- Quick Play which allows you to immediately enter app play without setting up a specific user
- Select Player allows you to enter usernames and choose either a photo of the student or an avatar. This is also where you will import user information from TRC (Therapy Report Center) if you are using that FREE app, also by Smarty Ears.
Once your users are setup, you may edit by double tapping the username to make changes in name or photo/avatar used.
Next step is to customize the settings for your students by selecting the settings button in the upper right corner. One of the nice features of Smarty Ears apps is they have the ability to turn sounds/animation on or off. Choose the number of wrong options by selecting 1, 2 or 3 and increase difficulty, as the student is successful. Do you want to work on 1, 2, 3 or 4 syllable words….or a couple of them or all of them? Make those choices also in the settings.
Now you are ready to begin your underwater adventure. Just tap the names of the students you would like to work with (up to four) and the seahorse icon will be overlaid onto the selections. Press play in the lower right corner.
The users will appear on above the other on the left side of the screen and the users whose turn it is will be placed on top.
The target picture will appear. To flip it to the word image, tap the arrows at the top of the display window. You won’t run out of target words/pictures because there are nearly 1000 pictures and words with one to four syllables. The word will be spoken and the user should select the correct number to correspond with the number of syllables for the word. Watch out for the shark that appears when a wrong answer is selected! A very nice feature of this app is the HELP starfish button that can be selected. A very helpful turtle will appear and clap out the syllables for you.
A Suggested Update - have the HELP be an offering in the settings to be displayed or not. I found with one student that he would choose the HELPful turtle before attempting to choose the number selection. In my opinion, this alters the data because the student is always prompted prior to selecting the answer.
Overall, this is a simple app that is easy to set up and use. The price may seem a little high but Smarty Ear’s apps do go on sale and I happened to purchase this for $5.99 vs. the regular price of $9.99. It’s definitely worth the $9.99 price tag but a great bargain at $5.99! I believe this app would be quite helpful for parents and educators working with young children on production and recognition of multisyllabic words which is an important skill area of the Common Core State Standards for pre-literacy.
About the Author
Jackie Bryla is a school based SLPA in California. Her experience includes working with transitional kindergarten through high school age students as well as the functional skills population in the public schools. She regularly presents iPad Trainings for California State University Sacramento, American River College, and San Joaquin Delta College speech and language programs. Jackie is also the founder of act – Apps, Consulting, and Training. She is an app beta tester for educational app developers. Jackie is a board member for the California Speech-Language Hearing Association (CSHA) and is an active CSHA District 2 Advisory Committee member in the Sacramento area. Jackie received the outstanding SLPA for CSHA in 2012.