Categorizing is a key skill that a lot of children struggle with. Factory of Categories is a new app from Virtual Speech Center helps students, ages 3 and up, learn and practice this skill in a variety of ways.
When you open the app feel free to tap on the Info button. This will give you a run down of how to use the app and a full description.
You can also adjust your settings from the home screen too. You can enable/disable sounds, paging, and if you want to the score shown or not. I really liked the ability to backup and restore data!
So what skills do your students get to work on? My, you have great questions! Each area has 3 levels of complexity. Level 1 being the easiest and Level 3 being the hardest. You can also edit parts of the levels that you want, or don’t want, your students to target. First, students can work on sorting items into the correct category in ‘Where does it belong?’ Students are presented with 4 pictures ( with text ) in the top row and 4 boxes ( text only ) with category names on the bottom. Students must put the correct item in its correct category box.
Next, there is ‘Name this category’. This is a game that you will be marking the responses as correct or incorrect. The student will be presented with 4 objects. The goal is for them to state what category the items fit into. You are the judge if it is correct or not. Just tap the check mark for correct or the ‘X’ for incorrect.
Then we have ‘What does not belong’. Students are shown 4 items. They need to decide which item does not fit into the group and drag that item into the dumpster… where it belongs! Just kidding 😉
Finally, we have ‘Add one more to go with the rest’. There are 4 pictures ( with text ) at the top and 3 at the bottom. The student needs to choose the correct picture from the top row to fit into the group on the bottom row. Kind of like a complete the category activity.
When you’re done, tap Finish in the upper left hand corner. This will take you directly to the student’s data for the session. You can email the data to yourself in you want to my tapping Email Report. You can also review data by tapping the Reports bin on the home page. This will bring up students. You will be able to see their data by activity or the date.
To see the app in action you can watch this video I made. I used my phone and am still learning how to record and edit on my computer, so sorry if the quality isn’t awesome.
I really liked this app. There are not many apps that have so many different options to practice working on categorizing. There were pictures and text with the stimuli which I really appreciated, especially since they stated that kids as young as 3 could use the app. There weren’t pictures with the category bins in the ‘Where does it belong’ game, but to have that be the only area where pictures didn’t accompany text, for me at least, isn’t a deal breaker. I would have liked to see a reward game with the app since it is targeting young kids.
So what does it all come down too? If you work on categories this app is a must ( at least for me )! It allows you to work on categorization skills through different tasks which I haven’t seen offered in other apps. There are pictures supports with just about everything which is fantastic since the app is recommended for kids 3 and up. The only thing missing for me was a reinforcement game. Since the app can be used with young kids I would have liked to see something already in the app but I have plenty of games and options in my room for breaks, so it is not a deal breaker for me. Even though kids as young as 3 can start using the app I can easily see using this with my 2nd and 3rd grade students.
You can add this app to your speech room for $5.99 , just visit iTunes.
*This app was provided to me to complete this review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.