I teach K and I have several students who have the hardest time with their b and d's while they are reading. They can read fine for their level, but I am out of ideas on how to help them remember which letter is which. Does anyone have any ideas??
If you put your two fists together with the thumbs sticking up, they look like a bed, with b on the left and d on the right.
Another thing that I do is to tape a b card and a d card on the child's desk. Then give them a stack of cards that have either b or d written on them. When the child has a little free time, he can match the cards, laying the appropriate card on the ones that are taped down. This helps them discriminate. After they learn to discriminate between the two, it is easier for them to learn the different sounds.
I still have second graders who confused them. I don't think I'd be overly concerned in kindergarten. I too use the bed trick. Really Good Stuff sells a nice poster for this strategy. I also tell them to think of the circle as a face and remind them what letter the "face" should be looking at.
You can also make little reminder cards that show abcd, explain that b comes first in the alphabet and faces d. d also faces b. Holding hands in the same position as you do for the bed reminder(fist with thumbs up, palms facing the student)-moving from left to right say abcd-the left hand is forming the shape of b and the right hand is forming the d.
The bed idea didn't work with my first graders this year. My reading specialist said to concentrate on either b or d and they would remember that one.
So...I taught them that a lowercase b is just a capital B without the top. Mine were having more trouble writing them. (They would just put a capital.) That seemed to help a little more. I've even seen some of them write it with the top and then erase it...or when they are reading, pretend to put a top on it with their finger to see if it was b or d.
Hope that makes sense...it's hard to explain without being able to actually write it on paper for you!
I always told my students the bat comes before the ball (meaning the stick part of the b is a bat, and it's hitting the circle part, the ball. The dog's body comes before it's tail, dog's body is the circle part of the d, and tail is the d's stick part.
I always start teaching my students to distinguish between the b and d in my hand writing lessons. When I teach the letter b, I ask my students how they hold a baby. They always show me that they hold the baby in front. Then I show them that you make a b by saying "I hold the baby". They draw a straight line for "I" and then draw the circle for the baby in front of the "I". When we make the letter d we talk about how much fun it is when their daddy carries them on their back. I teach my kids that first they have to climb up on their daddies back. I tell them that climb starts with c so they have to write a c first and then draw a straight line representing the daddy. When they need to write a b or d or need to recognize which letter it is, I encourage them to say both," I hold the baby" and "Climb up on your daddies back" before determining which letter it is.
Sometime in October (it was before conferences this year) I found someone who made posters to help differenciate between these letters. They were very good. I have the papers copies at school, but I think it was around October 10th. It was very helpful since I had several parents ask for help on that. I just copied the posters for them and sent them home. I usually just gently remind the kids which is which since this is still developmental.