Today we are reviewing two new apps by Smarty Ears. The first one is called VERB QUEST. It brings a huge smile to our faces because it happens to be a very useful app for working on increasing verb use and understanding for our students, but it also happens to have a super great magical theme. When the student is playing, he is represented by the Smarty Ears mascot, Clever the Duck, flying on a broom. Hmm. Who does this remind you of? Well, think what you want, but our minds go right to Harry Potter and the fact that we both love the Harry Potter books and movies and that we will be visiting Florida’s latest theme park attraction at Universal Studios- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley next week! Yes, we are excited for our up-incoming trip, but also excited to share this new app with our readers. The best part about this review is that at the end, you will get the chance to enter a giveaway to win it. Don’t forget to enter!
Verb Quest has 20 levels ranging from simple present tense to the complex skills of negation, tense shifts, and participles. Here is a picture showing levels 11 to 20. I used level 7 with several of my students this past week. Irregular past tense verb understanding is a goal that I have for all of them. This app can be used for multiple students working at multiple levels or with only one student at at time.
When playing, the student is asked to drag the correct verb from a field of three to “fill in the blank” of the sentence provided. Here are pictures of two of sentences that needed an irregular past tense verb inserted into the blank in order for them to be completed. You can see the mascot on the stones in the upper portion of the screen. The mascot moves along to the next stone once a question has been completed. The goal is to complete ten stones and then a pop-up window displays with “Congratulations” and offers continued practicing at the same level or the option to move on to the next level. The pictures that come with the sentences are colorful and tasteful. The sentences can be recorded and then played back to the student. That way the student can say what they read and this helps to increase understanding of the verb. Plus, they can hear what they said! We strongly believe that hearing, seeing, reading, and sayings (using all modes of input) is the best way to really get a student to learn something new. This app does a great job at doing just that!
When the students were done with their session and mastered the skills, they were sometimes able to “win” a wand. These wands can be seen in the “View My Awards” section of the Report Cards section. My student Noah, is waiting for his first wand, but is motivated to keep trying the app because he knows that he can “earn” one. I love these type of reinforcers!
In the report center, you can also find the choice to see report cards. Progress reports can be viewed two ways; by the session, or by the level. These progress reports can be shared and I often send them via email directly to parents so that they can see what we worked on during therapy that day.
Grab Verb Quest by Smarty Ears for yourself by going to iTunes and claiming it for the introductory price of $19.99. We know that you won’t be disappointed in your purchase. This original app is all you would need for targeting every verb tense that there is. It has a fun theme; it is useful for targeting language skill development in children, and it is very comprehensive (targets 20 different levels of verb tense forms). Verb Quest is a terrific example of how detailed the Smarty Ears company is at app development. They do not leave out any details in their apps. This is witnessed by the recording features, to the reinforcers “rewards”, to the progress reports that can be emailed or printed out and the wide range of targeted goal areas that are in the app choice page for each student. To us, they are the speech and language therapy app company that all other’s need to strive to be!