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Spinout Stories (Red Pack)

At Last - Early Reading For Older Students

The Spinout Stories CDs, and associated books, have been specifically designed to promote literacy among older students, in the upper primary and early secondary years, who have reading difficulties.

Two packs are currently available - Red and Blue. Each pack contains a CD-ROM with four stories on high-interest age related topics such as building sites, diesel engines, surfing, crocodiles, gorillas and dreaming. The red pack contains Gorilla Gang, Dream to Stay Alive, Shark Ride Bay and The Surf Shop. In addition to the CDs the hardest levels of the stories can also be purchased separately in book form, to further support the use of the software.

Each Spinout Story has three different reading levels, of which the hardest has optional hypertext links to further information at an even higher reading level. There is also a Teacher's Guide and a set of printable worksheets. The software includes teacher controls, optional tracking facilities to monitor students' progress, extension activities related to the text, and a worksheet generator.

Each pack has four stories, and each is available in the software at three different reading levels. The screen-shots below show a page from the “Shark Ride Bay” story at each of the three levels. The student can listen to the whole page read in a pre-recorded voice, with each word highlighted as it is spoken, or can listen to a particular word by clicking on it. The availability of each of these facilities can be controlled within the software through 'Teacher controls'.

10 years to Adult
National Curriculum:Key Stage 2 - 3
Scottish Curriculum:Level C - E
CD-ROM:Dual format Windows & MAC
Single User:£45.00
Network Licence:£180.00
  • Suitable for:
  • Windows 95, 98, ME, NT/4, 2000, 2003 & XP.
  • MacOS 9 & 10.1 or later.

Whiteboard Compatible

All prices exclude P&P and VAT.

At the hardest level, there is an additional “hypertext” option. If this is enabled, students can click on certain highlighted words in the text or on hot spots in the illustration, revealing additional informative text which further extends the scope of their reading. The fourth screen-shot above includes hypertext about surfboards.

Reading, writing and extension activities.
As well as reading, students can write their own stories using the illustrations provided, and can print out the results. The computer will optionally attempt to speak students' stories using a text-to-speech engine (if available on the computer in question). Each pack also contains three extension activities: Cloze exercises, a Quiz, and Word Squares with the Red Pack, and Concentration, Jigsaw and Ladders with the Blue Pack. Screen-shots of some of these are shown below.

Cloze Exercise

Word Squares

Teacher facilities.
Comprehensive controls let the teacher set various options and degrees of difficulty. Using an optional log-in system, teachers can tailor the package to the needs of individual students or whole classes. A tracking facility lets teachers see which features have been used by which students and for how long.