Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Zoo Whiz

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Zoo Whiz is an online learning program in the areas of math, reading, word skills, punctuation, and grammar for children ages 5-15.  Along with completing learning activities, students earn virtual coins and have an opportunity to buy animal stickers to add to their virtual "zoo"  while learning facts about that animal.  They also can choose to spend their coins by playing arcade games.

 Topics covered include:

Math-numeration, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, chance, patterns, algebra, data ,graphs, measurement, shape, space, and geometry.

 Word Skills- letter matching. sorting, recognition, preparatory reading skills, spelling patterns and rules, prefixes and suffixes, synonyms and antonyms, homophones, homographs, homonyms, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, word origins, punctuation, grammar conventions

Reading- guided introduction to letters, spelling, and phonics, introduces and establishes sound letter correspondence for 44 phonemes, expands, develops, and refines reading and writing skills.

See sample activities here.

Zoo Whiz offers both free and premium accounts.  With an upgrade to a premium account you have the added benefits of:

  • more animals with detailed information about habitat, diet, threatened status, and more
  • more arcade games
  • detailed progress feedback
  • integrated content selector
  • 24/7 access

Sign up for a free account here.  Upgrade to a premium account for $14.95 for one year here.

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 The map is pictured above.  The Learn and Earn area is where the student goes to complete their learning activities and earn coins.  In the arcade students can spend their coins playing arcade games.  In the milestone tower you can view the students progress.  In the Biodome students can visit the zoo shop and purchase animals stickers with their coins.  They also can view the animals they have purchased and read interesting facts about the animal and their diet, habitat, and their threat status.  Animals cost anywhere from 100 to 5000 coins and include a wide variety of animals both still living and extinct.

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We have had a lot of fun with Zoo Whiz.  There is a wide variety of learning activities available.  You are able to customize each area to your child's ability.  So for my son who is under grade level in reading, but above in math I could adjust his level accordingly.  As the student answers the questions he is given immediate feedback.  If they get the answer incorrect they are given the chance to try again.  If they still do not answer correctly they are shown the answer and move on to the next question.  Our most favorite part of Zoo Whiz is collecting the animal stickers.  We were truly amazed at the amount and types of different animals!  Where else could you possibly collect and learn about everything from a golden hamster, to a koala, to a unicorn.  My children loved reading and learning about their animals as they collected them.

One of the difficulties we had using the program was that the only section with audio was the reading.  So my 8 and under children were not able to use the website on their own.  I had to sit with them and read the questions to them.  Also even though we had a premium account, we would get advertisements on the screen that took you to a different website to download a child's game.  I do not want my children to be able to download anything to my computer even if it is a child's game.  I see these kind of things often are free account type programs but was surprised to see it with a premium subscription.  Also, even though the arcade limits you to 3 minutes for one game, it doesn't limit how many games in a row you can play.  I would rather it limited you to one 3 minute game per a certain amount of time completing learning activities.

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary premium subscription to Zoo Whiz for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.

 
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