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Language Arts Review 3a - Advanced Level with Sports is part of the Super Star Phonics software series. 3a takes on some of the highest level phonics concepts. It is based on the standards of the third grade and covers many topics from syllables to homophones. The program is broken up into eight different categories, with each category featuring one topic of phonics and a sport to go along with it (for instance there might be the word families long jump, or the antonyms and synonyms ski race). Then, each category is comprised of three sections. The first is a coaching session which reviews the phonics topic to familiarize the user with what will be tested. The second session is word practice and a speed round which allows the user to practice before the big event. Session 3 is the sport itself which tests the materials while letting the user play the sport. The catch is that for most sports, for each question answered correctly, the better the results.
Language Arts Review 3a is focused completely on reviewing advanced level language arts. The topics covered are Word Families and Patterns, Syllables, Antonyms and Synonyms, Homophones and Homographs, Classifying and Sorting, Prefixes, Root Words, Suffixes, Reading Comprehension Strategies, and Spelling. The information provided is helpful, and with all of the lessons and practice, the program makes it easy to learn the material. The program does enable the user to proceed at their own pace if they wish, skipping through parts that they may already feel comfortable with. Unfortunately this means that some younger users may just skip some parts inadvertently or just move on when they get bored. A parent or teacher should be around to make sure that they are staying on task and not going ahead before they are ready.
It is pretty tricky to make learning language arts fun at all. Super Star Phonics does its best to keep kids engaged with the sports theme. There are even some sports mini games spread throughout that are not especially educational, to give kids a break and let them have a bit of fun. It may not be the most exciting game that kids can play, but it certainly will be more engaging than reading through a lesson book. Education is the main purpose of this game, and it accomplishes that well, unfortunately that fact may alienate some users a bit. The game has an intricate scoring system included as well. Each sport can reward the user with a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal, depending on the user's final score. The idea is that with some sort of tangible reward, kids will want to keep playing and scoring better to win the Gold Medal.
Language Arts Review 3a is very easy to install. In fact, there is even an option of running it straight off the CD without installing anything on the computer. The controls are simple point and click, which allows for easy navigation and operation. Most kids will be able to operate it on their own.
Language Arts Review 3a does the best it can in making learning language arts engaging and exciting for kids. The game includes fun characters and games to help them along their way. In the end, the program will succeed in teaching the user all of its topics if they stick with it.
PC: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000 (SP4), 300 MHz or faster cpu, 64 MB RAM, CD-ROM drive, sound card, mouse .return to top of page
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