French Software Reviewed

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Software Title:        Sitting on the Farm
Publisher :   Focus
Age Group : 4 - 9
Curriculum Area : Language Development
Year of Publication : 1997
Mac, PC or other :    PC
Summary

A nice story with bright illustrations and plenty of repetition. Could be used by individuals or small groups.

Overview of Teaching with this Title

N.B.    This program was used in a 2nd standard class, as an English language development program.  The French version was not used.         

Suitable for work on reading / written skills.Special needs pupils were encouraged to progress because of the amount of repetition.  They can also listen along if they are unable to read.
The program is suitable for viewing by small groups of children.  The text is too small for larger groups to view.
This program is more child friendly than using a book and accompanying cassette.  The children feel more in control as they can adjust the pace if they wish to.
The “Write-along” part is a little disappointing as the child has a lot of work to do. Filling in the blanks is slow and no help is offered with spellings.  When the child prints out their work they do not get the colourful picture with the text.

Content

Content is reliable, accurate and up-to-date.
Gender equity is prominent, the pupils can choose the sex of the narrating voice for the story.
Language is age appropriate. There are, however, no varying levels of difficulty.
The child may pause the story at any point, thus allowing good contol of the program.
There is plenty of variety with "Listen-along", "Read-along", "Sing-along" and "Write-along" modes.

Design and Navigation

Sitting on the Farm is a well designed program.  Pupils found it easy to navigate. The listen-along mode was particularly colourful, as was the sing-along mode.  It was felt by the class teacher that the write-along mode left a lot to be desired.   The 2nd standard pupils found the lack of  a spelling list a big disadvantage. Too much was expected of the pupils.

Installation and Use

Perhaps we were just unfortunate, but installation of this program was difficult and frustrating.  We tried (unsuccessfully) installing it on three different machines.  Then for no apparent reason the program began to run correctly on the original machine!
It was not an auto-run installation, but should have been a lot easier to install than it was.

Supporting Documentation

There was a simple insert in the cd-rom case.  This was the only form of supporting documentation.  It was very basic, not of much use.

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