Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Phono Learning Center {Guest App Review}

I'm excited to have Jocelyn over at Ms. Jocelyn Speech do a guest post about Phono Learning Center! 

Phono Learning Center is an app developed by Smarty Ears. This app is designed to help children improve their speech production. I am always looking for new practice materials for articulation and phonological delays, so I was happy to receive the opportunity to try this app out.

To start, click on new session. There you can pick one or more children to target during the session. You can specify each child's specific need. To adjust a child's target, double click on their plate symbol.
image participants (1) image
primary target secondary targets
When you are ready to begin, the session begins with Auditory Bombardment, where balloons rise and students tap on them to identify target words for practice. Then, there are four games that can be used for targeted practice; matching, hot air balloon, puzzle, and basket paper activity. During each game, you can keep track of how the student is doing by tapping on "Got it!," "Almost," "Missed it."


During the matching game, the child is presented with a target word and asked to find it's match.

matching 1

The hot air balloon game presents the child with a target card that they drag in to the hot air balloon basket. As you drag cards to the basket, the balloon inflates with air. Once the balloon is full, it takes off.
hot air 2hot air balloon
The puzzle game presents the child with a target word on a puzzle piece. As they say the word, they drag it on to the puzzle board. The goal is to complete the puzzle.


The basket paper activity, my personal favorite, present the child with a target word on paper. After the child says the word they tap the paper so it rolls up in to a ball. Then, the child slides the ball toward the basket trying to get it to go in.
target basket papercrumpled paper
basket paper well done

A helpful feature is the results page. The app stores student information, but you are also able to email or print the results from each session for your records.
rc RC 1
The most surprising feature to come across was Homework! Yes, this App provides you with printable practice sheets that align with the targets you set for your children in the game.
HW 2 hw 1
Phono Learning Center from Smarty Ears is available for $14.99 on iTunes for the iPad.

Ms. Jocelyn
Disclaimer: A free copy of this app was provided to Ms. Jocelyn Speech for review. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed are solely the reviewers and were not influenced by the developer.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Resource Roundup: Planning and Organizing for the Academic Year

To help you all prepare for your return to school, I've gone through all my posts and selected the ones related planning and organization. All these items are free! Here it goes:

1. 9 Parent Tips to Facilitate Their Middle Schooler's Language in the Home {Handout} 
This would be great to include in your welcome letter to parents, as a handout during open school night, or parent teacher conferences. You can read more about the handout here

2. Testing Sign
This door sign was created to deter staff and students from banging on the door while an evaluation is taking place. You can check out the original post here.

3. Lesson Plan Cover
A cute cover to place in the front of your lesson plan binders. Read the original post here.

4. Pass From Class
I make copies of these editable passes and use them whenever one of my students needs to leave my room (and have forgotten their own agendas that serve as a pass). Many schools have their own template, mine does not and I found that these work well. To read more click here

5. Performance Cards 
These editable performance cards are like mini report cards that I provide to each student after their session. After a “grade” is provided on the speech card, the student presents it to their teacher. The teacher then incorporate it into their grade for the day (usually towards participation). Read about more about how I use performance cards here.

I hope you can find some or all of these items useful to you as embark on the new year. Which items do you think will be useful to you?

Happy New School Year!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Expressive {App Review & Giveaway}

When did September get here?! I hope all of you had an enjoyable summer and are refreshed, recharged and ready to roll! For those of you who are experiencing the end of summer blues, you're in luck! Today's post will be a review and giveaway for Expressive from Smarty Ears ($25.99)!

Users select images that appear in the white area to express themselves
This app can be used to communicate by tapping on symbols that in turn produce an audio of the text associated with the image(s).

What I liked:
  • Users are able to "lock" the screen as to prevent those with curious fingers from adding or deleting images.
Users can select the lock feature, pick a desired speech rate,
choose from male/female voices, etc.
  • This app can be customized. If you can't find what you need from the library (contains over 10,000 images), you can add your own image or folder along with an assortment of colors to choose from! 
Add your own image or create your own folder
  • Easy to navigate! This is a pretty straightforward app. For those who are unclear on its use, Smarty Ears has a brief video tutorial to assist.

What I would like to see:
  • It would be great if users were able to record their own voices to correspond to the symbols. The voices used on this app sound rather unnatural and robotic.
  • I would prefer not to have to erase an entire sentence when trying to edit my productions. The ability to delete individual images as opposed to an entire phrase/sentence would add to this apps ease of use.
App Compatibility:

Expressive is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

To see Expressive in action please take a look at the video below:

Want to try it out for yourself? Please enter below for a chance to win a free download of this app. The giveaway ends Friday, September 6th at 12:01 AM. Good luck!

Please note that comments will ONLY appear once I've reviewed and approved them (prevents postings from spam-bots). If your comment doesn't appear immediately, wait a few hours. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure Statement: I was provided a copy of this app by the developer. No other compensation was provided. This review includes solely my opinions.

Pin It button on image hover