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Writing name backwards
Old 11-18-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Hi, I have a couple students in my class that can write their names the correct way (forwards), but sometimes they write their name backwards. I mean all of the letters backwards, and the name backwards. They start at the right-hand side of the page and print their first initial backwards and continue this going to the left. Can anyone give me any insight into why the kids do this. The letters are all formed perfect, but backwards!


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Backwards
Old 11-18-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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Mine do the same thing. It looks like a mirrored image. I was speaking with my coworkers and they said this was normal for this age. Does anybody else have any insight into this?
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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They might be lefties, but that is all I really know about that. Anyway, last year, I had a little girl writing her name backwards in February, so I started having her trace her name with a thin marker (red seemed to work best for her, but once again, I do not know why). I made the tracers from the mymoondrops website. (It is free). Maybe this will help.
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Interesting........
Old 11-18-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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Thank you for your replies. Actually, I am a lefty and can't remember if I wrote backwards or not when I first started writing. I'm going to ask my mother if she remembers. Made me really think.........

Yes, moondrops is a good site, and I've used it before for handwriting purposes, and I think I will again. Good idea.
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Writing name backwards
Old 11-18-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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If you ask them to write their name on the right side of the paper without giving them a starting point, they will start at the edge and write backwards. If you give them a starting point, they will write frontwards. I've noticed this when I give a spelling test. If I write their numbers on their papers, and put the numbers for the second column in the middle of the page, they write frontwards. If I tell them to number their papers from one to ten, with two columns, they will write the words that go with numbers one through five frontwards and then put their numbers for the second column right next to the right edge of the paper and write from right to left. It's just an inexperience thing. They will quit doing that when they have gotten more experienced.


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Old 11-18-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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I see this with students when I don't have a set place to write their names, so I get them to write it on the left hand side and try to always have a line for them to write it on.
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Yep, developmental
Old 11-18-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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As others have said, they have to be taught to always start on the left and sometimes this takes a bit of time.
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Thank you......
Old 11-18-2006, 06:13 PM
 
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Thank you everyone. This forum is the best, I learn something new everyday I come to Proteacher. You guys are the best. Teachers are the best. Thanks.
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directionality
Old 11-18-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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The kids just don't yet understand directionality- that we write from left to right. It's develomental and they will get it with practice and guidance.
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:51 PM
 
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Really, this is not a hard one and yes there is a reason. If you have qualifications in early years learning, you should know the answer! This behavior is actually what so many kids do. It is not so much developmental but the class need to be SHOWN and TOLD that we write (and read) LEFT TO RIGHT. At the moment they do not have that concept. That's, then, what you expect from them everytime they write and that's the way it is. Have them do lots of practise and read lots and have them trace very simple sentences that are left to right. make a big deal out of this or they will not learn to read or write sufficiently and will not be able to read their own writing.

And I would gather that they are probably stopping at the middle and perhaps even swapping hands, so handedness may not be set. I could give you ideas on articles to read on this aspect of learning, but you need to investigate this for yourself. You must educate yourself on childhood developmental learning and emergent writing because this is what you will encounter. You owe it to these young kids to know what to do.

I do understand it is not easy- have taught this age group for years with an average of 29 in my class every year. Because I always have such huge classes, I have learned a lot, through reading, researching and running workshops, so as to know EXACTLY what I am doing and how to 'teach out' problems I come across.

If the children are not completely supervised and shown implicitly through YOUR modelling and guided individually, then they will do it for a long time yet.
 
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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Really, this is not a hard one and yes there is a reason. If you have qualifications in early years learning, you should know the answer! This behavior is actually what so many kids do. It is not so much developmental but the class need to be SHOWN and TOLD that we write (and read) LEFT TO RIGHT. At the moment they do not have that concept. That's, then, what you expect from them everytime they write and that's the way it is. Have them do lots of practise and read lots and have them trace very simple sentences that are left to right. make a big deal out of this or they will not learn to read or write sufficiently and will not be able to read their own writing.

And I would gather that they are probably stopping at the middle and perhaps even swapping hands, so handedness may not be set. I could give you ideas on articles to read on this aspect of learning, but you need to investigate this for yourself. You must educate yourself on childhood developmental learning and emergent writing because this is what you will encounter. You owe it to these young kids to know what to do.

I do understand it is not easy- have taught this age group for years with an average of 29 in my class every year. Because I always have such huge classes, I have learned a lot, through reading, researching and running workshops, so as to know EXACTLY what I am doing and how to 'teach out' problems I come across.

If the children are not completely supervised and shown implicitly through YOUR modelling and guided individually, then they will do it for a long time yet.
 
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Teacherish!!
Old 11-19-2006, 09:55 AM
 
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You need to calm down a little bit! We are only swapping ideas on this forum. I asked a simple question and do not expect to be lectured by you or anyone else. I am a first year teacher that IS researching everything I come across, and yes, I do have high expectations for all of my students and I want them to write from left to right, which I do model by the way. Please do not reply to me again if you cannot be supportive of beginning teachers. Think way back when you started, did you know everything?? I doubt it. Please do not berate me on this forum, this forum is for us to become better teachers, not teachers who are lectured by more experienced teachers. I have very high expectations of my teaching and I am sure you do to, but do not answer anymore of my questions if you cannot be entirely supportive.
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backwards
Old 11-20-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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Hayley,
I have taught for several years and although I have seen lots of backwards letters, this is the first year I've seen a total backwards, mirror image, name. It really worried me at first. This student of mine has trouble with other areas in school and I wanted to create a simple way to fix this problem without overwhelming him. I put a green dot with a marker in the top left corner of his page and a red dot in the middle of the page. Green is go, Red is stop. There is no dot on the right side of the page. I tell him to start at the green light and stop at the red light. He really likes this!
He has the letters of his name memorized so we also talked a lot about how his name starts with a T and it has to start at the green light, then he knows to add the rest of his letters after that.
As long as he has that, he can do it and I think and hope with enough practice it will become habit. Last week I had a substitute and I noticed his name was mirrored since the dots weren't there for him to follow
good luck and I think you are in the right place to ask for ideas and suggestions.
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lefties writing backward
Old 11-20-2006, 08:37 PM
 
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A couple of people mentioned that maybe lefties wrote backward. Here's another perspective on that: people who are left-handed tend to be right-brain dominant and so tend to be less linear. I've found that my own left-handed son was "able" to write his name upside down and backwards at age four and five. It straightened out by age six, but he still wrote some numbers backward into second grade. He also struggled with learning to read, and I believe it's because he tends to see things from different perspectives, rather than "anchored," so a p and a q and a d and b all kind of looked the same to him. He's in third grade now and is a good reader, so I know it straightens out. However I'm teaching kindergarten for the first time this year and both my left-handed students write their names with equal ease backward and forward! They're my only students who do so, so I think there's something to my left-handed theory.
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teacherish
Old 11-21-2006, 03:51 AM
 
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29 students is to many Kindergarten kids to have. What does the research tell you about 29? hmm...
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I used to do it, too..
Old 11-21-2006, 05:12 AM
 
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.. but it was for fun. Being left-handed, I had read somewhere while in high school that LH people could do this more easily than RHers. I tried it, and, lo and behold, I could. So, as a joke, I sometimes submitted an occasional assignment (to one of the "cool" teachers) written, in cursive, entirely backwards. Reading it required turning the page over, holding it to a light, and reading through it, or using a mirror. I also learned that I could read text upside down, and would often do it when called upon to read passages from textbooks, just to see how long it would take for a classmate to notice the upside-down book. Not exactly skills that, by themselves, got me very far in life, though...
But, no, I don't recall ever having to be taught away from R-to-L reading or writing as a small child. Not to say it didn't happen, but I don't remember it, and I can remember pretty far back.
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Thank you
Old 11-22-2006, 07:31 AM
 
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Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas and comments. They are very much appreciated. And, yes this is a wonderful forum for swapping ideas. Thank you everyone who gave my supportive ideas; a lot to think about and ponder, which is why I come to these boards. After all we all learn something new everyday. I know I do, and definitely love learning and teaching. Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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Wow, I am a parent praying that you are not, nor will ever be, teaching my children. I found this website and hoped I could learn something about my Kindergarten-aged child. Your condecending attitude attributes to why children give up and drop out. Maybe you should have taken some classes on "understanding and communicating with the less than perfect humans (edcuators)!"

Hopefully, you do not communicate as brashly with your students as you do with fellow educators!
 
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Dear NON EDUCATOR.....
Old 12-02-2006, 04:22 AM
 
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You are one rude crude dude!. Hayley came to us for advice. I have taught school for 35 years and I feel for the new teacher on the block. At least she came to us inquiring about what to do for a certain problem. I say to that, its shows how committed she is in finding a answer to help her students. When in doubt check it out!. I would not have a problem with her teaching one of my children. Keep the questions coming Hayley. Sometimes we have to overlook people who have their heart stuck in the mud.
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My 5 yro is a "lefty"
Old 12-11-2006, 04:19 PM
 
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She consistantly writes in "mirror image". She will write "normal" with redirection, but will revert to "mirror writing" when left to work on her own. She don't just write a letter or two backwards (which is normal), she writes her name, words, alphabet, and sentences backwards in perfect form. She, also, writes from right to left on paper. She has trouble with her sight words and pronouncing words. However, she does read by memory. She will recite words in the stories, but can not read the same words outside of the book. I have learned that this is common characteristics of left handed people, but it is also common symptoms of dyslexia. I have asked her school to evaluate her for Special Education needs to help her learn new methods to improve her writing and reading. Since she is 5 years old, it is hard to diagnose her as dyslexic, but her condition is so extreme that it warrants intervention.

I suggest that if this child continues to write backwards without any hope of improvement and lacks other progress, see if she could be evaluated for Special Education needs. In my state, the school has to have the permission of a parent to before they can evaluate. If it is the same in your state, please don't wait to speak with that child's parent(s). Hopefully, the parent is as open and perceptive as me to see there is a need for intervention.

Some parents are hesitant to allow their children to be tested for Special Education because of what it meant when they were children and they don't want their children teased or labeled as "Special Needs". However, you could explain that Special Education is not like it was a years ago. Children are not labeled as slow or dumb, and they don't get isolated or treated any differently from other students in their school, the expectations are the same as any other child in their school. And it does not follow the children through out their entire school life, only as long as they need the extra assistance. Sometimes children need one-on-one time to learn special methods to overcome differculty in writing, reading and math skills. Early intervention is the key; if a child is continues to struggle with any intervention, then it will be harder to keep up as lessons become more advance. Eventually, the child will lose interest and confidence all together. Not to mention that the child will have state mandated standardize tests that he/she MUST pass in order to be promoted to the next grade regardless if the classroom grades are passing. I think it will be more devestating to a child to be held back than not allow any extra assistance needed to help him/her succeed.
 
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Thanks for all of the wonderful info...
Old 02-03-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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Well, here is a quick update. The few children in my class that did write backwards are now writing their names the correct way. With a lot of one-on-one help from myself and my assistant they are doing just wonderful. As I have said before, I am here to get ideas to improve my teaching just like anyone else on these boards, and I am appalled at the negative comments I have received. As an educator I take my job very seriously and want to do my best for each and every one of my students. Thank you everyone (or nearly everyone) for all of your support, it is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. Keep the positive comments coming :-)
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It's good to hear that they've gotten better.
Old 02-03-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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I hope you stay as positive as you seem to be right now. It's great to see that you are not afraid to ask when you need help. I teach first grade, but I appreciate kindergarten teachers who take the time to find answers for things that happen in kindergarten that they need help with. Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2007, 06:10 AM
 
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Thanks for the suggestion. I have a 5 year old daughter who is going to kindergarten next year. She writes her name mirror image --I hope this will help. She is also starting to read --but will read some words mirror image saying "no" for "on" etc. She does see "cat" and say cat though.
 
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no big deal
Old 03-26-2007, 06:42 AM
 
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Jen and Bec, the printing and reading actions you described in your own 4 - 5 year olds are totally developmentally appropriate for their age groups. Not uncommon, and most will correct the mirror writing and reading in first grade with direct teaching to the issue of "starting on the left". Some children occasionally have reversals of particularly "stubborn" letters into second grade (ie they'll print b for d but everything else is correct). The thing is, you are both noticing it, keeping an eye on it, gently correcting it, and encouraging practice the correct way. Just exactly what a primary teacher would do. Good job! Your children will do just fine.

Tish, I think "Non Educator" was referring to the "brashness" of "teacherish", not the rest of you on this thread, who were helpful and positive.
 

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