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"My kid reverses letters/numbers and can't spell"

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njteacherk njteacherk is offline
 
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"My kid reverses letters/numbers and can't spell"
Old 03-24-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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I had a parent who is very concerned about the two issues I posted in the title:

her son reverses some numbers and often confuses letters like b and d.
she is also concerned that he doesn't spell well.


Before I write her back I wanted to get some thoughts about this.

Firstly, as a K teacher I am not overly concerned when students reverse letters/numbers. I think it is a developmental thing and comes with time. Obviously we discuss it in school and i expect students to make corrections when pointed out. The same goes for the "bd" reversal. We discuss and fix it when it comes up but if students are still confusing the two I dont get worried. Am I wrong to not be that concerned about these issues?

In terms of spelling, we don't "teach" spelling in Kindergarten in my curriculum. The students are expected to write and spell sight words and short c-v-c words. When we do "writing" I do encourage them to sound out or stretch out the words they don't know by writing all the sounds they hear (inventive spelling). As we learn some "chunks" like sh, th, ch the students are starting to apply these to their writing but we really don't focus on spelling patterns. Once again, am I wrong to not be concerned with students spelling ability at this point?


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Totally developmental
Old 03-24-2011, 06:43 AM
 
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I know our sped dept (I am sped) would not even consider testing for these particular issues.


You definitely want the parent to feel as though they were heard, so...
It's development and is often seen at the K level.
Reversals are often seen in 1st grade as well.
Something to keep an eye on.
You will continue the strategies you are already doing.
You will certainly inform next year's teacher of your concern so that they can be aware as well.
Tell the parent not to stress too much since that may translate into anxiety for the student.
Can you send home a copy of a small alphabet strip and summer activities for her to do? We do that here as a bridge to the next grade- totally optional, and some are "fun" like float a leaf in a puddle after a rainstorm, or try to write your name with your opposite hand, while others are more academic.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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Thank you! I am in complete agreement with what you posted and am gad to know I was on the right track! I appreciate your help and suggestions! I do do a summer activity packet as well that includes lost of different activities and i think the parents, especially this one, will like!
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reversals
Old 03-24-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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I agree with you, developmentally, it is not time to be concerned yet. They are learning so many letters and numbers, and reversing is very common in K and first (my experience is in first). In first grade, if the progress in other areas is appropriate, I would not stress about reversing b & d, (most common) nor numbers, but simply point it out and have it corrected. I'd say to the child, "You're reversing this number a lot, but you can fix it yourself by it checking it on your name card every time. Soon you'll be doing it the right way every time") As for spelling, just say it simply, "Correct spelling is not expected in K, they are just learning to work with sounds" It's like learning to walk, it's a process. The summer work sounds like a good idea, but Mom needs to be careful not to pass on anxieties to her child, especially by forcing "homework" over the summer. I'd be sure to encourage nightly stories, visits to the library, and lots of summer fun. When they save the photos of the summer fun, the child can decide on a descriptive sentence. Starfall.com might be a good resource for Mom too, but again, not as "homework" from you.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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Thank you! I agree, I will talk to Mom about not "stressing" her child about these issues. She has pressed for "extra" homework in the past and I have had to explain that extra isnt really what she needs.


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