Monday, June 17, 2013

{Review} Syllables Splash by Smarty Ears Apps

Take a trip under the sea and target both literacy skills as well as phonological awareness skills with "Syllables Splash" by Smarty Ears Apps!

This app focuses on literacy skills by teaching students that words can be broken down into recognizable "chunks". Without this skill, students often bypass unrecognizable words all together.  This app helps to develop syllable awareness, in order to improve reading skills.

First, start by taking a look at the app tutorial under "support" (upper left hand corner).  This tutorial makes the app simple to understand and easy to use.

Once you've completed the tutorial, you are ready to get started!

Simply touch "select player" to add new players.  (You can also go straight to "quick play", on the title page, to eliminate the need to add players.)

Once you're at the "select participants" page, you can add a player, type in the player's name, and choose an avatar.

In "settings", you can make adjustments to the app, such as eliminating the incorrect choice or buzzing when a student gets an answer wrong, determining the number of incorrect options that a student can choose from, increasing the level if a child is successful, deciding upon words with a variety of syllables (1-4), and determining if animations should be allowed or not.

Now, you're ready to start playing!  The app presents pictures and verbally states the name of the object.  A student must decide how many syllables are present in the words and touch the correct amount of syllables.  If you have more than one player, the app automatically switches between both players.

One of my favorite parts of the app is the shark that eliminates incorrect choices if a student chooses a wrong answer.  (You can choose to add this feature in the settings.)

For additional assistance, students can click on the "help" starfish and a turtle appears to clap out the syllables in the words.

When the session is complete, you can access data, email, and/or print each student's results that are automatically tracked for you within the app.

What I love about this app:
- It is very engaging - the floating fish, wrong answer shark, and syllable-clapping turtle all help to hold a student's attention.
- The app is very versatile - it includes 1-4 syllable words.
- The pictures included in this app make it easy to use with non-readers.
- The app tracks data for you, which is very helpful when working with multiple students at various ability levels.

You can find this "whale of an app" for $9.99 at the Smarty Ears Apps website or you can find it in iTunes!

Disclaimer: This app was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.

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