How to use Letter Shapes

Welcome to the help and support page for Letter Shapes. This page will show you how to make the most of the app by guiding you through its workings and providing some helpful hints and tips on how the app can grow with your child from the first steps of learning to write letters correctly through to more advanced uses such as phonics and spelling.


Letter Shapes main menu

This is the Letter Shapes main menu screen.
Touch Options for Parents to configure the app and view information about it.
Touch Start Letter Shapes to allow your child to use Letter Shapes.
You can also choose whether recorded sounds should play automatically when moving between words using the switch.

Letter Shapes drawing screen

This is the drawing screen. Your child can practice forming letters by drawing them on the touch screen.
The Done button returns to the main menu screen.
The Group button allows you to switch between word groups.
Trashcan clears the current drawing.
LetterButton toggles the white letters on and off.
GuideButton toggles the dotted line guides on and off.
LinesButton toggles the green guide lines on and off.
Play will play the current word sound.
Arrows changes the current word.


Options for Parents

Letter Shapes contains a number of parental options which can be reached by touching the Options for Parents button on the main menu. The parental options are initially disabled so that your child can not access them accidentally. To activate these options press and hold the Letter Shapes logo for five seconds.
Letter Shapes options for parents

Touch Manage Word Groups to create and edit your own word lists.
Touch Rate this app on App Store to leave feedback about Letter Shapes on the App Store.
Touch View Help and Support to display this help page in the Letter Shapes app.
Touch More Apps by Wave 1 to view a number of other apps that you may find interesting.
Touch Return to Main Menu to go back to the main start up screen.

Managing Word Lists

Letter Shapes allows you to create your own lists of words and to record sounds to accompany each word. Instructions on how to reach the word management feature can be found above in the Options for Parents section.

The word management screens look slightly different depending on whether you are using an iPad or an iPhone or iPod touch.

On the iPad the left side of the screen is a list of word groups. Touching an entry in this list will display the contents of that word group in the list on the right hand side of the screen.

Letter Shapes word management screen on iPad

Touch Add Group to create a new word group.
Trashcan allows you to delete a group. Touch the Delete next to a group name to make a Delete button appear. You can not delete the default Letter Shapes groups.
Touch Add Word to add a new word to the currently selected group.
Select a word and touch Edit Word to modify it.
ArrowsUpDown allows you to change the order of words.
Trashcan lets you delete words in the same way as deleting a group.
Record allows you to record a sound to accompany a particular word. This sound can be automatically played as your child works through a word group.
Play lets you play back the sound associated with a particular word.

On the iPhone and iPod touch word management is split across two screens.

Letter Shapes iPhone word group management

AddButton allows you to create a new word group.
Trashcan allows you to delete a group. Touch the Delete next to a group name to make a Delete button appear. You can not delete the default Letter Shapes groups.
Touching any group in the list will take you to a screen allowing you to edit the list of words in that group.

Letter Shapes iPhone word management

AddButton allows you to add a new word.
Trashcan allows you to delete a word. Touch the Delete next to a word to make a Delete button appear. You can not delete words from the default Letter Shapes word groups.
Touch a word and press Edit to modify it.
ArrowsUpDownPhone allows you to change the order of words.
Record allows you to record a sound to accompany a particular word. This sound can be automatically played as your child works through a word group.
Play lets you play back the sound associated with a particular word.

Hints and Tips

The primary use of Letter Shapes is to show how to correctly form the shapes of letters and numbers but it can also be used in other ways that allow it to grow alongside your child. Here are some hints and tips that show you how the app can be used to assist your child’s learning as they grow older.

Common Word Familiarity

When your child is first exploring the world of letters it helps to familiarise them with words that will have a special connection for them, such as names of family members or pets. Every child gets a thrill from being able to write their own name and words like Mummy and Daddy, so create a word group for this purpose. Record a sound for each word in the group and use the switch on the main menu screen to play each sound as your child works their way through the words.

Phonics

Letter Shapes contains default word groups for upper case, lower case and mixed case letters of the alphabet. Each of these is accompanied by a pre-recorded sound that will teach your child both the name of the letter and the phonics sound it makes.

When your child starts to learn phonics at school you can create your own word groups to support their learning. It is unlikely that your child will be taught phonics in alphabetical order so you can create your own word groups that match the order used by the phonics programme in use at your child’s school. Record your own sounds to assist your child in achieving the correct pronunciation of each phonic sound.

Letter and Spelling Tests

The ability to hide the letter guides allows you to set your child memory or spelling tests in a fun way. By recording a sound for each word in a group your child can be asked to attempt to write a word with no visual cues to help them. If they get stuck they can toggle the letter guides on and off to provide a hint!

Support

If you have any questions about Letter Shapes then please e-mail support@wave1.co.uk for help. You can also click the following link to view the Letter Shapes Privacy Policy.