I know there have been several great reviews of this new Smarty Ears app by my bloggy buddies, but I'm excited to give you my 2-cents as well. :) All of the opinions in this review are my own. Take a looksy at Reading Comprehension Camp! I'm loving it. Seriously.
Be sure to click on the pictures to get a good view of my comments and notes on the slides. :)
When you open the app, the home screen is this cutesy camping scene. Click around on the different icons to get support, view other Smarty Ears apps, look at student data, or begin reading.
After you click the book, it will take you to the student page so that you can add the players. You can choose up to 4 in one group. Click each player you would like to select.
Clicking the open book will bring you to the stories. There are 50 stories to choose from that are separated into 5 levels. Level 1 would be appropriate for around the 2nd grade level.
I love that you have the option of creating your own story. You can add images, text, record yourself, and even add your own comprehension questions. This would be great for story retell as well as generating narratives using story elements.
When you click on the story (this story is a level 3), there is text and an illustration. The settings allow you to change the text size and image size. The paper and pencil button will begin the quiz.
Choose the types of questions you would like to target. There is one question per skill for each story. Be sure and select several types if not all, so that the students will have more than one question to answer.
There are several options for structuring the quiz. You can choose the number of answers they have to choose from, what you want to happen when they get an answer wrong, and functions you want displayed. I like to have answers crossed out when wrong, since that is a strategy that we work on in class.
You have the option of allowing the students to view the text and the visual while they answer the questions.
Finishing the quiz will bring you to the student lounge, where you can select the student whose data you would like to view. The data screen gives you percentages on each question type and allows you to share the data via email or TRC.
This app is available in iTunes at this time for $21.99. You can check it out HERE.
Things I dig about this app:
- The stories are leveled and appropriate for a variety of student abilities.
- It targets several question types and skills, making it applicable for addressing the skill they are focusing on in class.
- The option of creating your own story is awesome! Perfect for students who need to work on writing and generating questions. I can definitely envision a reading project for my upper grades.
- I love the "hint" button. Highlighting or underlining the text is a strategy the teachers reiterate in class. Love it!
- Easily tracks data on each student and lets you go from student to student to during the same set of questions.
What could make the app even better:
- It would be great if there were more questions for each skill area instead of just one. I'd like to be able to get a good set of data for a given skill.
- I'd also like to be able to customize the question types for each student instead of each therapy group.
- It's a little pricey; however, you do get a lot for the money you put in.
Overall, I'm loving this app! So excited to be incorporating it into my therapy and RtI sessions! What do you think? Have any of you tried it yet?