iTrace – handwriting for kids, by iTrace, is an app designed to help children 3+ years old develop proper letter and number formation in a fun and engaging way. The instructions within the app recommend beginning with the Practice module. When Practice is selected, the user begins with the easiest letters to write. The module advances to other letter exercises, according to the user’s input history and progress. I loved this module, as I didn’t have to keep looking back to check the child’s progress before they could practice another letter. The children earn stars for each letter written/traced correctly and earn a picture of an object that begins with that letter sound for every three stars earned. This encourages the child to practice each letter multiple times, which helps to develop proper letter formation while making it fun!
The manual self-paced modules are great for using with children that have specific letter formation difficulties. The parent/teacher can select which letters (upper-case or lower-case) and numbers to have the child practice.
The manual modules to choose from include: Upper-case letters, Lowercase letters, and Numbers
The Words module includes:
My Name, where the child practices writing their name using self-selected colors to trace the letters (it would be a nice touch to be able to have an audio recording of the child’s name so it would be read aloud after the name is traced)
My Words, which includes over 500 words with images for the child to practice writing. Within this module, there are settings that enable the parent/teacher to add customized words with pictures (my only wish is that it would allow for an audio recording for each added word/picture so the word would be read to the child after it is written/traced)
My Scenes has five different scenes for the child to choose from Farm, Beach, Camping, Arctic, and Circus. Each scene includes five interactive images that become animated as each word is traced/written successfully.
The customizable settings are amazing! Included within the settings are these tabs:
Players: Multiple users can be added (allows for a picture to be added for each user, either from the camera or photo library), with complete input history for each user (by clicking on the History scroll on the main screen of each user). Data tracking also includes an overall results window that displays information on how many letters written, time spent, favorite letters, and tricky letters – within the chosen time frames of today, week, month, and all-time)
Letters: (picture included) Letter options can be customized for each user (yes, this is awesome!), such as if they are left-handed or right-handed; as well as alternate letter formation (such as continuous or ball and stick).
General: Lower difficulty can be turned on/off. The parental lock can be turned on/off (when on, the settings can only be accessed by a parent by answering a multiplication problem.)
Sounds: Background Music on/off, Sound Effects on/off
Tutorial: This section has a self-paced guide that has very detailed instructions with graphics and pictures on how to use the app, as well as suggestions for where to have your child start. I highly recommend using the tutorial; it’s quick and very helpful!
This app is what every parent/teacher should have their children use to help learn proper letter formation. As a teacher, it helps fitting handwriting into the school day so much easier!