Writing and Colouring Activity Book of Weather Words – a Montessori letter shape tracing activity app
An interactive app that aims to help improve writing and knowledge of weather specific words.
The premise behind this app is really simple, make learning new words fun and enjoyable. However behind it there is a lot more going on that is also about enhancing the learning experience for young people.
The app opens up with some simple yet really effective illustrations and a three option menu. This is a choice between getting straight into the app and playing on it to selecting some setup options. These setup options include changing options for adult and also the child that is using the device. On selecting the ‘supervisor’ or adult setup option you are taken to a further menu where you have the option of choosing between the different types of tracing outlines that will appear in the screen. This is selected from three options; full, an outline or no tracing outline at all. The second option, the ‘kids’ setup menu, allows you to choose which pages you want to ‘add’ to your book. This becomes apparent why and how you would do this once you start playing the app, however it would be really useful if this were explained in the menu somehow.
Once you have completed your setup you can then select the ‘Let’s Play’ tab on the main menu and start playing the app. As mentioned before, it is at this point that you realise that it is your job to create a book, a book where each page you are given a drawing and a simple sentence. Within the sentence there is a weather related word highlighted. When you click on this word it is read aloud for you to help you pronounce it correctly but also to help you realise that it is this word that is specific to the weather features of the app. On each page the picture is at the top and underneath there are a couple of tracing lines. If you click on these tracing lines then a new window opens up with the weather specific word in large text. This is where the user can practice their letter formation and their abilities in spelling the word. If the user simply clicks on each of the letters then depending on which option was selected in the ‘supervisor’ setup menu then a hand appears and shows the user the correct way to write the letter. This is a fantastic ‘extra’ of the app, however, as with a couple of other things it would help if there were an easy guide somewhere in the main menu to explain how the user can make the most out of all these small, yet app enhancing elements.
Once the user has correctly traced the letters then they can click the green tick and their text is implanted onto the story page. If, however they make a mistake or would like to keep practicing until they feel it is perfect they can also rub out their attempt and start again. I can see this being used to good effect in encouraging the young person to get it as perfect as they can and therefore practice their letters each time they do it.
Once you have created your text then you can click on the picture, or vice versa if you prefer. Once you do this you then have the ability to colour in the picture. This is completed through using a number of colouring tools. Again, there is also an option to wipe everything clean if you wish to start afresh! The line of text also appears at the bottom of this picture, again with the weather specific text highlight in a different colour and as before by clicking on the word the user can hear the correct pronunciation.
The user goes through each of the pages in the same way as this, coming against different sentences and weather specific phrases on each page until they have completed their book. There is a very good balance between the ‘fun’ elements of the app: the drawing and colouring, and the educational elements of it: the tracing of letter formations and introduction of weather specific words, exactly what you would expect of a Montessori style app.
Overall it is a really good app but with the addition of a little extra guidance to help the user navigate all the excellent small enhancements of the app it could be brilliant. I would also sincerely hope that the developers produce a range of these books covering different subjects as I can see it being used lots both at home and in the classroom.
From the Developer
Have fun improving letter formation, reading, spelling and writing skills.
If you are learning english, starting school, in preschool or just like colouring and writing, the My Weather Book app is perfect for you and your friends.
So, heres the fun stuff:
This workbook is has 25 worksheets each containing a simple weather related caption about the weather. Each caption is illustrated and busting to be coloured in by a budding artist.
The illustrations include:
• christmas trees and snowy scenes with snowmen and snowballs,
• icy scenes with polar bears and penguins,
• sunny days on the beach with ice cream and sand castles,
• cloudy days with helicopters and a planes,
• rainy days splashing in puddles and being stuck indoors (that one is a bit sad),
• stormy days with lightening and big waves!
• foggy days with lighthouses and fishermen
• beautify rainbows with castles, start birthday cakes and trains!
... and then there's the ice skater and the the skiier!
Post your favourite (coloured in please!) on our Facebook page (facebook.com/TheAppTreeLTD), we'd love to see what you can do!
Hmmm, and here's the serious learning stuff:
Each caption has a key weather word like sunny, snowy, rainy, icy, rainbow
If you want to colour in you must do your writing practice first - harsh but fair!
Tapping the letter makes the magic hand appear. The magic hand shows you exactly how to form the letter. Then you trace the letter ... it really is great fun and you learn letter shapes, letter formation, spelling and writing all at the same time!
The key features are:
• writing and letter tracing, full line and dots options
• letter shape and letter formation
• reading and listening to weather words
• spelling of weather words
• colouring and freehand drawing
• Montessori font and formation methods
• comprehension of letter shapes and weather words
• Amazing turning page effect producing a “real” colouring-writing practice book.
• Full line letter tracing for real beginners – 2-3 year olds
• Dotted line letter tracing for intermediate players – 3-4 year olds
• “Free" writing for advanced practice where no tracing lines are shown – 5+ year olds.
• 11 weather themed captions containing one practice work for tracing or free hand writing.
• Practice word audio to allow players to hear the practice word.
• 25 weather themed black outlined illustrations for colouring practice.
• Two colouring modes including paint fill and free hand painting.
• 27 colours to use in colouring mode.
1. Select a page with the caption you wish to practice e.g. a big rainbow.
2. Select the very fattest paint brush size and select the white paint colour.
3. Now wipe out the whole drawing so you are left with a blank page.
4. Now draw your own picture - it will be in the turning page book when you're finished!
Mums and Toddlers Playing together:
• Choose a picture each so that the pictures create a double page spread in the book.
• Take turns choosing the colours for your pictures.
• Then take turns tracing one letter at a time on the writing practice
• Say the letter sound of the letter you are tracing as you trace the letter.
• Take a photo of your finished double page spread and post it on our facebook page (facebook/TheAppTreeLTD)
Your feedback is incredibly important to us - please do review this app. Thanks ;)