Thursday, August 7, 2014

School Tools: SentenceBuilder for iPad

By Kent Remund

One of our favorite apps that is used by many of the Utah Assistive Technology Teams (UATT) is SentenceBuilder for the iPad ($5.99). 

This is a great language app that is simple, to the point and fun for kids to use. SentenceBuilder teaches students about grammar and descriptive writing. Students are shown a few columns of words and a picture. They'll use one word from each column, in a grammatically correct way, to describe the picture. 

As an example, the first image below shows the incorrect sentence  structure and some choices that are given to make a correct sentence. If completely correctly, an animated image shows up on the screen with some congratulatory sounds applauding the student. If the sentence is not properly structured, an audio response tells the student they are “close but keep trying."

While creating these descriptive sentences, students get practice ensuring correct sentence structure among other important grammar skills. They'll also learn to pay attention to details. 

For example, they may see a picture of a cow holding balls and create the sentence "The cow is holding four orange balls," only to have it marked incorrect because the cow is only holding three green balls. 

Stats track how many sentences students attempt and whether sentences were formed correctly on the first, second, or third try.

Despite the often cheesy animations and silly sound effects, SentenceBuilder has some solid academic potential. The company has worked with speech-language pathologists to showcase simple grammatical mistakes and common areas of confusion.  

This app (among others) is developed by Mobile Education Store LLC ( 

Similar apps are also available for Android devices through the Google play store. A favorite is Sentence Builder by AbiTalk ($1.99)

Kent Remund is part of the Utah Center for Assistive Technology serving Utahns with disabilities, and a member of the Utah Assistive Technology Teams serving Utah school districts. 

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