I love my iPad and am an advocate for combining education with the use of technology for the purpose of engaging and motivating students. The following apps are great for students to use outside of the classroom that reinforce their writing skills in a format that is fun and enjoyable! They cover a wide range of writing skills for all levels of writers. From apps that help beginning students just learning to write, to apps that help more advanced students organize their thinking prior to beginning a narrative, there is an app that will inspire any elementary school writer!
Grade Level: K-1
iWriteWords teaches children handwriting while playing a fun and entertaining game. Students help Mr. Crab collect the numbers in sequence by dragging him with their finger – and drawing the letter at the same time. Once all the letters in the word are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears. The software records the strokes so you parents and teachers can review them later to see how they are improving.
2. Tools 4 Students
Grade Level: 3+
Skill: Graphic organizers/planning
This app features 25 graphic organizers for students to use to organize their thinking while reading or preparing to write. The app covers all common comprehension skills: cause /effect, main idea/detail, sequence events, pro/con, story elements, characterization, word meaning, plot, and much more. Students can use to organize notes while reading or use the app as a pre-write to school papers.
3. ABC Cursive Writing
Grade Level: 1-5
ABC Cursive Writing turns an iPad into a handwriting tablet for practicing cursive. Students have the options of practicing single letters — upper case or lower case, whole words, sentences, and numbers. Parents can also create word sets. Each letter of each word set is presented to the child to practice in order. While a stylus is not required to use this app, using one will allow a child to practice using a pen to write in cursive.
4. SentenceBuilder™ for iPad
Grade Level: K+
Skill: Sentence constructing
SentenceBuilder™ is designed to help elementary aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences. Explicit attention is paid to the connector words that make up over 80% of the English language. Sentence Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the grammar of all children.
5. Letter Lab
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Letter Lab is the ideal application for young students learning to write and recognize their ABC’s. They trace both uppercase and lowercase letters with the touch of a finger. Students hear and see English alphabet letters and real world objects that relate to them.
6. Kids Writing Pad Lit
Grade Level: K+
Skill: Handwriting/note pad
Kids Writing Pad is a basic large lined writing pad useful for practicing numbers and letters to make sure students draw them appropriately. It has a middle dotted line between two solid lines like most primary school paper so students can practice having the appropriate parts of the letters or numbers in the right areas. Students can choose the color of their pencil and use an eraser, or touch the big eraser to erase the entire page.
7. Story Builder
Grade Level: K+
Skill: Creating narratives
Story Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following educational goals: 1) Improve paragraph formation; 2) Improve integration of ideas; and 3) Improve higher level abstractions by inference. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders. Story Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to create a narrative.
Grade Level: All
Skill: Distraction free writing
This app allows the user to write without distractions. WriteRoom is a full screen writing environment. Unlike cluttered word processors, WriteRoom lets students focus on writing.
9. Grammar Games
Grade Level: 4+
Grammar Games explores new concepts in learning grammar – via a game. The game features learning grammar in the most intuitive manner possible for children. Children learn about the various parts of speech through illustrated tutorials, which help them master and create a conceptual understanding of the topic. This is a simple and fun game students can use at home to help assist them with Standard English grammar concepts.
Grade Level: 1st Grade
TeachMe: 1st Grade keeps children engaged with a unique reward system where children earn coins by playing learning games at the school. The simple and intuitive user interface is designed to be child friendly, which allows children to play without help from an adult. An animated teacher (Mimi Mouse) gives verbal instructions and feedback to encourage the child to learn and succeed! TeachMe: 1st Grade’s unique TeachTech character recognition engine interprets a child’s written answers, helping to reinforce writing skills while teaching math and spelling.
All of these apps can be used in addition to the daily WriteSteps lessons you teach to your class. If you aren’t using WriteSteps, click here to try a free 30 day trial of our research-based, award-winning, 100% Common Core writing and grammar program. Have you discovered any additional writing apps that you want to share? Please comment below!