Monday, November 26, 2012

Sentence Workout

This post originally appeared on Speech Time Fun.  Thanks to Miss Speechie for allowing us to re-post.  Be sure to visit her blog!

I was contacted by Virtual Speech Center when they released this week their newest app, Sentence Workout.  I was honored to be given the opportunity to try it out and share with you.  Don't forget, the opinions are all mine!

This app uses a fun soccer theme.  I don't know about you but about 80% of my students are OBSESSED with soccer! So yay! 

This app uses over 350 sentences with 37 different sentence structures.  Each sentence type includes 10 pages.

I like to edit the sentences before using.  I like to alter them for my students' need.  I have several older elementary students with syntax goals, so I made the settings appropriate for them.  I set the award counter to 5 since that was the lowest amount possible.  10 is the highest.  You can use this app with up to 5 students.

Now it is time to enter students into the app.  Once you add and save, to enter them into the activity is click their names and then hit next.

Then you get to select the activities for each student.  You can individualize or just click all if your students are ready for the randomization.  There are 37 activity types.  Each type gets more linguistically complex and abstract.

There are two activity types: "Say it" and "create a sentence."  You can pick one or both for each student. 

The app uses a soccer coach to encourage students and keep them motivated.  If you use this app with multiple students, it switches amongst them after each turn which is great for keeping them involved.

Say it:
Students are presented with a question and an image.  Students should use POQ or part of question to elicit the correct sentence structure for the answer response.  Students can record and replay sentence.  Then they can score themselves or you can do it for them  by clicking the "x" or the check.  This helps gather data.  This does require knowledge of the picture vocabulary.  Students collect soccer balls along the bottom as they respond accurately.   For each activity, students go through all 10 sentences before being rewarded.

Students are then reinforced with an opportunity to play a soccer game.  They use their finger to "fling" the ball into the goal.

Create a sentence:
Students are presented with a picture and parts of a sentence in blocks.  They must move the blocks to rearrange them to create a sentence.  As they tap the pieces, it does provide an audio presentation which is great for weak readers.  Once they place the sentence into the correct placement, students are rewarded with a soccer ball and the data is collected automatically.  Then they have the opportunity to record and replay themselves producing the sentence.  This is great for practicing.  Also, if incorrect, this is a great way for them to check their work and listen to see if the sentence makes sense.  I think it is helpful to teach students which activity or sentence structure you will be using in the activity.  This was a great strategy when I used this app with my students today. 

When students responded incorrectly, they were provided a sound and no % increase.  This was a great way for them to assess themselves. 

Again, students are rewarded with a soccer game.

At any point, you can click "done" to end a session.  You will be able to access reports from that point.

You can also access reports from all sessions from the main page.  The reports are very detailed and lets you know which activity (sentence structure level) was worked on and with what success level.  You can access information by activity or by date.  This is great for planning future lessons.

Things I like about this app:
  • Great and motivating theme
  • Reinforcing games
  • Ability to use with multiple students and individualize to each
  • Detailed reports which can be saved and emailed
  • Targets receptive and expressive sentence structure
  • Ability to record and play back for student self assessment and correction
  • Easy to use and navigate
Things I would like to see in an update:
  • An easy way to email or print review worksheets that relate to the sentences used in the app for home practice or follow up activities
Learn more about this $9.99 app by visiting the links provided above or iTunes!


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