[Siboney Learning Group (888) 726-8100, grades 2-9]

PracticePlanet is a delightful subscription-licensed website, designed to boost test skills in Language Arts and Math for grades 2-9.

    Teachers and administrators will find it simple to set up classes and assign students. There are options for selecting the skill mastery percentage for both test and practice modes, and designating the number of times an activity must be mastered before it is removed from the student's assignment list. The colorful, intuitive interface makes it easy and fun for students to log in to take a multiple choice pre-test (50+ questions which mimic standardized tests for most states). The test sessions can be bookmarked and continued at a later time. Immediate feedback is generated, and assignments are based on the specific needs of each student. A post-test is available, to measure progress.

     Following a typical language arts pre-test, practice topics could include synonyms, antonyms and homophones; prefixes and suffixes; sequencing; predicting; cause and effect; facts and opinions; following directions; appreciating various genres.

PracticePlanet's parameter controls for assignments, games, style, sound and reports, teachers can tailor a student's test practice experience to his/her needs. PracticePlanet is accessible from school or home computers, and students will enjoy working on the variety of multiple-choice practice questions, including the reward games that follow.

Mia: Reading - The Bugaboo Bugs
[Kutoka Interactive (514) 849-4800, K-2]

     This new title from Kutoka--and winner of the Early Elementary Language Arts BESSIE--is a heady blend of compelling 3D adventure and solid educational value.  Designed for Windows/Macintosh, this DVD provides hours of fun, four levels of curriculum-based activities for children from kindergarten to grade three, and film quality animation.

     While children can choose to play the full adventure, they also have the option of going directly to the educational activities, where skills learned are: Word-to-image association, phonics, spelling, adverbs, sentence construction, and so much more. While
Mia: Reading won't replace classroom instruction, it will provide wonderful reinforcement or remediation in the home - a solid BESSIE winner.

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