Let’s be honest- grammatical skills are not easy to teach. As educators, we want to prevent our students from being the people who still confuse your/you’re and there/their (doesn’t that catch your eye when you’re scrolling through Facebook??). More importantly than wanting to uphold the social media identity of our students, we want to help our students speak and write clearly.
Strong communication skills are ALWAYS necessary. No change in our political or economic structure is going to diminish that need. Grammatical skills are not easy to teach because they can be stale. Rainbow Sentences by Mobile Education helps to increase the fun and engagement.
There are multiple levels to the app, and these allow you to help students find success early and then fade out prompts over time. Initially, I will color code sentences so that target words match the corresponding blank in the sentence. Over time, you can fade those color cues out. Also, the different levels work to increase sentence complexity- not every student starts at the same level…
I love to hide the target words and have children work on developing their open-ended expressive language. What’s really powerful is when you transcribe responses in individual sessions and have the children compare their response versus the target words.
The auditory feedback can be really helpful for some of my kids, and it will collect data for individual users as well. Depending on how I am setting up a session, I will use my transcription and make notations for the children’s responses.
While it works great in individuals, Rainbow Sentences is great in groups.
- Break the word groupings up, and you can have children take turns putting the sentences together.
- Have each student verbalize a response and then compare it to the target words too!
(See the number of words for Level 3? Sentences can get complex in this app!)
There is also error correction built into the app- it will keep words in correct positions and drop the others back down. This way, a student can learn about sentence order without having to start from scratch. What’s more, I like to verbalize each sentence to get some additional feedback for a student. Although you will get times when students aren’t sure, at the very least you are working that auditory loop to increase awareness.
Overall, Rainbow Sentences collects data and has multiple levels of support. It is engaging for students and allows teachers to work outside of the domain of the app through providing their own auditory feedback as well as targeting expressive language. There is error correction built into the app which allows students to get helpful feedback.
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