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Saturday, March 31, 2012

KidsMg Easter Special Edition

KidsMg Easter Special Edition by Portegno Apps is another awesome addition to the KidsMag series. This app is perfect for all ages with it's wide variety of games, puzzles, and stories. This app has you covered for Easter fun activities all wrapped into one low price. Most magazines make you purchase a subscription which in turn can be very costly. With KidsMag you pick which magazines you want and keep them forever. In this magazine there is: an Easter story with Teo and Bianca, coloring, Easter egg decorating, puzzles, and sooo much more. There is even a recipe for baking cookies in this edition.  Each page in the magazine brings new exciting activities for all to enjoy. My children love all the KidsMag magazines and look forward to them as new ones come out. I even enjoy playing with all the fun activities and am amazed every time we get a new one. With this special edition there is 16 pages of fun activities for your child to enjoy. KidsMag now has 6 different magazines available with three of them being special holiday editions. They are not your ordinary magazines where the content always is the same over and over again. With each activity brings you a new activity to enjoy such as when you finish one puzzle it doesn't end there you get a new puzzle!!! The sound and music are clear and can be adjusted within the magazine to best suit your needs. I highly highly highly recommend all kidsmag magazines :)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Smarty Ears continued :)

Smarty Ears has some wonderful apps for speech and language. Their apps are simple and easy to use for home, school, and therapy. They offer a wide range of apps for your speech needs. Most of their apps are to be used with an adult and child/children but some do offer the opportunity to learn alone. I love using their apps in my home and my children enjoy learning and growing from them.

Is that Silly?: This is one of my children's favorite apps from Smarty Ears. This app offers fun and learning all at the same time. The app teaches children observation, pragmatics, and expressive language skills. This app progressive by itself so no turning the page when it moves onto a new page. There is arrows provided to go onto the next one or go back if needed though. The app scores at the bottom of the page for you. There is some activities that you will have to grade though such as the questions that help with expressive language. You will be able to choose between yes, no, and sort of got it. Your child could work on this app by themselves but the expressive part would not be graded by them hitting the arrow for next question. There is settings for prompt for expressive language, display written/audio cue about picture, display percentage on screen, and "Well Done" audio. You are able to email results if needed at the end. I highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Custom Boards- Premium: This app helps parents, therapist, and teachers build their own custom boards. The app offers over 11,000 symbols and has the ability add your own as well. You can select from different templates in six areas: devices and switches, grids and boards, schedules, activities, signs, and labels and worksheets. There is over 100+ templates in all. You are able to print, save, or e-mail all your final templates. You can also save your templates to your computer in pdf. format through iTunes. This app offers a lot of different options for your needs. This app has been a wonderful addition in my home as I wanted an easy way of making my own boards. I have used this app for different activities and schedules. I highly highly highly recommend this app if you are needing an easy to use board making app :)

House of Learning: This app offers a simple way of learning prepositions such as "put the girl on the bed". You can use this app many ways and is wonderful for teachers and parents to work with children on building these skills. This app is wonderful for therapist as they can work with a child without having to have a bunch of objects out just one simple easy to use app. First you pick your people that can be placed in the house. Then you choose a room in the home. You then can place various objects and people anywhere in the room. Your children can use this app as fun alone but it is highly recommended to use this app as a learning tool. To use as a learning tool: You can tell your child where to place different items in the room using 1 or more directions. This helps your children start to learn 1 step or more step directions. You can also use this app as a "silly house builder" by placing items in silly places before giving it to your child and having them find them. This options helps build verbal skills as well as learning "what is silly" :). You can also have your child build a story around the scenes to build on story telling which is difficult for some children. This is a highly highly recommended app.

Prepositions Remix: This app is about fun and learning prepositions. The pictures in this app are realistic and the voice is easy to understand. Your child will have to follow the directions at the bottom of the page. This app also reads all phrases aloud for your child. This app can be used alone or with an adult. This app is perfect for home learning as it is very easy to use. The app will grade for you and there is many options. Some of the options are the type of prepositions you want your child to work on, written cues on/off, random on/off, repeat questions on/off, and when wrong (keep going, no response, or buzz). The options of repeating questions makes this a wonderful app for therapist and teachers trying to see what the child is understanding on the first try. Yes I've been through many evaluations with my children and know that for most testing the person giving the test must take the first answer so I've learned this is very important :). I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Match2Say: This app is very enjoyable to my children. This app helps with producing sounds while playing a fun match game. Each deck of cards offers a new sound and the sounds are organized by initial/medial/final. There is several different levels of difficulty included so you can choose what works best for each child. There is over 1500 images in this app that are very realistic. The voices used are clear and easily understood by children. There is options for the difficulty, the sound, where the sound comes, and word/ phrase. Each of these levels provided can be best set to the child being worked with. You can choose how you use this app to it's best ability. It is ran as a matching game but to use it to it's fullest ability you will have to work with your child and use the microphone in the corner to have your child say the words/ phrases. This is a very important part of this app. There is a "video" tutorial to help you learn the best ways to use this app. My children love to use it while working on speech as well as occasionally using it as a matching game as well :) Highly highly recommended.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tell Me About It!

Tell Me About It! by Different Roads to Learning, Inc. is a wonderful language app. This app has over 235 language targets and 6 levels of difficulty. For each item they child gets right there is an award for. There is a little show when your child completes a level which my children really seem to like. This app will gather data of up to ten children at a time which you then can email the results of as needed. There is many categories included in this app such as clothing, animals, toys, and more. There is 6 total levels being: Level 1- labels, Level 2- categories, Level 3- function, Level 4- Feature, Level 5- Randomized feature, function, category, Level 6- Shared feature, function, and category. This app covers more then I've seen in most app types for this type of category. The pictures are clear with little distraction and with a very positive response to correct answers. There is even a teachers area to set many different settings for each student. Within the teachers area there is also a reinforcement schedule for you to set up what is best for each of the children for rewards. This app is amazing for the price. It works very well for home and school and covers many age levels. I use this with all three of my kids and have been able to customize it to each of their skill levels. The exact settings you can run are display labels on/off, reinforcement schedule (how many tokens 3,5,10), level select, and token character. I highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Pros: many categories
         a lot of levels
         token reinforcement
         a lot of language targets
         clear pictures with little distraction
         clear voice
Cons: could use some more settings for language targets such as choosing which to work on
          could allow you to choose more rewards and how incorrect answers come up


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rainbow Sentences

Rainbow Sentences by Mobile Education Tools is a beautifully made app. This app helps children learn to create grammatical sentences using color cues. Your child will learn parts of sentences and will also help build on receptive and expressive language skills along the way. This app helps teach nouns, verbs, and prepositions. Your child will also be able to record their sentences when finished to build on the language skills. There is 168 images to create sentences and words are spoken as they are being dragged so even non readers can use this app. There is 6 levels of sentence complexity and a puzzle bonus to keep readers wanting more. The pictures will come to life after a puzzle is completed witch provides visual stimuli to the app. The app also has very vivid pictures that are beautifully done. During the app all the words are presented at the bottom of the page and then your child must place them where they go in the sentence. There is lines provided at the top as a cue where the words should go. I have used this app with my daughter who is in first grade right now. She is in the early reading stage and is just starting to work on some of these skills in school. I start and finish the sentence for her but make her fill in the blanks so she can start seeing what words make the sentence sound correct. This has been a wonderful teaching exercise for her. She really enjoys the puzzles when she finishes an exercise and it keeps her wanting to do more. There is many options with this app for younger and older users. I like to use this app with her on the harder levels but also allow her to use the app by herself on some of the easier levels for her to learn by herself.  Be sure to check out the other wonderfully done apps from Mobile Ed as well. I highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Pros: really well made app
         wonderful pictures
         multi skill teaching (English language skills, speech, reading)
Cons: none found :)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Smarty Ears apps

Smarty Ears brings you a lot of speech and language apps. Their apps have many different functions from AAC apps to basic speech objectives such as categorising items. I have found most of their apps to be very helpful in my home and very easy to use. I am going to now tell you a little about their three newest apps available.

Minimal Pairs Academy: This app is simple and easy to use. This app covers four different categories. The categories are: auditory bombardment, auditory discrimination, production, and phrase completion. The app includes over 900 words and 23 different pairs. The results can then be graphed so you can see how the child is doing over time. This app is wonderful for home, school, and therapy because it will track multiple children for you. You can also share the data as needed whenever you would like. I use this app in my home with my three children. I love being able to share the results with their speech teachers and have found the app simple and easy to use. It also has the option for you to take notes as you go along witch is really helpful to track anything extra you want to add about that speech session. I highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Fun and Functional: This app covers expressive and receptive speech skills. This app has been really helpful in my home and is very simple to use. You can choose to work on expressive or receptive skills alone or you can alternate to cover both. You can once again track and email any results as needed. There is many different options in this app so you can choose what you want your child to work on or you can work on them all. There is also many different levels so you can find one that works best with your child/student. I love that this app covers a lot of the Wh questions and it is so easy to track as you go along. When you must mark if they got it right you can choose: missed it, almost, or got it! which is some wonderful options. With other apps I've used it's either a yes or a no when sometimes you would rather put almost since they just about got it right. The result screen is layed out really nicely and shows you the skills worked on, the level, how many items per screen, percent accuracy and total correct/incorrect. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Categories Learning Center: This app is simple and very easy to use. This app can be used by just the child or with you. This is one of the better sorting apps I've seen and covers many different areas. You can even have multi-player options of up to 4players at a time. There is also a multi-level receptive option for non-verbal as well and a multi-level expressive activity. You can once again track and share for progress monitoring. There is 5main categories. They are: sorting level 1, sorting level 2, where does it go?, category naming, and category selection. This app is not your normal sorting app that is made for preschoolers. This app continues well beyond the preschool years and expands as your child expands learning levels. I find that this app especially works very well in the home but would work anywhere else as well. The multi-player options make it wonderful for small speech groups or even small social skill groups as they have to work together and talk with each other. I highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Learning how to write words, numbers, sentences, math

Learning how to write words, numbers, sentences, math by Kiddyapps is a wonderful workbook style app. This app teaches children how to write in regular handwriting and also in cursive. Children can use their finger or a stylus to trace the lettering in the app. Dot and arrows show them how to trace the letters so they can begin to write on their own. There is over 80 scenes and includes many different types of writing paper. The app includes both lowercase and capital letters along with number 0-9, words, and phrases. This app can be used over and over again unlike paper versions that have to be thrown out and re bought over time. The little monkey in the corner of the page guides your child from page to page as they practice writing. When you first turn on the app and and hit start you will be giving 8 choices. The choices are: Line practice, lowercase and capital, numbers, words, sentences, blank sheet, math, and what looks like a blot of ink is really for practicing your name! :). When you go into a section such as line practice you will be given lines on two of the practice lines and the remaining will be for you to try by yourself. The monkey in the corner is where you can clear your page by touching his nose, go onto the next set by touching his green ear, or go back by touching his red ear. I think by having the monkey and not just arrows it helps so your child doesn't enter and exit all the time. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Pro's: wonderful workbook style, tracing lines, extra lines to do by your child's self, easy but yet hard for child to navigate, no distracting animations

Con's: Links out of app on home page for additional apps