Rainbow Sentences, by Mobile Education Store, is another incredible learning tool brought to you by the award winning developer Kyle Tomson! Initially, when using Rainbow Sentences with students, we were taken aback by how many different levels of play can be adapted for differing student’s needs. There are three levels of play with 55 sentences in each level, and 6 levels of sentence complexity. And though this may sound complicated, it’s not! Rainbow Sentences offers you have a lot of control over the play, but the interface makes it really simple to set up the levels of play. Kyle worked diligently on this app perfecting every feature and made the app customizable with every conceivable setting. Rainbow Sentences offers a unique environment for improving a student’s ability to create grammatically correct sentences.
Every teacher will tell you that teaching the five W’s is complex, but essential. The Who, What, Where, Why and When are known as signal words and are the meat and potatoes of sentence structure. The first level in Rainbow Sentences concentrates on the who and what of the sentence. The second level address the what and where. The third level incorporates the who, what, where and why, with some of the sentences incorporating the what. This app was designed for a wide audience and is perfect for home or school.
Rainbow Sentences is wonderful for reinforcing sentence structure and as already mentioned contains a great number of levels. Both the words and lines are color coded, using single words or phrases, which is a great visual aid to get students understanding how to build a simple sentence. Words or phrases are dragged from the bottom of the screen to the lines above to make a sentence that matches the picture. There is an optional lesson with each sentence explaining the who, what, where, this is a great assistance to help students understand why the words are grouped accordingly. The graphics are child friendly, with inviting scenes, which often contain humorous scenarios. The kids were immediately drawn in by the amusing illustrations. As a child progresses, the color-coding can be turned off in the settings menu for the words and the line segments. The number of attempts made in completing each sentence is saved and there is a puzzle piece given for every three correct sentences. The option for students to record their own voice, and play it back, improves their receptive and expressive language skills. As with all of the Mobile Education Store’s apps, the option to track and save data is given. There is an individual folder for each student. Plus, there is the option to email stats.
This app is by far the biggest undertaking yet by MES. We got the inside scoop directly from Kyle. “The basis for Rainbow Sentences came from some work my wife and I were doing with our daughter Caitlyn. She was having a lot of trouble putting together complex sentences about a picture by herself. So, we came up with the idea to break sentences down into phrases, rather than into the individual words. We have the phrase that describes the subject, the phrase that describes the action, the phrase that tells where the action is taking place, etc. To help her visualize this, we assigned different colors to each phase. It took a while, but eventually we found a system that seemed to make a lot of sense to her and she made a lot of progress. Once it was perfected, I modeled the app to mimic what we were already doing on paper.”
We love this app. Having the capability to tweak the settings, to get each child working on what they need reinforcement with, is huge! Once the sentence is all put together, we concentrate on making sure the student understands what the words mean. Comprehension is the overall purpose of reading, and understanding what you read is essential for learning.