WORKING PHONICS [Curriculum Associates (800) 225-0248] [GRADES K-2]
    For many young children, the transition from learning beginning letter sounds to understanding how letter sounds go together to form words can be difficult.
    Working Phonics is an upbeat, easy to use, multimedia program that offers many drills and activities to help a child learn sight words and basic phonics. There is an area for the parent or teacher to log in and set up classes and/or customize activities for each child (optional). When children use the program, they select their name, and the program opens with audio and visual directions to guide them. Navigating is intuitive, and the young ones should find it easy to use with minimal assistance.
    The Working Phonics program automatically advances to the next lesson. Topics covered are: Sight words (Parts 1 and 2), short vowels, long vowels, phonics clues, vowel review, beginning consonants, blends and digraphs, and ending consonants. There are 25 drills for each topic, so children get a lot of practice. The program has been very popular with ComputED's beginning readers.
    Minimum hardware requirements: Mac/Power PC - LC520 System 7.0; 2x CD-ROM; 8 MB RAM; 2 MB hard disk space. PC/Windows - '486, 25 MHz; Windows 3.1 or 95; 2x CD-ROM; 8 MB RAM; 2 MB hard disk space; SoundBlaster compatible sound card.

[Jostens (800) 678-1412] [GRADES 7-12]
    This title was winner of ComputED's 1998 Education Software Review Awards in the Math: High School/Secondary category. The program is extremely comprehensive, and is comprised of multiple CD-ROM discs which cover all the topics needed for a student to master algebra. It is a math teacher's dream.

    The Jostens interactive algebra series is divided into two courses, designed to meet NCTM Standards. Each course is comprised of a series of topics, which are further subdivided into lessons and concepts. Topics include Preparing for Algebra, Real Numbers, Linear Equations, Graphing, Exponents and Polynomials, Factoring, Rational Expressions, Quadratic Equations, The Exponential and Logarithmic Functions, Matrices, and more.
    Students will find the series extremely motivating and challenging. and the multimedia components are superb. The program is easy to use, and gives detailed instruction (with examples), including a Help button to re-read (explain) lessons. Audio/video assistance is provided when students answer incorrectly.
    There is a Teacher's Guide, and a Personal Academic Notebook for students to study, practice and do homework. ComputED reviewed the program on a Pentium MMX computer running Windows 95. Be sure to consult Jostens regarding your system and the minimal requirements.

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