‘Punctuation’ by Daydream Education is a comprehensive app that focuses on the use of a wide variety of punctuation marks. It is a fantastic resource that can be used to help children learn about punctuation marks and practise using them. The punctuation marks include: full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, apostrophes, speech marks, brackets, dashes, colons, semicolons, bullet points and hyphens. It has achieved 5 stars in our Certification.
As soon as the app is opened, you see the main menu screen, from which the content of the app and ‘fun features’ can be directly selected. The main menu for the content includes an ‘Introduction to Punctuation’, which when selected, displays all of the punctuation marks featured in this app. This provides a great overview of the punctuation marks, as visual representations of the punctuation marks are presented in a pyramid-like manner, whereby basic punctuation marks for example full stops and question marks are presented on the top level, and more advanced marks, for example semicolons and colons are featured at the bottom of the pyramid. This feature reminded me of the punctuation pyramids that are often used in classrooms.
From the ‘Introduction to Punctuation’ screen, pupils can either tap on the punctuation mark of their choice, or scroll down the screen to be given a brief explanation about the purpose of the mark and an example of how it is used. There is also guidance on how to use capital letters, as even though they are not punctuation marks, they are included as they are a very important part of sentence structure and organisation.
If you choose to use the app by selecting a punctuation mark of your choice from the ‘Introduction to Punctuation’ screen, having read the brief explanation, it is possible to press the ‘+’ button, which opens an information screen. For example, the ‘full stop’ screen has an explanation of the purpose of the mark; the usage of the mark; a picture showing what it looks like and how it sits on a line; an example text using full stops (including the ability to press on the red speaker phone button to hear the sentences read out) and further expandable boxes providing examples of where else full stops can be used, for example in titles, acronyms and abbreviations.
Within the full stop content, there is also a facility to practise finding the missing punctuation, which can be accessed by selecting the (+) sign at the bottom of the screen. Once selected, a screen opens which asks children to circle where the punctuation marks are needed in the sentences. To do so, the children must select the middle pen icon, and then they can simply draw on the tablet where they feel they should be placed. If any mistakes are made, the eraser icon can be selected which allows children to ‘rub out’ their mistakes, or alternatively, the green ‘x’ can be pressed which clears the hand drawn content from the entire screen. Once the children are happy with their work, they can press the green ‘show’ button for each sentence, which shows the correct placement for the punctuation marks.
The app has a range of activities for each punctuation mark featured, including an explanation and activity if necessary.
If the app is worked through in a linear manner, it is possible to work through all of the punctuation marks, starting from full stops before moving to question marks, exclamation marks, commas, apostrophes, speech marks, brackets, dashes, colons, semicolons, bullet points and hyphens.
What I really like about this app is its attention to detail, making it a very comprehensive resource. For example, the material for question marks provides examples of a variety of question types including yes/no, either/or, closed and open questions. Likewise, the material for commas explains how they can be used to separate items in a list, as well as being used to break up large sentences and separate extra information in sentences. In addition, the apostrophe material explains the difference in usage between ownership and omission. These are all highly useful features for anybody wanting to learn more about punctuation.
Many of the punctuation mark activities also ask the children to ‘try’ writing their own sentences using the notes function, which can be accessed from the top left hand side of the screen. Once this function is selected, the children can type up a heading, for example brackets, and then move to the bottom of the screen to practise writing their own sentences. Whilst the app does not correct the children’s input on this screen, the children can save their notes so that their teacher or parent could look at them and work through their sentences together. The saved notes can be accessed at any time by clicking on the ‘notes’ icon.
Returning our attention to the main menu screen, the learning objectives supported by the app can be displayed by selecting the ‘Learning Objectives’ tab on the right hand side. Furthermore, on the top left hand side, there is a help screen detailing the main icons and features of the app can be found, and an ability to add/change users and view their progress.
The progress feature is especially useful for teachers as they can see exactly where a child is struggling.
Alongside the main content regarding punctuation marks, strength of the app is the ‘fun features’ menu that is accessible from the main landing page. Here, children can select various activities which can be used as a way to reinforce and assess their understanding including a ‘Quiz’, ‘Capital Letters’, ‘Apostrophe’ and ‘Missing Punctuation’ activities.
The ‘Quiz’, which has 3 different levels of difficulty, is a multiple choice activity that covers different punctuation marks as highlighted in the ‘topics covered’ boxes beneath the quiz level selection boxes. Once a quiz level has been selected and questions have been completed, a screen outlining all of the questions asked in the quiz, alongside the response given and the answer are presented. There is also function which allows an email address to be entered so that a copy of the results can also be sent via email, to a parent, guardian or teacher. Having finished the quiz, it is also possible to play again, and what is great is that the questions are not exactly the same as the previous ones, which really allows children the opportunity to practise and increase in confidence.
The ‘Capital Letters’ activity is a fast paced timed 60 second activity where children must decide which word in a sentence needs to be capitalised, and the ‘Apostrophe’ activity requires children to choose the correctly punctuated sentence out of selection of sentences. The ‘Missing Punctuation’ activity is my favourite activity which draws together all previous punctuation knowledge. It presents children with a section of text which lacks punctuation, and requires the children to drag down the appropriate punctuation mark from the selection.
Progress data for all of the ‘Fun Features’ can be accessed at any time from the drop down menu at the top left hand side of the main menu screen. Again, an email address can be entered so that a progress report can be sent on to a parent, guardian or teacher.
The app looks great as it uses strong, bright colours and is very easy to navigate and use. Pictures where used, are attractive and the font is nicely sized and easy to read. I enjoyed using it and feel that children would feel the same way. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed using this app and think it is a valuable resource for educators who are trying to teach punctuation.
From the Developer
This fun and interactive app is packed full of engaging educational content and stimulating assessment activities that are appropriate for a whole range of ages and abilities. Within our Punctuation app users can learn about and practice using a wide variety of punctuation marks including; full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, apostrophes, speech marks, brackets, dashes, colons and semicolons, bullet points and hyphens.
AgesPrimary School Apps (5-7 Years)
Primary School Apps (7-11 Years)
Secondary School Apps (11-14 Years)