Edmark's Let's Go Read! 2: An Ocean Adventure
##AUTHORSPLIT##<--->Oceans of Fun Learning Activities Await Kindergartners and First Graders
Edmarks Lets Go Read! 2: An Ocean Adventure is a carefully sequenced reading program that employs fun activities to strengthen students reading skills step by step. It combines the strengths of phonics and whole language in activities that offer both guided and self-directed learning opportunities. Students begin by reviewing individual vowel and consonant sounds, and then learn consonant blends and vowel digraphs. Word families are used consistently throughout the program. Illustrated interactive books provide additional practice with the skills learned and also with spoken and written language.
The School Edition comes with two CDs and an invaluable Resource Notebook. It is a very complete guide for the program and provides excellent supplemental materials for use with students. Optional speech recognition software allows the computer to listen and respond when the student reads the word aloud. I successfully used the AppleTalk microphone that came with my Power Macintosh. Alternatively, a headset and microphone are available for purchase from Edmark. The speech recognition component is not required to utilize the program, but d'es enhance the learning experience for the student.
Students can navigate through this program with ease, as the directions are all spoken. There are three basic buttons available for help in navigation. When the students quit the program, their location in the adventure is automatically saved. I was very impressed by this feature and by the programs ability to advance to more difficult questions and new concepts. This is done through the Grow Slide, which can also be adjusted manually. An adult or teacher can monitor a students progress in the adventure, as well as customize An Ocean Adventure to suit a class or individual students.
This product would fit into a kindergarten and first grade curriculum very well. Since it integrates the skills in an ocean theme, it would naturally fit well into a study of the ocean. The skills in this program would fall at the end of kindergarten and into the first and middle part of first grade. Since I teach kindergarten and it is early in the year, I was unable to have my students try out this program, as the majority are not yet ready for the skill levels presented in the program. However, I am very excited about the prospect of using it during my ocean unit, which falls in May of each school year.
My concerns about this program are that at one point it did freeze on my Power Macintosh, and at another point a dialog box popped up, informing me I was out of memory to continue using the speech recognition software. (According to the system requirements, my computer was more than adequate to run this program.) However, after I clicked OK on the dialog box, the speech recognition software went on to function well.
Overall, it is an excellent program that would be a great addition to integrate technology with the kindergarten - first grade curriculum. The fun, interactive activities and engaging characters will hold the students interest and reinforce classroom skills.
Platform: Macintosh or Windows
Osceola Elementary School
St. Johns Co. School District
St. Augustine, FL
This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.