My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade
The newest addition to Microsoft’s My Personal Tutor series, My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade is a three-CD software suite that helps first and second graders develop math, reading, and thinking skills through Microsoft’s TutorAssist learning technology.
The software monitors students’ progress through various learning activities. When a child experiences difficulty with a concept, an animated character named Professor P.T. Presto appears onscreen with a multimedia tutorial to help out. The software includes more than 1,000 multimedia tutorials and two levels of instruction to ensure that students will get the right amount of help, whether it’s a simple hint or a detailed explanation of the concept.
My Personal Tutor also features a progress report that offers teachers a convenient summary of students’ achievement across all skill objectives in each of the three CDs. The software retails for $34.95.
Elmer’s Cut & Build 3D / DaVinci’s Apprentice Adventure
Elmer’s Cut & Build 3D, from the newly-launched publishing label of Panasonic Interactive Media Company called PanaKids, is designed to encourage creativity and higher-level thinking skills among students ages 6-12.
Mimicking a real-world construction project, students navigate a helicopter over a 3-D landscape for a bird’s-eye view of the site. They design a structure by sizing and positioning familiar shapes like cylinders and cubes and adding details like color and texture, then print out its individual pieces for hands-on construction.
To kick off its sponsorship of the Computer Learning Foundation’s annual Computer Learning Month, PanaKids is offering Elmer’s Cut & Build 3D as part of a special Classroom Kit. For $8.95, each participating teacher will receive 3 copies of the CD-ROM, three different lesson plans (one each for grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6), and a contest entry form. Teachers can qualify to win a multimedia computer system or other prizes by submitting photos of castles built by their students. The contest ends Jan. 31.
DaVinci’s Apprentice Adventure, the first product in PanaKids’ new Apprentice Adventure series, lets students ages 9-12 learn about physics and inventions with Leonardo DaVinci acting as a mentor.
Elmer’s Cut & Build is available for Windows only and retails for $29.95; DaVinci’s Apprentice Adventure is also $29.95 and runs on Windows or Macintosh platforms.
Spanish for the Real World / French for the Real World
These two titles from Knowledge Adventure help students master first-year Spanish or French language skills including vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, and grammar while driving in a virtual road rally through Mexico or France.
Students’ language skills are reinforced through the real-world situations they encounter as they complete the rally, such as speed-dialing through a voice mail system to get directions, exploring a marketplace and bartering for their lunch, and listening to weather reports and race updates on the car radio.
Content includes an on-screen, context-sensitive Spanish-English or French-English handbook, grammar and usage tips, over 1,200 vocabulary words and phrases, and numerous opportunities to hear Spanish or French spoken by native speakers. A microphone option lets students hear and compare their speaking skills to that of native speakers.
A teacher edition set, which includes support materials and a dual license for home or school use, is $57. A site license is $325. The software runs on Windows or Macintosh machines.
CNN Cold War
This fall, CNN will be broadcasting a 24-part series on the Cold War. Filmed by award-winner Jeremy Isaacs, the series features more than 500 eyewitness interviews and never-before seen footage. To bring the documentary into classrooms, Turner Learning
is offering a free CD-ROM curriculum guide to schools.
The interactive CD-ROM features an extensive teachers’ guide to the series along with summaries of each episode, Cold War thematic units, lists of eyewitnesses, and suggestions for using the documentary to help teach the Cold War.
In addition, Turner Learning will be working with CNN Interactive to develop a “Cold War” web site, which will contain primary source documents and transcripts of each episode.
“Cold War” begins Sept. 27 and will air weekly on CNN.
Math Shop Deluxe
The latest edition to Scholastic New Media’s Math Shop series, Math Shop Deluxe covers eight key math topics, offers thousands of math problems at five distinct levels, and supports current NCTM standards.
Skills reinforced by Math Shop Deluxe include equalities and inequalities; factors and primes; fractions, decimals, percents; interpreting graphs; order of operations; patterns and functions; pre-algebra; and problem-solving.
The software also features a special Math Shop Hints System that gives students just the right amount of help they need, so they’re still learning the math on their own.
Math Shop Deluxe is available for Windows or Mac. Education packs including teacher’s guides are available at a special price.
Broderbund Dr. Seuss Series
Broderbund Software has introduced a new series of educational titles based on the books of Dr. Seuss. Each title features more than 250 lessons, hundreds of animations, multiple skill levels, progress tracking, dozens of Dr. Seuss characters, and original songs.
Dr. Seuss Preschool teaches children ages 2-4 listening, early reading, counting, and memory skills as they help Horton the Elephant and lost baby Elma Sue find her mother.
Dr. Seuss Kindergarten teaches children ages 4-6 skills like reading, listening, sentence building, numbers, math, logic, telling time, and sequences and ordering as they help zookeeper Gerald McGrew gather exotic animals for his new zoo.
Dr. Seuss Kindergarten Deluxe is a complete learning kit containing software as well as hands-on learning tools that reinforce the software’s lessons, such as math flash cards and an alphabet stencil so children can practice forming letters and numbers.
Dr. Seuss Preschool and Kindergarten retail for $19.99 and Kindergarten Deluxe retails for $29.99. All three titles are hybrid CD-ROMs that will run on Windows or Macintosh computers.
Curious George Reads, Writes & Spells
This multimedia CD-ROM is the latest title from Houghton Mifflin Interactive. Based on the popular Curious George character created by Margret E. and H. A. Rey, the software is designed to help first and second graders who are wrestling with basic writing skills.
The 12-chapter story follows George and his friend Billy as they set out to recover Billy’s talking bird and then write an article about their adventure for a local newspaper.
In each chapter, George’s curiosity lands him in a mild predicament, from which the student can help him escape by completing a learning exercise focusing on spelling, vocabulary, phonics, or reading.
The software includes 30 printable worksheets, and you can adjust the focus and difficulty of the exercises.
Curious George Reads, Writes & Spells is available for Windows and Mac and retails for $44.95.