Thursday, August 29, 2013

In My APPinion: Basic Concepts Skills Screener by Smarty Ears

The first few weeks of a new school year can be tough. Kids are getting used to their new teachers and schedules. You are trying to just get a schedule together. Some of your students are returning familiar faces and some are brand new. Chances are that they have recently been given a formal evaluation to either place them into therapy services or update testing scores. You can read the report until you are blue in the face but if you are like me, you like to do some sort of informal evaluation/ baseline data when you first start working with a new child. Enter the Basic Concepts Skills Screener by Smarty Ears! This app is a screening tool targeted for preschool and primary aged students and addresses spatial, quantitative, comparative, and temporal concepts. 
To get started, add your student and date of birth. After that, you choose between a full screening with 79 testing items or a quick screening with 30 testing items. 
The student is presented with pictures and given a direction. 
For example, "Touch the balloon that is above the house." 
One feature that I really liked about this app (and was actually talking to another SLP about this on Twitter recently!) is that no matter if the student's answer is right or wrong, the app makes the same noise. This is great for kiddos that maybe are new or do not have a lot of confidence. 
There is also a notes section for each child. This would be great to mention if they were sick, easily distracted, etc. during the time of the screening. 

After the screening is completed, a report is composed based on the student's performance! This is great to share with both teachers and parents. I mentioned earlier using this app when just getting to know a child. This would also be a great tool to measure growth. Administer the screening every 6 weeks or so to see how much progress the child has made. I am always looking for great ways to take data and this app is ideal. 
I have found this app very useful in therapy sessions. It has helped drive data to set new goals for students. This app also has the option of administering the screening in Portuguese. Being in Florida, I would love to suggest a Spanish option! 

Thank you Smarty Ears for another great app!


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