Friday, May 4, 2012

First Phrases - iPad App Review

First Phrases is one of the apps I got as a part of my grant for 9.99.  One of my students in particular is completely in love with this game, and due to the "Cat" character in the Lite Version he calls it the Cat game.   There is also an in-app purchase for 99 cents that adds more characters (boy, girl and dog I think).

There are several steps to this activity.  First, the child much first either touch or manipulate a three word command phrase.  The first level has a single touch, then the student can move the word to the space in the right order and then has to put the phrase in the correct order.

Next, the student hears the animal say "Ok, I'll _____."  Then the student watches an animation that illustrates the animal following the command.

After the child watches the animal follow the command, they record their voice giving the animal the command.  Their voice plays giving the command, and the animation plays again.  There are also sound effects that go along with the application.

There are a couple things I really like about this app.  1) video visualization of action verbs used in the commands.  2) recording of the students voice so the hear themselves using words and phrases and 3) individually picturing the words to help kids individualize the words rather than learning phrases. 

I started using this application during an explosion in my student's language use.  He went from 1-2 word phrases to 4-5 word utterances.  I changed his requirement to repeating full sentences for the recording such as "The cat is jumping" or "The cat is jumping over the hole."   This means we can still use a favorite activity, get vocabulary we haven't yet done in the game, but keep it at a challenging level for therapy!  I don't have the boy and girl in-app expansion, but I want it to start using this to add he/she pronouns to this activity when working on sentences.

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