What it is: This is a fun site. Pilot Handwriting let’s students turn their handwriting into a font of their own. The site is easy to use: print the template for students to fill out, take a picture of the completed template with a webcam (scanner and digital camera options also available), click on individual letters to adjust the look, save the handwriting by creating an account, click “let’s write” to use the font. Writing completed on the Pilot Handwriting site can be emailed. Saving the handwriting does require students to create an account. The account has no age limit but asks for an email address. If you are teaching students who don’t have an email address, they can use a @tempinbox.com or @mailinator.com ending so they don’t have to create an email account.
How to integrate Pilot Handwriting into the classroom: I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of handwriting worksheets- this is due to my own experience with them. I remember feeling like the practice page was endless and in the end didn’t give me a good feel for handwriting (especially in cursive) because I was writing letters individually; how often do you do that in real life? The Pilot Handwriting font creator would be a fun way for students to end those handwriting practice sessions. When they have a letter down, they can write it on the template. The template could be filled out over several weeks as they learn and practice new letters. At the end, they can turn all that practice into their very own computer font…as unique as their fingerprint! The finished font can be used for learning how to write a friendly letter. Students can compose a letter to a teacher, another student, or a parent using their font and send the finished letter via email.
Pilot Handwriting let’s students create multiple fonts within one account. Students could create a font at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the school year (or in subsequent years) to compare their growth. Handwriting can tell us so much about how students are developing and thinking. This is a great way to record that development digitally.
My students love creating their own font, it makes all writing and practice more fun. I caught a fifth grader typing out her spelling and vocabulary words just so that she could use her font. In that one exercise she was practicing her handwriting, typing, and spelling/vocabulary. Not too shabby 🙂
Tips: This is a neat site for students to share with their families. I have great handwritten notes from my grandmothers, recipes from my mom, and birthday cards from aunts and uncles. There is something about a handwritten note that feels so personal and meaningful, it is capturing a piece of who that person is. Students may want to ask their family members to create a font with their handwriting. I had one student who was creating a family tree for class, he had each member of his family fill out the template and create a font. He then asked them to send an email to him with the information needed for his tree using the font. He cut and paste these onto poster board. It was honestly the coolest family tree I have seen, he had his family get involved and created a keepsake in the process.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Pilot Handwriting in your classroom!