Pronoun Heroes

Pronoun Heroes is an engaging way to teach inspiring superheroes the use of pronouns. Created by certified speech-language pathologists and developed by Smarty Ears Apps, Pronoun Heroes teaches and reinforces the use of pronouns in multiple ways. The comic superhero theme is sure to delight players of all ages, while the skills targeted and the data compilation delights the busy SLP or educator.
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About Pronoun Heroes
Pronoun Heroes is an engaging way to teach inspiring superheroes the use of pronouns. Created by certified speech-language pathologists and developed by Smarty Ears Apps, Pronoun Heroes teaches and reinforces the use of pronouns in multiple ways. The comic superhero theme is sure to delight players of all ages, while the skills targeted and the data compilation delights the busy SLP or educator.
A multi-level, multi-player app, Pronoun Heroes consists of four (4) activities to teach and reinforce pronoun usage. Pronoun Heroes targets multiple types of pronouns (e.g., personal subjective, personal objective, demonstrative, possessives, and reflexive) and includes 19 different pronouns. Two of the four activities allow the adult to customize targeted pronouns to tailor the therapy session specifically for the clientele.

Single or Multi-Player

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Pronoun Heroes is great for working with a single student, but also allows for up to five students at the same session. Each player can work at his or her own level while data is kept for each individual student.

How to Play
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Adding players in Pronoun Heroes is extremely easy. Simply turn the page by sliding a finger along the “slide to play” area in the lower right corner of the main screen.

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Then touch the “add player” to bring up the entry window. Select an avatar and enter the player’s name. When completed, tap “done” to create the player.
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Then touch the “add player” to bring up the entry window. Select an avatar and enter the player’s name. When completed, tap “done” to create the player.

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The player’s avatar and name will show up on the player’s screen. From here, you can select the students that will be playing the session. A double tap on the silhouette on the top right of each avatar allows the individual to edit or delete a player’s information.

Visual and Auditory Reinforcement
When playing Pronoun Heroes, the player will receive both auditory and visual reinforcement. Each correct answer provides a musical chime while an incorrect answer results in a different sound.
During play, the active player is depicted an image in the top left corner of the screen. An on-screen tally helps the student keep track, and a correct answer fills in a gold star, crown, or other item.

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When there are 10 gold items, a pop-up window displays a letter from Smarty Ears HQ. A tap unseals the envelope and an award letter is displayed. When done with the session, a simple tap on the done button brings the user to the reports center.

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Explaining Pronouns
The app also explains and reinforces previous teaching of pronouns in a fun way that most students will enjoy. The comic book superhero theme is carried out through the teaching activities.
From the welcome screen …
… to the explanation screens.

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The Activities
There are several different activities within the Pronoun Heroes app.

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Where is the Pronoun
In “Where is the Pronoun”, the user can choose to work on words or phrases.
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If WORDS is selected, the individual is shown four of our superheroes and asked to select the one that is holding the pronoun.

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If PHRASES is selected, the individual is given a sentence and asked to identify which word within the sentence is the pronoun.
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Which one is not a pronoun
This activity is very similar to the first, in that the individual is shown our four superheroes. The difference is that this time, the player must choose which word is NOT a pronoun.

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Find the Picture
“Find the Picture” is a fun activity where the player is given two picture choices. The player is asked to choose the picture which best represents the pronoun displayed at the top of the page.
The targeted pronouns can be customized in this area by selecting the gear icon on the activity header.
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Let’s Use Pronouns!
In this customizable section, the user is shown a picture of a real-life event and given a sentence. One of the words in the sentence is missing, and the player must drag-and-drop the correct pronoun into the space.

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Information Buttons
Each activity contains an Information page. Simply tap the “I” located in the top right corner of each activity box for a detailed explanation about that activity.

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Visual Cues
Visual cues are part of understanding conversation on a daily basis. The University of Alabama cites the following:
“Clear pictures multiply the students’ level of understanding of the material presented, and they should be used to reinforce your message, clarify points, and create excitement.” (University of Alabama School of Medicine, 2005)
Smarty Ears has made sure that the areas with picture stimuli provide high-quality photographs depicting every-day scenes.

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Customization

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Pronoun Heroes allows for target customization in two places.
In the Find the Picture activity, the individual can choose which pronouns to target within the session. The individual can choose one, all, or any combination of pronouns.
The change in pronouns will occur immediately. This is particularly useful if the player is performing differently than expected and the difficulty needs to be increased or decreased accordingly.

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The Let’s Use Pronouns area requires customization for individual goals. Prior to starting that area for the first time, a player will have no goals selected.
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The player information updates once targets have been selected.

To select the goals simply tap on the “select goal” on the player information box.

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A pop-up window will display providing the target options. The circle next to the target will be highlighted when the target is selected.
It is possible to have multiple targets selected.
Once targets have been selected tap “save modifications” to finalize the selection.
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In addition to the pre-set options, it is possible to create your own target selections. Simply tap on the “create custom pairs” on the lower-right corner of the target pop-up window.
A second pop-up window will display with all of the potential pronouns. A touch to the desired pronouns will create a custom target combination. When the desired pronouns are selected tap “Save” to complete the selection.

Caution: creating custom target lists may create a situation where the sentence or phrase may overlap pronouns and more than one pronoun will fit the answer.
Video Tutorial

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Detailed Reports
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Recognizing the need to monitor progress over time, Pronoun Heroes compiles data for each individual every session. There are two ways to access the report card. From the home screen, simply tap on the “reports” button in the lower left corner of the screen.
The second way to access the report card is at the end of a session, the app will automatically move to the “reports” area. Simply tap on the desired player icon to read the report.
The individual’s report card can be emailed, printed (with an air ready printer), or exported into the free Therapy Report Center app by tapping on the “Share” button located in the upper right corner of the “report card”.
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The report card features three sets of information. The first, “by pronoun type” provides a graph listing of each type of pronoun. The second, “by activity”, provides a visual graph indicating percentage of accuracy. While the third, “by session” provides a detailed report of each session by date, which activities were done, the number of trails, and overall accuracy.
The details within the graph provide excellent progress monitoring information as well as details supporting which pronouns have been mastered as well as those that remain problematic.

Pronoun Heroes and the Common Core
With the wealth of data available Pronoun Heroes is the perfect companion to help students meet common core requirements in English Language Arts. Correct pronoun usage is a requirement of the Common Core State Standards required in most states. By grade 1, students are expected to know and use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.1.D)3. By grade two, students are expected to be able to use reflexive pronouns (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.2.1.C)4. By grade three, students are to be able to ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement, as well as know and use possessive pronouns (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.1.F and CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.2.D) 5. Pronoun Heroes is a great way to address those Common Core State Standards.
Pronoun Heroes and the Common Core
Pronoun Heroes is an idea component for Response to Intervention (RTI) as well. The app, with teacher direction, allows for an intensive teaching of the material. Pronoun usage is an early language skill. The majority of pronouns are typically learned before a child is 5 years old1,2. However, some students may have pronoun errors despite early exposure. Because Pronoun Heroes is a multi-player, multi-level app it is easily used in Response to Intervention (RTI). The data collection that occurs for each player allows individual progress monitoring to occur. Exporting into and out of the Therapy Report Center ensures progress monitoring is maintained easily.
Features
Pronoun Heroes has the following features:
Single or Multi-player platform
Customizable
High-quality photos showing real-life scenes for easy carryover of skills
Fun comic book superhero theme to ensure engagement
Ability to use the app for screening or teaching
Data Collection over time for each student
Compatibility with Therapy Report Center for easy report writing and progress monitoring
Sources
1Owens, R.E, Jr. (2011) Development of Pronouns. http://www.education.com/reference/article/development-pronouns-children/
2Handbook of Language and Literacy Development: A roadmap from 0 to 60 months. (2009) Canadian Language & Literacy Research Network, retrieved from http://www.theroadmap.ualberta.ca/understandings/research/37-60
3,4,5Common Core State Standards Initiative (2014) http://www.corestandards.org
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