Title: Reader Rabbit's Reading 6-9
Overall Rating: (A)
Source: Broderbund Software Help/Support Center
Playing Time: 30 Stories and 15 learning activities
Software Release Date: 1998
Cost: $9.99 Amazon.com
Operating System: PC and MAC
Number of Players: One player at a time
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: This particular software program requires a mircophone (for record and playback feature) for the PC and a microphoneinput and mircophone (for record and playback feature) for the MAC.
Subject Area: Reading/Language Arts
Objectives: Overall objectives: to allow children to enjoy continuing success in reading, develop young reader's reading and thinking skills and strategies, help children use letter-patterns, letter-sounds, and contextual clues in decoding new words, assist young readers in recognizing multisyllabic and compound words, further develop and expand on sight-vocabulary, enable children to read 30 short stories independently, and continue to develop oral reading skills, including word emphasis, voice inflection, and pacing. Objectives of each activity is impiled in the activity title. (Found in manual).
Brief Description: The Reader Rabbit's Reading 6-9 uses slow and steady steps to help the students in their progression through the stories and activties. Students progressively move through a series of 30 story books (each about 30 pages long) and 15 learning activities. All the stories are persented to the child in the same manner. First the theme is introduced by a narrator along with any new words in the story; the narrator reads a page from the story; the child is asked to read the same page aloud and record it on the computer. The student can then compare their reading to the narrators reading.
Entry Capabilities Required: Students must be able to recognize the letters and sounds they make, recognize beginning sight vocabulary, and can read simple new words using their decoding skills and contextual clues.
Relevance to objectives: (5) This program does
meet it objectives by allowing students to use their thinking skills and strategiy
skills in the debriefing. It also allowes students to use letter-patterns,
letter-sounds, contextual clues in decoding new words, recognizing multisyllabic
and compound words, and increases vocabulary. It also gives the students a
wide variety of stories to read independently, develop oral reading skils
like word emphasis, voice inflection, and pacing. found in manual.
Provides practice of relevant skills: (5) In each of the activiites a different skill is practiced. For example in the MIT'S SOUND SORTER children focus on the beginning sound of each word. This activity helps student with the ability to visually and auditorily connect the sounds they hear with the written letter the see. It also makes that one to one connection of written and heard word.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: (4) This program offers many different opportunities for children to explore. Their interest is more likely to be maintained due to the self-control of each story book and activity. However, does take some time to get through the each game.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: (5) The activities and story books are well designed to help young students comprehened. Each activity is self controlled by the student. Each story is introduced by the narrator along with any new words in the story. The story can be reread or the student can record the story on and then play it back for better clarity.
Technical quality (durable, attractive): (5) This program uses a well balance of color to stimulate the childs learning. The animal use makes the reading activities less threating to young children.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than chance): (5) In this program there is no winner or loser. This program is used to master the fundamental skills in Reading and Language Arts for 6-9 year olds.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate depiction): (5) The Reader Rabbit series is based on an animated environment that is very close to the students real world. For example: the animals in this program look much like a real animal, except the Learning Company has taken images of real live animals and added some animation to created the critters used in the program. The critters in this program now have the ability to walk on two legs, talk, and wear clothing.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results): (3) The evidence of effectiveness is based soley on a review by SuperKids Software at (http://www.superkids.com/aweb/pages/reviews/reading/7/rrr69/merge.shtml) and my own short play around time. According to SuperKids it is a "must have-it program!" The article also states what one father says about his daughters experience with the program. He said that his daughter loved the the idea of clicking on a picture of an ear and listen to her own recording of the page she read. He also stated that he was "impressed by the way she tried to mimic the voice inflection patterns in the story." In my own experience with the software I felt that when each new word was introduced it wasn't just heard every once in a while it was reinforced through repetition. I also feel that through the gradual progression of reading difficulty and pacing a child can remain in control of their own learning. Another thing I found interesting was that students could click on a word to hear how it is pronounciated before they attempt to read it.
Clear directions for play: (4) This program has a very small user guide and is not needed to begin play. Students begin by signing in under their user name, then they must decide what book they want to read. Once this is done they just need to go to the map and click on the book they want to read. The one thing I feel will take some time for some students, not all, to learn is what object to click for what activity.For example: in order to see the map you must click on the Reader Rabbit.
Effectiveness of debriefing: (4) The debriefing comes in the line of Think Back questions and Use Your Imagination questions. Think Back question are aimed at a childs ability to comprehened what was read to him or her and Use Your Imagination is aimed at getting the child involved by having them respond to the question in a personal or silly type way.
Sources: (The Learning Company and (http://www.superkids.com/aweb/pages/reviews/reading/7/rrr69/merge.shtml)