Friday, June 1, 2012

Articulation Scenes Review

                           Articulation Scenes by Smarty Ears!

download it now! iTunes $49.99

Smarty Ears has done it again! Articulation Scenes is a new creative and engaging way to work on articulation and language skills! The app premise is based on scenes and has very cute, hollywoodish graphics and animations. 

There are four modes of play: Find the hidden items, tap and say it, the movie theater, and the production room. You choose the phoneme (sound) and placement (initial, medial, and final position of words) to work on and it lets you choose different scenes to play with. There are three scenes per phoneme (one for initial, medial, and final placement) with the exception of /r/, which contains 10 scenes. 

Find the hidden item: This mode is a seek and find activity. There are words listed at the bottom of thescene (if the child taps on the written word it will say it for them). As the child finds the pictures it says the target words again (this is great for auditory bombardment).  I also have the child produce the target after they find it to practice their speech! The child is rewarded with points for every picture they find and if they score enough they will get a trophy for their trophy case.  This task also promotes vocabulary building and listening skills! 

Tap and Say it: This is exactly what is sounds like! The child taps on target words in each scene and the picture pops up bigger. Here the therapist (parent/teacher) has data recording tools (missed it, almost, and got it). This keeps track of accuracy for you! There is also an option to record the child's voice for instant personal feedback. What I really like is that you can practice each word as many times as you want. To get more practice you can have the child say each word 3 times!  When you are finished with the scene it provides a nice report with percentage of accuracy.  Again you can also use this game for vocabulary building for those kids who have language and articulation goals!

The Movie Theater: The scenes is presented in a movie theater like graphic and a story/script is read aloud (containing target words). When it is finished you can have the child read the script of the movie (for articulation practice while reading) or create their own story. When they choose to read, the story is presented in a teleprompter! So cute! You can record the student reading the script. If you choose to create a story, the scene is presented again and the student can make up their own story and record it! (This is great for working on articulation in structured speaking situations).  

The Production Room: This section is similar to the Movie theater except it doesn't include the read aloud script first. This is ideal for student who are ready to just create! See above for the description of the two options (read the script and create your own story).  You can use this app for story elements and narrative skills as well! (Targeting those language goals!)

Things I really like: 

  • Create quick user profiles: Name and photo/avatar only! This makes set up much quicker (as opposed to entering birth date and grade level)! This is great when you want to start a game quick and you don't have the student's records handy. 

  • Homework Document: Each scene comes with a homework document (Amazing!!) that has picture cardswith images straight from the scene! Send these home with your kiddos for great carry over practice! It will get your kids talking about Articulation Scenes at home! I have even planned on taking screen shots of the individual scenes to print out with the scripts so that the students can practice exactly what we did in therapy with their caregiver! I may type up their recorded story (or have them write it) too! Example of a homework page (screen shot from my iPad, it prints or emails as a full page). 

  • The Lounge: The lounge displays each child's progress report and trophy case when you tap on their picture. This stores their data from each session which comes in handy when you are needing some data for school reports or therapy notes! My son loved this and wanted to check his trophy case after each session! :) Great way to keep student's motivated! This is my son's lounge to the left!

  • Reports: You can share the progress reports via email or Print (I still haven't bought a printer for my iPad). I like that you have the option to only share the most recent session and you can attach audio files!! 

  • The tricky /r/ phoneme! This phoneme is one of the most prevalent targets and Smarty ears broke it down into the different types of /r/ sounds (pre-vocalic, blends, air, ar, ear, ire, or, rl). A speech    therapist's dream! 

Some may think this app is a little pricey but it is worth the money. This app provides endless articulation practice with over 1200 target pictures and 72 different scenes! This company has great customer service and provides video tutorials for all of their apps!  If you want high quality therapy apps you have to pay for them!

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