Categories Learning Center2019-04-18T13:30:34-04:00
Categories Learning Center is a multi-level, multi-player application designed by Speech-Language Pathologists to improve language comprehension for individuals of all ages. Categories Learning Center is based on research surrounding language development and language processing in children; however, categorization skills may prove useful for individuals of all ages with word finding, memory, and reading comprehension difficulties.
The ability to identify and categorize an object by associating common features is important for building the semantic networks needed for reading comprehension.

Studies have indicated individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) may benefit from specific instruction in categorization1. Poor categorization skills can influence word finding, comprehension, and language processing. Children with language disorders often have difficulty explaining a relationship between items, forming word associations, and building the semantic networks needed for speaking and writing3,4. Categories Learning Center was created specifically to help build those semantic networks to increase word finding, comprehension, and processing.

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We have designed the app in a way that allows adults to customize the app to meet the needs to the specific lesson or a student.
The Settings button on the student page allows the individual to change sorting difficulty from two to three categories for levels 1 and 2.
The settings button also allows the customization of the categorization targets. Customizing the category target allows the individual to maximize therapy time.
With this feature, the individual can increase or decrease the complexity of the targets specifically for the session.

Learn nearly 50 categories
Category Learning Center includes nearly 45 category tittles. Students will practice learning the categories and classify items that belong to each one of these categories. Some of the categories included on the app are listed below:

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Five Activities

Designed to target receptive & expressive categorization skills
Categories Learning Center addresses both receptive and expressive categorization skills and includes five (5) different activities.
RECEPTIVE Skills
o Level 1 – sorting dissimilar objects
o Level 2 – sorting similar objects
o Where does it go – placing an object in the correct category (of 3)
EXPRESSIVE Skills
o Category Naming – providing the correct category name for a group of objects without prompts
o Category Selection – identifying which category name (of 4) a group of objects belongs
In addition, the adult can informally provide opportunities for naming additional items within a category

Sorting (Level 1 and Level 2)

In levels 1 and 2, the app shows a line of items on the bottom of the screen and either two or three containers. The individual must drag the item to the appropriate container. Tapping the item at the bottom of the screen will provide an audio clip with the item label. Once identified, the individual must determine the category in which the item should be placed. The number of containers is selected in the “settings” area. See images below.

Where does it go?

Where Does it Go? is a receptive task. In this activity, the individual is given three categories and a single item. The individual must decide which of the three categories is the best answer for the single item. Level 3 is a more complex categorization task as there are no additional pictures to use as references.

Category Naming

In this task, the individual has the ability to be “almost” correct (e.g., providing a broad general category such as household items instead of a narrow category such as bathroom items). A tap on the blank line in the sentence will fill-in the correct answer. A tap on the individual picture will provide an audio clip label. Scoring is determined by tapping the Correct, Almost Correct, or Missed buttons.

Category Selection

In this task, the individual must choose which of the four provided categories is the best category for all four pictures. The individual must tap the correct category button at the bottom of the screen. A tap on the wrong button will remove that answer choice. A tap on the blank line in the sentence will provide the correct answer.
Hint: To increase the complexity of both expressive tasks, once the individual has determined the best category for all four pictures, ask them to provide two more items that fit into that same category

Progress Measuring

To access the results select the “report cards” on the bottom right corner of the main menu. Tapping on the picture of a player brings up the report card for that individual.
The results can be “shared” by email, printing, or exporting to The Therapy Report Center.

Video Tutorial

Reviews

This is a perfect app for developmentally delayed students as it addresses many of their needs in one app. We are able to track their progress and move up a level when they are ready.

Bridging Apps

It helps kids to think past general categories. For example, one category is not just, “animals”, but “reptiles”, and another category is not just, “household items”, but “bathroom items…I enjoy the age appropriate kid voices on the recordings

Twin Sisters

The pictures are not confusing or stick-figure-ish. While they are not real images, the illustrations are still easy to identify…You can select a combination of activities such as sorting and category naming during the same session, or only select one type of activity, your choice.

SLP Echo

iTunes Reviews

Excellent App for working on not only categorization skills, but both expressive and receptive language skills. There is so much you can do with this app. I have also used it with a few of my adult clients who have aphasia.

ASW73, iTunes Review

I love the different levels in this program. Great to be able to have students sort dissimilar items and also do the higher level task of similar items. This app is very customizable

BH764, iTunes Review

Good to use in the classroom as it keeps track of IEP goals. It is very customizable and has various levels of difficulty. This app objective is to sort items that are similar and those items that are not similar. Not too many other category apps out there!

teach.me, iTunes Review

I am an SLP who works with students with significant language delays. This works well because I can work on both receptive and expressive vocabulary. They work hard but have fun too!

sharlaurie, iTunes Review

References

  • Constantinidou, F. & Kreimer, L. (2004). Feature description and categorization of common objects after traumatic brain injury: The effects of a multi-trial paradigm. Brain and Language, 89(1), 216-225.

  • Partyka, C. M. & Kresheck, J. D. (1983). A comparison of categorization skills of normal and language delayed children in early elementary schools. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 14, 243-251.

  • Richard, G. J. & Hanner, M. A.(2005) The Language Processing Test 3. East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems, Inc.

  • Semel, E., Wiig, E. H., & Secord, W. A. (2003). Clinical evaluation of language fundamentals, fourth edition (CELF-4). Toronto, Canada: The Psychological Corporation/A Harcourt Assessment Company.