As usual, a male narrator will state “welcome back to Preposition Builder” followed by the initial page appearing in portrait format. The last students’ name to use the application as well as various settings you can choose based on which prepositions you would like your student to focus on.
Four different tabs are shown on the initial page with an icon for each. The Info tab (with an icon of a lower case “i” with a circle around it), brings you to the developers’ information about the application as well as their interpretation of how the application should be used. The Mobile Education Store states that Preposition Builder is designed to help children “learn correct use of prepositions and how prepositions can change the meaning of the sentence”. The Settings tab (with an icon of a file cabinet), when pressed, shows you choices for various settings in the application. The Play tab (with an icon of a running man), opens the preposition building activity itself. The Stats tab (with an icon of a graph) shows statistics on how well a student is able to create sentences with correct prepositions out of three trials. The Archives tab (with an icon of a floppy disk) shows saved audio files of a student’s recorded sentences. More detail on each of these tabs will follow.
When you click on the box that states “New User” or “Not You?”, options will appear to create a “New User” or select an “Existing User’s” profile. If the “New User” option is selected, forms will appear to type the students’ first and last name into. When selected, the keyboard will appear at the bottom of the iPad to type the students’ name into this box. The students’ name will carry over to the Stats and Archives tabs.
Instructions for the children to "drag the correct preposition to the sentence" are given prior to each picture and text presented. You can turn off this audio by pressing the "off" button on the Settings menu.
Correct Answer Reinforcement
Another setting for you to choose is whether or not you want correct answer reinforcement for your student. There are two buttons that are already set to “on”, but if you click the “off” button, it will turn off audio reinforcements following each correct answer. Answer reinforcement will play following each correct answer with “that’s right” and a repetition of the correct sentence answer by the narrator if the “on” button is selected.
Record Correct Answer
There is an option to record each student’s correct answer following filling in the blank of each cloze sentence. This option can be turned on or off on the Settings menu. When this option is on, the narrator will state “now let’s record the sentence” following the correct answer. A green “Record” button will then appear. The student can press this to record the sentence and press “Stop” to finish recording. Then, you can play the recording, save the recording, re-record, or proceed to the next sentence.
Preposition Builder comes with 9 different modules which include 28 common prepositions. These modules include:
- Out of-next to-away from
Video Tutorial Link
When you click on the “Video Tutorial”, the video is included within the application. Click the “Play” arrow on the video to see the Video Tutorial of the app by Mobile Education Store's developer, Kyle Tomson. Once have finished watching the video, you can click the blue “Done” button at the top right hand side of the page to go back into the Preposition Builder app.
Once you start playing the app, a cartoon picture is shown with an action that involves a preposition in it. A close sentence is displayed for the student to place the correct preposition into the blank in the sentence. There are 3 word choices for each sentence dictated by which module you chose on the Settings menu. For example, if you chose the” In-On-Under” Module, only images involving the prepositions in, on, and under will be shown to be placed into cloze sentences. If you have Audio Instructions turned on in the Settings menu, a narrator will state “drag the correct preposition to the sentence”. When your student presses one of the three word choices, the word will be read aloud. Drag a word to the blank in the sentence and if it is the incorrect answer, the narrator will use the incorrect word chosen in a sentence starting with “This picture shows…” and then show an image that matches. The student can try again after the narrator states “Let’s try again” and the student is brought back to the original sentence/image. If the correct answer is chosen and Correct Answer Reinforcement is “on” in the Settings menu, the narrator will state “That’s right” and then read the sentence aloud. Otherwise, the option to continue on to the next sentence will appear without reinforcement. If the Record Correct Answer option is turned on in the Settings menu, the narrator will state, “Now let’s record it” and a green “Record” button will appear. Press the “Record” button to record the sentence and “Stop” when finished recording. Two more buttons will appear once you are done recording. The “Play Recording” button allows you to play back the recording. The “Save Recording” button allows you to save the audio file recording to the students’ Archive. If you chose to save the recording, a form will pop-up asking you to type in a “File Name”. Then, press “Save” and the file will appear in the Archive. Finally, the “Next Sentence” is shown on the screen for the student to press to continue on to the next sentence and image.
Each Module has 21 sentences. Once each sentence has been completed, an animation will be unlocked. Each animation tells a part of a pirate fishing story as reinforcement for the student to complete the module. Once an animation has been unlocked, you can play it back in the Stats menu by pressing the “Show My Animations” button.
The Stats tab shows you a word chart of data based on the student’s performance. The student’s name will be shown at the top. Below, the chart shows each Module name and how many of the students’ sentences had accurately placed prepositions on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd+ attempts. This information is saved on an individual basis. If you would like to send the students’ statistics via e-mail, press the “Email Stats” button at the bottom of the screen. An e-mail form will appear with the chart pasted into the body of the e-mail. Type in who you would like to send the e-mail to and press “send”. The e-mail will be sent from whichever account you have coordinated your Mail app with. If you have accidentally selected this button, press “Cancel”. You can then delete the draft or save it to finish writing later in your Mail application.
Another aspect of the application that the Stats tab includes is the ability to show a students’ unlocked animations. These animations are the reinforcements that are able to be viewed after a full module is played. Press the “Show My Animations” button to view which animations are unlocked for the student. To play the animation, press the play arrow on the video image. To see how many more sentences you need to unlock the next video, look at the bar at the bottom of the video. It will show how many sentences have been completed out of 21 total for each module. To exit the animation screen, press the “Cancel” button at the top of the screen.
Any sentence that you have previously saved for a user will appear in the Archive tab of the application. When you are in a specific students’ profile, the sentences saved for that student will appear in the Archive tab. To hear a saved sentence, select the sentence you wish to hear by clicking on an image/name underneath “Saved Sentences” and the module name. Once you click on a sentence button, you will see the large image associated with the sentence on the left hand side of the screen. This way, you will be able to know if that is the sentence you want to listen to. Click the “Play Sentence” button to hear the entire sentence. If you want to delete the sentence from the archive, select “Delete Sentence” underneath the photo or swipe your finger to the left over the sentences’ button and press the red “Delete” button. You can delete all sentences for a user by selecting the “Delete All Sentences” button. The application will prompt you asking if you are sure you want to delete a sentence, just in case you pressed the “Delete Sentence” button by accident. Click “Yes” to delete it or “Cancel” to keep it.
You can e-mail the selected sentence by clicking the “Share Sentence” button. When you press the “Share Sentence” button, the Mail application will pop up. You can enter who you wish to send the file to and it will be attached as a Quicktime file. Once you have completed all of the information needed to send the file over e-mail, click “Send”. If you selected “Share Sentence” by accident or change your mind about e-mailing it, you can click the gray “Cancel” button to return to the Preposition Builder application. Select whether you would like to save the e-mail as a draft to work on later or to delete the draft.
What I Like About This Application:
- One of the greatest things about this app is the fact that it reads the word choices aloud when they are pressed. This way, students who cannot read the options are able to choose the correct answer for themselves.
- When an answer is incorrect, showing the use of the incorrect answer in an appropriate sentence is great to show the difference between the incorrect and correct answers.
- I also like the fact that the words in the modules are paired as opposites in similar categories.
- I enjoy the ability for my students to record their sentences. This way, they can hear if their sentence sounds correct and my articulation students can listen to their speech sounds.
- I love the fact that this app reads the word choices aloud; however, I would love it even more if it would read the cloze sentence aloud as well. This would be great for my students who cannot read, especially my younger students.
- I would like the ability to have multiple user profiles that save data from session to session.
- Sentence Expansion – This application itself is all about adding prepositions to sentences. However, one can keep expanding sentences by encouraging students to add more detail about the picture. You can encourage students to add an adverb or adjective to the sentence to expand it even further.
- Inference/Prediction – Ask your student what he or she thinks will happen next after what is happening in the picture.
- Emotions – Ask your student how the person in the picture is feeling. Place emphasis on facial and body cues (smile, frown, eyebrows, arms crossed, etc).
- Problem Solving/Social Situation – Some of the photos show the characters in the middle of a problematic situation/conflict. Ask your students what they would do if this happened to them.
- Describing – Have your students describe the picture. They can state adjectives including colors, shapes, and sizes as well as state emotions, location, category, function, and parts of the picture.
- Narrative – Have the student think of a time when he or she performed or saw someone/an animal perform the action in the picture. Did he or she enjoy it? What else happened? The student can create a whole story about the picture.
- Articulation – Have the student listen back to his or her recorded sentence to hear whether or not he or she correctly produced all of the sounds.
Preposition Builder is available for the iPad for only $7.99!