Just a quickie to get your work week started. 🙂
What It Is: A deck of scenarios and prompts designed to target comprehension of inferences by Super Duper.
How It Works: The app contains 52 “cards” with different scenarios and prompts on them. To start a new game, choose 0-5 players from your pre-saved (unlimited) list of potential players. If you don’t choose any players, it simply reads “Player” at the top and you can still obtain data. If you choose players, the top bar moves so you can easily switch between players to obtain different sets of data. After players have been chosen, you may pick from a list of desired cards or simply play with all of the cards. Various strategies are used to elicit responses, such as close (“Darla is getting on the bus and going…”) and describing (“I can say, ‘MOO’ and give milk too! What am I?”). Some pictures are more open-ended while others more closely resemble standardized test tasks (“Tell me which picture shows, ‘Brenda hopes to catch a fish.'”). All the while there are little green and red buttons at the bottom to track data of correct/incorrect answers.
Therapy Applications: Full disclosure: I am NOT a drill person. This might be partially due to my background working with adults with developmental disabilities, but I simply have a hard time justifying the functionality of drill work, and honestly there are a million other play activities I (and my preschoolers) would rather be doing! That said, I understand the importance of repetition (and walking before running and all that), so I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that drill has its place. Unfortunately, coming up with drill targets for complex skills like inferencing is time-consuming. Fortunately, there are some nice pre-made decks to save you a good chunk of the work! Occasionally, I’ll use this deck as a main activity during therapy while pairing it with a game like Checkers or a ball toss. More frequently, however, I use this as a quick, easy, and objective data collection tool by going through 10 cards with the child in the beginning of the session and then another 10 at the end. Doing this also helps prepare the child at the beginning of the session and summarize it for them at the end. Depending which cards you pick, different skills may be involved. For example, some rely heavily on good word retrieval skills while others do not require any expressive language.
Pros: 1. Price! The Super Duper Fun Decks used to be $5.99, but they recently were permanently reduced to $1.99. I don’t want to say this too loud, in case it makes Super Duper change their minds, but that’s a pretty good deal, particularly considering the paper version (which has the same 52 cards) is $12.95.
2. Data collection. Being able to take data on 5 students as a time from an unlimited list of students is pretty nice (and pretty rare in an app). Switching between students is easy. There is an option to email the data, too.
3. Variety of questions and prompts.
4. The app can be used for a relatively wide variety of age groups. Many of the questions are simple enough for my preschoolers, but quite a few would be challenging enough for even the older elementary crowd.
5. It’s a time-saver. As I mentioned above, making drill cards for complex skills is time-consuming. Having this deck has, at the very least, given me a starting point for working on inferencing skills.
6. While the app may not be motivational in and of itself, the scenarios and pictures are interesting and well-developed.
Cons: 1. Data collection. Yes, this was a “pro,” too. My main challenge has been letting kids use the app without (accidentally or intentionally) corrupting the data. Also, the data does not save for each child over time.
2. This is less of a “con” and more something to be aware of: many of the cards require a certain knowledge of vocabulary, typical Western culture, and common experiences. Since inferencing relies heavily on other skills (like factoring past experiences into reasoning and understanding vocabulary), this is to be expected. But make sure you’re considering a child’s background and mastery of other skills before attempting to assess their problem-solving skills using this app.
3. This is NOT an interactive, motivational “play” app. It’s for drill purposes.
The Take-Away: This simple app is good at what it does. Don’t expect tons of interactive bells or whistles, but it’s a well-developed, inexpensive option for flashcards that address the complex skill of inferencing.
My Questions for You: Are you a “drill person”? If so (or if not), how would that affect your use of this app during therapy? Is it something you could use frequently or just something for occasional data collection?
Looking for expert reviews of this app? Check it out on YappGuru.com!