February 22, 2015

How I Use It: Story Maker Pro (app)

Story Maker is one of my favorite apps to use with all elementary age language groups. I have found it useful to target many of my language goals that I inherited from the previous SLP at my school. I have used this with ages Kindergarten-6th (all ages that I treat). Some of these children are your average language delayed students, some are MMD, some are FMD. Some of these children need help with categorization and vocabulary. Some have difficulty with story sequencing, retell, comprehension and/or following directions. Some students have fluency disorders. This app can help target all of it!


Story Maker Introduction Screen


This is the screen where the magic begins! After clicking create a story on the introduction page, you now have free reign of the story making app. You see see the categories so neatly organized across the bottom of the screen. Each category has tons of items within it- as many locations, occupations, items, creatures, and delicacies as you could ever hope for.


Story Maker: Creating the Story

Here's an example of a story some of my students created. In this instance, we were working on telling a cohesive story. There was a lot of guided instruction with this group of students, as well as a visual set of criteria (characters, problem, solution, etc).  I let the students pick a story topic after they browsed the different people, aka characters, they could choose from.


     
Story Maker: Finished Product</center>

One thing I like about this app is that you also have the option of voice recording your story instead of putting any type. This saves time and works on expressive language and fluency, if that's something you need to target! 

Here are the ways I've used this app:

Categorization
Have students predict which category they'll find certain items. Tell them three things you want (or that a stuffed animal wants). Maybe your stuffed dog wants a ball, a doghouse and rain. Can the student identify the correct category each item will fall under?
Or... 
Create a page called "Things You Find in a Zoo" and have them find items within each given category. They'll find a zookeeper, cage, lion, tree, etc. and can place each picture on the page you created. 

Vocabulary
Pick one category and go from there. Perhaps this session, you're working on places. Let the child pick a few locations, then you pick a few. Take turns describing the locations. Tell where you'd find it (example: parking lot- you'll find one at Walmart, school, church, etc). Tell what it looks like and who you might find there. Make real word connections. (Parking lot was a simple example- there are SO many locations to choose from!) Included in this category are landmarks, which can be fun for older students after learning about famous places of the world. 

Story Retell, Sequencing and Comprehension
I lumped these together because targeting them is often similar with my groups. If you've just read "The Three Little Pigs", have the students retell it using this app. Remind them (visually, if needed) to use a BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END. 
Or...
You can also make your own version of the story and put it in an incorrect order. The students then have the option of rearranging the story slides into the correct order. 
Or... 
Type a question on a slide about the story you just read. Then, provide pictures of 2-4 options of possible answers. (Example: What did Goldilocks eat?) This is a simple way to give the option of multiple choices for students who need it. 

Following Directions
Put 3 items on the screen (Example: table, banana, child). The student can be instructed to follow directions. If your younger students are like mine, they need help with basic concepts as well as following directions. Ask them to put the child beside the table, the banana behind the child, the table under the child. Let the students pick 3 objects that interest THEM and go from there. 

Fluency
Since this app has the option for voice recording, the student can create and tell their story, then replay it. This lets the student self monitor their speech and check for use of strategies. 

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Pro vs Free
I began with the free version of this app.  However, if you're wanting to save stories you've created (to continue in the next session, perhaps), it's worth the $5. 

Pros and Cons
Pros: Free version, affordable pro version, simplistic pictures, voice recording option, over 800 images to choose from, saving capabilities with paid version.
Cons: Sometimes, the students become "lost" in the mass of pictures available to choose from. However, with supervision, it's not an issue. 

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Overall, I love this app. I can target tons of goals and areas of language without spending a fortune or a ton of prep time. Let me know how you use this app!



*I am in no way affiliated with Super Duper, Inc. and am not being paid to endorse their products. 





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