Thursday, October 4, 2012

Zoo Whiz

Zoo Whiz is an educational game website for ages 5 to 15.  The three areas of content are: math, reading, and work skills. Students complete activities in the “Learn and Earn” area of the zoo to earn coins. These coins may then be used to purchase animals in the Biodome or play games in the Arcade.
Upon signing into Zoo Whiz, the player finds this screen, enabling him to choose an area.
If “Learn and Earn is chosen, the player must then choose a subject.
Within each subject, the player is able to answer a variety of questions.  The player may be asked to divide a word into syllables, then proofread a sentence, then analyze a table of contents, then analyze poetry.  This seems like a good way to keep interest high while reviewing or teaching a wide range of topics. If the student misses a question, he may attempt it a second time. After missing a second time, he may see the solution.
After the player completes a section, he earns coins. He may like to spend them buying animals in the Biodome.
Any of the animals in a player’s zoo may be clicked on to find out more information about diet, habitat, or other interesting facts. (This expanded information is in the Premium version only.)
Another option for spending coins is the Arcade. Some of the Arcade games are educational and some are just fun. They all are timed, however, to keep a child from spending too much time in the Arcade instead of the learning areas.
Finally, the Milestones area allows students and parents to monitor progress. Each skill is listed, so it’s easy to see which areas a student has mastered and which areas need more work. Clicking on the skill allows you to see the specific problem that the child attempted.
My Thoughts:
I love this site!  I think it is a great balance of learning versus play. (We’ve tried some other online sites that offer too much play to be a valuable use of school time.) I appreciate that the age range goes up to 15 and that the parent can set the age level. I found the 12+ activities to be very appropriate for Emily’s educational level and I like knowing that she can’t just choose activities that are far too easy for her just to earn coins faster. Emily enjoys using Zoo Whiz and I like knowing that it’s teaching and reviewing such a wide variety of topics.
Kids can create a FREE Keeper Account and have access to most of the educational games on the site. With an upgrade to a PREMIUM Zoologist account (currently only $14.95 a year), they can access more of the arcade games, more rare and endangered animals, and learn extensive information about all of the animals. Many of the features to set learning levels and activities and to monitor progress are also tied to the Premium level of service. More premium features will be coming soon.
Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew, I received a one year premium membership to Zoo Whiz in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

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