Students who form letters backwards - ProTeacher Community


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Students who form letters backwards
Old 10-04-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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Does anyone have any great suggestions about how to help students who form a lot of their letters and/or number backwards? I teach First Grade and I know most of them will grow out of it, but I have one student in particular who does is often with many letters and numbers. He is very bright - a great reader. Any ideas? Thanks!


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Old 10-04-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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I sometimes mention it when I am writing (ex. look how I made my b, a stick and then a circle). I remind the students to check the alphabet on their desk name plates and/or above the chalkboard if they are not sure of now to form a letter and to check the number chart for numbers. We also practice handwriting/number writing occasionally. I gently remind the students when I see them writing letters/numbers backwards.
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In addition
Old 10-04-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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to myers1st's message, I would like to know if anyone out there has ever had a student write the letters sideways. I have one Kindergartener who forms most of her letters and numbers horizontally on the line. For instance, a "v" would look like ">" and so on.
Anyway, in answer to myers1st, as the year goes on I would just have the students double check the letters/numbers that are most often written backwards. Maybe write the correct formation of the letter on the board. Then have everyone double check their papers that day to be sure they are doing it correctly. If some students aren't seeing their mistakes, I would erase the error, write it correctly in a light color marker and then have the student trace the letters.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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Many students I've worked with mix up their b's and d's. In the magazine Really Good Stuff they have a poster that say's put your b's and d's to bed. It's a good way to remember which way those letters go.
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It's not usually too serious
Old 10-04-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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I have sixth graders who still sometimes reverse letters--believe it or not, usually the kids I have who do that are gifted, and among the highest readers in the core. If it doesn't seem to be affecting reading comprehension, then I say don't worry too much about it, especially not yet, in first. I guess that's my great idea--I wouldn't borrow trouble yet.


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reversals
Old 10-04-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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I've taught grade 1 for many years and am now teaching grade 3, and I still have a few who do reversals.

Quite often it is the brighter children simply because they are also the ones who want to get work done quickly so they can do other things like read, etc., Or they have never really been corrected (or it doesn't really matter) so they do not pay attention to their letters or numbers when they print them. It's the same as those who continue to print their names in full capitals or who put capital letters in the middle of words.

I've found other than the frequent reminders the best way to "cure" the problem is to have them sit and correct every reversal in their work. If they have to stay inside for a recess or miss a center time because they are correcting their work, they usually will begin to pay attention to their printing as they don't want to continue having to correct their work every day.

I also show students that the lower case b can easily be made into the Capital B, so I just tell them to keep the picture of Capital B in their head and they can easily see if the lower case b they made is correct.
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Puffy paint..
Old 10-05-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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We use an index card that has the "trouble " letters in puffy paint so the kids can trace with their fingers. The kinesthetics of tracing it seems to help. YOucan also use cut out letters from sandpaper.

One student may have a b and d, one may have a 3 and 5, one may have an s and z., yet another may have all of those.
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touch the letters...
Old 10-05-2006, 09:26 AM
 
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i have two kids doing the same in my class. i've cut out large letters from different materials like sandpaper, felt, bubble wrap and put a dot at the point where they start the letter. they can then trace their fingers along the correct shape of the letter. I'm trying to find the time to make a mini table top set at the moment, but that's just one of the many things on my to do list! i've also drawn out cut and stick sheets of correct and incorrect letters and asked kids to sort them into the right sets too.
ps loved the b and d to bed idea!
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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K and 1 teachers at my school teach the kids to replace it with a capital if you can't remember what way the lowercase goes.

While this works great in k and 1 - it means that this year I am teaching kids how to write lowercase b's and d's!

I don't worry about it until we check for conventions. That's when I'll say "whoops! does that say do or bo?" I'll circle all the letters in pencil and send them back to correct it.

In k and 1 I would start by only correcting the letters on publishable work as well as handwriting, spelling, their name. As the year continues, hold them to a higher standard and begin to require it on more work. Perhaps on all of it by the end of the year?
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