Fun and Functional is an app produced by Smarty Ears and authored by Rosie Simms. Like you might have guessed based on the name, this app targets the expressive and receptive language for functions. The research base for this app provided from Smarty Ears:
Fun & Functional is based on research around vocabulary and word meaning development in students. Improving vocabulary, describing ability and associations between words assists students in language comprehension and reading skills (Bromley, 2007). In particular, students have more difficulty acquiring verb-based vocabulary (Loeb, Pye, Redmond & Richardson, 1996), a skill that is targeted by Fun & Functional. The application allows for a focus on identifying and describing words within essential categories such as vehicles and household items, consistent with research indicating that categorization improves word storage and retrieval (Miller & Eilam, 2008). The application is designed to provide visual supports shown to be helpful for students with autism spectrum disorder and also targets suggested goals for this population such as expansion of word knowledge and action words (ASHA, 2006). Fun & Functional is also applicable to the instructional goals of children with language learning disorders, whose difficulties with vocabulary acquisition and descriptive language put them at risk for difficulties with reading and writing (Chanly, 1994; Gray, 2003, 2006; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986).
The app does not use multi-player options. Instead start with the settings and then start with the quick play option. Start with choosing the receptive/expressive tasks. Then select the type of vocabulary to be targeted. The receptive tasks are shown with 2-4 items on the page. The prompt plays aloud. If you need to replay the prompt, just tap the words. The expressive tasks are rated by the clinician and marked using the buttons at the bottom of the page. When you’re finished with a session, click the DONE button in the top corner. Then record your data and print/email. Pros: The app is great for multiple ages. I used it this week with 14 year olds with severe cognitive deficits and with first graders. The images are appropriate for both. Cons: The app limits data collection to a single user. In groups both, the SLP will need to keep separate data from the app. Smarty Ears provided a copy of this app in exchange for a review. And they also want to give a copy to a lucky SLP who enters on the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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