Tuesday, November 12, 2013

App Review - Fun With Verbs and Sentences by Hamaguchi Apps

by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development
I am thrilled to provide a review for this ingenious app. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!
Fun With Verbs and Sentences HD  was developed for the young child to address basic agent+action+object/preposition sentence patterns and to formulate syntax structures.   
1. Includes 39 verbs and 266 adorable animations/sds (lite version has 10 verbs)
2. Teach verb concepts in 1-word phrase
3.Play “Build a sentence” or “Watch & Say”– Child taps on a picture of a Subject  (girl, boy ,bear.) Then tap an Action, “ What do you want the boy to do”, then pick  object, e.g. something for the boy to eat.  – up to a 6 word phrase.  Sentences can be expanded further using the prepositional phrase, e.g. “ Where will the boy jump?” and “ What is happening?”  Always have access to settings to change at a minutes notice.  You can end the session at any time.
4. Tap the recorded sentence, record the child, then play it back instantly. Quality of voice is excellent. The modeled voice is precise and has inflection.
5. Text and recording button
6. Settings are simple and easy to navigate and offer a graded progression of difficulty  
     with  6 categories:
·        Activities (Build a Sentence or Watch & Say)
·        Sentence Type (varied phrase lengths, pronouns He and She)
·        Verb List and Tenses ( ing, past & irregular past)
·        Cueing (visual/verbal prompts)
·        Progress Tracker(Collect Data)
·        Bubble Game( provides reinforcement after a number of questions)

The preschool children easily engaged with the adorable graphics and animations/sd of this app and wanted more! At first I worked in an isolated setting with 1 child (IEP goal of MLU 4 words) who had a huge smile on his face each time he heard his voice. He was quite engaged with this activity and maintained attention for at least 15 minutes. By the second session he was able to independently choose the agent, action and object/preposition and used 5 to 7 word phrases! In settings, I chose the cueing models with simple verbal and visual prompts.  The child tapped on the 3 color coded circles at the bottom of the screen at his pace to hear the sentence pattern. The animated activity is occurring as the child taps the circles. There is no rush to complete the sentence.   This was perfect for my student whose response time can be delayed at times. We then brought this app into the classroom where the teacher was happy to have the group participate. They were just as engaged as my student and patiently waited their turn.   I was surprised at the interest level of my preschoolers.  We did not need the Bubble Game to reinforce performance. The app itself was reinforcement. It took no time for me to learn to navigate and play with the Settings. I did watch the demo video just to see if I missed something, but I didn’t.  I love the auditory component of this app  - I was able to record the student’s voice with clarity and Hamaguchi did a top notch job in selecting voices which are appealing and have inflection.  This is especially helpful when working with a child who displays a monotone voice.  I could use this app as a screening tool to establish baselines.  This app can also be used for sentence recall, emerging readers and literacy development.     I do have a one wish list for future updates:   Is there is any way to decrease the MB Usage of 715?  I had to put some apps in the Cloud. $15.99 is a little pricey but worth it. There is a lite version available for .99 (10 verbs.)

Material is accurate & evidence based, addresses task, offers large selection target. Addresses speech goals:
1.     Basic verb patterns
2.     MLU
3.     Verb tenses
4.     Pronouns

Flexibility to adjust settings , add/delete tasks,  audio recordings, back button
Ease of use
Can use app quickly, video demo instructions from developer, no glitches
Captures attention of user, simple graphics, interactive, animatioms
Accountability- time needed to complete task, # trials, results in improved student performance- record data – progress monitoring. Price $15.99 (lite .99)