Smarty Ears had recently released an amazing new app – Sentence Ninja. It is described as a multi-player multi-level app designed to improve sentence structure skills in children and adults. This app was created to facilitate an understanding of how correct word order impacts sentence structure. Here’s a bit more…
Once the app is open, this is the screen you begin with. Great illustration and non-distracting background music:
To begin, choose “Select a Player” and move to this screen where you can choose player(s) or create players. You can also import students FROM the TRC if you utilize that option. A ninja will appear on selected players. Choose “start” when you have selected all the players you need.
You will then go to this screen where you will see the level of the players you have chosen. If something doesn’t look right or you want to target a specific level in that session, choose “modify” under the students column to do so.
Each level has a similar look. A photo cue is given with words and punctuation to complete the sentence/phrase. The students drag the words down to the parchment in order. If they tap the words, they will be said for them. Tapping “hint” will provide the first word of the sentence for them if they are stuck. This option prevents the ninja from advancing on the top though.
They can always remove a word by moving it back towards the photo cue area. This will remove it from the parchment. The ninja moves along the top stones and when the student has completed 10 independently, they are allowed to do more at that level or move to the next level.
This app has built-in progress monitoring. You can view this in the “Award Center” area. The progress report shows how a student is doing on differing levels, allows you to adjust the level that they are working on, and view the reward hall.
The progress can be viewed by a particular session or by the levels. Shown here is by session:
Shown here is by levels:
When the student makes it through one “group” they receive a belt that hangs in their hall. Shown here is the white belt awarded after completion of group one. A certificate can be printed here as well.
This is the certificate that can be printed upon completion of ALL levels.
One of the best things about this and several other SE apps is the ability to pair homework with the app. You can send these sheets home to be worked on with caregivers. You can also view it on your device as a PDF document as carry-over or a progress monitoring tool.
Several settings are available for this app. Included settings are punctuation presentation, hint yes/no, auto progression yes/no, first word uppercase/lowercase, accuracy display on/off, sound on/off, increase level automatically yes/no, reward audio on/off, color coded cue on/off, record correct answer on/off, speak instructions on/off, display colored lines on/off, and presentation of phrase/sentence random/by level. The individual levels can be modified as well by choosing “modify exercises” where you can disable certain exercises.
Overall, this is an excellent app that I use often with so many different levels of students! Here is my quick pros/improvements list:
- Nice, colorful, stimulus photos.
- Clear voice on stimulus items.
- You can easily change between all 39 levels in various places in the app.
- Easily customized and many options to do so.
- Up to 5 players can play at different levels.
- Did I mention the homework? It’s awesome!
- Printable certificates and awards.
- You can target receptive and expressive by recording the correct answer upon an exercise’s completion.
- Data collection for each student is automatic and great!
- Built-in compatibility with Therapy Report Center helps with report writing and progress monitoring.
- All consonant groups are well organized and listed in order of typical acquisition.
- Good price for such a comprehensive app.
- I wish clients could re-arrange the words on the parchment after it’s been placed on the bottom. Maybe adding this as a setting customization would be great.
- I wish there were an option to advance levels after “mastering” a level instead of automatically after 10 independent tries.
- Only currently available for the iPad.
Disclosure: Smarty Ears provided a copy of this app for review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are that of the author.