How does this app apply to therapy or the classroom? This app is a great example of higher level thinking skills, analyzing problems, trying multiple strategies until you find a solution, and sometimes...teamwork. This app can be played individually, with a partner, or even in a group. At the group level, roles/jobs can be given to each player OR the group can work together on forming a plan of action. This app is also 'geared' towards trial and error...most players will not likely create the correct bridge on the first attempt at each level. With students, I emphasize that it is ok to try a strategy...it may or may not work. I also make sure to model mistakes and asking for help. I have also used this app for students who need practicing appropriate reactions to 'small problems'..."misplacing a gear is a small problem and small problems are ok."
As mentioned, this app addresses higher level thinking, so this is a great app for students who need a challenge! It also is popular with students in the middle school age range. I have found this app useful for students who still need to work on goals, yet might need a challenging incentive during therapy to keep them motivated. With these students, I make the student responsible for tracking what level they are on from week to week, etc. For older students, I have also tried teams...each small group picks a team name and we track what level the team is on. If a team gets stuck, other teams are allowed to write tips/notes on my whiteboard or they can ask each other at lunch (which they do). Again, as with all apps, this app is merely an incentive or a 'follow up' to a more structured speech and/or language session. Typically, I use this app when I am targeting logic and reasoning.
To target expressive language, I have the students verbally explain and justify the steps and strategies they use for each turn. This is also great for addressing sequencing skills. We talk a great deal (and I model sentences) about planning out what we need to do first and why, etc. I also model what I did wrong during a mistake and why it did not work.
Directions and Tips for Use:
- Select a level from the Main menu. There are 80 total levels. You do not need to unlock the levels.
- The gears you have in your tool box are displayed along the bottom of the screen...they vary in size and number.
- The gears that you can use or place are shaded gray when placed; however, when dragging them around the screen, they appear mint green. There are also red shaded boxes on the screen...these are zones where you can not drop a gear...you must drag the gear above the box and let it drop down.
This screen shot shows the purple shaded 'slider box'.