Listening Power K-3 by Hamaguchi Apps- Review



iPad Screenshot 1

Summary

Overall, this is a very high-quality app for targeting auditory comprehension skills of elementary school children ages 5-10 years. It is obvious that much consideration was placed on the customization of difficulty levels and the selection of the targets themselves. The colorful illustrations and animations are engaging and motivating. The variety of targets and ability to customize this app to meet the needs of many different skill levels allows this app to grow with your child.

Our Rating

Listening Power Grades K-3 HDListening Power K-3 by Hamaguchi Apps is a wonderful app for developing auditory comprehension of vocabulary and concepts in elementary school-aged children. The developer is a licensed speech-language pathologist and has several other apps which target verbal expression, following directions, and pragmatic skills. We have also reviewed Listening Power Preschool and Listening Power 4-8+

 

There are five different activities in Listening Power K-3: descriptions (adjectives i.e. shortest, cold, green), meaning (vocabulary concepts), grammar (pronouns, verb tenses, negation), word memory, and stories (with comprehension questions).  The app provides 150 listening opportunities for each activity (50 at each difficulty level) so your child will be presented with a wide variety of stimuli (over 1000).

 

In the Listening for Descriptions activity, children need to identify the picture showing the correct characteristics. On the easy level, there are 2 descriptors to listen for (“Show me the green truck with white tires.”) The intermediate level has 3-4 descriptive concepts to distinguish between (“Where is the man with a moustache holding a red guitar?”) The advanced level has up to five critical elements (i.e. Find the girl with long black hair who is wearing a red shirt with long sleeves.)

 

The Listening for Meaning activity involves identifying the correct picture or definition for a vocabulary word (i.e. Easy level presents pictures: luggage, duckling, triangle; Intermediate: disappointed, perform, container; Advanced: envious, wealthy, patient). The intermediate and advanced settings only present information auditorily although text can be shown if necessary.

iPad Screenshot 2

 

In the Listening for Grammar activity, children must identify the sentence that contains a mistake (i.e. Easy: “He put on hims shoes.” Intermediate: “Her cat finded a mouse.” Advanced: “The women is having a meeting.”)

 

Listening for Word Memory requires recall of a certain number of words in the correct order from a field of 9 (Easy: 2-3 words; Intermediate: 4-5 words; Advanced: 6 words). There are unlimited combinations for this activity.

 

In the Listening for Stories activity, children are presented stories of increasing length and complexity and then asked comprehension questions about what they heard. The easy level has fictional stories with questions about who, what, and where. In the more difficult levels, non-fiction stories are included and the content and questions become increasingly more challenging. There is the option of turning on background noise to increase the auditory demand of the task. There are 25 stories for each level with 5 questions per story for a total of 375 unique listening tasks.

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The app is easy to navigate and has highly-customizable settings. The ease-of-use is enhanced by a wonderful demo video highlighting the settings and features of the app. Each activity has individual settings for difficulty (easy, intermediate, and advanced) as well as the ability to select number of choices (2, 3, or 4). This ability to customize settings allows for the accommodation of a wide range of skill levels.

Another nice feature is that the choices are not made visible until the entire question has been presented auditorily. This helps the child focus on the verbal instructions and eliminates impulsive selections. You also have the option to make the text visible or only provide the auditory directions.

Additionally, only correct choices are reinforced. If a child selects the wrong picture, nothing happens although the data tracking will indicate a wrong choice. After the correct choice is selected, the target concept is restated which also helps to solidify learning.

Individual users can be tracked and in the full version you can even add members to a group while still keeping individualized settings and data tracking for each child. Data for each of the five different activities is also tracked separately to give an individualized overview of the child’s progress in each area. These are excellent features for speech therapy sessions.

 

Finally, there are two options for reward games. In the Door Game, kids need to open doors to find where the character is hiding. For Shoot the Basket, kids randomly make a basket when they press a button to shoot a basketball. These reinforcement activities can be set to occur at different intervals or turned off altogether.

Overall Impressions:

Overall, this is a very high-quality app for targeting auditory comprehension skills of elementary school children ages 5-10 years. It is obvious that much consideration was placed on the customization of difficulty levels and the selection of the targets themselves. The colorful illustrations and animations are engaging and motivating. The variety of targets and ability to customize this app to meet the needs of many different skill levels allows this app to grow with your child.

In terms of improvements: it may be beneficial to have wrong choices disappear as they are selected to help narrow down the choices. There were some wording errors i.e. mention of a “tire swing” when a regular swing was pictured; use of the description “red dress” when the picture showed a red shirt instead. These are simple fixes that can be implemented in future updates.

This app would be particularly useful for speech pathologists who work with elementary students in groups; but I would also recommend this app for any K-3rd child needing to work on attention and listening skills.

 

iTunes Link: Listening Power Grades K-3 HD – Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Listening Power Grades K-3 HD Listening Power Grades K-3 HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Price: $19.99 USD

This app is the proud winner of the Academics' Choice Award for Smart Media! http://www.academicschoice.com/apps/listening-power-k-3.php

This is the app you’ve been waiting for! Listening Power.

Giveaway

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News: Ten year old contributes a ringtone to raise money for local church

collin

Ten Year Old Contributes His Ingenuity to Help His Church Thrive

Wilmington, MA (May 4, 2015) – As 10 year olds, many of us were likely focused on playing sports, but Wilmington, MA resident Collin McDade decided to also put his energies toward helping his church remain a strong and active part of the community.  Collin used his ingenuity to create a special ring tone, entitled “First Song.”  It is available on iTunes and the proceeds will help support the church’s outreach programs.  An Android version is expected to be available soon.

The Wilmington United Methodist Church offers space and support to a wide variety of causes, including several twelve step programs, more than a dozen Girl Scout Troops, feeding and food pantry programs for the homeless and more.  Collin’s fundraising effort will help to defray the costs borne by the church.

With the economy making a slower than expected recovery and the deep commitment to supporting community-based organizations, the church is facing financial challenges. In a recent letter to the congregation, Church Pastor Travis Bonnett-Kim noted that: “we share our financial resources with others not because we have a surplus of money, but because others have needs.”  He called upon his parishioners to respond with whatever financial contributions they might make. Collin contributed the ring tone in the hopes of raising money through iTunes global audience.  All proceeds from this download will benefit the Wilmington Methodist Church.

The ring tone supports his vision: “the world would be better if we remember that we are all connected!” The signature sound of the ring tone makes this vision come to life.  His hope is that every time someone hears this ring tone, grace will be given and it will be a reminder that we are all linked together for a cause greater than our own.

Collin created the ring tone in his music class at school. A creative and energetic “kidpreneur,” Collin has dyslexia and attends a school dedicated to students with this type of learning difference. While the dyslexia makes reading and writing challenging, dyslexia can benefit creative pursuits like Collin’s.  He and his family emphasize that those with dyslexia see and interpret the world differently, a “silver lining” that is evident in Collin’s perspective on the world.



My Town: Beach Picnic by My Town Games LTD – Review



iPad Screenshot 4

What we love…

Virtual playhouse at the beach encouraged creative and interactive play.

What we’d love to see…

building out of the underwater scene to have more play options as well as a reduction in the amount of trash on the beach

Summary

Overall, this is a fun twist on a traditional playhouse theme with a beach scene. It is best enjoyed by preschool through early elementary school and has huge opportunity for growth.

Our Rating

My Town: Beach Picnic by My Town Games LTD is a universal app available for iOS and Android.  In this app, the “town” features a beach scene which includes playing in the sand, playing underwater and having a picnic.   This app targets preschool through early elementary school aged children and the activities can “grow” with your child as you add in the buying of the different buckets or snorkeling in the ocean

There are three mini games embedded in the app:

  • Under the sea – scuba dive below the ocean to look for treasure, see a variety of fish or visit the mermaid.  You get to the bottom of the ocean via a tether that lifts you up and down.
  • Beach area – play in the sand, make a castle using buckets and toys and shower off the sand.  You can also take a swim with some fun beach toys, shop for bathing suits and suba gear or go fishing.  You can also clean up trash from the beach by sorting it into proper containers.
  • Picnic area – prepare a picnic, rest on the beach or buy and eat a popsicle

I love the graphics in this app as well as the fact that you can touch almost any object and it will animate or have some sort of action or sound associated with it.  My son’s favorite part was the underwater play.  He loved floating around underwater and looking around although he did have some great suggestions on improving it.  The graphics were fun and super interactive which engaged my seven year old.  My son loved having the picnic as that’s one of his favorite activities when we go to the beach as a family.

In terms of enhancements, the water scene from the beach where you can pick out the equipment is a bit challenging.  My son found that you couldn’t put it on once you got in the water and you had to remove the character from the water – it seems like you would be able to throw a water ring into the water and float on it.  I also thought that the amount of trash on the beach seemed like more than normal, I wish that could be cut back a little bit.  If My Town: Beach play is looking for differentiation, I would suggest more focus on the underwater segment as that isn’t really an area that other virtual dollhouse type of apps have focused on.  Being able to float around underwater and see things from a in person point of view as well as pick up and examine the creatures more closely would help separate this app from others on the market.  My son especially wanted to look at fish and shells as well as explore the treasure chest more closely. In future editions, it would be nice to be able to disable the links to the other games, or perhaps implement a stronger lock.

Overall, this is a fun twist on a traditional playhouse theme with a beach scene.  My son happily played with the app as he imagined a day at the beach this summer. There are no advertisements or in-app purchases (IAP) contained within the app.  The app does contain links to the other games by My Town Games, but they have a parental lock (simple addition problem) which pulls you through to the app store.


My Town : Beach Picnic
My Town : Beach Picnic
by My Town Games LTD

Category: Education, Games, Family, Role Playing
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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 256.95 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

#happyholidays code drop

My Town : Beach Picnic
My Town : Beach Picnic
by My Town Games LTD

Category: Education, Games, Family, Role Playing
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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 256.95 MB

$2.99USD

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


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My Town : Daycare My Town : Daycare by My Town Games LTD

Price: $2.99 USD

My Town: Daycare brings six cute babies and 12 happy characters, from teachers to family members. There are six locations to discover including a playground complete with swings and a slide. You can interact.


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My Town : Hospital My Town : Hospital by My Town Games LTD

Price: $2.99 USD

Ever wanted to play as a doctor, nurse or patient? Bandage hands, use statoscope, check for fever and even help dad to rush mom in to the baby delivery room! From the makers of My Town comes the largest.


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TripSafe Cable Cover for Carpet – Review

What we love…

Simple to use; practical; reusable and can be washed.

What we’d love to see…

More variety of colours.

Summary

If you are looking for a simple solution to securing loose cables, this is a quality product made for the job.

recommended-by-the-imums

We’ve all had issues with having to run cables across the floor at one time or another. I know I have resorted to taping cables to the floor or carpet with duct tape but not only did that work for just a short period of time, it also left an awful mess on the floor and the cable! This handy new product from Australian company TripSafe eliminates the potential danger involved with tripping over loose cables by containing them under a safe and secure cover. The product I tested from their range was the Tripsafe™ Cable Cover for Carpet (11cm x1.8m) in yellow and I found it did a great job of securing a cable I had running across my lounge room floor in a high traffic area. This product would be perfect not only for use in the home but also in a school or work environment or event setting where cables are required to be run for computers, microphones, etc. It is machine-washable and can be reused over and over again.

At the time of writing this review, the TripSafe carpet cable cover only came in yellow and grey. I would love to see some neutral colours brought into the mix that better matched the colour of the carpet, for the cables that don’t requiring moving very often. TripSafe are dedicated to making your home or work environment safer by eliminating tripping hazards. They offer a range of other products including covers for hard floors and cable wraps. The TripSafe Cable Cover for Carpet retails at AU$36.25 and carries a 12 month warranty, as with all their products, if you are unhappy with the product for any reason. If you are looking for a simple solution to securing loose cables, this is a quality product made for the job.
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NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes. No other form of compensation was received. All opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.