FreeSpeech – Build Language and Learn Grammar by Avaz, Inc. – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

a innovative tool for those struggling to use grammar and syntax appropriately

What we’d love to see…

An expanded tutorial with several examples of how to build increasingly complex sentences. The ability to type in a sentence and then be shown how to construct it in the diagram.

Summary

Overall, this app has amazing potential for helping children expand their verbal and written expression.  It is an excellent tool to help students develop their grammar and syntax skills in a systematical way by using visual symbols and prompts in a fun and engaging way.

Our Rating

FreeSpeech - Build Language and Learn GrammarAvaz FreeSpeech is an app designed to help children build grammatically correct sentences. It was developed by an interdisciplinary team of Speech Pathologists, educators, and software engineers.  The developer also created Avaz Pro, a revolutionary AAC app designed to give a voice to students on the spectrum. The recommended age range for this app is 6-18 years.

The app allows students to explore the grammatical structures of English language in a visual and engaging way.  The format is very similar to augmentative communication apps with Boardmaker symbols that are color coded for quick reference.  However, this app is different in that it guides students in formulating grammatically sentences by prompting them with visual cues to increase the complexity of their output.

This is accomplished by the following features:

  • Expanding: using questions to cue users to increase length and complexity of sentences
  • Scaffolding: predicting likely word choices based on previous word selections
  • Contrasting: applying verb tense changes and other modifiers automatically
  • Recasting: adding articles (a, the) and prepositions as necessary
  • Errorless modeling: formulating a diagram of symbols into an appropriate sentence

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By using a type of brainstorming map, it facilitates the construction of ideas by automatically employing linguistic constructs to words placed within the diagram.  This framework allows for elaboration of the user’s utterance by systematically offering cues through a scaffolding approach.  For example- If you started with the word “want”, you would then be prompted to answer the following questions: when, who, or what.  By tapping on a question box, predictive analysis offers some likely word choices or you can select “more words” for additional categories.  There is also a place on the right side of the screen to “stash” words for later use.

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The word choices are organized in categories.  A tab of frequently used categories such as “actions”, “people”, “places”, “things” can be selected which then open additional subcategories to help narrow down the search.  For example, if the “food & drink” tab is selected from the main menu on the left, additional options such as “most used”, “meal”, “drink”, “meat”, “places to eat”, and “snacks” are offered to make selecting the desired word easier.  There is also a search bar where choices can be found by typing in the preferred word. The formulation of sentences is truly limitless as you can add your own vocabulary choices with actual photos.

This app has endless potential to help students unlock the power of language by teaching them how to construct and expand sentences to better express themselves.  For example, by simply pressing the “past” button, the verb will be automatically changed to the past tense verb.  If the “question”, button is selected, it will convert a statement into an interrogative.  You can easily change between single and plural nouns by hitting an icon on the noun symbol.  The meaning of the sentence can also be changed just by altering the location of one symbol.

The settings tab allows for the following options to be set at desired levels:

Pictures: show or hide

Access: tap or drag

Vocabulary: Level 1 – offers a limited number of word choices for beginners

Level 2 : has menu of 11 categories with up to 40 words in each

Level 3: has menu of 11 categories with several subcategories and corresponding words for each

Inflections: Level 1  Level 2  Level 3

Prompts: Level 1  Level 2  Level 3

Voice: 4 choices

Voice speed: 1-6

There is a bit of a learning curve to understand where to place the symbols in order to generate the desired sentence. It takes some practice to become familiar with the location of the symbols and how to arrange them in the framework to achieve the target sentence.  A short tutorial is offered showing how to formulate two sentences, but additional examples would be welcome.

I felt that the app is a innovative tool for those struggling to use grammar and syntax appropriately.  It contains well organized content, intuitive format, and predictive selections.  It has the ability to customize settings for all different levels of skill and knowledge.  I also liked the ability to create unique sentences of increasing length and complexity in a systematic way.

We would love to see an expanded tutorial with several examples of how to build increasingly complex sentences as well as the ability to type in a sentence and then be shown how to construct it in the diagram.

It is important to note that this app is not an AAC tool or speech generating device.  It would be a wonderful companion to the Avaz Pro AAC app, but it can stand alone as well.  This app would best be used under the guidance of a special educator or SLP.

Overall, this app has amazing potential for helping children expand their verbal and written expression.  It is an excellent tool to help students develop their grammar and syntax skills in a systematical way by using visual symbols and prompts in a fun and engaging way.


Avaz FreeSpeech
Avaz FreeSpeech
by Avaz, Inc.

Category: Education, Medical
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 436.48 MB

$9.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Shari is a married mother of four from Illinois. She works as a speech pathologist in a rehab setting and loves to use apps in therapy. She is a self-proclaimed "Appaholic"- always on the look out for great apps!


Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen by Tiggly and Sesame Street – Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

incredibly fun for kids and engaging, simple, educational

What we’d love to see…

word level settings, consonant and blend selection, words added to photo book

Summary

An early reader app disguised as a fun baking game .

Our Rating

Sesame Street Alphabet KitchenWhat happens when a distinguished educational program collaborates with an award winning educational toy company? Something great is made! Sesame Street and Tiggly have teamed up to create a brand new beginning reader app called Sesame Street Kitchen. It teaches children to recognize and read 3 letter CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and 4 letter CVCC and CCVC words in a super fun and engaging way.

There are two ways to play the game. You can play the app on its own or with the use of the Tiggly Words Learning System, a smart toy comprised of five vowels that interacts with the app. This is sold separately and since I do not have it, please note that this review is only for the app only.

In Sesame Street Kitchen, children help bake cookies with the incessantly hungry but very lovable Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster starts by cutting the dough with two or three cookie cutters in the shape of consonants. He then asks the children to pick a vowel that will form a word with the consonants he chose. For example, Cookie Monster may cut a P and N on the dough, leaving a space in between them. Children can then choose a vowel such as A or E to make the word PEN or PAN. They can either tap on vowel of their choice or drag and drop them on the dough. If the vowel they chose does not make a word, Cookie Monster gently tells them to try again. If they make a word successfully, the letters get cut and thrown in a mixing bowl. The children then get to add colors and mix it all up. After mixing the dough thoroughly, a cookie is magically made! The cookie may simply be the word with added colors and sprinkles, or it may surprisingly turn into the shape of the object that represents the word.

What happens when a distinguished educational program collaborates with an award winning educational toy company? Something great is made! Sesame Street and Tiggly have teamed up to create a brand new beginning reader app called Sesame Street Kitchen. It teaches children to recognize and read 3 letter CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and 4 letter CVCC and CCVC words in a super fun and engaging way.

iPhone Screenshot 2

There are two ways to play the game. You can play the app on its own or with the use of the Tiggly Words Learning System, a smart toy comprised of five vowels that interacts with the app. This is sold separately and since I do not have it, please note that this review is only for the app only.

In Sesame Street Kitchen, children help bake cookies with the incessantly hungry but very lovable Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster starts by cutting the dough with two or three cookie cutters in the shape of consonants. He then asks the children to pick a vowel that will form a word with the consonants he chose. For example, Cookie Monster may cut a P and N on the dough, leaving a space in between them. Children can then choose a vowel such as A or E to make the word PEN or PAN. They can either tap on vowel of their choice or drag and drop them on the dough. If the vowel they chose does not make a word, Cookie Monster gently tells them to try again. If they make a word successfully, the letters get cut and thrown in a mixing bowl. The children then get to add colors and mix it all up. After mixing the dough thoroughly, a cookie is magically made! The cookie may simply be the word with added colors and sprinkles, or it may surprisingly turn into the shape of the object that represents the word.

iPhone Screenshot 3

 

After making four cookies in a row, children get to “eat” the cookies they made or share them with Cookie Monster. In this activity, children are taken to a different room where they can see their four cookies displayed on a shelf. Cookie Monster is there waiting for them and behind him is a picture frame with a camera icon on it. Clicking on this camera will allow children to take a selfie that will then be displayed on the picture frame. This was a lot of fun for my little testers who giggled as they made all kinds of silly faces for the camera. I wish that they could save their photos on the camera roll, but as of now they are only saved in-app. Whenever children take a photo with the picture frame camera, a screenshot is saved showing the set of 4 cookies, Cookie Monster, and the picture frame with their selfie on it.

iPhone Screenshot 5

I think it is simply brilliant that they used a baking activity as a backdrop for teaching phonics and reading skills. Children love to help bake, and with Cookie Monster on hand and some Sesame Street kitchen magic, they are bound to get captivated by this app. My testers were definitely occupied for a good amount of time, having lots of fun putting words together and finding out what kind of cookie they would make.

Something I would like to see on a future update is a way to select the type of words used. This way children who have already mastered 3 letter words can skip ahead to four letter words. I also think this app would be useful for speech therapy to elicit language and work on articulation, so another great addition would be to be able to select specific consonants and
blends to target. Finally, on the saved photos, I would like to see the words shown under the cookie they made. This will help children review words they have learned. The app comes with 12 language settings for parents. The game is in English only, but parents can read the parent menu and settings in their language of choice. The parent section and external links are locked and can only be accessed by answering a multiplication question correctly.

Overall, I think that Sesame Street Kitchen is an excellent early reader app. It will appeal to its target audience who are bound to a lot of fun while learning how to read. If your little one loves Cookie Monster, then this app will definitely be a hit!

iTunes Link: Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen – Sesame Street

Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen by Sesame Street

Price: $2.99 USD

This is a vocabulary-building app, which will help your child practice early literacy skills by blending letter sounds to create words in Cookie Monster’s alphabet kitchen!

*** 2016 Cynopsis.

Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.


Learn to read with Monkey Junior – a homeschool curriculum in English, French by Early Start Co. Ltd – Review and Giveaway



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What we love…

The different ways words are shown using text, images, videos and sounds.

What we’d love to see…

Pre-loaded lessons.

Summary

A fantastic app sure to teach children new words, phrases and simple sentences from a young age to first grade.

Our Rating

Monkey Junior by Early Start is an extensive reading app which is jam packed full of ways children can discover and learn new words and new sentences. The app covers hundreds of different topics with more than one hundred phonic rules. Each course contains thousands of words, videos, images, audios and different voices.

The app is free to download and includes several lessons in both US and UK English, and French which introduce new words on different topics. At this stage, these free lessons are available across easy, medium and advanced levels except for French which is only available at easy and medium levels. You have the option to get more free lessons by rating the app on iTunes or Facebook using connect and share.

An in-app purchase unlocks the full course in US or UK English or/and French which provides you with a total of 2,463 lessons!

To give you an example, the English US version has three difficulty levels: Easy (teaches single words, phrases), Medium (simple sentences) and Advanced (complicated sentences to help enhance first grade readers’ reading fluency and skills in sentence formation). Within each difficulty level, there are five separate levels and within those levels there are 60+ lessons.

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Each lesson teaches your child new words. You can either leave settings as they come standard so that each category of words is chosen or you can choose from each category (animals, wild animals, body parts, nature etc.).

Children can be shown those new words in a multi sensory way (showing a word as text, an image, a video and a sentence illustration to describe the words in some courses), using flash cards with adjustable speed, using phonics sounds, phonics games, sight words, read words by themselves or play a quiz game guessing the word by a sound or a picture which is then reinforced. Alternatively you can change the settings to show words using the multi sensory way, flash cards and quiz all at the same time.

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The app includes a quick guide to show children and parents how to use it as well as a parents page which includes a general settings section, an app overview section, a content purchase section and a more apps section. Most are blocked by a parental gate which requires you to solve a simple math problem.

My three year old loves this app, we switch from English to French to learn new words. The app is very easy to use and she has no issues turning each page to learn new words, looking at pictures and videos and having a go at the games to earn new stickers.

This app is a wealth of knowledge and great for teaching children new words, new sentences in a simple yet effective way. The only issue I could find with this app is that lessons are not preloaded which means you need to download a new one each time. This can be an issue if your little one is a bit impatient and wants to keep going with the lessons. Downloading several lessons at a time whilst the little one is not using the iPad is recommended.

Overall, this is a fantastic app to teach children new words, phrases and simple sentences from a young age to first grade. This app is packed with so much information, a great resource which will be sure to teach your children something new every day.

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Monkey Junior: a homeschool curriculum, how to teach your child to read English, French

Monkey Junior: learn to read Monkey Junior: learn to read by Early Start Co. Ltd
Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 111.43 MB

$FREE

Giveaway

If you would like to win the complete Learn to read with Monkey Junior Program (worth $30), please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

Congratulations to our 5 winners! Please check your emails and respond.

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Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Green Eggs and Ham – Read & Learn – Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media – Review



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What we love…
A true Dr. Seuss classic!  Encourages pre-literacy and literacy skills
What we’d love to see…

The ability for a child to record their own voice.

Summary

I love this app.  It is a great addition to the other Ocean Media books that I have.  It represents the original book perfectly adding animation, activities and has a lot of educational possibilities.

Our Rating

Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn - Dr. SeussGreen Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss, is another exceptional app by Oceanhouse Media.  True to the style of other Oceanhouse Media apps, Green Eggs and Ham is an excellent app representation of the classic Dr. Seuss Book. The main character, Sam-I-Am tries his hardest to get Sam’s Friend to try Green Eggs and Ham.  The children love how annoying Sam-I-Am is and how he perseveres in his attempt to get his friend to eat.  Moral is clear and well received.  The repetitive rhyming nature of the book is a great first step into phonemic awareness and literacy.  There are 2 reading options: Read to Me, Read to Myself.  As well, there is the option to tap on the words and the pictures to reveal vocabulary items. Once the story is started, the control panel allows you to return to home or to go to a specific page.  There are 4 different settings that you can customize for your child by turning them on or off; Learning Activities, Music and Sound, News and Alerts and Picture Words.  All can be reset after each play so that the book can be read and played with many times.

The app is extremely user friendly.  Icons to return to home or to access parental section are blocked, but can be accessed by pulling down the book icon at the top of the page. Kids can easily go back to  previous pages and redo the activities, if they have not been reset.  One of the things that makes the “read and learn” style of book different than the other books from Oceanhouse Media is that kids are encouraged to engage with the story for learning rather than simply having the story read to them.  There are vocabulary words and activities that encourage them to touch and learn rather than doing passive listening.

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At the onset the child is given verbal and written directions on how to manipulate and navigate the pages.  If the volume is off, you are directed to turn it back on.  Each page has a hidden star, the children are directed to move the graphics around and find the star. I really like this idea since every time they touch an item on the page, the word pops up and the narrator says the word.   Once the star is found, it is set to the bottom of the page.  When the child wants, they tap on the star to reveal a different literacy style activity (spelling, phonemic awareness, rhyming). The feedback for correct and incorrect answers is subtle and not at all disturbing to the child.  On certain pages, the kids are encouraged to shake, move or rotate the iPad to see different reactions to the different characters and items on the page. When the graphics are moved, the scene remains in its new position.

Narrations is clear and easily made to repeat.  The characters have different voices and are pleasant listen to.  Intonation varies to depict feeling and intent.  I like this a lot, as with many special needs children learning to read, they don’t understand intonation in terms of comprehending the statement.  Words can be highlighted for repetition, as can the whole paragraph on the page.   The colors on the pages reflect the original books by Dr. Seuss.  The pages are engaging and interactive.  My preschoolers students listened, interacted and read by themselves for a long time.

I really liked the book as it is very true to the original text and is a true classic tale.  I find that it encourages pre-literacy and literacy skills.  The app encourages kids to engage with the story by having them find stars for activities.  You have to touch and move objects on the page to find the stars which causes a written word to appear along with spoken narration.  This encourages kids to participate and engage with the story while making it fun – especially for preschoolers!

I really enjoyed the app, and there is very little that I would change.  I would like to see the ability to record your own voice for the text, but that’s it!

As a Speech Language Pathologist, I truly appreciate the style of Dr. Seuss’s writing and this book/app is another great educational tool.  It encourages pre-literacy and emerging reading as well.  It is a great addition to the other Ocean Media books that I have.  It represents the original book perfectly adding animation, activities and has a lot of educational possibilities.  It’s different than other Oceanhouse Media books in that it engages the reader to learn, rather than being a passive listener which causes children to learn without realizing it!

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Green Eggs and Ham Green Eggs and Ham by Oceanhouse Media
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 44.13 MB

$3.99USD

Lisa is a Speech Language Pathologist who has been working in an inclusive school system for over 32 years. She works with children that have issues in all areas of speech and language. She loves her work and is always looking for ways to integrate technology.

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