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SuperKids Software Review - The Parent's and Teacher's Guide to Childrens' Software
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spacer all reviews > > > 1st grade / math software

Grade 1 Math

School Zone Publishing

Ages 6 to 7

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

Grade 1 Math box image arrow indentSystem Requirements

arrow indentPC / Mac Price Survey

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School Zone Publishing has had materials available in many stores for parents and teachers looking for workbooks which have clear instructions and full color illustrations. Now the same material is conveniently available in an interactive software format. This program has easy instructions, instant grading, game breaks and personalized printouts summarizing students' progress. In addition, a hardcopy version of a workbook with different practice pages is included with the software.

This program is a math reinforcement and acceleration program for first grade. It doesn't waste a lot of time with fancy introductions. Like its sibling product, Transition Math, it jumps right into skill based practice activities, in the form of colorful, illustrated electronic workbook pages. Activities are introduced in sequential fashion with the beginning pages focusing on Numeration progressing to more difficult pages featuring Addition and Subtraction as well as the concept of Less Than and More Than. The program doesn't extend into the realm of critical thinking activities or open ended math challenges.

Educational Value

Grade 1 Math reviews by way of drill and practice, basic first grade math skills including: Numerals 1-12, Sums and Differences, Before and After, Place Value, Less Than and More Than, and Addition and Subtraction. The material is grade level appropriate and is presented in a simple, clear and fun format. Practice pages for telling time, identifying coins and counting money could have been included as well, to make it a complete 1st grade math review.

Several features, including clear instructions, reports of progress, game breaks and personal printouts are strengths for this program. The instructions are read aloud for each exercise and can be repeated with a simple click. Each page shows examples for completing the problems. On-going progress is shown on the bottom of each page. As students complete a page, bees change color to either green or red corresponding to the child's correctly completed work. Red bees may be clicked to return to a page which needs to be completed or corrected. The program automatically returns to incomplete or incorrect pages after a student has moved throughout the electronic book. The game breaks, although a bit long at times and repetitive, offer students a reward for completing work. Finally, a personalized progress report printout can be selected after completing the program.

Kid Appeal

Students find this program easy to use and fun. First graders could work independently on this program to enhance their basic math skills. The workbook style format is similar to consumable workbooks which some children use in school. The game breaks and the personalized report card were definitely the highlights as students love to enjoy a reward for their hard work. Parents and teachers alike will find this program to be a helpful product. Parents could use this program easily at home and be assured that their first grader is getting practice with basic first grade math skills. Teachers could easily incorporate the use of this product as a math activity center or independent work time option without having to guide students through the program or correct the problems as they go.

Ease of Use / Install

Grade 1 Math is easily installed, although first graders would need adult supervision if they have limited experience with installing educational software programs. Navigation is a straightforward due to the simple format of this well organized program.

Best for... / Bottom-Line

This program does exactly what it advertises. It's an interactive, electronic workbook. It provides the practice of a workbook, but it provides immediate feedback and options to go back and correct mistakes. First graders would benefit from using this program to review and practice their basic math skills.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows '95, '98 or higher, 32 MB RAM, 640X480 16-bit color video, 16-bit sound card, Pentium 166 MHZ or faster, 50 MB free disk space, 4x CD-ROM drive.

Mac: Mac OS 7 .6.1 or higher, 32 MB RAM, 640x480 16-bit color video Power PC 150 MHz or faster, 50 MB free disk space, 4x CD-ROM drive.

Reviewed on:
-     Pentium III-500 with 384 MB RAM and 24XCD
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