Sounds At Home (app review!)

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Virtual Speech Center has done it again!  They created another fabulous app!  This one is for working on auditory skills.  Introducing, Sounds at Home!  They were generous for providing me with a copy to review and share with all of you.  Remember, the thoughts and opinions are all mine!

This app uses a cute bear theme to teach auditory skills.  This app targets auditory awareness, phonemic awareness, and auditory memory.  I have so many students working on those skills!  This app was designed to help students be aware of sounds in their environments, sounds in words, and following instructions.  All of these skills are important in the academic classrooms and to be overall successful in society.

Students get to visit Mama Bear's house which has three different rooms.  Each room targets many skills.  All of the learning in this house uses familiar vocabulary.  This is great this way you can focus on auditory skills using concepts students should know.

Below you can see the settings options the app has available.  I love that Virtual Speech Center always allows you to modify the settings to meet your students' needs.

Once ready, you can click “start.”  You are brought the the “students” page.  You can add your students you plan to use this app with.  I recommend setting this up ahead of time, we all know our students are impatient!  All you have to do is click the students you plan on using the app at the current time and click next.

You can select the activities for each student.  The best part, you can individualize for each student!  For each “room” in the house (living room, kitchen, playroom), you can select: sound identification, rhyming, identifying initial sounds, identifying final sounds, following 1-step directions with one element, following 1-step directions with two elements, following 2-step directions, and following 2-step temporal directions.  I recommend sticking to ONE goal for each student.  It is important for progress to focus on one at a time.  Plus, the app usually goes through all of one type before moving onto next and you probably won't have time to do multiple goals at once anyway!

Another feature I love is that you can edit for each “goal”.  Just click “edit” or the pencil button.  Here you are brought to the list of targets.  You can deselect all and pick specific targets or keep as is.  Have your students mastered any?  Do they not understand specific concepts/vocabulary included?!  You can remove those from the activity!

Now, I will show you samples of each of the activities!  For all activities, students are presented with a Mama Bear that tells them what to do!

Living Room: Sound identification
In this activity, students are presented with a sound and a verbal prompt “Did you hear that?  What made that sound?”  Students must select the object in that image shown that made that sound.  Obviously, you cannot hear what I listened to, so I will tell you!  I heard a meow!  So, I clicked the cat!  The scene uses common sounds in the environment.  As students answer correctly, they are rewarded with bear images on the bottom of the screen.  You can always click “finish” when ready or keep going until all tasks are completed (13).

Kitchen: Rhyming
Students are presented with a prompt, “Do you see something that rhymes with the word ____?”  I was asked for something that rhymes with “silk” clearly it is milk!  Again, common vocabulary concepts are used!  Again, as students answer correctly, they are rewarded with bear images on the bottom of the screen.

Kitchen: Identifying initial sounds
Students are presented with the prompt, “I need something that starts with the ____ sound, can you find it?”  I was asked to find something with the /sh/ sound, so clearly I clicked the shark!  Again, common vocabulary concepts are used!  Again, as students answer correctly, they are rewarded with bear images on the bottom of the screen.

Kitchen: Identifying final sounds
Students are presented with a prompt, “Touch something that has the ___ sound at the end of the word.”  I was asked for the /k/ sound so I touched the cupcake!  Again, common vocabulary concepts are used!  Again, as students answer correctly, they are rewarded with bear images on the bottom of the screen.

Playroom: following 1-step directions with one element
Students are presented with a verbal prompt such as “find the chair” and they must follow as directed.

Playroom: following 1-step directions with two elements
Students are presented with prompts such as “put the doll on the rug” and they must follow as directed.  Spacial concepts are used which is great practice of that skill.  Make sure they click “go” to get credit for that task!

 

Playroom: following 2-step directions
Students are presented with directions such as “move the monkey to the chair then put the book on the table.”  Students must complete the direction in that order.  Make sure they click “go” to get credit!!

Playroom: following 2-step temporal directions
Students must follow directions such as “before you touch the blocks, put the teddy bear on the table.”  Again, make sure they click “go!”

Whenever you are done with an activity, you are presented right then with a score report.  But you can always access them from the “reports” tab from the main page.  You can see score by user.  And by user, you can see by goal or by date.   You can save reports and access them at a later time or email them to save on another computer for back up.

When students respond accurately to a certain amount of tasks, they can be rewarded (if you clicked that setting) a game.  You can always access the games from the main page.  I like this feature for students that are struggling and are unable to “win” them.  You can make it look like they won them!  For the games, there are 3 different levels to select from.  Students can put together the puzzle.  Level 1 (4 pieces), 2 (9 pieces), or 3 (16 pieces).

What do I love about this app?

  • Individualization
  • Common vocabulary and concepts used
  • Cute theme and graphics
  • Easy game for students to be rewarded by
  • Great for preschool and younger elementary
  • Works on a variety of auditory skills in one app
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Quick and easy set up
  • Score reports and allows for progress monitoring
  • Can easily generate follow-up activities based on how students perform
You can learn more about this $6.99 app by visiting iTunes!