One of the best things about JumpStart First Grade? It's fun!
Making education entertaining is always a challenge, but Knowledge Adventure has done it again with this--another in their ever-growing series of grade-targeted edutainment products. JumpStart First Grade presents a world familiar to first-graders: a world that, for such a young student, is both exciting and frightening--a colorful school ground. The activities are found in a classroom, in the lunch room, and in the bus while on field trips.
Not only is the environment exciting and inviting, but the learning activities themselves are equally colorful and animated. While it is target to first grade students--theoretically ages six to seven--I've witnessed several of my second grade daughter's friends--eight and nine year-olds--lost for over an hour in JumpStart First Grade, captivated and entertained by its mind-stimulating games.
The lessons are real. Some are almost too challenging for first graders (such as the lunchroom activity, Serving Up Fractions), but the majority are surmountable, leaving the student with a great feeling of satisfaction. JumpStart First Grade covers all the bases of the first grade student--too briefly to be a substitute for a standard curriculum, but a wonderful support tool. The three "Rs" are there, along with more intangible goals, such as creative expression, following instructions, abstract reasoning, and decision-making.
Student progress reports are always just a click away. This is not just a parent/teacher report card. Children are drawn to this feature as well, since their progress is measured in milk caps which they can trade and collect.
Some success can be achieved just by letting the student explore the program without supervision, but many areas will likely be missed. Furthermore, many of the exercises can be successfully completed just by random guessing until the right answer is accidentally clicked, fooling the game into thinking that the student really learned the material. It will then "graduate" the student to a higher level and, effectively, to more confusion. Knowledge Adventure could have added intuitive capabilities, whereby it measures the amount of effort required for the child to finally get the answer right, then calculate whether or not the student is ready to move on. Still, the program is a very effective learning tool for first-graders, as long as the parent or teacher recognizes that he/she must supervise and guide the child. JumpStart First Grade is not a baby sitter, but it's a winner in the edutainment department.
Graphics: Top notch, indicative of Knowledge Adventure in color palettes, cheeriness, and quality of graphics. It sometimes suffered from slow animation though.
Sound: Excellent quality on voices (critical for first grade instruction, since one shouldn't rely on their reading comprehension at this age).
Enjoyment: For a first-grader in an educational environment, it doesn't get much better than this.
Replay Value: A wide variety of activities and lessons keep them coming back. But eventually, your young student will master all of this and it'll lose it's magic. But for a few good months . . .
You and your classmate Frankie, go on a treasure hunt created by your teacher, Ms. Nobel. You search for clues and assist the school staff during your hunt. The games consists of several educational mini games involving adding and subtraction math, word recognition, and reading. The player interacts with several colorful characters that provide the premise for each puzzle. Solving a puzzle helps bring the player closer to finding the 3 clues. This game is rated for ages of 5-7.
People who downloaded JumpStart 1st Grade have also downloaded:
JumpStart 2nd Grade, JumpStart Adventures: 3rd Grade - Mystery Mountain, JumpStart Kindergarten Reading, JumpStart Adventures: 4th Grade - Haunted Island, JumpStart Toddlers, JumpStart Pre-K, JumpStart Adventures: 5th Grade - Jo Hammet, Kid Detective, JumpStart Baby
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