Children’s Software Programs
The seventeen children’s software programs in KIDWARE are organized into five levels for ease of introduction. This organizational structure supports young children’s development of concepts and skills, and lets you use KIDWARE all year through!
All KIDWARE programs support the use of the keyboard and mouse. This facilitates partnering at the computer and the inclusion of children with special needs.
Level OneFun with Animals, Electronic Easel, I Can Count the Petals of a Flower
Level TwoNeighborhoods (Farm, City, Alaskan Village and Island)
Level ThreeFun with Letters and Words, Mural Maker, Electronic Builder
Level FourMusic Maker, KIDWARE Writer
Advanced LevelTool Kit for Kids (Speech Saver and Slide Show)
Level One Programs
SKILLS: Similarities/differences, classification and categorization, vocabulary development, visual & graphic arts, mathematics
Fun with Animals Choose from the body parts of 20 different animals to create your own mixed-up animal, or be challenged to find body parts to make a real animal. Record sounds or a name for your special animal. Place the animals in their habitats: farm, desert, grassland, arctic.
Electronic Easel This open-ended software program lets you make discoveries about mixing colors. You can mix colors to create your own personal paint box. Choose the size of the line for drawing, or have your paintbrush draw with circles, squares, or spray.
I Can Count the Petals of a Flower Developed in cooperation with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this program contains photograph-like pictures of flowers taken from the book I can count the Petals of a flower. An animated ladybug helps you count the petals of the flowers. Teachers can set levels and number ranges to individualize for each child’s needs.
Level Two Programs
SKILLS: social/emotional development, geography, values
Neighborhoods The primary purpose of social studies is to help students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good. As citizens of a culturally diverse and democratic society, they understand that they live in an interdependent world. To help you achieve this understanding, Neighborhoods includes four environments that represent rural, urban, village and island community life. Children have many opportunities to explore, create and affirm cultural background and native language.These four simulated computer environments, called microworlds, give children access to and control over concepts. Children have the ability to meaningfully manipulate and control concept components such as transportation, vocational options, etc. Youngsters create life-like scenarios with a variety of animals, vehicles, props and multicultural characters. Children can replay and re-arrange each scenario time and time again. Automatic access to KIDWARE Writer (a robust word processing program) dramatically enhances oral language and improves written expression. Students practice reading and writing in the content area of social studies when they explore cultures and communities.
Farm You can build your own farm microworld. Select from the various animals, props, and multicultural characters. Place them anywhere in the three-screen farm scene. Record speech files for the people and animals on the farm.
City Investigate vocational options. Create your own bustling metropolis with everything from mounted police officers to mass transporation. Select vehicles, park animals, props, and multicultural characters. Place them anywhere in the city scene.
Alaskan Village Use Alaskan Village to explore and create a native Eskimo community. The realistic scenes based on an authentic village help children think about what life might really be like surrounded by snow most of the year. Learn more about Eskimo children by reading the book: Mama, do you love me? by Barbara M. Joosse.
Island Students use Island to investigate basic topographical features including oceans, mountains and beaches and how these impact living conditions and economic opportunities in a community. Students record narrative sequences to expand their thinking and bring life to their community scenarios.
Level Three Programs
SKILLS: Phonemic awareness, alphabet recognition, vocabulary development
Fun with Letters and Words Helps young children develop phonemic awareness and word recognition skills! Press on any letter and words appear beginning with that letter along with a picture. Hear the word voiced aloud in English or your home language. Add your own personal words (family members, friends, pets, etc.) to the list to individualize the experience and make practice meaningful. Print your own individual picture dictionary. Teachers can add vocabulary lists. Import pictures from Electronic Easel, Electronic Builder, or Face Maker to customize your word list.
Mural Maker Here’s another way to practice phonics! Build students’ understanding of how print represents the sounds of speech. Select and print objects that can be used to create thematic murals or make puppets to use in other classroom centers. Objects are organized into six categories and available in two sizes. Teachers can add their own pictures. Teachers can also incorporate Mural Maker pictures with notes to parents. Children are sure to deliver these notes home!
Electronic Builder Explore a world of designing and constructing. Create abstract and representational designs. Rotate your shapes as you explore positions in space. Use the rubber stamp to make multiples of a shape or color. Save your designs and offer these as challenges for others to reconstruct. Teachers can adjust levels of complexity for each child individually. Integrates easily with math manipulatives–tangrams and geoforms!
Level Four Programs
SKILLS: music, math, reading, writing, decoding
Music Maker For those teachers who understand the strong connections between mathematics and music, Music Maker, does the work! Use this program to compose your own musical tunes. The color-coded system makes it easy to explore, combine, and discriminate between different notes. Record and play your musical creations or listen to old favorites. Print your tune in color and play it on a toy xylophone. Make songbooks to share with others.
KIDWARE Writer Use this program to support meaningful literacy experiences for a variety of learners. This basic desktop publisher is easy to use for typing, editing and printing stories to go with your pictures and creations. All KIDWARE programs easily access KIDWARE Writer. Select fonts from many different sizes and styles of type including script. Use the recording feature to have the student read her own story.
Picture This KIDWARE Writer has new features! Write stories using rebus pictures and text. Have fun writing in a new way. Use the recording feature to have the student read back the text of the story, or record a story that accompanies an illustration, and can be typed in later.
KIDWARE Writer can be accessed directly from any of the KIDWARE software programs. All stories and accompanying illustrations are dated and saved sequentially for easy review by teachers and parents. This feature facilitates the process of ongoing assessment. The child’s name and the date are automatically printed with each story.
Level Five Programs
SKILLS: self-concept development, meaningful math, science, problem-solving
Face Maker Select from a wide variety of features to construct your own character. Choose from multicultural and ethnically diverse possibilites. Completed pictures make an interesting classroom portrait gallery. Program your character to dance, smile, wriggle its ears, and more. Play a memory game with your character’s actions.
Aquarium Aquarium offers learning activities that stimulate creativity and require problem-solving. Actively explore the set-up and maintenance of a school or home aquarium. Select the plants and the types of fish that live together peacefully to create a balanced ecosystem. Consult books for information needed for a successful aquarium. Use the “build your own fish” activity for a whimsical experience. Make an underwater creature like no other in nature–lots of creative fun!
SKILLS: editing, publishing, creativity, higher-order thinking
TOOL Kit for KIDS Access the easy-to-use recording studio even the youngest students can create multimedia presentations! Children record their own personalized messages, scripts and sounds for the many characters in the Neighborhood programs.This exciting software program includes features that support children’s portfolio assessment. For example, Carmen reviews, selects, and comments on her computer creations, and then plays them back as a Slide Show. Her show can be shared (via disk) with peers, teachers and family members or uploaded to the school webpage for worldwide availability.