Friday, July 20, 2012

Fun App to Teach Handwriting

Pin It Now!      I have taught from 1st to 5th grade.  I think it is easy to underestimate the importance of PROPER handwriting.  By the time students get into second grade, it is very hard to undo improper handwriting strokes. By then it has become habit.  Not only is writing improperly messy, but more importantly it is uncomfortable, harder, and makes learning cursive next to impossible.
    My four-year-old has been learning to write his letters.  He can make the letters, but not with the correct strokes.  I kept trying to help him learn correctly, but he just wasn't interested.  To him it looked like the letter and so he didn't quite understand what I was telling him.  I found that if I kept pressing, he would get bored with it and want to go off and do something else instead (sound familiar to anyone else).   So.... after trying out some apps on iTunes, I found one the we both love, love, LOVE!  It is called Letter School.  There is a free version, which I tried first, then the full version which is $2.99.  That is a little more expensive than the apps I normally get for my kids, but this one will not disappoint.

 Letter School not only reinforces the letter sound and corresponds it with a word(and picture), but it offers three ways to practice drawing it. The first two ways show dots and the letter outline. Here is the best part: children HAVE to start at the correct spot.  The third way lets them be a little more independent at drawing letter.  When a child has mastered the correct form, a star goes by that letter.
     This is a super way for preschoolers to get the practice they need to make proper letter formation automated.  It works great on an iPhone, but would be a fun way to practice in class on an iPod touch or iPad.  After you typical handwriting practice this would be a great way for students to get reinforcement and make a kinetic and visual connection with what you have been teaching.  A child that hasn't even begun learning their letters would enjoy and benefit from it too.  It could also work for older children who aren't quite making the connection of why they need to change their strokes.  Try the free version here or go for the full version here.

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