I want to share my latest experience with another outstanding app from Mobile Education Store, “Rainbow Sentences,” designed to help students create grammatically correct sentences using color coded cues. You can select the settings to give your students the highest level of prompts, color coding phrases to correspond to “who,” “what,” “where,” and “why” as the sentence is constructed, or remove the color coded cues as well as words clumped in phrases and have the student construct the sentence correctly one word at a time. For example, “(The shark) (is chasing the worm) (on the hook) (because he wants to eat him.)” would be offered as single words all in black, making the task much harder. Kids loved dragging the blue subject phrase to the blank blue line and dropping it off to start the sentence. If you get stuck, just press “Play Lesson” and the different components of the sentence will be explained, again with colored boxes corresponding to the different wh-questions answered. My kids started to realize what component they forgot in a good, grammatically correct sentence, such as “where” or “why.” The visual reinforcement in this app was so helpful to them.
After a student drags the correct phrase to the corresponding colored line he taps “I’m Done!” and the narrator repeats the correct sentence and says, “Now let’s record the sentence.” Kids easily tapped the Record button and repeated their correctly competed sentence. This reinforcement of reading and listening to their own response was so helpful in teaching them ALL the components to a well constructed sentence.
Of course using this app gets even more fun as we go outside the box so to speak. I found it very helpful with kids on the autism spectrum and with word-finding difficulties in teaching them descriptive language. I have some students who tend to give short, uninteresting sentences in describing a picture book or experience. The colored boxes in the “Play Lesson” showed them visually that there are many parts to add to a sentence to make it meaningful. Since we all love the cartoons, I began by covering up the text below the picture and asking the student to describe the picture. Then I showed them the jumbled phrases, they dropped them in place and read the sentence. One little boy looked up at me and said, “I forgot that one!” meaning he forgot one of the phrases (usually in his case it was the “where”) and started to check and see that he included that information the next time. The cartoons definitely require some inferential thinking which adds to the learning.
My students love this app and stay engaged because of the clever cartoons and recording option. Top it off with earning puzzle pieces with correct answers that come to life when they are completed, and it is a favorite. My kids were counting how many more sentences they had to complete to earn their prize!
Obviously this is a great learning app for kids with special needs as well as their typical peers.
“Rainbow Sentences” was provided for review by Mobile Education Store. The above opinions are solely those of the author.