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spacer all reviews > > > 1st Grade software

Reader Rabbit’s 1st Grade

The Learning Company

Ages 5 to 7

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
4.8
Ease of Use
4.8

Reader Rabbit’s 1st Grade Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

One of the more lightweight of the multisubject 1st-Grade learning programs we have reviewed, Reader Rabbit’s 1st Grade is lively and entertaining, with a nice mix of grade-appropriate skill-building activities and just plain fun.

Reader Rabbit and his pals are distressed. The stage supplies for Wordville's musical variety show have disappeared, and the premiere is tonight! The race is on to replace the missing sets, scripts, props and costumes, and Reader Rabbit and his friends need all the help they can get.

To this end, the student visits various locations around the town. Professor Owl and her sarcastic Word Bird, Penelope, put the user’s knowledge of phonics and reading comprehension to the test. At Papa Bear's Store, costumes are created and inventoried, with activities that teach and strengthen money recognition and simple math skills. Pierre's Studio invites the child to dabble in the arts with a paint program and a music pattern activity, while Bab's Workshop cleverly introduces measuring techniques and sorting skills.

As the child succeeds at the program's various challenges, s/he collects the items needed for the show to go on. When all the activities have been completed, the much awaited musical finale begins, the ultimate reward for a job well done.

Educational Value
Although the skill-building portion of this program isn't as hefty as some others in this category, it includes plenty to stimulate the young learner. Skills addressed include: reading comprehension, spelling, phonics, addition and subtraction, counting money, days of the week, problem solving, measuring and estimating, animal traits, similarities and differences, and creativity and music. Activities illustrate real-world uses of each of the skills, making them both attractive and non-threatening to the learner.

In many cases the activity itself actually helps teach the required skill through concrete illustration. In the costume counting activity, for example, the problems are shown in numerical form on a clipboard, while the costumes themselves are shown attached to a pegboard. The color of each item matches the color of the corresponding number in the equation. This helps the child understand the relationship between the adding and subtracting of real-world objects and the adding and subtracting of numbers.

Activities have progressive levels that adjust automatically with user success. The program's 'Options Pad' lets the parent or teacher read about the program's educational benefits and view the user's progress.

Kid Appeal
Our testers thoroughly enjoyed this program. The graphics are great, the story amusing, and the activities are fun and never frustrating. Topics are introduced through lively songs and music. Each scene includes items that cleverly animate as the cursor is passed over them. Although there is a time element to the story, it didn't make the students feel anxious or overly pressured.

SuperKids' reviewers' favorite activities included 'Measure It!' in which items are measured in terms of animal footprints, and the 'Costu-Matic' where portions of a costume are purchased independently, resulting in fantastically funny combinations. Giggles, guffaws and cries of "This is funny!" best reflect our testers’ overall reactions to the program.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Because of the simplicity of this program, it works best with young students at the pre- or early 1st-Grade level. It is not recommended for students who have completed 1st Grade or want exposure to more advanced skills.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other 1st Grade software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 486/66MHz or faster cpu, 11 MB free hard drive space, 8MB RAM, 256-color SVGA display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card.

Mac: System 7.1 or higher, Power PC or faster cpu, 11 MB free hard drive space, 8MB RAM, 13”, 256 color display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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