1.  If your child has trouble with handwriting…

     -Handwriting Without Tears:  Online Tools; http://www.hwtears.com/hwt/online-tools


2.  If your child needs to develop skills and confidence in thinking, writing, and drafting, try the following websites that provide a variety of methods for practicing short periods of daily writing.

 - Oneword; provides a single word prompt; you have 1 minute to write about it; http://oneword.com

 -OhLife; sends friendly emails asking ,”How’d your day go?”; http://ohlife.com

 -Penzu; free online digital journal; http://penzu.com


3.  If your child needs help finding a topic to write a report about…

    -42explore; topics and resources for elementary and middle school children; http://42explore.com

    -eThemes; thematic resources for writers of all ages; http://www.emints.org/ethemes


4.  Directories are great alternatives to search engines (like Google) because they can help clarify topics by making choices from menus to determine what is and isn’t of interest:

-Google Directories; http://www.google.com/Top

-Open Directory Project; http://www.dmoz.org

-Yahoo! Directories; http://dir.yahoo.com


5.  If your child needs help finding information and taking notes for a report…

 -TEK Mom’s Search; helps students organize their search; www.tekmom.com/search

 -Specialized search tools that help students explore interesting aspects of their topics;

    - Qwiki; www.qwiki.com (enter a topic to find tons of information about any particular subject)

    -Wolfram Alpha; www.wolframalpha.com (especially for computational knowledge on a variety of topics)


  -Note Taking:

     -Cornell Notes; http://wiki.43folders.com/index.php/Cornell_Notes

     -Citelighter; www.citelighter.com; allows you to find research, highlight it; make your own comments about it, etc.

     -Evernote; www.evernote.com


6.  If your child has difficulty reading the information they found,  here are options that will allow students to highlight or copy and paste into a text to speech program so they can listen to the information

    -Natural Reader; www.naturalreaders.com

    -Text Aloud (Windows software); www.nextup.com

    -Vozme (Web); http://vozme.com


7. If your child has difficulty getting started on writing a paper, here are tools that help with visual mapping, a good alternative to outlining. 

    -these sites will help kids brainstorm topics and then connect key ideas; once the picture is completed to the writer’s approval, an outline can be generated with a touch of a button; visuals and pictures make it easier for most struggling kids

  -Inspiration; www.inspiration.com

  -Webspiration; www.inspiration.com/webspirationclassroom

  -Cmap; http://cmap.ihmc.us


8.  Alternatives to Microsoft Word (specialized word processors) are options to allow for alternative writing environments:

    -Scholastic Keys (Windows only); works on top of Microsoft Office to provide a “kid friendly” interface for young children (K-5) to use the basic functions of Word, Excel, and Power Point

   -Picture It (word processor that matches pictures with words)

   -Co: Writer: works with any other word processor by offering word prediction (search for information under Don Johnson assistive technology)


9. If your child has problems with keyboarding or poor spelling:

  -Dragon NaturallySpeaking (www.nuamce.com) is a voice activated software program

 -Google Voice is a new program that involves a free telephone answering service.  Explore the program that lets you set up a “Google” phone number and allows you to call that number and leave a voice mail.  Google will then translate the message and send you an email that includes both the audio file and the text that was converted from the dictated message. (www.google.com/googlevoice)


10.  If your child has problems citing references in research papers, here are tools that will help students format their citations correctly for formal research papers

   -Son of Citation Machine (http://citationmachine.net)

   -NoodleBib (http://www.noodletools.com)

   -Easy Bib (http://www.easybib.com)