Where do you think you're going, Christopher Columbus?
Where do you think youre going, Christopher Columbus? is part of Scholastics Curriculum Connections Series. The Curriculum Connections Series introduces students to a new standard of educational software; software that is as fun as it is educational. Each software title in the Curriculum Connections Series uses the Learning Cube interface, which allows students to choose the method they want to learn with at any given moment. The Learning Cube offers video-based lessons, narrated text-based lessons, writing prompts and fun critical thinking games, which reinforce what theyve already learned. The only drawback to this feature is that younger students need a demonstration of the Learning Cube before being able to use the software independently. However, once the students have mastered the Learning Cube, they can use any of the Curriculum Connections Series software independently.
This program fits very nicely into the elementary school curriculum. Christopher Columbus is part of a unit on explorers, and the software lends itself very nicely to bridge the explorer content to learning geography skills. This software can be used across the curriculum when paired with reading Jean Fritz book Where do you think youre going, Christopher Columbus? Also, the writing prompts offered in the Write It section of the chapter rows (in the Learning Cube) give students excellent practice for the required exams in the state of Florida.
The Teachers Resource section provides educators with excellent resources to extend the curriculum. This section provides assignments and also challenges with extra study for students to undertake at the school or public library. The Bulletin Board section gives teachers suggestions on how to display students work. The Scoreboard allows teachers to check on what work has been completed and supplies the following data for each student: number of problems, total points, number of problems attempted, total correct, and if the game was played to completion or exited prematurely.
As a teacher, based on my experience with Where do you think youre going, Christopher Columbus?, I would consider any of Scholastics Curriculum Connections software to be a valuable asset to the elementary school curriculum. As a parent, I find the series to be an exciting alternative to computer games for my daughter. The Curriculum Connections program offers children an opportunity to use critical thinking skills and learn educational content while at the computer.
This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.