Title: Reader Rabbit's Reading Ages
Source: The Learning Company
Playing Time: This varies, depending
on what you are writing and how
long it takes to write your story. The introduction takes about 1/2
Cost: $ $ 29.95 http://www.shoptlc.com/product.asp?pid=1166
Number of Players: One student per
computer unless they want to "buddy write" a story
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed:
In the booklet that comes with the CD it lists what types of
equipment needed. This CD can be run on either windows or Macintosh
computers with a CD Rom.
Subject Area: Writing, Literature, and
it does include Science and history trivia for writing idea purposes.
Objectives: This program motivates
children to write by providing an environment that stimulates ideas.
Brief Description: Encourages writers
to accomplish writing tasks, create their own graphics, and
dramatize their final work. It has four components: the Writing Idea
Lands, the Word Processor, the
Picture Place, and the Presentation Theater. Penny the helpful pen
character helps guide the children by
offering tips on how to come up with ideas, starting their drafts,
and solving their problems they
encounter along the way.
Entry Capabilities Required: It
may take a little guidence for younger children once it is loaded on. After
the first time loading it in, if it saved to the hard drive, it does not
take too much work. The program itself is very easy to run for most ages,
but again younger students may need guidence. The booklet that comes with
it helps the user through all problems they may encounter, and this is
easy to follow also.
Relevance to objectives: 5 - This
CD does help a student write a story, in fact if the student doesnt have
any idea what to write about, or they need a little more information on
the topic, this program has ideas and helpful wrriting tips.
I have to say that just about all of this CD has strong points. It is helpful
throughout the entire writing process, helpful when encountering problems
either while in the program or trying to start the program. These helpful
hints are programed in the Cd or in the booklet that comes with it. The
visualation is festive and fun to use throughout the entire program.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
5 - This Cd gives the student all the practice they need, and even helps
them when they are out of ideas or have "writer's block." It encourages
the student to write.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest:
5 - By how this program is set up, in a cartoon fashion, most students
would enjoy writing with this program. In fact it provides different
to write on and displays it in a movie when you are finished.
Likely to be comprehended clearly:
4 - for some younger students it may be a little difficult to follow what
to write and using the different key functions (ie. the mouse), but with
the proper guidence they should conquer these obstacles.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
5 - the colors and animation are stimulating and bright. Definently would
grab any students attention.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): N/A - There is no winning
and losing to this game, only winning the satisfaction of what you have
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 3 - It is unlikely
that when a student is writing a talking pen will come along in the classroiom
and talk to you, this makes the program unrealistic. The graphics though
are terrific and accurate for a make believe land.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
4 - There are progressivly challenging stories and writing topics for the
students to use.
Clear directions for play: 5 - The
directions when you are in the program are very clear and if at any time
you are confused or do not know what to do "penny, the helpful pen" is
right there to help with any troubles that are encountered.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
4 - This program is excellent for writing practicing for students of all
abilities, this program would be good for either remedial, special education
and/or regular classrooms.
I personally myself could not find any significant weak points. The only
problem that may occur is if the student is unfamiliar with computers starting
it up, but with a little guidence they should not have any problems.
Reviewer: Heather Baker
Position: Graduate Student
Date: March 18,1999
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC G3 233 with 64mb ram