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1st grade software
Big Thinkers! 1st Grade features a wide range of entertaining activities that will challenge and stimulate students well beyond the 1st grade.
Ben and Becky Brightly, the program's teen hosts, lead children through their cozy home where diversions abound at every turn. In addition to the many amusing clickables that can be found in every nook and cranny, a multitude of subject-based activities prove that learning can be fun.
In fact, it's hard not to have fun with the enthusiastic Brightlys at the helm. This 'dynamic' duo actually transforms into the activities, becoming, for example, the globe on which oceans and continents are pinpointed, or the clock on which the hours and minutes are read.
Students work their way through each of six venues (four rooms, the garage and the backyard), receiving SmartStars for every successfully completed activity. Progress can be checked at any time on the Smart Chart, which lists the academic subjects addressed by the program, gives appropriate activities for each subject, and keeps track of the Smart Stars earned by each individual user. When the child has earned stars in each of the five major categories s/he qualifies to play the SuperStar of Smarts Challenge. This is a special culminating round in which the user can use accumulated stars to help beat the clock in a problem-solving activity. Winners of this challenge earn a printable certificate and the enthusiastic praise of their animated friends.
Big Thinkers places a premium on making learning fun. For instance, in the reading section, a knock-off of "Mad-Libs", the child completes paragraphs by inserting nouns or verbs chosen from available lists. Not much brain-power is required, since basically any answer is correct, but the uproarious resultant prose illustrates for the child that reading can be fun, and becoming a proficient reader has diverse and far-reaching benefits.
Our Windows 95 reviewers reported occasional error messages and associated automatic closing of the program. Even the most recent user information was saved in each of these instances, and the program was immediately restarted without difficulty.
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 33MHz or faster cpu, 8 MB RAM, SVGA 640x480, 256 color display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, Sound cardreturn to top of page
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