Handwriting Heroes is a lightning-fast method for learning to handwrite! Letter formation is taught through animation, music, and stories. The multisensory program is easy to implement and presented in various formats including an iPad App, videos, and printable materials (such as workbooks, activity cards, and letter strips) to support all learning styles.
THE FABULOUS FIVE
The lower case letters are sorted into five groups (skydivers, bouncers, cannon pops, skiers, and surfers) based on their first stroke. All the letters in a group are taught in one lesson! This allows students to master one type of movement (i.e. the common stoke shared by all the letters) each week, before moving on the next group of letters.
UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY
Children love the animated stories that explain WHY the letters are formed the way that they are. The letter “l”, for example, skydives DOWN – because that’s the direction that skydivers go! Having the students retell the story (and add their own spin on it), as they are making the letter, helps them to recall the strokes.
Action words, animations, songs, and movement engage all the child’s senses to develop a kinesthetic memory for the motor movements. Students first make the letters with their whole arm to feel the movement necessary to form the letter. The structured, sequential and multisensory lessons create strong associations among the visual letter stories, the letter names, and sounds, and the movement patterns for making the letter forms.
FONTS AND LINES
The Handwriting Heroes font uses a continuous stroke that facilitates letter writing fluency and reduces reversals by keeping pencil lifts to a minimum. Three-lined paper provides a logical structure that provides students with key information on where to start and end their letters. Child-friendly terminology describes the top line, dotted-middle, and baseline as the skyline, clouds and grass, which serves as the “back-drop” to all the letter stories.
LOWERCASE LEADS THE WAY
Lowercase letters are used in about 98% of writing and are therefore taught first, in order for students to become functional writers as early as possible. Uppercase letters are only introduced once students can write all the lowercase letters legibly and automatically, except for the first letter of their name.
Systematic instruction and guided practice, in multiple formats, enables students to learn the letter forms very efficiently. Once all the letter groups are reviewed, students continue to reference the stories and use the action words while writing words, until letter production is mastered.
At the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School we have utilized a variety of handwriting programs in the past. We noticed that our students’ formation of letters was inappropriate and we sought out a program that was engaging for students, easy for teachers to use and improved overall letter formation and presentation of writing. We found Handwriting Heroes and were impressed with the simplicity of the program and felt our kindergarteners and first graders would benefit from its layout and progression. Over the school year, there has been a remarkable difference in the students’ handwriting and letter formation. The use of visually pleasing graphics (skydivers, canon pops) along with catchy and easy to remember rhymes has helped students practice, learn and internalize proper handwriting techniques and letter formation. The teachers have found the program easy to use and a natural fit with their classroom and teaching practices.
Additionally, when comparing our current second graders who did not have the benefit of using Handwriting Heroes and our current 1st graders who have, the difference in legibility and letter formation is astounding.
My son was getting behind in first grade because of all the writing. We started to use Handwriting Heroes and right away I noticed improvements, both in his writing and his attitude towards writing. He is especially loves the animations and stories.
The visuals, language, and consistency that the Handwriting Heroes program provides, allows children to easily find success in writing. It is great for both beginning writers and for those that need a bit of additional practice to fine-tune their handwriting skills. The simple, yet fun pages, allow children to focus on writing without being overwhelmed.
This writing method is solidly designed both on and off the device from the classification of letters based on the start of their designs to imagining the lines on paper as the sky, clouds and grass.
Learning to write is an important milestone for kids, and as such it should be a fun and enjoyable activity. Handwriting Heroes helps achieve this goal.
The cute and funny handwriting heroes themselves are the perfect cues to remind students on where and how to begin the first stroke. These visual reminders and the associated action words together provide important guides for students to write correctly.
This innovative iPad app mixes ten seconds of simple storytelling with the letter tracing process, creating a clever way to help children remember the path required to make each letter.
This program is fantastic! When children are singing the songs at recess, and choosing to write their letters at free time, you know you’ve found a winner. Highly recommended
The graphics are endearing and well executed. AppyTherapy surely has a hit on their hands as the material is an excellent way for kids to learn to write. Handwriting Heroes is a Top Pick and deserving of TWA’s badge of excellence!