Wednesday, October 10, 2012

apps for Handwriting

The teachers I work with are always keen to find out how the iPad can contribute to developing aspects of English and Literacy. One particular area of interest is the development of children's handwriting. Teaching children to form their letters, numbers and words correctly can be really difficult, because for many children it is viewed as a boring task with little or no immediate reward for the hours of practice they put in. 
If you're lucky enough to have iPads in your classroom, this is one way to make handwriting practice fun and enjoyable. Introduce a stylus to the activity, and you're now mimicking the use of a pencil or pen, which gives children an additional opportunity to practice holding the pen too. Other children, especially younger ones, may benefit from using just their finger to write. The iPad then becomes a modern 'etch a sketch' or a virtual slate chalkboard!
The following apps have been recommended to me by various schools - let me know which app works best for your class.

Handwriting apps for kids:
ABC Cursive Writer - A fun app to learn the basics of cursive writing.
Alphabet Tracing - Practice letter, number and word formation with fun animations.
Hairy Letters - Practice letter formation and blend letter sounds into first words.
iCanWrite - Customise your own groups of letters for children to trace.
Intro to Letters by Montessorium -Trace, read & write letter sounds and phonograms. Also supports French, German and Spanish.
Kids Writing Pad - A note pad with a middle dotted line between two solid lines - practice writing as if on paper.
Touch and Write - Appealing  and fun, with 16 different food writing textures and a choice of writing papers.
Wet-Dry-Try Capital Letters and Numbers - A personal tutor to help you fix mistakes.
Handwriting apps for the older learner:
If you teach special needs students or older students you may be looking for handwriting apps for the adult learner.
This list of apps facilitate efficient, smooth note-taking, most with a text conversion facility that ensures a standard of handwriting that looks just the same as it would appear on paper. 


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