Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

Circletime Tales Deluxe: Interactive Nursery Rhymes for Young Learners

Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

Circletime Tales Deluxe: Interactive Nursery Rhymes for Young Learners

Article excerpt

Company: Don Johnston, Inc., 1000 N. Rand Bldg.115, P.O. Box 639, Wauconda, IL 60084-0639; 800/999-4660; Fax: 847/526-4177; djde@aol.com; http://www.donjohnston.com/.

Price: $59.00-hybrid Macintosh/ Windows 3.1 or 95 CD-ROM or $85.00 for the hybrid CD-ROM with teacher materials. $235.00 for a lab pack with five CDs and one set of teacher materials. $29.00 for one set of teacher materials.

Audience: While this software is designed for special needs children ages 2-8, including those with physical or mental handicaps, it is also useful in early childhood and K-1 regular classrooms.

Format: CD-ROM: text, graphics, sound, and animation. Can be used in English, Spanish, or a selected combination of both languages. The teacher materials include 122 pages of suggestions and blackline masters, as well as art and activity templates on a 3.5" floppy disk.

System Requirements: Macintosh version requires a Macintosh LC II or higher, System 7 or higher, 6 MB RAM (4 MB available), a 256-color monitor, and a 2x CD-ROM. Windows 95/98 requires at least 486/33 MHz, 8 MB RAM (16 MB for Windows 98), a Super VGA monitor, a 2x CD-ROM, and Soundblaster or a compatible sound card. This software can be used with various alternative access methods for special needs students such as TouchWindow, DJ PC Switch Interface, special keyboards, and more.

Description: Circletime Tales Deluxe uses nursery rhymes and songs to introduce and reinforce pre- and beginning literacy concepts. In addition to reinforcing basic sight vocabulary, much of which is taken from the Dolch Sight Vocabulary List, children can work with opposites, directionality, colors, and counting. Three stories are included: "The Eensy Weensy Spider," "Mary Wore Her Red Dress," and "Five Little Ducks."

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: I used the program on a Macintosh 580, a Power Macintosh, and a 133 MHz Compaq with no difficulties. Installation was easy and straightforward. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Circletime Tales Deluxe was originally developed for "non-traditional learners," students with physical and mental disabilities, including those with handicaps severe enough to require enhanced equipment such as special keyboards, touch screens, large trackballs, and more. With that in mind, the amount of information, stimulus, and rewards per page (per screen on your computer) was kept limited. Most pages have one or two animations and illustrate one or two words in some way. As a result, these stories are different from many electronic storybooks on the market that may feature dozens of animations and sounds per page. I think this program's approach works well with younger students. They are rewarded for their work and entertained, but not distracted by too much stimulus.

The program can be used easily on their own by kindergarten or 1st grade students, but may be most useful as part of an instructional process that includes oral and paper, pre- and post-computer (pre- and post-reading) activities. This is especially true if the teacher materials are used. With these excellent resources, teachers can develop their own support materials or rely on the included lesson suggestions, reproducible worksheets, small book templates, and more. The included 3.5" floppy disk provides more clip art to use in developing resources and several more templates that can be printed as needed. …

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