Fairlady Media has applied their incredible know-how in integrating fun into their learning games for an older audience with Smashing Grammar. Teachers and parents everywhere will be pinching themselves on discovering this little learning gem. Built to inform and reinforce grammar concepts and promote fluency in reading this action packed game is da Bomb – literally. It’s a game of skill and wits, played against time. Beware, however; it is also highly addicting – and not just for kids. The graphics are cheerful and portray a nostalgic game show vibe that immediately draws kids into play. Professional narration gives authenticity and gravity to the subject manner in a way that completely lays down the red carpet in an invitation to play.
The app is divided into 6 games, each with a different grammatical focus. Each level within a game displays the directions or a sample sentence on top. The sample sentence on top puts the targeted words in context, subtly broadening the application and variances in vocabulary that can be used. The levels come in at an increasing pace in which to answer a question on grammar, ensuring that the material is then integrated and autotomized. Beginning with a help section that helps navigate the complexities of grammar, the rules are laid out in a sample to view as a model. Once you’ve “Got it” - get ready for the ride, because the clock is ticking and you’re off! Game Play continues as the goal is reached. I’ve yet to see someone pass a level 10…but practice does make perfect! Warning! Watch out for the bombs!!! If they are tapped…you loose points. There are also bonus objects to tap on; some are different within a game and true to the game’s theme. Let’s take a look at each of these games in detail.
- Noun Disco has you rockin’ and rollin’ through the universe of nouns. Set on a sea of rainbows and stars, vinyl records pop up with hit labels. Tapping on the “Noun” gets you ever closer to the baseline expectation to continue. There are hearts and disco balls – giving you a chance to earn extra points.
- Verb Garden helps grow your base of actions and what others do in the midst of a sentence. Bonus points are given by finding seeds scattered throughout the garden patch. This was perhaps the most difficult game as far as visual discrimination and identifying the words that game up, as most were in various shades of green.
- Syllable Spaghetti explores syllables and rhythms within a sentence. Finding the 1–4 syllable words on top of spaghetti is not as easy as you may think. Parsley and hearts will give a boost here and make for a delicious pasta plate.
- Spelling Slumber Party is a pillow fight over the correct spelling of words. It gets down to it with bonus feathers a flying and the satisfying thud of being hit by a pillow for the correctly spelled words. Can you find all the feathers for bonuses?
- Tense in Paradise is set on a beautiful bucolic beach overlooking the sea. Cracking coconuts reveal verbs in variable states. Sitting beneath your beach umbrella, can you sort it out?
- Plural Piggies has kids breaking the bank and grabbing for coins in identifying both plural and singular words. Graphics hit home with the pay off of making the goal. Rounds that are 100% correct also give points, so kids must stay focused and calm to achieve it.
What We Liked:
Every detail of this game has been thought out and refined to bring kids the best in the teaching a difficult subject. It is a fully integrated game that focusing on grammatical concepts using the body as a whole as it brings on board the visual, auditory, and motor systems to help cement the material to memory. The skills learned soon become integrated and are readily transferred to reading and writing. In other words, it brings order and structure to a tricky and sometimes intimidating subject and makes it tangible. I really liked that the kids needed to learn to remain calm and self-regulate in the midst of fast paced action so that they could visually scan all possibilities before taking action. There are no IAPs or ads, and the game includes the option to turn off the music for more sensory sensitive kids. Fairlady Media has done it again, and exceptionally well. A TWA top pick and awarded our badge of excellence.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing in Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps has been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.