Just released by Super Duper is a set of Curriculum Vocabulary Apps. Free versions are available that offer 1 deck of 25 cards to try for yourself. I downloaded the 1st/2nd/3rd grade versions to play with and below are my opinions of this new product - Honest ones, no sponsorship from Super Duper here...
Currently, 4 versions of this app are available. I do not work with Pre-K right now so I've not downloaded that yet. Pictured here are the icons for 1st-3rd grade apps. They are free to download. The PRO versions are available for $8.99 each and include all decks of cards available.
When you open the app, you are greeted by these adorable monsters. Some are shooting hoops, others are skateboarding. They even make monster noises if you tap on them! Monsters are a personal favorite of mine so SD gets a thumbs up here. The app is super-colorful as usual! (You'll notice that there is a clock on the school front in 3rd grade that actually shows the current time!)
After tapping "Start" on the welcome screen you'll be brought here. Shown here is the 1st grade screen...
2nd Grade Screen...
And 3rd Grade Screen. In the free version, the available deck is colorful while the ones available for purchase are darkened and have a "Buy" ribbon on the bottom. I believe that when you have more than one deck available, you can choose multiple/all decks to be used in the games but I'm not positive here.
Below the decks is where the players appear. You click to add a player on the right side + button. You can add a name and choose a provided monster photo or upload/take a photo with your device. Multiple players can participate in the games by selecting multiple players at this time. Simply click each person. I always love that multiple kiddos can be used in SD apps... and they keep separate data for each! More on that later though!
There are 4 available games:
Multiple Choice – This game has two ways to play. The “Word” game gives student a definition, then student chooses the matching vocabulary word. The “Definition” game gives the student a vocabulary word, then student must choose the matching definition. A photo is provided as well. If the correct answer is chosen, it turns green. If incorrect, it will be red. This is a nice Pre/Post-Test option! Otherwise, there isn't much to this option which is fine by me.
Secret Decoder – If you've used SD products with a secret decoder before you know that kids go CRAZY for that thing. I'm not sure why but they are always asking for it! In this game, students read or listen to the prompts and answer choices, select an answer, then slide the Secret Decoder over to check his/her response. The decoder shows a "beam" that highlights their choice and it is then correct/not. I found this to be a difficult concept for my younger students but they soon got the hang of it. Older students preferred this over the Multiple Choice activity as well. Again simple but an added element is helpful.
Matching – Student chooses a red question card and a blue answer card. If the vocabulary word and definition card match, the student taps “Match.” If the cards do not match, the student taps “No Match.” This is by far my favorite activity on this and other Super Duper apps. It lends itself well to groups and tracks each individual student. Probably one of my favorite things about SD apps are the great illustrations. Students find them humorous and they are helpful! However, I'd love to have the option to turn them off at times. I believe that for some kiddos, they are relied on too much and I'm unable to assess if they are able to do the task without the provided photo.
Drag 'n' Match – Student drags a vocabulary word card over its definition card, or vice versa, to make a match. Here's a perfect reason why having no pictures would be helpful. As you can see by the photo, all a student has to do is match photo to photo. This is more of a photo matching game than a vocabulary game. (If I'm incorrect about the photo/no photo option PLEASE let me know!)
Data – Again, I LOVE tracking on SD apps. It is incredibly easy, reliable, and useful. This allows me to be more interactive with my students instead of hovered over a data sheet. Also, it keeps them from focusing on their +/- on my sheet!
With this SD app you can score student responses manually or automatically, track data for an unlimited number of students. receive feedback for correct and incorrect responses, view a student’s results for all sessions at any time, examine and evaluate student progress over time using graphs, and Email, print, and share session results. My favorite thing here is the graphs (kids understand it better than numbers) and the e-mail/print options. I like to keep teachers and parents in the loop and this is one way to do it.
I'm not even sure if it's feasible but I would love a way to integrate my SD apps data into their data tracking app so all of the info is in one spot. This may be wishful thinking... I'm not THAT techie to know the feasibility of that!
Other On/Off options for this app within the "settings" are: Auto-Advance Players & Cards, Auto Read, Require Full Read-Through (Automatically read each card. Lock the card's answers until it has been read one time), Feedback for incorrect/correct answers, Sound effects, Open-ended responses for the Multiple-Choice game (Hides answers and you score responses manually), Easy mode in Matching Game (Leaves all cards flipped over during the game.
So, overall here are my impressions of this new app:
- Graphics/Illustrations are great as always - keep up the great work here SD!
- Tracking - automatic and manual tracking abilities within the app
- Matching - the matching game is fun and easy for groups... although my shuffling skills are pretty impressive, I enjoy having the app do it for me!
- Multiple Choice - Great for pre/post testing of terms/definitions.
- Words sorted by subject area - I think you can choose multiple decks for games
- Drag 'n Match game seems pointless... you can easily match the illustration. This would be a nice game if illustrations could be turned off in this game.
- I would also love the ability to add your own cards. I'm thinking you could add the word/definition and take/upload a photo. This would be helpful for reviewing current school/district-specific curriculum.
- Cost... This is a necessary evil and I understand that. Each deck purchased separately is $2.99 and PRO versions that include all decks are $8.99. This alone isn't outrageous. However, assuming that SD comes out with all grades for this app, and you are an elementary SLP interested in the "Pro" editions you may have to pay around $54 to have access to all decks for all of the grades you serve. This would deter me from purchasing a complete set of apps. Particularly without the other changes/customizing ability stated above.
- Only Pre-K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd grades available at this time... but it's Super Duper so I'm assuming it's only a matter of time before other grades are available.
- I'd love to see curriculum vocabulary for music, art, physical education, etc. as well!
Overall this is a really nice app from SD. Their language apps far exceed others on the market. I would definitely recommend taking the time to download the freebie versions, play around a bit, and see if PRO versions or other decks would be useful. This could also be a parent-friendly app for kiddos needing extra vocab practice at home!
Click here for more information about these apps and to download the freebie/PRO versions!
If I have the opportunity to look at the PRO version I'll keep you all updated!