BRAINtastic Maths
[EdAlive 61 2 6776 0200 Australia, Grades K- 9]

BRAINtastic Maths series, BESSIE winner for Upper Elementary Math, is a comprehensive, flexible, modular learning system which extends beyond grades K-9. While EdAlive has always produced titles with masterful graphics and animation, this is the first math title with much more than 'drill and kill' exercises.
         Math topics cover: Numeration, Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication & Division, Chance, Patterns & Algebra, Space & Geometry, Data, and Measurement. The learning system adjusts for each child (and for individual development), and gives teachers and parents the ability to choose learning activities, while children can choose their own learning rewards.
         This five-title series (P-K, Lower Primary, Middle Primary, Upper Primary, and Lower Secondary) covers two years of math instruction and can be used as a stand-alone, or with additional titles added when needed, as well as 2000+ hand-built math questions and three motivational games.
         EdAlive generously offers more Reward Games and Content on their website at no charge, making
BRAINtastic a fantastic value.

Odyssey Reading/Language Arts Website
[CompassLearning, (512) 478-9600]

             Everything about this 2007 BESSIE winner (Language Arts website) is flawless - the management system, the unusually comprehensive and compelling content, and the use of audio and visual media.
             There have been many attempts to use technology to deliver language arts skills--from Reader Rabbit to Lightspan's PlayStation-delivered titles. But none truly achieved the Holy Grail of a total solution--until now.  And it may very well be that, until the Internet had enough bandwidth, it simply wasn't possible.
Odyssey Reading/Language Arts starts with the five basic components of practice, which include Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension, and adds a unique program known as Critical Mistakes Matrix, which continually refines and reviews the answers students give to multiple choice questions.  The teacher interface offers class setup, assignments, reports, and content areas.  Student and teacher interfaces are seamlessly interactive.  Content is entertaining, reinforcing, and motivating.
             One caveat: high-speed Internet access is critical.  Don't try this with a dial-up connection. Bravo, CompassLearning--you've got it right.

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ComputED Gazette