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Have you ever thought about how handwriting affects your student's writing ability? Students who encounter problems with their handwriting may be lacking the confidence to write anything. This can often be the barrier holding your students back from writing as much as they would like. They quit before they even begin because they already believe they will fail. These students need all the support and encouragement they can get from their teachers.
Handwriting is essentially taught in schools as part of the literacy curriculum. Time is set aside for them to practice letter formation and legibility through repetition. It makes sense why students could be preoccupied with penmanship.
Handwriting is important in developing young children’s fine motor control and coordination. Research shows that writing by hand increases memory retention and thus helps students in their learning. There are certainly benefits to handwriting! But imagine what it would look like if teachers shift the focus to the formation of ideas - instead of letters - when it comes to actual writing in the classroom?
For students who have trouble with pencil grasp, or the more complex mechanics of writing, technology might just be the tool they need to assist them in their writing so they can best express their ideas.
Here are 3 ways PopSmartWrite can support struggling writers in your classroom...
1. Virtual keyboards to get ideas down as they come
PopSmartWrite is a story-writing app that works on smartphones and tablets. The virtual keyboards on these touch screen devices make writing more accessible to students who type faster than when they write on paper. Young students who struggle to hold a pen may find it so much easier to type out their stories on an app.
More writing is achieved since students no longer worry too much about neatness associated with erasures or spelling errors. Young students need to be given the space, tools, and guidance to jot their ideas down freely without the fear of making mistakes. Too much focus on correctness can disrupt the flow of their ideas. Once students complete their writing on the app, they can move on to practicing their handwriting on paper.
With PopSmartWrite, teachers can mentor the next generation of young writers to be playful - and not perfectionists - in their writing.
2. Gamification features to take the pressure off writing
The interactive game features in PopSmartWrite enable kids to stay happily engaged in the writing process. They get to choose their own rewards after collecting a number of coins when they finish a story. The reward system built into the app encourages young students to keep writing until they reach their goal. By turning writing into a game, students can feel more relaxed and motivated to stick to the task.
3. Multi-sensory approach to writing
By using the PopSmartWrite app, students can combine text, images and annotation to create all kinds of written work for school and leisure. Since writing happens on a mobile device, students can draw inspiration from wherever they are. Writing does not end within the four walls of a classroom. It can be extended at home, the garden, the playground, or at lunch break with friends. It can be introduced during activities that spark a student’s interest whether it be a science experiment, an art project, a bake sale, or a new dance choreo they’re learning!
Teachers or parents can use the app to continuously give feedback and support to students so they can review and revise their work independently. With all that said, young students are fully engaged in the experience of writing.
Kids need to feel inspired and encouraged to write. They need a space where their ideas can play so their best ideas can be seen and heard. Every child can write. So often many struggle because they simply aren’t given the appropriate tools to help them express their full creative potential. PopSmartWrite aspires to be that space where kids can play and learn at the same time.