HearBuilder® Auditory Memory

The team over at Super Duper was generous to provide me with a copy of
the HearBuilder® Auditory Memory Professional Edition software
program.  It is research-based and
created by Webber.  It has five
activities that target auditory memory, closure and comprehension skills. 

 

What is the difference between the home edition ($69.95) and the
professional edition ($149.95)?

 

The Home and
Professional Editions target

 

*
Memory for
Numbers (3-7 digits)

 

*
Memory for
Words (3-5 words)

 

*
Memory for
Details (1-4 details)

 

*
Auditory
Closure (sentence completion)

 

*
Memory for
WH Information (2-3 sentences/2-4 Questions)

 

In the Professional
Edition, educators

 

*
Individualize
each student’s program

 

*
Set levels
of difficulty for each activity

 

*
Identify
and print learning objectives for all levels

 

*
Add
background noise and adjust the volume for activities 1-4

 

*
Customize
and Print Reports

 

*
Analyze
all Responses

 

Also, the home edition allows only 1-4 students to be
programmed in and the professional is unlimited.  However, you can always add, subtract, and
modify the students on the program if you can only justify the cost of the home
edition.

 

Now onto the descriptions of each activity and how you can
incorporate it into your speech sessions!

 

Are you thinking, “But I work with groups of students!  How can I use this with all at once?”  The same way you may use an app, or take
turns in CandyLand during speech sessions!
You can have students take turns after each turn, you can use this on a
Smart Board, or you can have one student working on the computer, one with you
on an iPad, and the rest doing review work at a table.  I personally like the idea of teaching the
students to be patient and take turns!
They can learn from each others’ correct and incorrect responses.  Although they may not be playing at that
particular time, if you teach them to sit and follow along, they will get extra
exposure to the tasks as well.

 

Overall concept of program, students become Recall Agents
and help save “MemoryTown” from Dr. Forgetsit while learning key strategies for
remembering numbers, words, sentences, and stories.  You can set up that after several correct
responses they can be rewarded with a game that is built into the program.  Each activity starts with a cute animation
that introduces the activity and explains what the students will have to
do.  My students could not get enough of
these animations!!  They thought it was hysterical!!

 

For all activities, you can set up ahead of time, the amount
of background noise, and which tasks to start and stop with (length and
complexity).  You can set this up before
the students enter by adjusting their settings if you have their names entered
in the program.

 

Memory for Numbers
(3-7 digits):

 

Your students will be shown a key pad and will hear a string
of digits.  They must repeat the numbers
to themselves using strategies such as chunking, singing to self, asking for
repetition if necessary (I provided the repetition) to recall the numbers and
plug it into the key pad to open the lock.
Such a functional and motivating way to work on digit recall!

 

Memory for Words (3-5
words):

 

For this task, students will be shown an array of pictures (3-6)
and will hear a list of words.  They must
attend, retain, and recall the order of the words presented.  Then they must click them in order.  It is important that they know the vocabulary
ahead of time so it is truly a memory task not assessing vocabulary.  Again, I reviewed with my students our
strategies for listening and remembering.
I allowed them to ask me for repetition or clarification if necessary.  I think it is important that our students
learn to advocate for themselves and feel comfortable asking help from a
teacher or adult.

 

Memory for Details
(1-4 details):

 

Students are shown various scenes with different cartoon
characters.  They must listen and look
for the missing “agent.”  They hear a
description of a character and must listen, recall and find what was
heard.  In addition to reviewing memory
and listening strategies, I think it is important to review descriptions ahead
of time.  Freeze an image from the program
that shows a scene, how many people do you see?
How are they similar and different?
One girl is wearing a red shirt and the other is wearing yellow.  What can we listen for: boy/girl, clothing
colors, actions, locations, hair color, if wearing glasses, etc?  You can probably follow up this activity with
a barrier game where your students provide the descriptions and their peers
must locate the characters.

 

Auditory Closure
(sentence completion):

 

I thought this activity was hysterical!   There was a screen telling the students a
message that kept getting cut out (realistic right?!).  The students had to listen and use clues and
background knowledge to figure out what word is missing from the message.  They are provided choices by putting the
mouse over the different colored boxes.
They must listen to the choices and remember the sentence they heard as
well!  Then they click the box that has
the correct missing word to complete the sentence.  Some phrases of sentences included: “peanut
butter and _____” and “Jack and Jill fell up a _____.”  It was very interesting to see which students
had difficulty with this task.  It
required many skills!  They had to
attend, listen, and use reasoning skills to think and find the answer.

 

Memory for WH
Information (2-3 sentences/2-4 Questions):

 

For this activity, students will listen to a plan and must
respond to a wh- question based on information heard.  It is important to remind your students to
listen (and take notes if capable) for who, what, where, when, and why of the
information heard.  One feature I liked
about this was the ability to hear the information again.  My students got so focused on the question
they forgot what they heard.  I worked
with them to click to hear again instead of guessing.  I used mini dry erase boards with Boardmaker
symbols taped on to create a “graphic organizer” for note taking.  This made note taking fun and motivated while
we played the game.  It is a great skill
for students to work on and correlates to expectations in the classroom.

 

Overall, I think this program is great!  It allows you to modify and create individualized
settings.  You can monitor progress and
email/print scores (data collection woohoo!).
Since it is the end of the school year, it is difficult to tell you how
my students progressed over time (I only received the program last week!).  But I have some ideas of how I want to
incorporate this program into my sessions next year.  I plan on selecting several students that I
feel will truly benefit from it.  I will
teach each strategy and good listening behaviors.  I always use “whole body listening.”  I will try and post some materials I use for
that another time.  I will try and use
this program in the beginning to collect a baseline.  I will determine which tasks were the most
difficult at what levels and complexities.
Based on this information, I will create different lessons to build
memory and practice using strategies: repeating to self, asking for repetition,
note taking, listening for key words, making guesses using clues, singing to
self to help recall, picturing it in your head, mnemonic devices, chunking,
etc.  As a reward, I will let the
students play on the computer using this program.  I will monitor the progress through the data
collection feature and work accordingly.
I think this program is great to reinforce yet teach at the same time.

 

 

Does this program align with common core state standards?
YES!!  If you visit the Super Duper
Website, you can view it for yourself.
View the “learn more” page here for links to information regarding
research and common core.  It also has
more tables that demonstrate the difference in the two editions.

 

Are you intrigued yet??
I hope so!!  Check this product
out, read reviews, watch videos, read research, and try it out on their
website.  It also shows the different
strategies that you can copy and print for your students!   I recommend this program for all
speech-language pathologists working with school-aged children with poor
auditory memory/comprehension, processing difficulties, and weaknesses in
attending to auditory information.  Have
you used this program?  What do you
think?!  http://www.hearbuilder.com/auditoryMemory/