iWriteWords is a handwriting app where users trace words, letters, and numbers at their own pace in order to become more familiar with the alphabet and numeral system. The app is interactive in the sense that users are not passively spelling words; rather, actively writing letters that match the outlines that are presented. The words are very simple, (“cat” or “owl”) and a picture accompanies each word, allowing users to associate an image with a set of letters. iWriteWords is not one of the more fully-functional educational apps – but that is not its purpose. The app’s purpose is to help young learners increase their familiarity with the basics of writing words, spelling and understanding numbers. Cartoon graphics and sound effects make the app great for young children, easing the pressure involved in transitioning from early learning, to pre-school and kindergarten. iWriteWords is best implemented in children from ages 3-7, as its ease and simplicity may not hold the attention of older users.
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Tracing words on a touch-screen requires a certain level of fine motor skill proficiency. Users must "stay within the lines," outlining each word to match the app's standard. Users must sustain their attention, and forge through repeated words, and simple letters, recognizing the fact that the repetition is simply a way of increasing users' writing fluency and ability to associate words with images. If they do not properly trace the word, they cannot move on to the next one, so in order to be successful, users must be deliberate and concentrated on the present task. It will usually take no more than 1 or 2 attempts to trace the word, allowing users to get into a "grove," and continue to strengthen their writing, spelling, and word association efficiency. A committed and regular use of iWriteWords will ensure young learners are prepared for early grade-level writing and spelling.
Managing our actions, feelings and behaviors.
Self-Control is an important skill for young children to harness, as impulsive behavior generally leads to careless mistakes. In iWriteWords, users must develop a particular mastery over their fine motor skills, or their ability to accurately trace letters and numbers. While this may seem obvious, one must remember that the app's primary intention is to introduce younger users to simple, hands-on writing activities. Users who do not exercise Self-Control while playing the app, will be forced to repeat words until they are written correctly. Users must master the first activity in order to move on to a new to set of words.
For a simple writing app dedicated to enhancing the writing fluency and word recognition of pre-school / kindergarten aged users - it is nearly flawless. What it lacks in robust functionality, it makes up for in its ease of use. It can be picked up by virtually any user and learned very quickly. After a short time with the app users will have a broadening familiarity with letters, a growing ability to associate words with images, and a better grasp on the number system. These factors can eventually translate into solid writing skills, as they make up the vital foundation and building blocks to good writing. Once all the letters are learned, children can even sing the ABC's along with the app's music track.
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