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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Haley23
 
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b/d confusion advice
Old 11-03-2017, 06:37 PM
 
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I teach K-3 resource in a low SES building. Pretty much every kid I see has significant issues with decoding. In five years I've never had a kid referred for something like comprehension- it's always that they can't read in the first place (and my school does TONS of phonics interventions in both tier 1 and 2).

I've been told that it's developmentally normal for kids to confuse b/d through about the middle of 2nd grade. I have not found that my kids get any better after that. It made sense to me that I should start really focusing on it earlier so they're not just practicing it wrong over and over again in K-early 2nd (because they're essentially just guessing at this point).

I have a 2nd grade group who can fluently read CVC words, except for those with b/d, which unfortunately is a lot of words because those aren't uncommon letters! I went to a reading conference this year where one of the presenters had developed a program for b/d (Readsters).

My P bought it for me and I've been trying to use it with this group. It's all about using the "b hand" (the left hand with a thumb up) to check for b/d with lots of practice so that it becomes automatic. I've done this with my group for several weeks now and I've never felt so ineffective at anything in my entire life. They simply cannot visualize it (I even had them trace the hand to help them see it was making a "b" shape). They won't use the strategy unless I literally threaten them with consequences, and when they do use it they're often still just guessing/not processing it correctly. I've also had no success with the making your hands into a "bed" thing, picturing the lowercase b as half of the capital b, or thinking of d as having a "magic c" in it. Nothing works!

My question is, do I just move on to the next phonics skill (blends) and hope that they correct the b/d thing with more practice as we go along? Or try to keep at this even though it feels like it's not working at all? Any strategies that I don't know about? I've had a couple of adult dyslexics tell me that they often can't immediately tell the difference between b/d out of context, so it makes me wonder if I'm wasting my time?


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hiker1 hiker1 is online now
 
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:00 PM
 
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Try having them write a capital B then erasing the top part.
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Lillybabe Lillybabe is offline
 
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:59 PM
 
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Typically I work with the d sound for a long time before even introducing the sound for b. If things go well we master the d sound before they even know the b sound so therefore can't confuse it. If they start to say the wrong sound or the wrong letter I just immediately correct. I find by consistently just providing it for them they start to get it. I also show them how to correctly form the b and d which helps a lot. If you always form the b stick first and then "give it a belly" then it's hard to write backward. I teach students to start d like a c and then go up into the stick. Anytime I see them start to make d with the stick first I correct them. I am really picky about how to start letters which also blends into their sound and identification. I would work with simple phrases, sentences, and stories using only cvc words and the fewest possible sight words (think 20 or less) until they can read these easily. They should be able to do it almost without thinking about it at all. Think how an adult would read Go Dog Go by Dr. Seuss. I think that many kindergarteners aren't ready for blends until the end of the year or even into first grade. And remedial first graders may not be ready for blends, double vowels, and/or silent e until they have worked with cvc words for several months.
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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:27 AM
 
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My concern is more with reading the letters correctly, not with writing them. I have most of my kids trained to at least look at the alphabet chart when writing them so they write them correctly most of the time. I do make them correct it each and every time if it's wrong. I tried the "b has a belly" thing for a couple of years and truly did not have a single child that ever understood it. I have had a small number of children that have understood starting with a c to make the d or starting with a capital b to make the lowercase, but again that only helps them with writing. They can't visualize either the "magic c" thing or the "capital B" thing when reading, as I mentioned in the OP.

This is 2nd grade, not K. They are very fluent with CVC words, even nonsense words (they've all met the target on DIBELS), unless the words contain a b or d. Then they are just guessing. I had been focusing on having them think about what makes sense when reading based on adults that told me they still had trouble with b and d (e.g. if they read "bat" as "dat" they should realize that doesn't make sense and go back to correct it). Many of them understand that and will do it in text, but it slows them way down and they aren't making any progress at all toward just being able to read the word correctly the first time. At this reading conference we went to, they also talked about how you shouldn't really focus on getting kids to use other strategies like looking at the picture or figuring out what makes sense in context, because you are effectively training them to guess at words rather than decode them.
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TeachNFriend TeachNFriend is offline
 
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Visual aid
Old 11-10-2017, 04:37 AM
 
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I am dealing with this problem too. I have been instructed by our reading clinician to create a visual of the letter b which has both upper and lowercase standing together along with a picture of something that begins with b. I chose bunny 🐰. I did the same with the d, and a few other letter confusions the students have. They all have different visuals based on their confusions. Then as were reading or writing and we get to a letter that stumps them I give a verbal prompt that will direct them to their visual. I might say the letter and prompt them to look at the picture and produce the sound or if I want them to label the letter I might say /b/ like bunny and they then look to the letters. The uppercase B then helps them identify the lowercase one. Ive just started this, but I can see some progress already. Not sure if this will work for your kiddos, but it might be worth a try.


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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:15 PM
 
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We use Fundations, so they already have a visual card for each letter. It has the uppercase and lowercase letter and for b it's a picture of a bat and for d it's a dog. They've had the same visual since K as we all use it school wide. We all have it posted as our alphabet chart and on individual cards that the kids use. Thanks for posting though!

After thinking about this more, I did realize that my one super low 3rd grader (came to our school in 2nd, seriously took over one year to learn how to blend CVC words, and is just now getting to the point of reading them fluently) very rarely mixes up b and d anymore, so I'm hoping it really is just something developmental that the rest of my kids will grow out of too.

I have decided that it's not a good use of our intervention time to continue just focusing on this. I still try to get the kids to use the strategy when b/d come up, make them correct it every single time if they do it wrong, and direct them to the visual, but I've moved on to the next skill with them. This week went a lot better for us- I think the kids were just as frustrated as I was!
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:38 AM
 
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Sometimes patience and persistence is the best strategy . Keep up the good work. Im sure it will pay off.
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