Title: JumpStart Kindergarten Reading
Overall Rating: A+
Source: Knowledge Adventure http://www.adventure.com
Playing Time: Varies- Over 1 hour of material
Software Release Date: 1996
Cost: $17.95 Buy it now
Operating System: Windows 95/Windows 3.1 or 3.3 or Macintosh
Number of Players: 1 player
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: None
Subject Area: Beginning Reading/Literacy
Objectives: Explicitly stated in manual: "Designed to reinforce the skills that your child is learning in school. The colorful environments and imaginative activities make learning fun" (p. 5). Students also progress "through the ten steps necessary for kindergarten to build a reading foundation" (p. 5).
Brief Description: This is an excellent way for beginning readers to gain experience with literacy skills such as: rhyming, vowels, phonics, word building, consonants, consonant blends, letter recognition, matching upper and lowercase letters, consonant digraphs, soft "c" sounds, and soft "g" sounds. In addition, reading, writing, following directions, and typing abilities are also enhanced. The game begins outside of a tree. This is where you meet Mr. Hopsalot. He invites you into his house (the tree) where there are a variety of activities that you can engage in. You can access different activities by clicking on different portraits inside the house. Each activity takes the player to a new location, where you are introduced to new characters, and can participate in different games. Each game also has three different levels to choose from, allowing students to challenge themselves after mastering the first level. Bright graphics, sound effects, and music make this fun learning game even more attractive.
Entry Capabilities Required: Mouse manipulation only.

Rating: (1-5)

Strong Points: This is an excellent literacy program for beginning readers. Ten different litteracy skills are addressed throughout the game. The game is fun and the different levels for each activity allow students a more in-depth literacy experience. A progress report keeps track of student's accomplishments, and is a great way for parents and teachers to see what the child has learned and needs help on. The ease of use allows small children to operate the software without constant assistance from an adult. Sound effects, bright graphics, and an interactive background makes this an exciting and entertaining game. I recommend this software for all beginning readers!
Weak Points: There are no negative aspects of this software.
Reviewer: Stacey Pennock
Position: Graduate Student
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2004
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh G4 450, 512 mb ram.