Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Now Where Did I Put That App?!?!?!

Do you ever find yourself saying, "Now where did I put that app? I know it's here somewhere!"  If so, just thought I would remind those users who are unaware of this quick can 'search' for your app!  Swipe all of the way to your first screen, swipe left one more time...this will bring you to the 'Search iPad' screen.  Simply enter the name of your app, keyword (if you have forgotten the name), etc. Or if you don't want to swipe to this screen, touch the small magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your's to the left of the dots representing what page you are on.  I use this feature often!  

Happy searching!  No more lost apps!

Zap A Minion

Zap A Minion is a FREE app...and yes, it is based on Despicable Me!  This app is similar to Whac-a-Mole games.  You can select levels: easy, medium, or hard.  You select a screen background (nice if visual contrast is something you want to modify).  You can also select a tools to zap minions with: freeze ray, laser, etc.  Goals for this game would include speed/timing, visual scanning, fine motor, etc.  It's also a great app for taking a speedy break during a rigorous session.  It is also on my list of available game apps that can be earned for hard work, completing a lengthy project, remembering homework, appropriate behavior, etc.  Over the summer, I made a chart of app icons for such achievements.  Students will be able to see the chart in my office and work towards earning opportunities to try various apps following completion of specific goals.

My Playhome

I found My Playhome last Spring (2011), and I am finally getting around to writing about this GREAT app!  I love it!!!  My Playhome is similar to a virtual interactive dollhouse, although it is very gender neutral.  There are various family members to choose from. Each room in the house has an extensive number of fun items and actions.  This app is phenomenal for an extensive variety of speech/language goals: following/giving directions, everyday functional vocabulary, pronouns, verbs and verb tense, spatial and temporal concepts, sequencing, descriptive language, etc. Additionally, this app could address fine motor, visual scanning, and social communication.  I would consider this app appropriate for ages 2 years-late elementary, and possibly beyond depending on the skill level and goal of the student. The developer has added features/characters along the way as well.  Students and kids of all ages seem to love this app because you can touch different items for reactions (great cause-effect), such as: radio plays different cd's, tv turns on/off, lights turn on/off, water turns on/off, tap on the fish tank, fry eggs, open cabinets, bounce on the bed, stack blocks, etc. 

Vocabulary: There is an extensive array of home items for receptive and expressive vocabulary development.
Sentence Formulation: students could formulate basic or complex sentences ("Tell me a sentence using the word 'because'." "Tell me a sentence using the word 'laundry'." etc)
Following Directions: Students could follow and give directions. ("After the boy makes an egg for breakfast, he will brush his teeth" or "Put the boy to the left of the stove")
Pronouns: "Tell me a sentence using the word 'his'."  "Tell me what the children are doing" (THEY are eating cereal).
Verbs/Verb Tense: "Tell me what the family did yesterday."  "Tell me a sentence about what the boy will have for breakfast tomorrow."
Sequencing: "After I tell you a story, show me what happened" (have the child move the characters following the story) "Every morning, Johnny brushed his teeth first.  Next, he ate cereal for breakfast.  Finally, he listened to music in the living room. Ok, go..." (child completes steps).
Conceptual Terms and/or Following Directions:  Provide directions for students to follow, try reversing roles. 'The frying pan is under the table", etc.
Narratives: Provide or model a sample story/narrative. Discuss what elements are needed. Have the student tell you a story.  I have also told students that after they finish telling their story, I will summarize or retell it...they must listen and see if I remember all of the details.  Also, as we progress with the lesson, I make mistakes when I create a story (I leave out names or specific details, or I 'jump around' and go out of sequence).  The student is required to listen and see what story structures or elements I missed. I have used this skill with older elementary students.
Articulation: Have the student create sentences or stories...listen for their target sound or have them self-monitor for use of their target sound.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paint My Wings

Last week, Toca Boca's Paint My Wings was free for a day!  I lucked out! It is a more basic app than their others, but I can see several therapeutic uses for it...and it's fun.  You are given a butterfly template, as far as I know, you can not choose your butterfly.  On the left side of the screen, there are various fruits that are colored...this is how you select your color.  At the bottom left, you can pick what type of 'paint brush tip' you would like to use.
Examples of Some Therapy Goals:
1) Following (and giving) Directions:  Students could take turns giving and following directions to decorate a butterfly.  If done orally, this could address spatial concepts, multi-step directions, etc.  "Before you put 3 pink dots at the top of the wing, put 2 blue dots at the bottom".  Directions could be as simple or complex as needed.
2) Social/Pragmatic Skills: Multiple skills could be addressed.  Again, this could be done orally or through non-verbal communication (through head nods yes or no).  Eye contact, flexible thought, body language, staying in the group, etc could all be addressed.  Ex:   Students could take turns indicating yes/no through non-verbal communication to indicate what color and paintbrush tip they want used, etc.
3) "Equal", "Pattern", "Symmetry" concepts:  This app address the concept symmetry...when you decorate one side of the butterfly, the other side automatically matches.  A great way to address conceptual terms dealing with 'equal', 'same', 'pattern', 'symmetry', etc.
3) Other Goals:  I will also likely use this app for miscellaneous goals, such as articulation drill, listening practice, auditory bombardment, etc.  The student can decorate the butterfly as I read listening lists  OR  they can color 1 area after a designated number of production practice words. Again, the photo feature is nice because if the parent is waiting during the session (for my younger clients), the child can show their 'art work' to the parent at the end of the session....or the picture can be sent via email!

Note: When you are finished decorating a simply tap the butterfly button and your butterfly flies away...a new butterfly appears.  If you would like to save your butterfly, use the in-app camera button.  This feature would be especially useful if you wanted to address comparing/contrasting goals.