WordSmart CD-ROMS

This software is a very thorough vocabulary-building program, which was developed to improve students' abilities to think, speak, and write. Each volume of the program includes thousands of words. In an entertaining way, the program explores each word's history, which helps in increasing retention and understanding the nuances of words. Analysis of common misunderstandings will help students refine their knowledge and express themselves confidently.

The program begins with a fun diagnostic test, and then the computer tracks students' progress. Students can pick right back up where they left off, because the computer remembers their last lesson. Teachers can easily gauge progress with graphs and reports and can print out individual scores and diplomas at any time. The program uses five interactive modes, which are each designed to exercise different cognitive styles to expand vocabulary. These modes include column matching, flashcards, multiple choice, sentence completion. If the learning becomes tiresome, the program provides an arcade-style exercise that makes the learning fun. The CD-ROMs also include over five hours of fully interactive audio. Learn the proper pronunciation of the words included in the volume as a human voice provides usage, meanings, and history. Each level also includes a booklet, which provides help in setting up the software and making the most use out of it.

Please note the grading system for these programs is rather complex. Each individual level spans a wide grade range. The beginning recommended grade means that it will be difficult for a student at this level. The originators of this program have given each CD-ROM at least an eight year range up to the grade which would find it easy. For example, level "A" has a suggested grade range of 4+. This means that fourth graders will find it challenging, and high school seniors will not have a problem with it. It could be used for any in between grade level as well. As the levels progress, the "difficult" level ranges from 4 - AD, and the "would be easy for" level continues up to reach through fourth year college students and even first and second year graduates. As you can see, this is a very extensive, far-reaching program. If you want to expand your students or your own vocabulary, this will take you as far as you want to go. System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 (patch may be necessary to run on Windows 7; this is available at www.wordsmartupdate.com), CD-ROM drive.

NOTE: The updated Version 5.5 works fine on MACs and Windows 7 or Vista. Internet access is helpful (but not essential) as an activation code requires internet access or a phone call. Student data is now stored online; if using offline, it only allows for one student. Other differences include data installed on the hard drive (no disk swapping between volumes), easier access to progress student progress reports, and better graphics. Up to 4 students per license. ~ Rachel S.

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