Stage7.jpgStage Seven - Written Expression

The ability to clearly and independently express one’s thoughts on paper is the most sophisticated skill in the Stages framework. Independent writing is a high-level skill that incorporates other literacy skills such as reading, spelling and organization. Because there is a separate teaching methodology associated with writing and the related apps selection is unique, it is set aside as a separate Stage.

A learner’s ability to write independently is essential to continuing her education, seeking employment, living independently, and communicating with others. When a learner writes a sentence, tremendous potential for academic independence begins. The skills involved in written expression include both language use and mechanical conventions such as spelling and grammar.

Keep in mind that learner independence in written language is the eventual goal. Learners with more intensive cognitive and language delay can work toward supported independence in their writing. Writing skills are interwoven with other skills considered in earlier Stages. At Stage Four, a learner works on reading readiness skills by trying to write the letters of the alphabet, and perhaps her own name. She also begins to associate sounds with letters. At Stage Five, she uses writing skills to complete most academic assignments and projects. She writes simple sentences at first, and as her skills develop she will incorporate vocabulary words and content-related words she encounters in other content areas. Stage Six learners do not write for academic purposes, but are expected to master functional writing skills that are needed for real-world efforts, such as writing shopping lists and filling in job applications.

A Stage Seven Learner ....

  • reads and writes words independently
  • spells words correctly and composes thoughts grammatically
  • uses written language to express understanding and original thought
  • retells a story in the proper sequence
  • uses menus and tools in a word processor
  • uses hand-held spelling tools or word walls

Features to Consider

  • visual presentation of letters and words combined with sound
  • takes advantage of the device’s text-to-speech capability
  • enhance a learner’s ability to self-correct builds both independence and self-esteem
  • auditory reinforcement gives the learner control over the writing and editing process
  • adjust font type, size or color to facilitate independence
  • productivity tools such as word completion or word prediction


Cheryl Bregman
Abilipad combines the functionality of a notepad with word prediction, text-to-speech and a customizable keyboard, putting advanced writing tools within everyone’s reach.
It has a very intuitive and user-friendly interface will have taking notes, creating lesson plans, importing photos and designing customized keyboards completed in no time. An integrated filing system allows you to create folders to manage your notepads and keyboards.
Bob Books Reading Magic Lite
Clozure Associates
Asks users to spells words and match letters to copy a word. There are four levels of play and fun animation once spelled word is complete.
Book of Me
Book of Me, LLC
Data collection by making a book to be kept on a “bookshelf”. This app is a great writing tool for students unable to write a sentence independently. The students type responses to questions that appear on the screen (hello my name is ) or select responses from given images (boy/girl, hair length). There is also ability to record the student talking on each page.
This app appears to have its own build in keyboard that is displayed in caps only (though types first letter capitalized). Because this is an iPhone app, it does not work with adaptive keyboards (such as Keeble).
Clicker Books
version 1.0.0
Crick Software
Book making app with extensive support for all abilities. Highlights include: speech support, word predictor, word banks, and child-friendly keyboard and font. Can listen & record. Can share books as PDF via email or Dropbox.
Clicker Connect
Crick Software
Clicker Connect allows learners and struggling writers to become independent writing by using words and phrases in a logical sequence. Offers use of pictures to support text. Text can be read for students to listen to a word/phrase before they write or after they’ve written it. Has pre made learning grids (word banks) to assist students or individual grids can be made with specific vocabulary. Customizable to support learners at different levels.
Clicker Docs
Crick software
Helps to develop students writing skills with differentiated support for writers of all abilities. . Each time sentence is punctuated the text is read aloud with clear speech. Word prediction, topic-specific word banks, interface is customizable to different students. Talking spell check, Dropbox support. A higher-level writing app that supports written expression with word prediction, word banks, etc. Switch accessible with the Clicker-specific interface.
Clicker Sentences
Crick Software
Clicker Sentences supports early learners in the writing process. With options for differentiation, students are able to toggle between word sets, sentence sets, and a custom designed keyboard. Options include the ability to change fonts, backgrounds, and text colors. Clicker Sentences is customizable with three choices and speeds of speech. A sentence-building app that works on word order within simple, compound, or complex sentences. A variety of prompts and accommodations built-in such as text-to-speech, order of words, etc. Switch accessible with the Crick USB Switch Box. Products can be emailed or printed. Dropbox is also an embedded feature. Controls are offered for word order and model sentences can be provided. Texts can also be imported and customized.
Don Johnston
Predicts the intended word with a selection of word suggestions using powerful grammar-smart word prediction (Uses its understanding of grammar to accurately predict words within the framework of valid sentence structures.)
These suggestions can be read aloud with a swipe. Selecting the intended word places it into the document. For feedback while writing (and after writing) built-in text to speech can be used to read letters, words, sentences, and the entire document.

Over 4 million topic dictionaries. Co:Writer has access to a main prediction dictionary (that includes core words) and Topic Dictionaries (that includes topic specific words). Flexspell technology including phonetic spelling and inventive spelling errors (letter omissions, word ending omissions, letter reversals, etc). US voices and dictionaries. New version 1.3.2 now works on IOS 8. Can export to email, twitter, facebook, google drive, drop box, and can copy and print.
Creative Book Builder
Tiger Ng
User can create, edit, and publish their own book. Their books can be read in any ePub reader (includes iBooks)
Dr. Peet’s Writing Buddy
Dr. Peet’s Software
Speech to text support for the writing process. Font size and color are customizable. Information written can be used to text or e-mail a contact in the contact list. Videos and maps can also be searched by accessing an icon that will load the appropriate Google. Talkback settings can be customized to read letter, word, sentence or all the above. Common mispronunciations or abbreviations. Can be customized to be read in a particular way.
Nuance Communications
Access__: Voice recognition software that allows a person to speak the text that would typically be typed.
Organize your notes and ideas. Capture in one place but access from other places and on other devices.
FRS STory Starters
Fast Rabbit Software, LLC
Cuess for creating a story base on the “wh” questions. For all ages.

I Can Write 1

Innovative Net Learning Limited

Chose an animal to dress then create a sentence about the animals clothing. When a grammatically correct sentence has been created the animal will dance.
Idea Sketch (version 5.7)
Nosleep Software
This app allows the user to create diagrams, concept maps, or flow charts and then convert it to a text outline. This text outline can then be printed for the user and used for writing activities or could be included as part of a student portfolio. The app easily allows the user to share diagrams and outlines via email and Diagrams can also be shared via Facebook or saved to photos. Since this app does not collect data within the app, it is a great feature that the information the user creates can be printed and shared with others. This can be included in a students portfolio to show progress over time.
Inspiration Maps
Inspiration Software, Inc.
Allows the learner to use brainstorming tools for writing. App will create an outline from a graphic organizer with the tap of a button. Allows learner to export file to email, iTunes or to print.
Texthelp Ltd.
A great literacy support tool. Can be used for reading, writing and editing. Has text-to-speech with highlighting, word prediction, phonetic spell checker, homophone and confusable word checker, text and picture dictionary, customizable background and text colors, adjustable voices and several fonts. Users are able to import share and print documents. Another exciting feature is that Wifi and 3G are not required to run the app. You have all your data for the user when it is shared or printed.

Skill/Content: This app is appropriate for users who reads and writes words independently, and uses written language to express understanding and original thought. This app has text-to-speech, word prediction, and spelling support. There are a lot of great accessibility features such as background, text, and text-to-speech settings.
Curriculum Connection: This app can be used across the curriculum for any written task.
Evidence: Teacher/Worker can gather evidence by tracking a written specific skill.
iWordQ US
Quillsoft Ltd.
This app can be used for struggling readers and writers. Features available within this app are: word prediction, speech feedback, spellcheck, dictionary and abbreviation-expansion. Speech recognition is available to be used in this app for iPads 3 and higher. This tool can assist an individual during the writing process to compose material, read to learn, and in the proofreading process. An educator can collect data by the exporting features available within this app (Dropbox, email, etc.)

This app has two modes of use: writing and reading. The writing section encompasses word prediction, abbreviation expansions and speech feedback and speech recognition. The reading section presents the text in segments, has tools for proofreading and read/ listen to the documents. Documents can be exported to a variety of destinations. It has extremely customizable features in word prediction, vocabulary, abbreviations, appearance and speech. It also provides a manual within the app for easy trouble shooting.
Little Story Maker
Innovative Investments Limited
Little Story Maker is a great little app that adults and children can use to create their own custom books on their iPads. The app provides book templates that you complete with your own images, text, and voice narration. Provides primary evidence for Alt portfolio
My Photo Story
Create your own story using pictures and text in a simple comic book type layout.
MyScript Smart Note
Free/ $1.99 In-App Purchase for unlimited notebooks.
Provides customizable notebooks (type of paper, thickness and color of pen, separate pen for drawings and eraser size). It is mistake tolerate with features like select, hand guard, writing guide, zoom, OCR, and more. This may work best with student who may prefer writing over typing, but needs extra guides, such as gridded paper and writing guides to be successful.
Mattias Funk
This app allows for brainstorming, idea mapping, and organizing of thoughts and information. This app could be used for increased comprehension of information (e.g. from a text) or for use during the prewriting/planning phase of composition. The learner can enter text, change colors, draw shapes, and link items together. Multiple sheets can be bound together to create a book. The learner can also export to PDF via email.
Ginger Labs, Inc.
Take notes; Insert pictures, webclip, text, handwriting, figure; take a photo. Open a PDF and annotate with text or handwriting. Word processing with format(bold, italic, underline, font presets, spell check. Link audio recording. Uses dropbox. Built-in iCloud support, keeps notes, documents, and drawings available at all times. Import worksheets and even books, then write or type to provide answers, take notes, or create reports. Record lessons and link recordings to your notes. Requires iOS 6.0 or higher
Panther Writing
Panther Technology
Accessible writing tool/ offers a variety of keyboards for access and efficiency, even has a keyboard for editing purposes, word prediction option, variety of publishing tools (email, pdf to open in other apps)
Paperport Notes
Nuance Company
Accessibility to note taking via text, handwriting, photo, speech, or audio/ uses dropbox, email, or opening other apps (ie. evernote, explain everything, pdf forms)
Picture Writer
Solla Carrock
Allows learner to write independently or gives the option to click on categorized images to write the word for them. Auditory feedback is given when selecting an image and variations of the word are included to select from. The Spanish word is also given. Punctuation is already on the template to select from. Work can be saved or emailed.
This app allows for a free and easy-to-use mobile interface that lets the user make a variety of graphic organizers. You can add text, link videos, and add pictures. There is also a pay-for version that allows greater flexibility.
Tbox Apps
AAC app with word prediction and switch access. Has editable phrases by category. Can use twitter, FB, and email. Can change pronunciation of words & has 9 voices. Has backup. Predictable is a fully switch accessible communication and writing program that uses powerful word prediction coupled with an onscreen keyboard (which can be QWERTY, ABC, or high frequency layout). The iPad screen can even be used as a switch for this program.
Read on Sight
A sentence is shown then the user has to recreate the sentence wiith the words jumbled. There is no data collected in the app but a teacher working with the student could tally how many tries it takes to get it right
Sentence Builder
Northwest Kinematics
Students choose the correct words to build a grammatically correct sentence about a picture. The user’s progress is tracked individually and each user has a stats page.
Mobile Education Tools
Help learner generate grammatically correct sentences via a selection wheel/spinner. Helps improve grammar as well as sentence structure by providing lists of words to select from and gentle feedback where he makes a mistake.
Sight Words by Little Speller
The user matches letters to copy a word.
[[../|Skill Builder Spelling]]
Ben Kaiser
This app helps users to increase spelling skills. The user can create spelling quizzes and has two different options for testing: having the word disappear as the user begins to type, or having the user unjumble the word. Very interactive and engaging and gives the user the opportunity to create their own learning.
Speak It
Future Apps Inc.
The user can enter text via the on-screen keyboard or cut and paste information from another document. Accessing the “speak it” button with a single tap will read the document. An audio file can be generated and e-mailed. Documents can be saved within SpeakIt. Spelling errors are not prompted or corrected. Voices can be changed and purchased through iTunes. Font size, voice volume, and voice speed can all be customized.
BorG Technology
Read using text-to-speech and translate into other languages. Use your own text or the Internet
Special Stories
Special iApps
This app is a nice easy way to make a simple book. Pages can be added easily by tapping a + sign. This brings up a pop-up to make the page. It offers the ability to add text and/or record to apply content to your story. Pictures can be included. Pictures must be chosen from the camera roll on the ipad. Sound can be recorded with a touch of a button and played back.

There are many settings as well such as; animation speed, advancing pages, sound when turning pages, tapping pictures and recording sounds, text features such as font, alignment, large text and enabling.

One and two switch visual scanning. Create stories with pictures, and then share them with others through email. Stories can be shared via online, managed collections, printed or exported with additional exporting methods. Stories can also be imported. Can also add your book to iBooks or print out a copy.
Social stories app. Create stories and add pictures from library or camera roll. Record audio to add. View preloaded stories. Cannot edit stories once they are made.
Story Builder
Mobile Education Tools
Helps students improve paragraph formation, improve integration of ideas, and improve higher-level abstractions by inference. Audio clips promote improved auditory processing.
Story Creator
Innovative Mobile Apps
Students create stories using text, pictures, audio and/or drawing. Stories can be emailed and printed, then compared to track written expression progress over time.
Story Patch
Haywoodsoft LLC
Story starters are available if needed, or students can write their own story. There ares over 800 Illustartions. They can be customized, and photos can import. There is also a tutorial and stories can be read and shared by email.
Story Wheel
Students record a story by spinning a wheel to get a picture, and then narrate a portion of the picture. Students can then listen to their story with animated pictures.
Tacky Wales
Laura Jaffe
Similar to Mad Libs, write a story filling in the blanks with nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., with examples are given for each Story can be read aloud, or created by user. “Shake” the ipad and it jumbles up some of the letters.
The Writing Machine
Hump Software
This app will aid in literacy development by displaying print concepts to early learners. This is done via audio and visual feedback. When a letter is chosen, an image will appear of an item beginning with that letter, and the word will be written on the screen. The letter and the image will be spoken when the user touches the screen.
Data can be gathered by an observer, video, and screen shots.
Type-O HD
2nd Guess
Teaches writing & spelling skills. Audio feedback, word prediction, spell check. Writing can be e-mailed or saved on clipboard for opening elsewhere.
$99.99 for Premium; otherwise Free.
This is a great AAC type app that offers oral dictation to type texts and 3 different keyboard layouts for able typists. The app provides word/phrase walls, word prediction, and text-to-speech functions. This app is free unless upgraded to Premium for $99.99. The premium includes additional features such as more voices, customized word/phrases, and the function to connect via email. Teachers can use the premium email function to track data.
SecondGuess ApS
Writing app that provides three levels of assisted writing, spell correct, and text-to-speech.
Crick Software
This word processor allows students to build confidence while writing with various supports built in. Supports include having text read back, word prediction, and use of subject specific word banks. Supports can be customized for individual needs. Documents can be emailed, printed or shared through Dropbox.
Writing Prompts
21x21 Media, Inc
Writing prompt generator with scene elements,sketches,colors,genres and writing types