Rainbow Sentences app, for iPad (7.99) is one of Mobile Education Store’s many language based app. Typically an app thought to be for speech and language, I was a bit concerned about reviewing this app as a OT however upon initial trial I immediately identified how I might use this as a writing tool for students that I work with or have worked with in the past.
Rainbow Sentence provide a very easy to use interface for the user, therapist, parent or teacher. Initial pages of the app provides a helpful video demonstrating settings, user set up and operation of the app. Settings provides many options to turn on off audio instructions, answer reinforcement, choose a level, provide color coding and color themes.
The app provides graphics, audio feedback and graded levels of complexity for each learner along with the ability to collect recordings and accomplishments of each user enrolled.
Level 1 (above image) provides sentence development with who and what components, increasing the complexity to Level 3 to include building sentences with who, what, when and why components.
Visual cues, of colored words and line coding provides additional supports to students needing help with identification of sentence components.
Each activity or lesson also provides a visual and audio review of the parts of the sentence being worked on using the show button. The great news is this is an option to review rather than automatically generated, which for some student would provide too much verbal and take too long.
Rainbow Sentences provides data collection on students and the ability to send their completed lessons with audio recording of them reading the sentence by email for archiving. Student information also provides data on their accomplishments.
Here is a video review of Rainbow Sentences:
As a OT I have many student who hate to write (you know those students…). They have melt downs in the classroom at the very thought of a writing task or even seeing a pencil or paper placed in front of them. Providing alternatives and choices to written production is typically necessary to engage them in the writing process. Alternative choices have been low tech accommodations of circling answers as appropriate, using label makers to type a word and print out the word for placement on a worksheet or using high-tech tools such as Intellitools Classroom Suite to create writing environments – just like Rainbow Sentences app with colored answers, colored lines, text to speech and graded number of choices and difficulty for them to produce the writing assignment.
Although Rainbow Sentences does not provide a means of creating custom sentences, it does provide an easy and motivating method for students to learn and create sentences by a single touch and with rewards for completion of tasks. Puzzle pieces are provided as a reward for successful completion of the lessons as a reward for the user.
Both as a OT and AT, providing students with the opportunity to be a writer or author is powerful, especially for those who have emergent literacy skills and need the opportunity to learn how to build a sentence, be a writer and learn language and grammar. Rainbow Sentences does not provide handwriting instruction, but for some of our students who are not interested or capable of the mechanical writing process apps like Rainbow Sentences allow them to be a writer !
As a Intellitools Classroom Suite user for many years, Rainbow Sentences app provides a mobile solution to students who have emergent literacy skills and require opportunities to learn sentence structure, grammar and be a writer. The ability to collect data on each user is an important feature also provided to the teacher or therapist when needing to track student performance.
I can definitely see how this would fit in my OT iTool Kit for specific students who need practice with the process of written composition, but would consult with the teacher and speech and langugage therapist on what level to start with and other components of language to make sure I am working on appropriate components for the student.
Thanks to Mobile Education Store for allowing me to review this app and having one more mobile tool in my iTool Kit available to support students I work with!