Knowledge Adventure's Reading Blaster Ages 5-7

Article excerpt

This program is designed to help first grade students develop strong reading, word building, and comprehension skills in a non-threatening, interactive environment. Kids join Galactic Commander Blaster and his pal Mel as they soar off to the Planet of Lost Things to return missing items, such as socks and balloons, to children throughout the galaxy. To win a game, you must achieve mastery. Mastery means you have scored 85% out of a possible 100% of points available in the game. After successfully completing reading activities and word games to earn five keys to unlock the Lost and Found room, kids can play a game to recover the lost items. When you return the lost things to their owners, you'll receive thank-you "B-Mails" from your new friends.

Reading Blaster begins its journey with the option of listening to an introduction or launching directly into the program. The icons used on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen are very helpful. They allow you to change the level of play, watch your progress on the meter as you earn a key, see the total number of keys you have collected, seek help, or return to the main menu. Simple directions are given on how to play the game at the beginning of each activity. The arrow keys (right, left, up and down) are used to manipulate the activity pieces and to play the game after earning a key.

Reading Blaster contains five different learning activities with five different levels of play difficulty. After you have mastered one level, you will automatically be bumped up to the next level. You can also change levels whenever the Level button is on the toolbar.

The Balloon Blowout activity lets kids unscramble and rearrange balloons to spell a word, make a complex sentence with punctuation, or create a story that makes sense.

In the Lost Your Marbles room, kids chomp marbles bearing words that fit in a category to make a snake of eight marbles. Word recognition of simple thematic groups such as number words, color words, toys and pets are used. Students progress from simple to complex groups of nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Picture This checks reading comprehension. …