About The Amazing Method!
Start your Smarty-Dots-Fun with your toddlers (1 year old or younger) and they will develop a solid early-age critical thinking skills, which will allow you (active parents) to see your children be more independent and, therefore, be less demanding of your involvement, by the age of six years old.
If your kiddo is a bit older and already knows a thing or two, then simply start where you see fit! Smarty Dots is segmented and equally holds a significant value.
What is Smarty Dots method?
Here is a quick glance at creating any object, by following a simple 4-Steps Rule:
START - Solid Red dot is where you start;
SECOND AND PASS THROUGH - Hollow Red dot is always the second step and it is always a pass through to the next step. You never stop here;
PASS THROUGH - Hollow Black dot is always a pass through. You never stop here;
FINISH - Solid Black dot is where you stop. Check your work. If you have traced over every line, before arriving at the Black Solid dot, then you have done a great job!
Your little genius must connect all the dots in such a fashion that by the time they arrive at the Solid Black dot all other dots should be connected, via designated pathways, while respecting the Four-Steps Rule.
About The Dots
Designed to improve the conventional way of displaying early learning practice objects, like shape, letters and numbers, with guided dots (see image below for reference)
Within the first five years of child's life, the brain development reaches 92%! At this stage of child's life the brain operating on a genius level. Everything is new and exciting and it is like being on a super-highway of information.
The conventional way of teaching how to create an object (i.e. shape, letter, number, etc.) is through a series of dots that form that object. Though this approach is good, there is a still a small problem with it. To an adult, the series of dots is easily translated into a shape, because there is acquired set of visual references. However, children, at their earlier learning stage, do not have such set of references and, therefore, are viewing the world from the purest, non-biased, objective perspective. The image above displaces a Smarty Dots and a Conventional practice objects representing the letter "A".
First, let's view the conventional approach. That object has 15 dots that form the letter "A". To a one and a half year old it is 15 independent tasks. Then, it usually comes with three additional objects known as arrows, and numbers "1, 2, 3" that one and a half year old have not even learned, yet. The reference is made to such a young age is due to this being a normal development pace for Smarty Dots' students, who have already been tracing over and pronouncing letters in three different languages (English, Russian, and Hebrew), by the age of 18 months.
To minimize the number of tasks and limit unknown elements, which will be introduced within its designated turn, Smarty Dots method applies dots only at the pivotal (most important) points of the object and provides a clear pathway of how the final image should look like (see image above). This approach eliminates the guessing factor and, instead, it concentrates on the fundamental elements of that particular object. Instead of arrows and numbers, which create cluster and add to the overwhelming confusion, Smarty Dots method presents a gamified substitution with a four-step rule. This approach replaces a boring, clustered, and often confusing image with a colorful puzzle-like adventure. Smarty Dots students, who started with Stage-1 "Shapes" (age six months to 1 year old), have learned the concept of this rule prior to starting the Stage-2 "Alphabets" and, therefore, were able to connect the dots in the appropriate manner, with minimal assistance. (I know, I was shocked, too!). Most importantly, this approach teaches why an object is created the way it is created. With Smarty Dots Method, children learn to think logically, thus exercise and develop and early-age critical thinking skill.
Another very important factor of the Method is the LARGE format. The conventional way forces a restless child to be confined to a stationary position (seating at the table or laying on the floor), while working with an A4 or similar size paper. Whether it is an entire alphabet or series of exercises, everything on that paper falls into child's spectrum of vision and, therefore, triggers a natural ADD-ADHD-like effect. Unfortunately, plenty of teachers, parents, and even child psychology professionals have misinterpreted this behavior as a syndrome, when the child is absolutely fine. The only thing needed is to reduce the amount of information that falls into the child's spectrum of vision.
One way to do it is to print less information on the sheet of paper. But that will only increase the cost of paper expense and may even compromise integrity of a given educational material, and it will not solve the restlessness of a child.
The Smarty Dots way is to magnify the material to a point that child will not be distracted by the overwhelming amount of information, which will allow to concentrate only on few elements at a time and, therefore, will have higher probability of completing the entire exercise. In the following example, the non-shaded area represents limits of the spectrum of vision (boundaries are estimated).
Conventional method for an early childhood learning is developed to fit a criteria of statistical threshold, where the majority of children under the age of six years old would fit. Though conventional method is proven to be useful in classes with large number of students per teacher, its' usefulness is based on repetitive actions - the "How" variable of the learning process. Such process undermines the potential of brain's ability to learn. Smarty Dots' method aims at developing logical thinking - the "Why" variable of the learning process. This method is a modification of a conventional method that teaches fundamental elements, starting with basic shapes. Unlike conventional method, this alternative approach helps children understand the reason behind the action. Since the "Why" variable of the learning process requires more individual attention to every child, and because of high children-per-teacher ratio, this approach was originally intended for homeschooling, and after-school programs and not for the in-class use. However, with fast-growing popularity, due to positive results and convenience, Smarty Dots Flexiboards, with and without Smarty Dots Method templates, are finding their new homes at child cares across the nation and even abroad.
This puzzle-like approach creates a playful environment for the very first logical stimulants, which set foundation and pave the way towards accelerated and very rewarding cognitive development.
Smarty Dots is a Montessori-inspired, patent-pending, early learning educational method and materials. It is Designed to retain children's attention by presenting structured, interactive, and gamified process to help the completion of a given tasks, while presenting such task on a large format.
This unique method:
(a) minimizes the amount of information appearing within child's spectrum of vision and, therefore, minimizes a chance of distraction, and
(b) provides a freedom of movement, which offers the outlet for child's excess energy and increases a chance for them to complete a particular task.
Smarty Dots is created for the parents and by the parents. Thanks to our community that shares their hands-on experiences, all designs are in a constant state of improvement.
Why Smarty Dots?
Our ongoing case study, which began in 2014 and, throughout five years, involved nearly 500 children, has shown astonishing results! Our youngest participants were 6 month of age. As the time past and children grew, physically and intellectually, Smarty Dots method also grew and evolved, along with them. This entire method and process was observed by us through their eyes and experienced through their interaction. Five years later, we had honored our first program graduates with "Little Geniuses" Award!
Smarty Dots method is very simple and, at first glance, does not seem so different from the traditional way of early learning methods. It's the simplicity of method implementation and similarity of its ways what make this method so special, as it is easily integrated into traditional educational process.
Case Study Observation
We have observed an accelerated development of logical thinking, which led to a spike in independent, self-regulated learning activities. Things that otherwise would be presented and taught teachers at schools or by parents at home, children began to figure out on their own. For example: study have shown that our young participants began to read with little to no effort, by the age of five years old. The transition from not reading to reading was so seamless and fast that parents and grand parents of those kids did not even notice when and how their kids began to read. The general feedback by parents was that, unlike those kids' older siblings who struggled to put syllables into words, even by the age of seven, the "Smarty Dots" kids simply started reading and kept excelling without any signs of struggle.
Trust The Process
What so special about this method is that there were precise changes made to the existing traditional method of general education [Phase-1] and those changes were combined with the Montessori-inspired elements of significant importance [Phase-2]. Finally, in Phase-3 we have arranged a layout on a large format.
Hooray! The Method was born!...
Shhh... let it sleep and gain some strength... And so, we patiently and quietly gave it a try. By following our young students, whom were guided to follow the Method, the Three Stage Program was created!
To become a global leader in the development and production of logical methods for interactive learning, to aid the growth of an early-age cognitive skills.
Smarty Dots wants to bridge the gap between the need for learn and the wish to play, for children up to six years of age. The vision is to become a household brand for homeschooling and after-school education.
To ensure that creativity and learning of youth are encouraged, by appropriate knowledge delivery tools of logic-driven methods in a gamified fashion.
Smarty Dots will collaborate with early learning educators and educational organizations to insure method's continues improvement. Insure fast concept-to-production process to provide parents, homeschooling and after-school programs, as well as traditional early learning educators and working professional with the latest, unique, and innovative version of Smarty Dots Products, which will compliments and aid their current ways.
Community, fun, innovation and integrity. These values are the guiding principles and driving factors that foster the Company to live up to its mission statement, attain its vision, and achieve its goals and objectives.