracy of Sounds Like Fun and its ability to start children on their path to reading. But she noticed that Sounds Like Fun didn’t give the children the opportunity to engage their bodies in the learning process. She knew that the more senses you involve, the greater the learning and retention.
So I took her suggestions, and gathered even more information when I was taking a masters level course at California State University-Fullerton. This led to several valuable changes that make Sounds Like Learning an even more effective product.
17 of the pictures were changed to meet 2 rules.
1. The picture had to be something the children could act out with their hands or bodies.
You can see these motions on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vx3BHyNrww) One of my students performed the actions while I sang to ensure distinct and accurate pronunciations. In the classroom, this engages the children more fully. I even brought in real props like the lollipop and T REX dinosaur with 2 claws and so on. I actually collected 1 prop for every letter. We let the children pick the props of their choice after clean up and before circle time started.
2. The pictures had to look as much like the letter itself to provide a “memory hook” and increase retention.
Thus, scissor in Sounds Like Fun became a snake in Sounds Like Learning and so on. The rhythm and pronunciation is more difficult than Sounds Like Fun because I had to use 3 syllable words like “dinosaur” and “kangaroo.” That’s why Sounds Like Fun is still a great choice for small infants and certain language learners.
The last and most fun change is that we hired new artists, Adriana at ( kreativebrand.com ) to redo all the art and give it a more whimsical spirit. All in all they are both wonderful aids for the early development of reading.