Phonological Awareness Lab

Phonological Awareness Lab (PAL) is a fun, multi-level game specifically designed to improve phonological awareness in children. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, PAL incorporates a fun science lab theme to encourage children to demonstrate their phonological awareness.
About Phonological Awareness Lab

pal-img1

Phonological Awareness Lab (PAL) is a fun, multi-level game specifically designed to improve phonological awareness in children. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, PAL incorporates a fun science lab theme to encourage children to demonstrate their phonological awareness.
Created to help teach phonological awareness, PAL incorporates four “labs” to target the essential phonological awareness skills needed for reading, including: sentence segmentation/word counting; blending syllables and sounds; rhyming identification, selection, and matching; and syllable identification and counting. The fun animations within each area make learning these skills fun and engaging.

PAL and Response to Intervention

 

Phonological awareness skills are critical for reading (Carson, et al, 2013; Hogan, et al, 2005; Power-deFur, 1998). The data compilation for individual students kept over time, makes Phonological Awareness Lab perfect to use with Response to Intervention (RTI). Students who receive phonological awareness instruction often have superior reading skills. In addition, children who receive phonological awareness training have significantly fewer decoding difficulties (Carson, et al, 2013; Hogan, et al, 2005). To aid in the intervention plan, PAL includes an easy to read data report detailing the number of sessions, the activities targeted, and the accuracy. Easy-to-read graphs present a visual for each activity to ensure easy progress monitoring.
Four Different Phonological Awareness Activities

pal-img2

Sentence Experiment

pal-img3
 

In Sentence Experiment, the player is asked to count the number of words in sentences. Sentences vary in length from three to six words.
pal-img4

Decoding Room

pal-img5
The Decoding Room has two different activities: Blending Syllables and Blending Sounds. In Blending Syllables, Frankenstein’s Monster utters a multi-syllable word with a significant pause between syllables. The player is shown three pictures while an audio label for each is played. The student is then asked to choose which of three pictures the monster labeled. This activity builds in an automatic delay to help with auditory recall.
In Blending Sounds, Frankenstein’s Monster returns. This time he is uttering single phonemes at a time. The student is shown three pictures while an audio label for each is played. The student is asked to blend the individual phonemes and choose the correct word.

Rhyming Compound
The Rhyming Compound has three activities of increasing difficulty: Rhyming Identification, Rhyming Selection, and Rhyming Match. In Rhyming Identification, the player is asked to identify if three words rhyme. An audio clip plays each of the words while the corresponding picture is highlighted. If the words rhyme, the player taps the green “rhyme” button. If they do not rhyme, the player taps the red “not” button. A visual representation of the number correct shows on the screen.
In Rhyming Selection, players are asked to help filter a rhyming virus from infiltrating the laboratory by selecting the word that rhymes with a target word. The virus word and picture is shown in the center of the screen. The player is asked to choose one of the four possible answers as the word that rhymes. If the student needs the pictures identified a second time, a “play” arrow is pressed to repeat the stimulus. A visual representation of the number correct shows on the screen.
pal-img6

pal-img7
pal-img8

In Rhyming Match, the player is asked to find the cure to the rhyming virus by selecting four words that rhyme. A total of seven pictures are shown on the screen. A tap on the picture will highlight the selection and an audio clip plays. If the player wants to change their selection, a second tap will deselect the picture. When all four pictures have been selected, a green check mark will display so the player can see if their selections were correct. A visual graph shows the progress toward finding a cure.

Syllable X-Ray
In Syllable X-Ray the player must select the word with the correct number of syllables. The X-Ray screen indicates the number of syllables requested. A tap on the correct picture highlights the correct check mark. The selected picture will flip over to show a visual representation of the syllables. Syllable X-Ray allows customization for the individual by choosing the number of syllables to choose (from one to five), as well as the number of pictures from which to choose.
pal-img9

Multi-Player Capability

 

Phonological Awareness Lab was designed with both parents and clinicians in mind. It is easy to use with a single child or up to 5 children at a time. Each player has an avatar that displays when it is his or her turn. Data is gathered for each player throughout the session

pal-img10

Adding Players

pal-img11
To add a player, simply tap “select scientist” from the main screen, and on the “Add Player” button from the next screen. A pop-up window will display and ask for the player’s name to be entered as well as a photo for an avatar to be selected. Individuals can choose from the stock avatars included in the app, or use the student’s own photo. Tap on “done” when the entry is complete.

Editing and Deleting Players
Occasionally an individual may need to edit or delete players. Simply select the appropriate player with a quick double tap. The pop-up window displaying the players name and avatar will populate the screen. At that time, the individual can change either the picture or the name, or delete the player completely.
pal-img12

How to Play

 

To add a player, simply tap “select scientist” from the main screen, and on the “Add Player” button from the next screen. A pop-up window will display and ask for the player’s name to be entered as well as a photo for an avatar to be selected. Individuals can choose from the stock avatars included in the app, or use the student’s own photo. Tap on “done” when the entry is complete.


 

Visual and Auditory Reinforcement

pal-img13
pal-img14

In each activity, a visual representation shows the number of correct answers for each player. In the Decoding Room, Frankenstein’s Monster also gives a fun “thumb’s up” sign for correct answers.

Customization
Phonological Awareness Lab has a settings button on the “select player” page. This button allows the individual to select the date format for the reports section. In the Syllable X-Ray activity, the individual can optimize the app by selecting the number of pictures displayed for the player to select the correct number of syllables. In addition, the individual can determine the number of syllables (from 1-5) to target.
pal-img15

Report Center

pal-img16
Data compilation is a critical element for the busy speech-language pathologist. PAL compiles the data tracked for each task into a “report card” for each student. This report card is located in the Report Center and is available to be emailed or exported to the free Therapy Report Center. Each session report lists the date, activity, and accuracy. Each report card includes an easy-to-read graph to aid progress monitoring.

Features
Phonological Awareness Lab includes the following features:
1) Multiple player capability
2) Four different elements of phonological awareness
3) Seven tasks of varying complexity
4) Customization
5) Data compilation
6) Fun and engaging animations
7) Visual and auditory feedback for correct/incorrect responses

 

Sources
Carson, K, Gillon, G., Boustead, T. (2013). Literacy outcomes in the first year of school.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2013, Vol. 44, 147-160. doi:
10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0061)
Hogan, T., Catts, H., and Little, T. (2005). The relationship between phonological awareness and reading.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2005, Vol. 36,
285-293. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/029)
Power-deFur, Lissa. (1998). Language, phonological awareness and reading success. SIG 11
Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, October 1998, Vol. 8, 13-14. doi:
10.1044/aas8.2.13

 

pal-img17

Comments (1)

  1. Pingback: 2 for 2 App Reviews & Giveaways! Phonological Awareness Lab and Verb Quest - Twin Speech Language and Literacy LLC

Comments are closed.