ESL WRITING WIZARD INFORMATION
ABOUT THIS WEBSITE
The ESL Handwriting Practice Worksheet Wizard
The full, tongue-twisting name pretty much describes the nature of this website, but why did I make it?
I'm a teacher in an 'English conversation' school in Japan and responsible for teaching children as young as one-year old through to people in their retirement. My most enjoyable classes though are my kindergarten classes, and perhaps because of my enthusiasm and experience with such a young group of English learners, I was hired to write the curriculum for an international kindergarten. English is the first language in the classrooms, and therefore the priority is teaching the language and getting the kids up to native-speaker level as quickly as possible. An enormous and pretty much impossible task in a country where English is very rarely used, but nevertheless that is the goal.
A big part of the curriuculum is teaching the alphabet, phonics, reading and ultimately writing. That's where the need for this website came in. With daily writing practice essential in the kindy, it was a huge chore for the teachers, and myself, to make handwriting practice worksheets by hand. I had seen other websites but none could offer the flexibility that this site now provides. Yes, commercial software is available, but most teachers (at least in Japan anyway) sadly don't have a budget for educational materials, and not many want to use their own money, that's for sure!
So, here it is. The result of hours and hours of work, the Writing Wizard allows you to create your own tailor-made handwriting practice worksheets in either D'Nealian or Zaner-Bloser style, and supports both print and cursive. Once you've made your worksheets, you can share them on the web with other teachers, or keep them to yourself if you prefer.
I hope you enjoy the site. Scroll down this page to find out how you can send me your comments or make a donation. You can also read what other users of the Writing Wizard had to say. Finally, if you're interested in reading about my experiences living and teaching in Japan, then check out my LongCountdown blog.
"Hi Nick, as a mum of a home schooler (grade 3) I found your site the very, very best ever. It was the only one that was so helpfull and workbooks that I can actually print for free. You are a legend. I was so impressed with the stuff that I could print and so delighted with it all that I made a donation to you. You are a wonderfull person and what you are doing to help people is great and it's all free. I'd like to think that people do actually donate to you to help you with your costs and time and effort that you put into your site. Once again thank you so very, very much. It is the best I have come across and will never find another site as good as yours. It is so easy to understand and follow. Thank you so much."
"Nick, I am so glad I found your site! We recently moved to a new school district and my first grade daughter is having to change from Zaner-Bloser to D'Nealian. Well, handwriting was never her best subject, but now it's really a problem! I have looked all over the net for ways to help her and I believe your Wizard is the best! I just type in her spelling words or whatever and she can see how they are to look the D'Nealian way and she can trace that and then write in her own handwriting right next to it! It's what we've been doing by hand, but this will make it so much easier on me!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I've e-mailed a link to your site to my friends with children learning to write, too!!!"
"Hi Nick, just a quick note to say how fantastic this site is, I have three children and find this an excellent resource to use to make spelling more fun and to stop my youngest feeling left out at home work time. I have one question though, and forgive me if you offer this already, can I create worksheets to practise joined up writing? My eldest is off sick today and he is desperately upset that he will miss handwriting practise."
"I just wanted to tell you Thank You!!!!!!
I am a homeschool mother of 3. My son has some fine motor problems, specifically with handwriting. He is left handed also. He has been in occupational therapy for a few months to help with this issue. It has been difficult locating handwriting practice in D'Nealian style that will not cost me anything. Your site has been a lifesaver. He can get practice with words and sentences instead of feeling like he is in kindergarten again with just ABC worksheets. He was so excited to write today. I will be forever in your debt."
"Nick, I am a special ed teacher who received your website link from my supervisor. I only saw it yesterday, but I can assure you that once word gets around, many special ed teachers will be using it. We are sometimes still teaching handwriting until a student graduates which is age 21 in special ed world. I created a worksheet and found it easy to create, save and print. Thanks for your efforts!"
"Just a note to thank you for all of your hard work. It is appreciated. I live in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada and often teach ESL/EAL to adults in the Literacy Stream. This includes learning how to print their name and the Roman alphabet. I've spent hours making worksheets and now you have made the task easier. It is just about impossible to find materials that are not designed for children with graphics."