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 program SuperSpell: 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 and 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 all bases."

SuperSpell includes the Assessment and Diagnostics CD-ROM, Activities CD-ROM, as well as a bound manual, and over 100 printable worksheets.

SuperSpell Assessment Disc

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 The Beach

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 spellers.

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!

SuperSpell Worksheets

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.

To Order

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
Printable order forms are available at

For press inquiries, please contact Kendra Ericson at Tool Factory, Inc. 3336 Sunderland Hill Road, Sunderland, VT 05250, USA.