Writing Resources

Writing Tool Resources

Writing is the ultimate form of communication because it allows students to put their thoughts and ideas on paper to share with others. Writing is a complex task involving motor ability (keyboarding or handwriting), composing thoughts in an organized way, constructing good sentences, and using correct mechanics in the areas of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Below you will find tools to assist students who may have writing challenges to make the process less frustrating and more productive.

Subscription Based Writing Supports

  • Read&Write for Education is an all in one writing and reading support tool. It is available for PC, Mac, Chromebook extension, iPad and Android tablets. The writing supports include word prediction, speech to text, and dictionaries (including a picture dictionary). An annual license is $145 and you may sign up to try it free for 30 days. It could be well worth the price if it helps your student to read, write, and study smarter. Teachers may sign up for free accounts.
  • Co:Writer is an amazing word prediction package that goes beyond by including topic dictionaries or web created dictionaries on any topic a student may choose. This assists writers by giving them access to topic specific vocabulary words that may be difficult for them to read or spell. These words then show up in the word prediction list. Speech to text is also included and you can go back and forth between it and word prediction very easily. Co:Writer has a variety of settings which make it appropriate for elementary on up. When you buy a subscription you have access to Co:Writer across any devices you may own such as Chromebook, iPad, or laptop/desktop computer. Subscription is $4.99 per month and can be canceled at any time.
      

Other Writing Tools/Websites

  • Google voice typing is a free tool built in to Google Docs. It is quite accurate (depending on the noise level of the room and the microphone you use!) and now there are so many voice commands for formatting and navigating your document. Google has a good support page to assist you with these formatting commands. 

  • Grammarly is a grammar and spell checker that can be a Microsoft Office add in or a Google Chrome Extension available in the Chrome Web Store. Grammarly can detect correctly spelled words used in the wrong context, subject-verb agreement errors, punctuation errors and many others. The free version will be of great assistance to many people, however there is a paid premium version too.

  • Book Creator started out as an iPad app several years ago and now there’s a version that can be accessed on all devices in the Chrome web browser. This is another fantastic way for students to show what they know by making a book on a topic or collaborating with other students to make a book as a group project. You can add text, images, audio or video, or create awesome comics with the built-in comic templates. Books can be published and shared online or kept in a private class library. Other great features allow for books to be printed or saved as a PDF and YouTube videos and Google Docs can be embedded too. It’s very user friendly and appropriate for all grade levels. Book Creator has a terrific help page to get you up and running quickly.

  • Scholastic Story Starters will assist elementary students who just can’t decide what to write about. Students spin the “story starter” machine that chooses randomly selected themes and provides different types of online writing paper. Drawing can also be done on the pages for that personal touch.

Digital Graphic Organizers

Websites for Keyboarding Practice

  • Much of the research states that children are developmentally ready for formal keyboarding training around 4th-5th grade. That doesn’t mean that you can’t start exposing students to some practice just to learn where the keys are located. However, K-3 students shouldn’t be expected to have correct hand/finger position at this early age but repeated exposure sharpens their familiarity with where keys are located on the keyboard.

  • Typing.com has a variety of lessons, typing games, and tests for students to sharpen their skills.

  • TypingClub.com is very well organized and lessons build on one another. Students start with a placement test. As you progress review lessons and typing games are made available.

  • Kidztype.com includes the popular Dance Mat typing tutor that students seem to enjoy.

  • Typinggames.zone has arcade, animal, racing, space, home row, easy and just a huge variety of typing games. There’s something here for most everyone.

iPad apps for writing

  • Keedogo Plus is made for the younger student who is just learning to read, write, and keyboard. The keyboards are very simple with only the basic keys students need. The keys have lower case letters on them and the vowels are color coded. Students are not distracted by auto-correction or spell check. This sells in the App Store for $2.99.

  • Keeble is a terrific accessible keyboard that makes typing in any app much easier for students with physical or visual impairments. It has predictive text for single and multiple words along with fonts that are friendly to those with dyslexia along with speak as you type if needed. This sells in the App Store for $24.99.

  • SnapType Pro makes it easy for students to take a picture of any worksheet with the iPad or import one from email or Google Drive. Tap anywhere to type or even dictate your answers to fill in your worksheet, or draw with your finger. Share by email, print directly from the iPad or upload to Google Drive. Perfect for students with poor handwriting who need to fill in worksheets. Sell is the App Store for $4.99.

  • Write About This is a visual writing prompt app that has 125 images with 3 different levels of prompts per picture. This is a wonderful app for elementary students to get started with writing. Teachers/students can easily add their own pictures. Writing can be shared as a PDF, emailed, or saved to the camera roll. Voice recordings can be added too. This sells for $3.99 in the App Store.

  • Clicker Docs is a word prediction writing program geared more towards elementary students with reading and spelling challenges. When sentences are punctuated, they are automatically read back to the student. This feature assists learners in helping them find and correct any errors, and in turn to become more independent writers. Age appropriate vocabulary is predicted based on the context of the student’s writing. In addition, word banks can also be created by the teacher for students to use. There are many settings to make this app accessible including a larger keyboard called SuperKeys. Clicker Docs sell for $32.99 in the App Store and is now available for Chromebooks. A yearly subscription will cost $50 and you can receive a 28 day free trial by downloading Clicker Docs from the Chrome Web Store.

Contact Information

Consultant: Rosanne Burden
Tel: 269-471-7725 ext. 1197
Fax: 269-471-0314
rosanne.burden@berrienresa.org



Students on computer keyboard
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