Syntax City Review

Thank you to Smarty Ears for allowing me to review their app, Syntax City.  Syntax City was designed for elementary age students and targets eight different syntax areas.  It is very similar to their newest app Language Empires which I previously reviewed.

I recommend starting with the video tutorial, where Barbara will guide you through how to use this app.  You can click "Quick Play" to play without setting up players to collect data.

First, click "Visit the City" to add students to the app.  You will type in their names and can pick either a real picture or an avatar.  Make sure if you are using a real picture, that you take the picture ahead of time.  You cannot take pictures from within the app.  When you are done inputting the names of your students, select the student names that will be using the app during your session.  This app allows for 1 to 5 players at a time.  Click the "Settings" button to decide if you want the audio to play, what to do when there is an incorrect answer, and whether or not you want a prompt for voice recording.

Next, you will select the syntax goals that you would like to address.  There are eight different areas in Syntax City, which represent the different goals.  Drag your players to the area on the map where you would like to work.  Players may be placed in different areas during the same session, and can also be placed in multiple areas during the session to target multiple goal areas.

Students will now begin using multiple choice to fill in the blanks of sentences using the targeted syntax goal.  The eight syntax goals are targeted as follows:

Irregular Past Tense Farm (2 levels)

Do-Does Gym (3 levels)

Plurals Zoo (3 levels)

He-She Ski Resort  (2 levles)

Is-Are Park (one level)

Was- Were Bakery  (3 levels)

3rd Person Singular Beach  (1 level)

Has-Have Grocery (1 level)

When you have finished playing the game, press the "Done" button.  This will take you to a report card page.  Select the player of your choice to view their performance or review the items they collected.  You are able to view the "Treasures Found in Town" as well as "Players Performance."  The graph shown in the performance section gives you overall performance on the game.  On the right hand side, each session date is listed.  Data for each target goal is listed with percentages.  You are able to share this data by clicking "Share" and mailing the data or opening in a variety of apps such as iBooks, Kindle, Edmodo, etc.

What do I think?

What I like:  I love that this app targets eight different areas of syntax.  I like the fill in the blanks feature of the app.  This is especially nice for working on syntax.  I like that more than one student is able to play at a time.  I love the real pictures that are used as the visual cues in the activities.

What could make it better:  I wish they would repeat the whole sentence after the students fill in the blanks.  I usually read the sentence for the students.  There is a feature that also allows the student to read and record the sentence, but some of my students are not really able to read the text, so they usually end up repeating me.

Overall: I would highly recommend Syntax City which is currently listed for $24.99.

** I was provided with a copy of this app by Smarty Ears in order to complete this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for the review.  Thank you Smarty Ears for giving me this opportunity!

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