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IEW Writing Tools Lite

Mindprint Rating

Tags

ELA: Reading ELA: Writing Study Skills & Tools Middle/High School iOS App

Skills

Organization Working Memory

Mindprint Expert Review

Pros

  • An efficient tool to help knowledgeable writers enhance their writing.
  • A very useful guide that can be used for a variety of different writing genres.
  • App has a simple text-based interface that is easy to follow.

Considerations

  • Students who have difficulty structuring their writing might find the guidance and examples are insufficient and confusing.
  • The app has no attractive or engaging features.

Mindprint Expert Review

IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) Writing Tools Lite is a useful app which provides convenient, stepwise instruction to help students take organized notes and enrich their writing, but many students might need adult support or they could easily feel confused. The app includes nine units to guide students for different types of writing, including "Notes and Outlines," "Critiques and Book Reports," and "Summarizing References and Articles." Each unit provides a one page writing outline instructing students how to open, how many sub-topics they need, and the appropriate number of supporting of details. The instructions are written in short-hand, e.g. "choose and limit" which will be great for confident writers who only need high level guidance. Students who need more instruction might feel confused by the brevity. Six other sections will help students add variety and interest to their composition. For example, "Dress-ups" explains how to use clauses, strong verbs and adjectives and "Decorations" suggests how to create dramatic opening and closings and use strong adjectives, alliterations, and quotations. These sections, unlike the major units, include examples which will help students work more independently. "Word Lists" include hundreds of helpful word choices organized by part of speech but no option to look up definitions. A paid upgrade provides additional word lists, a thesaurus and quotations from classic literature. Overall, this is a useful resource for confident writers to structure and enhance their writing, but it is not an instructional tool that teachers should expect inexperienced or struggling writers to use independently.

Academic Benefits

Improves academic skills

  • Provides sufficient and varied types of practice problems to maximize understanding and generalization of the targeted skill/concept
  • Manufacturer claims alignment with Common Core/Known Standards
  • Presents educational concepts accurately
  • Explains answers so students can learn from mistakes
  • Better for teaching the skill to new or struggling learners
  • Better for practicing or refreshing the skill
  • Skills are practiced through authentic, meaningful problems (not just rote practice)

Fun

Engaging for the Mindprint recommended age range

  • Appropriate for a broad age range to use and enjoy
  • Subject matter and problems are relevant, interesting and authentic to students
  • Visually appealing to children in the target age range
  • Provides virtual rewards or incentives after meeting specified goals or objectives
  • Provides a "break activity" between academic problem sets
  • Offers ongoing, progressive challenge
  • Overall - Enjoyable. Given the option, students would choose this option

Easy to Use

Understandable for children in the Mindprint recommended age range

  • Has a free or trial version
  • Provides teaching guidance for adults to support the child and set appropriate goals
  • Provides an age-appropriate tutorial/first time users can work independently
  • Student should be able to use independently after first use
  • Has a multi-player option to foster in-person collaboration or cooperation
  • Multiple users can save a profile
  • Student graduates to the next level or topic only after meeting a benchmark
  • Can play without sound and not distract others
  • Students can save work between sessions
  • Can effectively understand and monitor student's progress (email report or in product)
  • Provides options to play in languages other than English/Good for ELL
  • Presents information in multiple formats (voice over, pictures and text, etc.)
  • Overall - Easy to use

Cognitive Concerns

May not be advisable for students with the following cognitive needs

  • Flexible Thinking
    • Directions may be confusing for students using independently
  • Organization
    • Age inappropriate amount of work which could overwhelm or discourage students
    • Problems or examples are not interesting for the target age range
    • Directions may be confusing for students using independently
    • Includes long written questions or text that students must be able to read on their own
  • Verbal Reasoning
    • Directions may be confusing for students using independently
    • Assumes specific knowledge or vocabulary without "look-up" options
    • Includes long written questions or text that students must be able to read on their own

Manufacturer Description

Instantly improve your writing! Brought to you by the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), this free app includes charts and lists to help you write organized and stylish papers. Based on the nine structural models and the many stylistic techniques presented in the Teaching Writing: Structure & Style program (http://IEW.com/TWSS-D), this application gives you tools to organize your writing, whether you are writing short stories, reports, essays, or book reports. Also includes lists chock-full of interesting word choices to improve your writing and vary your sentence structure—the mark of a sophisticated writer. Perfect for the homeschooling student and the classroom teacher.