Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tense Builder Review and Giveaway!

Tense Builder by Mobile Education Store
$14.99 (iPad ONLY)

 View in iTunes

This is the latest app from the well known company Mobile Education Store, creator of popular apps such as Sentence Builder, Language Builder, Rainbow Sentences, Conversation Builder, Preposition Builder, and Story Builder. Click here to view the Mobile Education Store Website to learn more!

This is a first of its kind app! You won't find anything else like it in the app store to work on verb tenses!! This app is great for all school aged kids. The movies are very popular with ages k-5, I have noticed!

Tense Builder is an interactive way to learn verb tenses (present, past, and future) in a unique video format so the students get to see the verbs in action! This is a great way to give the child immediate visual feedback to attach meaning to the different verb tenses. This helps the child distinguish what is happening now, what is happening in the past, and what will happen in the future.

As a speech therapist working with language delayed students, this is an invaluable tool to target this tricky concept! This would also be great for classroom teachers to use in their lesson plans and for parents to use at home!

  • 42 video animations for target verbs (with plans to expand to 58 by December 2012)
  • Ability to choose which verb tense to target (or target them all)
  • Ability to choose irregular or regular verbs (or target them together). 
  • Ability to select specific verbs to work on.
  • Two different levels of play
  • Receptive and Expressive tasks during play
  • Store and track multiple students
  • Ability to record, save, and email responses
  • Data tracking through app stats. 
  • Built in Video Tutorial

Level One:  Level one is a receptive task. The student watches the short movie and then is presented with a sentence and three picture choices (depending on which verb tense you selected for the student). Then the child has to touch the picture that corresponds to that verb tense. When the child picks the incorrect picture it says "that's not quite right" and it highlights the incorrect verb tense in the sentence.  Next it shows the picture close up so the child can see why it was not the correct choice. It then asks them to select again with the three choices. When the child selects the correct picture it reinforces by saying "that's right"and explains the tense and what it means. For example: "This picture shows what the girl is doing right now, she is listening to the music.

Level Two: In this level you have to watch the video and complete a 'fill in the sentence' activity for the correct verb tense. After the video it will give the student a picture from the video and  3-7 word choices (you can set the amount of choices in the settings) and they have to drag to correct verb tense into the sentence that corresponds with the picture. If the child drags the wrong word in the sentence, it will highlight their response and show a quick video reinforcer of the verb they chose. This will show the student why their choice was incorrect. If the student choose correctly it gives them verbal praise and they you can select next sentence.


Audio Instructions on/off
Correct Answer Reinforcement: on/off
Record Correct Answer: on/off
Level of Play: Level 1/Level 2
Max # of Level 2 Choices (3-7)
Tense (Past/Present/Future/All)
Verbs (Regular/Irregular/All)
Select Specific Verbs
Lesson Style: Long/Short

What I like:
  • This app is easy to use and quick to set up. At the top of the opening screen you will see the last student's name you worked with. You select the button next the name that says "Not You?" and then either choose another student from the list or create a new student.
  • I like that you can pause the movie if you need to for teaching moments or for clarification. 
  • I like how you have an option to hide button on the screen for those easily distracted students!
  • The animations are very high quality and funny! (designed to maintain the student's attention). 
  • I love how this app provides a video model of verbs while they are happening. This is such a hard concept to teach when you are dealing with future and past tense. So much better than the picture cards I have made and used in the past!! 
  • I really like the recording feature! I have found that my clients benefit from hearing themselves say the verbs correctly in the sentence! It is a great way to encourage them and to see if they can self-correct! 
  • As always I love email-able data reports from apps! See the example of their format below.
What I would like to see: The data tracking done in percentages! (For those of us who are not mathematically inclined! I still have to break out my calculator!!)

Taking the app further: As always I like to comment on how to generalize skills learned in the app to real life situations. The video animations are funny and the kids really like them, so sometimes after a video and response we will act out the video ourselves and talk about the verb tenses again. For example there is a video that shows a monkey taking a hat. I will then put something on my head and pretend it is a hat and have the student take it off. I will ask them what they are doing as they do it:"  I am taking off your hat" (present tense). After they do it I will ask them what they did; "I took off your hat (irregular past tense).  Then finally I will say "I want you to do this tomorrow, so tomorrow" ...."I will take off your hat (future tense) ect...! "

Thinking about goals??? I know when I look for apps I think about my caseload and their specific goals. This app can help target specific goals related to verb tenses (The student will identify and use correct past tense verbs (irregular and regular) with 80% accuracy and min cues), or other goals such as syntax related and oral expression!

Variations: If you are on an app budget and want to squeeze some more practice out of this app beyond its intentions you could try this:
Another way to get more practice out of this app is to have the student re-tell the movie after it is finished. Encourage them to remember funny details from the story. For example: "First the cool girl plugged in her ear phones, next she listened to music, and finally she tripped and fell down." (Throwing in some recall and narrative goals as well!).

Check out the Video Preview of this app by Mobile Education Store


The creators of Tense Builder have donated one code for Panda Speech followers! Please enter with the rafflecopter below! Contest will end October 4, 2012! Stop by their facebook page and say thanks too! Mobile Education Store Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here for rafflecopter help! 


  1. I would definitely use this app with my 1st and 2nd grade language impaired students. Anytime they can use the ipad, they are happy!

  2. I would use this with my daughters as well as when I return to the classroom!

  3. I just bought an iPad, and would love to have this app to build my resources, and use during therapy of course!

  4. This looks like one that will get a lot of use. Thanks for the opportunity.

  5. I would use this app to help students achieve positive academic outcomes and increase their mastery of ELA skills (such as using the proper tense or phrase) when relating to sentences or answering questions.

  6. I would use this app to facilitate learning new skills with my 1st through 6th grade language impaired students. The ipad seems to really motivate so many of them and this app looks great!

  7. I would use thisnisnthe speech therapy with my language kids to improve grammar skills.

  8. I will use this with my son and in my demo/sharing sessions with parents and SLPs.