Friday, October 25, 2013

Konnichiwa! Sentence Ninja by Smarty Ears App Review for you!

Ninjas are usually quiet and stealthy guys that don't say too much, but when they do talk they like to share proverbs. For example, "Koketsu ni irazunba koji o ezu". 

Literally, this means, "If you don't enter the tiger's cave, you will not catch its' cub.  

That is equivalent to, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".  

The lesson to be learned todayYou will not know how fantastic the new Sentence Ninja App by Smarty Ears is if you don't read about it and then go download it for yourself! Click here to be directed to the Apple App Store. In addition, we are happy to get you started on your own road of self discovery by providing the following app review for you to read and to enjoy! 
Sayonara. (さよăȘら。)- ( Good-bye)
Manda & Shanda
Speech-Language Pathologists
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

  • $14.99
  • Category: Education
  • Released: Oct 01, 2013
  • Version: 1.0
  • Size: 314 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Smarty Ears, LLC
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.

Sentence Ninja is an app that was designed to improve sentence structure skills in children and adults. It was designed and authored by two certified speech-language pathologists.  Author: Susan Rose Simms, MA, CCC-SLP, and Designer: Barbara Fernandes, MS, CCC-SLP.  That's a good thing, because in case you didn't know, speech-language pathologists have black belts in the ability to understand and teach correct phrase and sentence structures.  They are your local language specialists and have a wealth of understanding in the components of language such as; helping students better understand word meanings, how to put words together to make complete sentences, and with knowing how to teach word combinations that fit specific speaking situations. 

Sentence Ninja is a very comprehensive app that can be used with multiple students working on different levels, but overall, it is quite easy to understand and to navigate through.  Let us show you!. First of all, be aware of Smarty Ears wonderful support page that is shown early on.  It is from here that you can choose to back up to iTunes, restore from iTunes, see more apps, contact Smarty Ears, go to Facebook, and learn more about Sentence Ninja by reading about it and by watching the video tutorial. One can also choose to turn the cool Ninja style music on and off from this page too.  

First step: Either add a player or choose a player from this screen. 
Next step: Chose among 39 difficulty levels from six groups that range from simple two-word phrases to complex sentences.  Wow!  Such a large variety of targeted working areas to choose from! A student will for sure increase their understanding of grammar rules and sentence order and structure by working through this app! 

GROUP 1 Phrases: Levels 1-6
GROUP 2 Sentences: Levels 7-21
GROUP 3 Question Format: Levels 22-27
GROUP 4: Negation: Levels 28-29
GROUP 5: Advanced Sentences Levels 30-38
GROUP 6: Complex Sentences Level 39

Press save and go!  This is when you will see the Ninja walking across stepping stones at the top of the screen and the words and punctuation that need to go together all sliced in different directions in the middle of the screen.  The player will then want to drag the words in order to the sentence strip at the bottom of the page.  If the student gets the sentence correct they can go on to the next karate chopped sentence problem, and if they get the sentence order incorrect they will simply return to their previous position on the picture. The data is collected and can be obtained later by simply tapping on the done button.  That will bring you to The Therapy Report Center. We love the data that is collected inside the Therapy Report Center.  It is super helpful when we need to know our student's percentages of understanding for individual goals.  That kind of data is a goldmine of information for when we need to write our progress note and re-evaluations.

A super fun reinforcer is the fact that the students get to earn award belts as they complete each group of levels beginning with simplicity at the Subject and Verb level and work your way toward complex sentences that include Subject + past tense verb + prep phrase + verb  + and + verb phrase.  Once earned, they are displayed here on the belt Dojo page.  Very motivating! 

Here you see the wonderful homework sheet page.  The homework sheets are arranged by group and difficulty level so a worksheet can be chosen that is exactly at the level that the student is on.  I love this option!  It's great to give a homework sheet to the students to take home.  Not only does it help to reinforce lessons learned, but the parents can then see exactly what was worked on during the therapy session and we know that parents appreciate that very much.  Smarty Ears is offering free homework sheet examples right now on-line.  Click here to get your FREEBIES

So you can see that Smarty Ears has done it again!  They have created another awesome app that can be used with more than one student at one time and they don't even need to be working at the same sentence level!

This app is amazing because there are SO MANY different goal levels to choose from and because it is also features a large amount of support prompts.  It also offers a wide variety of customization features such as; auto progression, first word lower case vs. upper case, color coded cues, reward auto, and spoken instructions (to name a few).  All of the customization options can make this app just perfect for each and everyone of your students. In addition, we especially love the fun Ninja theme, the colorful pictures, the pleasant narration voice, the large variety of targeted goal areas, and the simple fact that this app targets an important language and grammar area of sentence structure that we haven't seen too much in other apps. 

If a student learns to put sentences in the correct order down, then they will also increase their ability to say sentences correctly out loud.  The student will in return increase their overall receptive and expressive language skills and that will help them to improve their functional communication skills.  Very awesome! As that is the ultimate goal for many of our language delayed students. 

Enjoy the app and please take the time to watch the cool promotional video below to gain an even better understanding of it. 
Manda & Shanda, SLP's
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

* A copy of the Sentence Ninja App was provided to Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy by Smarty Ears. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed in this review are our own.

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