Ali Carroll shares how she used the same App as Jamie (last week) in a slightly different way:
Freebie app: PlayHome Lite
I was lucky to gain an Ipad with Melissa Weedman’s fantastic Crusade for Children grant! The Ipad has been wonderful to motivate and engage students. They are always enthusiastic when given the opportunity to use it.
Being a frugal person, I have only explored FREE apps at this point. But one I have found useful with my preschoolers (and could be appropriate for elementary aged and students in MSD units) is PlayHome Lite. The free version includes a traditional family of five with one screen scene being their family room and another scene being the kitchen. All of the family members can be dragged into the room and sit on furniture and or turn on the sink/microwave/TV/etc. Most other items can be moved/manipulated: cook on stove, turn on/off lights, open/close curtains, and family members can eat edibles as well with the app providing appropriate sound effects as the visuals are moved. This is great for students to practice following directions with spatial concepts and action words. I also have student’s practice expressive language by stating what and who they want to move and what the person will then do in the room. This activity brings about tons of enthusiasm for a turn! I use it in a very structured fashion, much like I would use smartboard or laptop. I have found if unstructured, students simply visually scroll and drag however they desire in silence; thus decreasing receptive following of verbal directions and one works harder to elicit the expressive language. But I occasionally also use it unstructured as a reward at the end of a session or with a first/then behavior strategy.
As I am able to research and explore more I might consider purchasing the full app. I hope we might eventually be able to use our individual materials money towards purchasing apps, the possibilities would be endless!