Sunday, April 3, 2011

Go Go Kabongo

We were sent complimentary habitats in exchange for our honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

So what does GO GO KABONGO! teach?

"Kabongo games do not teach with “right” and “wrong” answers. Instead, they guide children toward better thinking by using an exciting, engaging game design. Children use a wide variety of critical-thinking and problem-solving strategies to play and progress, including these skills that are essential for reading::

Attention and focus:
Children must be able to focus on important clues and rule out other distracting factors in order to become efficient readers.

Working Memory: Children must be able to keep information in their short-term memories long enough to make sense of a word, sentence, or paragraph. For example, repeating ideas back to themselves can help kids remember and make sense of key messages.

Processing: Children use different “processing” techniques to derive meaning from what they see and hear.

Successive processing: In order to decode words effectively, children have to remember the letter sounds in order and assemble them into a whole. The same is true with words and sentences.

Simultaneous processing: As readers advance, they move more quickly through words and passages, “reducing” and organizing the information to make sense of it faster. For example, they begin to recognize certain words, taking each one in as a whole instead of letter by letter. Or, they repeat back the essence of a paragraph, culling out the less important ideas and focusing on the most important concepts.

Visualization: When children are presented with more information than they can easily remember, creating a mental picture often helps them process what is being described.

•Planning: Fluent readers take many factors into account each time they read. They use what they know about individual letters and words, their context in the passage, and their relationship to outside experiences. As children learn to read, they evaluate and apply various strategies, developing planning skills for future learning.

•Comprehension: All of the skills and strategies above support a child’s ability to derive meaning from what he or she reads. Good comprehension is essential to all kinds of learning, from language arts to science, social studies and more.

"Your child can start playing GOGO KABONGO! today for free--at no charge, with full access to Laughter Lake’s brain-boosting games and activities. You can expand the learning with two additional habitats – Galaxy Gardens and Twister Top which are $4.95 each. SPECIAL OFFER: SIGN UP NOW AND YOU GET THE GALAXY GARDENS HABITAT FREE! Hurry - this offer is only available for a limited time."

Now that you know what it is, and what it teaches, here's what the Bentz Test Laboratory thought. IT'S ALOT OF FUN!!!

My chosen tester is quoted "I don't think it's one of those boring "teaching" games, Mom. This is just for fun!". I think that quote speaks for itself... Too many times our kiddos can sniff out the "educational" games, and they will attempt resistance. But, Kabongo was so fun - he never caught onto my secret "educational" plot.

The programs allows you to explore several habitats (three different games in each habitat, each with six levels). But, they also got to customize their own character (they loved this!), decorate their treehouse, make a comic book, go on mini-quests, and even design their own skate park. All the while, learning important reading skills. The program will even send progress updates to Mom, so you will know what they are learning. Coloring and activity pages are also available to add to the experience. In fact, the Parent center had an entire page of useful Reading related articles that you can check out here.

I do recommend having computer time be fun and educational. GoGo Kabongo does not disappoint in either category. And for the price, you can't beat it!

Check out the Kabongo blog here
See what the other members of the Review Crew thought here

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