I am regularly trying to make everything more “fun” for my little friends, especially one little friend in particular who seems to find nothing…at all…that we do fun (even if the others are enjoying it). Well I have to say I was SO thrilled when we tried out a new app in our classroom and I actually heard the words “Whoa- this is fun!” come out of my one little friend’s mouth and let me tell you this was definitely the first time he has uttered those words in my room (and we’ve been working together since the beginning of Kindergarten and he’s now halfway through 1st Grade)!
Common Core Alignment:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.1c Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).
The app is called Sentence Builder and it is free- check it out here. My goal with this activity was to get my students to recreate a sentence, making sure to include the necessary parts of a sentence and to write a sentence with all the necessary parts without my help. This app helped my students accomplish this goal in an engaging way. There are 2 different levels and one “create your own” version on the app. Each of the two levels has 5 different pictures- Level 1 has only the words in the stated sentence, while Level 2 has other words as well as variations of the words (different endings, lowercase vs uppercase, etc.) which was more challenging for my little friends, but a great way to push them to find the right words, especially since we have doing a lot of work on adding endings to root words! After selecting a level and a picture, a sentence is read to the students and then they move the words into the right order on the screen. They can then see if they are right by clicking the checkmark- it claps if you are right and makes a different sound when wrong.
My students enjoyed that part of the app, but they had the most fun with creating their own sentences. I modeled how to create their own by taking a picture I had on my iPad, pulling it onto the screen, typing the sentence “We write words” and then recording my voice saying that sentence. (You can also use the system voice if you have students who are afraid of recording their voices– or for the reallllly shy ones who barely speak loud enough for anyone to hear them!) My little friends then created their own by taking pictures of each other, writing the sentence “I see ____” and then recording their voices reading those sentences. The students each did this on their iPad and then they switched with each other and recreated each other’s sentences. This was the part they really loved! They thought it was hilarious to see each other’s faces and their voices on the iPads! One thing I really like about the app is that although there are only 5 “create your own” spots, you can actually just edit previously created ones to make new ones each time. I will definitely be using this app again- hope you can find it useful for your little friends too!