Clicker Sentences enables teachers to create sentence building activities on any topic, tailored to support each pupil’s individual needs. It is widely used to support emergent writers, English language learners and older children struggling to acquire basic literacy skills. The app receives EAS Recommended status.
What is so fantastic about the apps is that the husband-and-wife-team and Founders, John and Ann Crick have really created a multifaceted literacy tool that is engaging, creative, based on high academic credentials and, which adheres to curriculum guidelines. Moreover, the apps can be used for learners of all levels and abilities. If your child is having difficulty with writing or has learning difficulties, the apps help because it has tricks and tools within it that help to trigger associations.
In Clicker Sentences, if you would like to remember words and how to use them, there is the possibility of using the pictures to associate with the word. These qualities also make the app perfect for foreign learners of English. The interactivity helps the learner to remember the information and for those who are very visual, the symbols and pictures will trigger a comprehension of spelling and grammar usage in a very intuitive way. If, however, the learner is more advanced, he/she can create sentences, stories and more complex lists of vocabulary in order to create more personalised stories. The ability to use the webcam to embed one’s own pictures makes for a very nice addition too! I also really liked the fact that I could create sentences based on pre-created topics. This would be fantastic for a learner who can choose amongst topics such as Science, Geography, Nature and Sport amongst many others.
Once finished, it is possible to upload the document to Dropbox. There are no other Social Media sharing facilities however given that the main audience for the apps are under 16, this is logical. If however, you are a teacher and you would like your pupils to collaborate on the documents you will need to share the different Dropbox files.The landing site has the appearance of a child friendly word processing program with a blank page and keyboard and is quite simple to use. However there are a range of features and settings for which children would need adult guidance, at least initially.
The keyboard has a simple layout and when the shift key is pressed all the keys change to lower or upper case. It is possible to switch between the keyboard and word banks which help the children with their writing. Users can create their own word banks, use any saved in Dropbox or access Crick Software's own word banks known as 'LearningGrids'. To access these grids the user needs to register for free on the website but is then able to use a full range of word banks which relate to various topics from story settings to Ancient Greece. This feature makes it particularly useful for KS2 children who are writing about a particular curriculum topic or need to practice writing in a particular genre or extend their use of adjectives, for example. These topic based grids can be used immediately but it is also possible to add additional words or remove sets of words from the grid as required.
A key feature of the app is that they have a range of speech options so that the child can hear and correct what they have written. The speech settings allow the user to select a British, American or Australian voice; speak each letter, word or sentence; change the speed and select the colour used to highlight the words as they are spoken.
Other settings on the app can be used to enable a spell checker and/or predictor and also to change the appearance of the writing. The background of the word banks and page can be changed to any one of 28 different colours. The size, style and colour of the font can also be changed to suit the user. The colour and display options of the app make it particularly useful for those children with dyslexia who find that different colours make text easier to read.
Once a child has finished a document or wishes to stop, the document can be saved. It is also possible to print from the app if a suitable printer is accessible or the document can be emailed. There is also a word count which calculates numbers of words, character, sentences and paragraphs.Personally, I would like some grammar lessons in the app so that learners can take the app and work through it by themselves. However, that would really make this app a pedagogical masterpiece. With a little bit of guidance from an adult or teacher in order to explain certain concepts that will take learners through the learning process, children and learners will find it very easy to work through the app and progress with their writing skills.
I thoroughly enjoyed this app and I am very proud to say that the app receives the highest EAS Rating of 5 stars. The apps are academically relevant, engaging have learners really getting into writing and looking deep within text. The design is clean and the apps are very functional. This is truly an educational app of quality.
From the Developer
Develop young pupils’ writing skills and build struggling writers’ confidence with Clicker Sentences - the definitive early writing tool that enables you to build sentences with whole words.
Continuously developed by Crick Software for over 20 years, the Clicker product range is used in schools around the world.
“The new Clicker Apps are a complete game changer.”
Michelle Hill - Leamore Primary School
“Great products – fantastic for those reluctant writers!”
Mairead Boucherat – Parkside SpLD Base
“Both apps are fabulous – well thought through, very intuitive to use and definitely where educational ICT is going. Clicker Sentences is going to be so helpful for emergent writers and pupils learning English as an additional language.”
June Isik – Independent Consultant
"Wow, how fantastic and the sentence wizard is my favourite use of Clicker 6, so it means that I can use the app immediately! Love them."
Trish Davidson - CENMAC (Assistive Technology in Education)
HELP EVERY CHILD ACHIEVE WRITING SUCCESS
Pupils tap words in the grid to build sentences in the simple word processor, then hear each sentence automatically spoken aloud as they complete it, helping them to identify any mistakes and make corrections.
Pupils can even hear words before they write them, helping them to find the word they want and achieve writing success (ensure the sound on your iPad is turned on).
USE ANY SEQUENCE OF SENTENCES
Set up any sequence of sentences for your learners in a few seconds by simply typing or pasting them in. What’s more, get free, ready-made Sentence Sets via our LearningGrids site, which is fully accessible from within the app!
PROVIDE DIFFERENTIATED SUPPORT
Numerous support options ensure that children of all abilities are given the right level of challenge to experience success:
•For pupils just getting started with writing, show the completed sentence as a model on the grid, so they can copy it word-for-word.
•A model sentence in a popup enables the pupils to see the sentence, but not copy it – the popup must be closed before they write.
•A spoken model means the pupil can listen to the sentence, but not see it.
•Automatically randomise the words on the grid, or provide additional support by showing them in the correct sentence order.
USE PICTURES FOR ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AND MOTIVATION
Adding a picture to each sentence provides pupils with an additional cue. Choose pictures from your photo library, or snap them straight into the grid with your iPad camera. The pictures can be sent into the document too, helping pupils when reading their work back.
WRITING TO BE PROUD OF
The child-friendly Sassoon font included in the app makes Clicker Sentences documents look great on-screen and on paper. Print your work to any Airprint-compatible printer, or share it via email. Whatever your pupils’ current level, watch their confidence grow and their motivation soar as they experience writing success!
PART OF CRICK SOFTWARE’S CLICKER FAMILY
Based in the UK and US, Crick Software has a worldwide reputation for quality educational software for pupils of all abilities.
Clicker Sentences is part of a growing family of Clicker Apps – find more in the App Store.