Describing can be a tough area for kids with language issues and when something is difficult it can be a challenge to get those students engaged and focused. Smarty Ears new app, Describe it To Me, targets describing in receptive and expressive formats using an interactive and engaging game show theme.
This multi-level app, with it’s inviting game show theme allows you to use it with a variety of ages. Because hey, who hasn’t wanted to be on a game show? So come on down and see what this app has to offer!
Set up is quick and easy, like all Smarty Ears apps. If you are not familiar with their set up process here is a quick peek. Tap add player and then the empty picture space. This will allow you to chose from their pre-made avatars ( cartoon faces ), upload a picture, or just leave it blank. Then enter in their name, and Ta-Da! You can have up to 5 students/clients playing at one time.
There are settings that you can customize for your game play as well. When a player selects an incorrect answer you can chose to have the item removed or have ‘buzzing’ sound. You can also decide if you want to have a visual display ( question written ) and auditory reinforcement ( question spoken ) on while you play, or you can have just one. You can use customize word lists for students as well. As students finish their turn you switch players manually, you do this by tapping the next student’s picture.
How To Play
When a student’s turn comes up you will need to decide if you want their task to be receptive or expressive. You can change between these to settings by sliding the tab on the lower right portion of the TV. With receptive tasks students are given 4 choices for potential answers and with the expressive portion students are just given the question and you can judge the accuracy of their response.
You can manually change the categories at the top for each student.So if a student is doing great with identifying the category of an object but struggling with location, you can adjust it. You can choose from: category, functions, parts, locations, visuals, and extras. There are 6 answers ( one correct for each category ) for each picture and with 160 pictures that is A LOT of practice! I was thrilled to see that the categories followed very closely with the format of the EET ( Expanding Expressions Tool ) so this app would be a great companion to that system if you use it in your room as well.
When a student chooses the correct answer they get immediate reinforcement with a badge on the screen.
After every ten, consecutive questions answered correctly, students can earn awards!
When you are done simply tap ‘Done’ in the upper right hand corner, this will take you to the Report Center. Just tap the student you want information on and then decide if you want to see their report card or awards and points. The report card gives data for Receptive and Expressive categories as well as what the student’s most successful category is. Students/clients will love to see the awards they earned, it is definitely a great motivating tool.
While the app is wonderful, probably one of my favorite things about it is built in homework. With its game show theme this is one heck of a prize! There are 5 homework sheets for 7 different areas. These are great for reinforcement and carryover of describing skills. I am thrilled with the knowledge that I don’t have to go searching for homework that goes along with app/skill, it is all set up for me. I love it when an app makes my day easier.
This app is well thought out and engaging. The game show theme is versatile so it can be used with a variety of age ranges, great if you have students from different grade levels in a session. You can use it for individual therapy and with groups of up to 5. There are 160 pictures and 6 answers per picture so there are LOTS of opportunities for practice. Data is stored for each student and session which makes reviewing progress for goal updates and IEPs very convenient. The ability for students/clients to earn awards is a great motivating feature. Probably my favorite feature is the built in homework! This gives you immediate access to reinforcement and carryover for your students.
* This app was provided for the completion of this review, no other form of compensation was provided. The thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.