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2nd grade /
School Zone, a company well known for its quality print workbook series, has created an electronic workbook for second grade math. This program has easy to follow instructions, amusing games, solid curriculum, and immediate grading. It also has fun certificates that the child can printout as an incentive to keep on learning. A hardcopy of the workbook is included with this package to use as extra practice.
Math For Grade 2 is a no-nonsense, clear math reinforcement program. It doesn't have any fancy bells and whistles to distract young learners from the task at hand. This program is a sequential, electronic workbook that uses colorful, skill-based worksheets that logically progress from easy to difficult math problems. The focus is on solidifying basic second grade skills and doesn't venture into the realm of critical thinking problems or problem-solving questions.
School Zone's Grade 2 Math concentrates on reviewing and practicing second grade math skills, which range from single digit subtraction and addition to double digit and triple digit addition and subtraction with borrowing and carrying numbers. Basic multiplication is introduced as well. Overall, School Zone does a great job of drilling these skills. Each electronic worksheet has enough questions so that the child will have a thorough understanding of the skill. The worksheets also progress nicely and there is positive reinforcement along the way so that the learner feels success. The program gives clear examples of how to solve the problems so that the child has a good idea of what to do. A nice feature of the program is that it uses math vocabulary such as "sum" and "difference" which helps the child build math terminology. There are clear instructions, reports of progress, engaging games, and certificates of success. The instructions are also read aloud and progress is shown at the end of each worksheet. The program returns to questions where the child has made mistakes.
However, this program is not meant to teach or introduce skills. It assumes that the child has an understanding of borrowing and carrying and basic multiplication. There is a quick progression from basic addition and subtraction to borrowing and carrying numbers. An interesting feature of the program is a virtual, electronic notepad that the child can work the problem on, using a virtual pencil. The child can actually carry the number from the ones place to the tens place using the mouse. This practice helps solidify the concept, but requires the child to have prior knowledge of this operation and adept mouse skills. Students who are shaky with borrowing and carrying numbers would find this frustrating.
The format is colorful and very child friendly. The child is led through the program in a positive manner by engaging animal characters. Game breaks offer an incentive to complete the electronic worksheets. At times, these breaks are a little long and repetitive and second graders might become bored. (However, game breaks can be skipped). Also, the child can go back to previous worksheets to correct work. The skills are appropriate for second graders but it should be used as re-enforcement, not as a teaching tool. Parents and teachers will find the simple, direct approach of this program a breath of fresh air since its focus is on skills.
This program is easily installed and second graders should have no problem doing it themselves unless they have had limited experience installing educational software programs. Navigation is straightforward, due to the intuitive format of this well-designed program.
This program is a good bet. It provides a nice review and practice of second grade math skills with a format that is appealing to young learners. It gives positive feedback and second graders are sure to feel success.
PC: Windows'95, '98 or higher, 32 MBRAM, 640x480 16 bit-color video,16-bit sound card, Pentium 166MHz or faster processor, 50 MB free disk space, 4x CD-ROM drive.return to top of page
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