Cursive Writing Wizard - Trace Letters & Words by L’Escapadou, gives kids a launching pad to learning the mechanics of writing by offering practice to pair the motor act of writing with language. If you own Writing Wizard, this is the next step to progress into the world of cursive and being able to quickly get your thoughts down on paper. All the features that you have come to expect from high-end educational apps are here and packaged with highly motivating content assuring replay value. Expanding from printing to cursive is an exercise in fluency in thought and movement. When a writing implement or a stylus is engaged in a flowing continuous format, there is no break or interruption to thought. And it is this continuity of body and mind that readily portrays a child’s expanding knowledge through the ability to form and carry a point of view.
What story can you come up with from the word bag?
In the app, there are five programs that are graded to help kids learn cursive. Prewriting warm ups, Uppercase, Lowercase, Numbers, and the ability to create Wordlists that teach joiners. Joiners are what connect one letter to the next without lifting your hand from the paper. The font styles are Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian, and French Cursive 1 & 2. The two modes of play provide teachers and therapists the ability to structure time systematically with parameters, or just zero in on particular letters or numbers. In free play, kids can experiment and just have fun with the writing or work on any problematic letters that they are having trouble forming. This is where I would give kids the stylus to really work on utensil grasp and refine it without the added stress of parameters. Grasps do vary, and sometimes when a student is really struggling with writing, it may be something totally different than merely grasping. Sometimes kids put forth so much energy in just keeping their bodies in a chair because they really haven’t quite gotten the hang of how to sit…be it poor trunk control, visual problems, etc. Even “minor” decreases in trunk control can really affect how you use your arms and this does, in turn, affect the ability to focus and attend. In five star mode, teachers can set a variety of parameters to further challenge and refine a child’s ability to write. Letter size, accuracy, stopping between points, and fading use of a model are a few of the parameters to use. Sounds can be modified as well as the pronunciation of the letters, which is a bonus for regional differences in pronunciation. The fun begins with the choice of the animated stickers or the colored pens.
Once a letter is selected, a model appears to instruct you in forming the letter or word in the proper sequence. It also sounds out the phoneme. If you made the choice of the animated stickers as your writing medium, there are plenty of chances to “play with your letters or words” By touching them and watching them disperse, putting them back together, or tilting the tablet back and forth, kids are refining visual motor control. After practicing with a word list, try making it fun, by coming up with silly sentences or see who can remember words from a list. Awarding points or just getting cheers from your peers is enough to keep ideas and practice going.
The number one best feature is the data collection under profiles and reports on the main page. Teachers and clinicians will be thrilled to have unlimited users to track and be able to share tracing history. So many times, it is hard to see the progress when doing things day to day, but being able to view the history of stroke formation and accuracy is priceless during IEPs or parental conferences. Showing a child their progress is also a great motivator and a way to up their investment in the task.
Here you can see the hesitation or block in a flow.
L’Escapadou has made the transition well from iOS to Android while keeping the quality and ease of use high. There is an extensive section for parents and educators telling you how to get the most from the app. Cursive Wizard is an app to be acquired and used in both teacher’s and families’ tool boxes. L’Escapadou continues to be a leader in children’s educational apps, and now the accessibility across platforms makes it easier to reach out to kids everywhere.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.