A DAY AT THE BEACH SAILS INTO AMERICAN SCHOOLS ON THE WINDS OF SUCCESS
East Dorset, VT. November
28, 2001 - Although
the summer is over, and the blissful days of vacation gone, students
can still spend time at the beach-a virtual beach, that is. The software
A Day At The Beach
gives kids the opportunity to practice spelling skills while they
join the Hoopers family in a variety of fun beach games. Built into
the program are over 150 word lists with more than 3,000 words ranging
from the simplest three letter words to harder multi-syllabic words,
plus the program lets you enter customized word lists tailored to
each student's spelling needs. The seven interactive games in A
Day at the Beach transform spelling from a notoriously dull subject
into a lively activity that students will want to come back to again
The Hoopers (Frank, Nance,
Sarah, and Matt), along with their dog Bonkers, have become household
names in Australia, where over half of the schools already use the
wonderfully engaging SuperSpell program. One teacher, Andrew
Horn, says he uses the software because, "the content is developmental,
the children's progress is measurable, and the students enjoy using
the programs. As an educational tool it is hard to beat as it covers
the Assessment and Diagnostics CD-ROM, Activities CD-ROM, as well
as a bound manual, and over 100 printable worksheets.
Teachers can direct their
students' spelling practice from the get-go with this comprehensive
assessment tool. One placement test and three diagnostic tests in
SuperSpell Assessment Disk help students and their teachers
choose which word lists to work on when they begin the seven activities
in A Day At The Beach. Students are presented with a series
of sentences illustrated by an impressive array of high-quality photographs.
In each sentence, a targeted spelling word is missing, and the word
is spoken to prompt students to attempt its spelling. The results
are recorded, and one of the program's three diagnostic tests is then
recommended. Upon completion of the diagnostic test, students and
teachers can see which skills, such as spelling compound words or
words with prefixes and suffixes, are "established," "partially
established," or "not established." Based on the recommendations
given in the Assessment Disk, users can choose a particular
list to work on, or they can enter their own lists. Educators have
seen that each child's spelling abilities are unique, so the option
to generate individualized lists to address the specific needs of
a student has a great appeal in schools today. Annette Kurovec, Head
Teacher of Literacy and Special Needs, reports, "I like the flexibility
of the program. It uses a variety of different spelling strategies
to cater for the needs of all children. Over fifty families have purchased
the program on our recommendation."
SuperSpell: A Day At
Students find themselves
on a sandy beach with the Hoopers, a pair of lifeguards, and a bunch
of galloping camels when they enter the SuperSpell activity CD-ROM.
They choose from the menu of activities, select a word list, and then
dive into the fun. In fact, one of our favorite games is the Diving
Game, in which Matt Hooper sails a boat out to sea and dives for gold
pieces. The game works like Hangman, and each time the user selects
a correct letter, Matt dives to the treasure chest on the ocean floor
and brings a piece of gold to the surface. However, for every wrong
letter selected, a shark approaches Matt to the theme of "Jaws,"
and gobbles him up when the user runs out of chances.
"Roll up, roll up!
Make the compound word and win a prize!" So says the carnival
man in the Fairground Game, where students help Sarah create compound
words at a test-of-strength machine. After assembling a word, the
student clicks the boxing glove: if the machine bongs, the word is
correct, and Sarah giggles with pleasure while a crowd cheers. In
the background, the sound of carnival music and thrilling animations
of roller coasters create a convincing fairground atmosphere.
The Fishing Game is a word-search
activity filled with fun animations that reward students when they
locate each word from the selected list. Matt reels in his fishing
boat crank by crank after each word is marked in the grid, and then
hops into the boat and motors away once all the words have been discovered.
Students will be delighted by the surprises that pop up throughout
the game. For example, a gorilla appears in a nearby palm tree and
bonks Matt with a banana. A ferry boat rushes by and honks, and the
sun quickly sets, changing the scene to nighttime.
The Beach Game and the
Sandcastle Game help users test their ability to spell words presented
on the sand. As in all the games, a friendly clam in the corner of
the screen spits out a bubble indicating the point value of each word
that appears. In the Beach Game, a word appears on the sand and is
both spoken and spelled out loud. Students retype the highlighted
word, and hear it spelled out loud again. The Sandcastle Game makes
the task a bit trickier. The word appears on the sand, and then disappears
when a wave washes over it. Students try to recall the correct spelling,
and if they type the word accurately, Sarah builds a sandcastle for
an approving crowd of beach-goers.
Students can help Nance
walk Bonkers across a pier if they identify the missing letters in
a word, otherwise the pier falls apart and the two go for an unexpected
swim! Finally, the Windsurfing Game gives students the opportunity
to send Frank Hooper sailing when they select the buoy with a word
spelled correctly. In each activity, users are rewarded with delightful
animation sequences, as well as with the accumulation of points that
can be spent in two different stores. At the Beach Goods store, the
shop-keeper tells you to "Make a choice, and spend your points!"
on objects such as beach ball, scuba diving gear, a wetsuit, and a
surf board. The General Store sells chips, ice cream, frisbees, and
other such items that students will love to purchase with the points
they have earned.
All of the activities include
full speech capability, and students can click buttons to have a word
or sentence repeated at any time, making the program ideal for special
education and early education students, as well as for more advanced
SuperSpell: A Day At
The Beach Tools
Teachers can track the
progress of their students easily with SuperSpell. They will
love the option to view results, which displays the word lists their
students have used, shows how many words were spelled correctly, how
many points were earned, and other important information. A Day
at the Beach Tools also lets teachers edit user lists, view words
and sentences in the program, and set up classes for students using
the program. All of these features make SuperSpell the most
well-organized and thoughtfully designed spelling program on the market.
And kids will love completing the fun activities as much as they love
going to the beach!
An impressive collection
of 100 printable worksheets comes with the two SuperSpell CD-ROMs.
Each worksheet is linked to the word lists and educational content
of the onscreen activities, and provides a great way for students
to reinforce their spelling skills away from the computer. Teachers
may photocopy worksheets for classroom or homework use. From simple
consonant-vowel-consonant words to more complex compound words, SuperSpell
has all the spelling patterns covered, and is an indispensable addition
to any elementary or middle school classroom.
Minimum System Requirements
Mac: Mac LC 3 or later,
Power and iMacs.
PC: Win 3.1+, 8Mb RAM, Sound Card, SVGA, 2X CD.
The single unit price for
SuperSpell is $99.95. Includes two CD-ROMs, a book of 100 printed
worksheets, and a printed manual.
To order toll free from the US or Canada call (800) 220-8386
Fax your order to (802) 375-6860
Email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org
Printable order forms are available at www.toolfactory.com
press inquiries, please contact Kendra Ericson at email@example.com
Tool Factory, Inc. 3336 Sunderland Hill Road,
Sunderland, VT 05250, USA.