Primary CD-Roms

1st September 2000 at 01:00
FORESTIA JUNIOR CD-ROM AND ACTIVITY BOOK. Wavehill pound;19.99 (PC and Apple Mac). To order call 020 8305 0456. The stunning 3-D graphics of Forestia Junior just beg four to seven-year-olds to explore this CD-Rom, and they oblige very readily. Divided into four areas - the anthill, forest floor, treetops and clearing - there are 16 games to play, plus an off-computer activity book. Children can help the beaver build his house, or classify the fruits the boar digs up in his search for acorns. These are a mix of entertainment and experiment, but what makes this program a little more special are the 50 data cards you can collect on the inhabitants. Using your handy magnifying glass, plants and creatures can be examined and their details filed with a picture as well as oral and written information.


Learning Land. pound;59.99 for 3 copies of the CD-Rom (PC) plus VAT and pound;2.50 p+p. To order call 020 7610 5599

The teacher's edition of Jojo in Numberland provides schools with three copies of the program, phocopiable activity sheets, a record sheet and extension and preparatory activities. A home version is available, which is useful information to give to parents eager to help children improve their maths skills and have fun doing it. Aimed at key stage 1, this is the first in a new series and concentrates solely on different aspects of using 10s and units.

Lucky the Squirrel, voiced by Lenny Henry, adds enthusiasm to the colourful graphics as children call on and expand their knowledge of place value and number recognition. A number line next to the computer will help out younger children, but even though Lucky is on hand with advice, clues and the answers, I would have preferred an option to limit the number range for some pupils.

Millie Metre andHerAdventures in the Oak Tree CD-Rom Tivola pound;19.99 (PC and Apple Mac) To order call 020 8563 0414 This program may not have the catchiest title in the world, but it is an excellent way of involving children in science and the environment. Millie's mission is to persuade Twit not to chop down the oak tree by showing him 10 photos of creatures that live around, on or in the tree proving that it is alive. Eric, a snappily-dressed squirrel, is on hand to help.

Travelling in her special capsule, Millie interviews the worm in charge of decomposition, the building crew behind the bark and the tree's inhabitants, from the woodpecker to the hawk. In this way she finds out how the oak tree grows from an acorn, as well as about predators, prey and photosynthesis while taking photos of hedgehogs and nuthatches to prove her case. Then there are games to play and songs to sing. The CD is very accessible, and features experiments for children to try out themselves.

The ClueFinders CD-Rom Mattel Interactive pound;19.99 (PC amp; Apple Mac) To order call 01293 651 300 The ClueFinders series successfully hides maths, science, language skills and problem-solving in the guise of an adventure. Years 5 amp; 6 Adventures is set among exploding volcanoes, where the ClueFinders have been shipwrecked. CrypTiles are the key to solving the volcano's mystery before it erupts - just as long as your reading, historical enquiry and geometry skills let you earn them from the eccentric inhabitants.

The animation is good and the games varied, though difficult at times even with four skill levels. Turn off the auto-levelling if children are struggling.

Pam Turnbull Pam Turnbull is a Year 3 class teacher, ICT mentor and science coordinator at The Heys Primary School, Ashton-under-Lyne

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