Thanks to my teaching partner, Jem, I discovered a new app that I love. I need to preface my comments by saying that in general, I prefer productivity apps like Educreations, Skitch etc., however, when I come across an app that can teach something better than I can, I become a fan.
The app ABC 123 Writing English Spanish is a great handwriting app.
Handwriting might not sound very important but it is directly tied to communication - a 21st Century Learning Skill. In kindergarten, it is essential that scholars learn to write correctly and fluently in order to be able to use this skill to communicate. Handwriting has 2 foundational skills: top to bottom and left to right. Writing letters this way puts the hand in the correct position to write the next letter. Kindergarteners often come to school 'creatively' forming letters. Often, these creative ways are not efficient or readable. The problem with traditional handwriting practice is that with 22 kids by the time I get around to checking on them they've written an entire page of letters incorrectly and habituated bad handwriting habits. THAT is why I love this app. It allows practice in upper and lower case letters as well as numbers 0-20. AND it does not allow for incorrect formation. If the user pushes up rather than down or moves right to left rather than left to right, it automatically corrects them. When letters are formed correctly, the user gets positive feedback.The correction piece along with the automatic verbal feedback put this app in the category of 'better then I can teach it'. And YES, it is free. And YES, it has the Spanish alphabet. (Full disclosure: the number 4 is not the typical way we teach the 4 formation...but I can get over that!)