Foundations I – Robo-Dog

In this topic:

Tip: If you’re working with English learners, see English Learner offline resources to download flash cards for this exercise.

About Robo-Dog

The Fast ForWord Foundations I exercise Robo-Dog focuses on the following tasks, goals, and skills.

Task. Identify the picture that represents a pronounced target word.

Goal. Develop the following cognitive and language & reading skills:

Language & reading skills

Vocabulary

The understanding of words in terms of meaning, phonological structure, and grammatical role.

Auditory word recognition

The ability to accurately identify spoken words by relying on sound cues alone, without the aid of visual or context cues.

Phonological accuracy

The ability to make correct distinctions based on individual phonemes (e.g., matching words that begin with the same sound) or other aspects of phonology (e.g., rhyming, number of syllables).

Phonological fluency

Understanding that words are composed of different sounds, including the ability to identify and manipulate those sounds in a quick and efficient manner. This skill facilitates both spelling words and decoding them.

Cognitive skills

Memory

The ability to hold a word in working memory while retrieving picture-word associations from long-term memory.

Attention

The ability to sustain focused attention.

Processing

The ability to process words at the level of phonemes and the linguistic processing of words at the level of semantics.

About the science

Robo-Dog presents words that differ by initial or final sound, or both. For example, the words rake and lake differ by initial sound. At the student progresses, Robo-Dog also presents academic vocabulary, such as math and science terminology.

Robo-Dog includes Scientific Learning’s patented speech processing technology.

  • At first, Robo-Dog presents words in which the speech sounds have been digitally altered using patented methods (including selective intensity increases and duration extensions) to provide enhanced learning opportunities. Initially, the consonant sounds in each word have been lengthened and enhanced relative to the vowel sound. For example, the word lake is initially presented with acoustically modified versions of the /l/ and /k/ sounds.
  • As the student progresses through the exercise, Robo-Dog decreases this processing, and eventually presents the words using natural speech.

How students use Robo-Dog

The object of Robo-Dog is to identify the picture that represents a pronounced target word.

To work on Robo-Dog, the student clicks the Go button to hear a word pronounced. Two or four pictures appear on the screen: one represents the pronounced word, while the others represent words that are either phonemically or semantically similar. The student must choose the picture that represents the pronounced word.

As Robo-Dog introduces new content, it presents a teaching activity to help familiarize the student with the vocabulary. This activity works a little differently than the regular exercise play described above. To learn more see Vocabulary teaching mode.

Replay button. During each trial, the student can click the Replay button to repeat the stimuli again. The Replay button is only available during a trial.

Help. If the student needs assistance with the vocabulary, the student can use the Help button. See Help.

Time. The timer at the top of the screen shows the amount of time the student needs to work on the exercise that day, which is based on the student's protocol. It fills in from left to right as time elapses. When the time requirement is met, the exercise automatically closes and returns to the remaining exercises scheduled for that day. If this is the last exercise for the day, Today’s report opens.

Menu. The student can use this menu to exit the exercise early, to check the network connection status, and to see exactly how much time is left to meet the day’s protocol for that exercise. To learn more see Exiting an exercise.

Keyboard shortcuts. Students who are not able to use a mouse can use the following keyboard shortcuts (not available on touchscreen devices):

  • Go button. Space bar
  • Pictures (responses), top left to bottom right. Number keys 1 through 4

Autoplay

To help speed up progress, the student can use Autoplay to take a set of multiple trials with a single click of the Go button. Autoplay becomes available early in the exercise, after the student demonstrates a basic understanding of the concepts (usually after passing a small group of trials). Once introduced, Autoplay turns on by default. The student can turn it off or back on at any time.

When Autoplay is on, the student clicks the Go button one time to start a set of trials. Autoplay always starts with a set of 3 trials. The Autoplay counter shows the number of trials in the current set. If the student gets all of the trials in the set correct, the exercise adds one more trial to the next set. If the student gets any of them incorrect, the program removes one trial from the next set. An Autoplay set will never be less than 3 trials.

The student can earn bonus points by responding correctly to all trials in an Autoplay set. For example, in a set of 3 trials, if each trial earns 2 points, the student would earn 6 bonus points after responding correctly to all 3 trials in the set.

Help

If the student needs help with the vocabulary during a trial, the student can use the Help (?) button. When Help is on, the exercise pronounces the word for each picture and briefly displays the picture on the screen before the standard trial is presented. This allows the student to review the vocabulary before the actual trial starts. Help turns off automatically for the next trial.

When Help is used for a trial, the student does not receive credit for that trial. The student will have to repeat it later for credit, with Help turned off.

How students progress in Robo-Dog

Introduction

Robo-Dog begins with a short introduction that explains the task.

Tip: You can choose to present the introductions, instructions, and any interventions in another language, if needed. See Fast ForWord exercise intro languages.

Vocabulary teaching mode

Robo-Dog provides a vocabulary teaching activity that introduces the words and pictures presented in each trial. This can be particularly helpful to younger students, English language learners, and special education students.

Robo-Dog presents the vocabulary teaching mode at different points throughout the exercise, as it introduces new content to the student.

To work on the vocabulary teaching activity, the student clicks the Go button. Two or four pictures appear on the screen. Robo-Dog highlights each picture and pronounces the word associated with that picture. After a few moments, the pictures disappear. Then, Robo-Dog pronounces a word. The same pictures appear on the screen: one represents the pronounced word. The student must choose the picture that represents the pronounced word.

If needed, the student can access help during Vocabulary teaching mode.

Progression

In Robo-Dog, the student works on two separate types of content, phoneme discrimination and academic vocabulary. Each task follows its own unique progression.

Level

Task

Stage

Processing Level 1

Phoneme discrimination, vocabulary teaching mode, 2 choices

Stage 1: Easy contrast; initial or final sound

   

Stage 2: Difficult contrast; initial sound

   

Stage 3: Difficult contrast; final sound

Processing Level 2

Phoneme discrimination, standard mode

Stage 1: Easy contrast; initial or final sound

 

 

Stage 2: Difficult contrast; initial sound

 

 

Stage 3: Difficult contrast; final sound

Processing Level 3

Phoneme discrimination, standard mode

Stage 1: Easy contrast; initial or final sound

 

 

Stage 2: Difficult contrast; initial sound

 

 

Stage 3: Difficult contrast; final sound

Processing Level 4

Phoneme discrimination, standard mode

Stage 1: Easy contrast; initial or final sound

 

 

Stage 2: Difficult contrast; initial sound

 

 

Stage 3: Difficult contrast; final sound

Natural speech

Phoneme discrimination, standard mode

Mixed stages 1-3

 

Academic vocabulary, vocabulary teaching mode, 4 choices

Stage 4: Number sense and earth sciences

 

 

Stage 5: Arithmetic & geometry

 

 

Stage 6: Life sciences

 

Academic vocabulary, standard mode

Stage 4: Number sense and earth sciences

 

 

Stage 5: Arithmetic & geometry

 

 

Stage 6: Life sciences

 

 

Mixed stages 4-6

Advancement

In Robo-Dog, the student must meet the following criteria to advance in the exercise:

  • Robo-Dog evaluates phonemic discrimination and academic vocabulary individually.
    • For phonemic discrimination, the student must pass all the stages in the level to advance.
    • For academic vocabulary, the student must pass 3 stages to advance.
  • To pass a stage, the student must answer at least 90% of the items correctly. If the student fails to meet the advancement criteria, the student receives an intervention and repeats the stage.
  • Correct responses when using Help are counted as incorrect and will be repeated, to help ensure that the student learns all of the content.

Robo-Dog adapts to student performance by evaluating each stage individually. The student moves on to new content after mastering a stage, and only repeats stages that were not passed. This way, the student can focus on learning the more challenging material.

At the end of the exercise, the student will work on all phonemic discrimination content as one large stage and all academic vocabulary content as one large stage. This lets the student review all of the content in natural speech.

Interventions

The exercises use built-in, responsive technology to detect when a student is struggling and administer targeted, inline instruction—right when the student needs it—without any external resources or assistance required. This “smart learning” design helps reduce frustration as it quickly gets students back on track, where they can continue making progress and achieving gains.

Robo-Dog provides a variety of in-product interventions when needed, such as:

  • Focused review
  • Simplified tasks

The student can receive 1 or 2 of these interventions at a time, depending on the task and difficulty level in which the student is struggling. Each one can take anywhere from a few seconds to 2-3 minutes to complete. When appropriate, the student’s progression in the exercise stops temporarily while working through an intervention, then resumes when the student returns to the regular exercise content.

Tip: You can choose to present the introductions, instructions, and any interventions in another language, if needed. See Fast ForWord exercise intro languages.

Mastery

To complete the exercise, the student must master all of the skills in the exercise and reach a percent complete score of 100%. To learn more see About completing a program.

How Robo-Dog rewards progress

Points. The exercise awards points as follows:

  • 2 points for each correct response
  • 5 bonus points for making “3 in a row” correct three times across the session
  • 10 bonus points for making “3 in a row” correct 15 times across the session
  • 30 bonus points for completing a speech processing level

Feeder meter. The feeder meter tracks and celebrates every 1% of content completion. At 10% complete, the meter is full, and it “feeds” that percentage into the progress meter and resets. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Percent Complete History report.

Progress meter. The progress meter tracks and celebrates every 10% of content completion. Each marker represents 10% of the exercise. When all 10 markers light up, the exercise is complete. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Percent Complete History report.

Completion status. The completion status sign shows the actual percent complete score for the exercise. The score updates each time the student completes 1%. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Percent Complete History report.

Current streak (3 in a row). At the start of each new session, the exercise tracks and shows the current “winning streak” of consecutive correct trials. After 3 consecutive correct trials in a session, a “3 in a row” sign slides onto the screen. The score increments until the streak is broken (on the first incorrect trial), at which point the sign disappears from view. The current streak sign resets to zero at the end of each streak, and at the start of the next session.

Highest streak. At the start of each new day, the exercise tracks and shows the student’s best “winning streak” of consecutive correct trials. The score appears after the first 3 consecutive correct trials, and remains on the screen throughout the day. Any time the student surpasses his or her highest streak that day, the sign updates to show the latest number. The highest streak score resets to zero at the start of the next day.

More rewards. In addition to the current streak sign, the exercise uses other fun animations to encourage progress.

  • The buttons on the dog’s collar light up to indicate the number of consecutive correct responses.
  • When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly, a biscuit appears in the biscuit box on the left and the counter resets.
  • When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly three times, Goldie gets to eat the biscuits, the empty biscuit box moves to the right side of the screen, and the exercise awards 5 points.
  • When the student accumulates four empty biscuit boxes, the golden biscuit box appears. This box fills with gold bones instead of biscuits. The exercise awards 10 bonus points when the golden biscuit box is filled, and the student earns a special gold bone, which is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen.