15, Students who are two grades behind in reading and
who are slow readers.
struggling students with poor reading abilities.
486/100MHz PC or highe
4MB hard drive space
CD-ROM drive (2x)
Macintosh LC111 or Higher (includes Power Macintosh)
System 7.5.3 or later
4MB hard drive space
256-colour, 14-inch monitor
CD-ROM drive (2x)
directly from Don Johnston Special Needs Ltd, 18 Clarendon
Court, Claver Road, Winwick Quay, Warrington WA2 8QP.
The Start-To-Finish Books
provide an enjoyable literacy experience for struggling students
and helps them to know the feeling of reading success. There
is a great variety of reading material from Mysteries, Sport,
and Classic Literature to US History etc. The Start-To-Finish
Books contain controlled vocabulary and sentence structure
to eliminate the barriers that cause students to stumble or
misunderstand. The program provides the story in three formats
CD-Rom, Audio Cassette and Reading Books. It also allows teachers
to assess students reading progress. Students can listen too
and read the book at their own pace that eliminates anyone
trying to best another or any student feeling embarrassed
because of their poor reading skills.
Overview of Teaching
with this Title
With this program I worked
with students who have reading difficulties. These students
were between the ages of 13 to 15 with a reading ability of
a 7 - 8 year old. The books I choose were from The Nick Ford
Mysteries, 'The Graverobber' and 'Alcatraz, The Rock'. This
program was used in two different formats, firstly the students
listening and reading the story from the CD-Rom and secondly,
with their English Teacher reading the book in class and writing
out the story in their own words. The best way to use this
program is on an individual basis as the students can work
at their own pace. The main strength of this interactive software
is that the software remembers where the student finished
reading during the last session. The story lines that I used
were appropriate for the age level of my students.
The content of each book
makes it easy for each student to understand the story. It
is written in carefully controlled vocabulary and sentence
structure to eliminate the barriers that cause students to
stumble or misunderstand. The student can either listen to
the story or read the story for him or herself. The computer
highlights each word individually as it is said and the student
can go back to any word and listen to it spoken over and over
The books are fictional
and are not gender, culturally or racially biased. The language
is appropriate for the poor readers. The software supports
visual, aural and linguistic learning approaches. After each
chapter in the book there is a cloze test that the reader
Design and Navigation
This program is very
easy to follow and allows the teacher access to print out
the student's progress. It is easy to by-pass the introductory
by simply pressing the space bar. When you have finished reading
one or more chapters it is book marked so the next time you
go to read your story you will know where you left off. You
must use the same PC at all times (if using the package as
a standalone version) so that you will know which chapter
to continue on with and for the teacher to print out your
reading and cloze test results.
Installation and Use
Loading and operating
instructions are very clear.
We only used this on
a standalone basis.
It launches very quickly.
When the cloze test is completed the incorrect words appear
as red on the screen. The software responds quickly to input
from the child. Teachers can read or print out student's progress
at any time.
The story can be read
in three different formats, by CD-ROM, Text Book and Audio
Cassette. There are very easy step-by-step guidelines to access
the CD. A teacher materials folder is included on the CD.
This folder contains files for multiple-choice tests, additional
worksheets and other helpful materials for teachers using
Start-To-Finish-Books in the classroom. Many are portable
document format (PDF) files that can be viewed and printed
with Adobe Acrobat Reader. If a teacher wants to view existing
titles or find out about new releases throughout the year
you can go to www.donjohnston.com.