How I Use It
I support teachers in a K-12 public school district. We purchased this app for our K-1 iPads which we have in a 1:1 environment where they stay at school. Teachers can quickly have students open the app and start writing, or if they take a bit of time to get to know their students and personalize the settings on each iPad, it is even more valuable. The best implementation is where the teacher introduces the letter formation to the whole class and then the students practice in multiple ways INCLUDING using this app. After sight words or spelling words, or even simply the student's Name is introduced, the app can be personalized to include what words need to be practiced, integrating some spelling instead of just letter formation. I saw this introduced last year before our 1:1 implementation where the teacher had her own iPad open to Writing Wizard in a center and students rotated through the station, too. However, in a true 1:1 environment, the app can even record student's work and the teacher can view the video of the stroke completion or email it to parents!! Most teachers I support report that they do not have time to make use of many of the settings for this, however.
I think this app is worth purchasing if you're investing in 1:1 iPads, but you might want to consider what grade at which it becomes too easy and not worth the investment? I like that the app has colorful interactive screens to make practicing over and over more motivating for kids. I'm not impressed with the sound effects, but kids are pretty compliant with our instructions to mute the iPad when told to and if the teacher wanted to take time to adjust the settings, they could be turned off all together. I love that personalized word lists can be added to writing practice options, but it would be nice if the teacher could somehow "push" those lists out to each app through a web-based account that was tied to each iPad. As it is, students enter the words themselves...this can be good practice, but it does allow for some margin of error when entering words....which can lead to words being practiced incorrectly.