Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Preposition App Review

Bob here, its been awhile, but here you go.

More and more SLPs are getting their hands on iPads. We are using them more and more, rightfully so, that are soooo neat! Many SLPs have turned to me wondering what apps to buy. Its easy to grab the free apps, you can always delete them, but when you are putting down money its a little different. In order to help all you people out there I intend to get back to writing iPad app reviews. I'll focus mostly on speech therapy apps, but I'll sometimes feature utility apps, or games that could be good for reinforcement.

This week I want to focus on prepositions. As an educational speech therapist we are continuously looking for improved ways to do language therapy and how to take data effectively while doing so. One thing I find myself doing a lot is working on prepositions. You know, those fun concepts that our kids seem to struggle so much on. I wanted to review a couple of iPad apps that hope to help us in the process.

Preposition Builder
App category: Language Therapy
Publisher: Mobile Education Store
Age range: Elementary Students

The app makers that brought you Questions Builder and Sentence Builder have a new app for preposition concepts entitled Preposition Builder. This is an app "designed to help elementary aged children learn the correct use of prepositions and how prepositions can change the meaning of a sentence".

Basically you have an incomplete sentence an image and several preposition choices. The student drags the appropriate preposition to the sentence. If they pick the wrong one, it will demonstrate to the student the right ways, giving a verbal model as well as an image, which is better than just the typical noise many apps give when an option is incorrect, as if just telling a kid "wrong" over and over really help much of anything. 

You can select specific prepositions modules to work on, you can have different profiles for different students. An interesting feature they have is that the student can record their self saying the sentence, helping the student practice producing the preposition correctly, which we all want.

When the student gets all the sentences correct in a preposition module then they are able to unlock an animation, which is suppose to be part of some larger story.

The art is much better than some of the previous Builder apps that I have tried. It seems they have contracted a commercial artist instead of just relying on cheap clip art ( not that it mattered for my kids in Question Builder or Sentence Builder - I'm just funny about the art work). It looks much more professional in my opinion.

If you primarily work with really young kids, students who can't read, then this probably isn't the app for you, which you might find annoying because we frequently work on these concepts with preschoolers and kindergartners. This doesn't mean you can't use it, but you would have to help them along the way. Could be a good way to introduce them to some important sight words anyway.

Should you buy it?

If you find yourself doing a lot of work on prepositions (like I do) and you were thinking of getting therapy materials for it, then yes. If you work only with preschool kids, then... maybe.


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