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kgomez05eb910bf6 Offline
#1 Posted : Saturday, October 06, 2012 8:18:16 PM(UTC)

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My son is in first grade, and he is constantly writing his numbers, and some letters, backwards!
I would like to put something together for him that would kind of tell a story/ remind him how the numbers should be written. I'm thinking maybe a 1 that's a person getting eaten by a 2 that's a fish that's getting eaten by a 3 that's a monster.
But, then I'm at a loss, and he really needs the 5,7and 9 too.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thank you!
crossties195e1928d Offline
#2 Posted : Saturday, October 06, 2012 9:32:51 PM(UTC)

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First of all, I think moms need hugs with stuff like this. ((((hug)))

It is not 'uncommon' for a first grader to have a problem with this, so please don't feel like this is some very unusual thing, or that it signifies some serious issues.

It is great to find ways to help him learn to feel the right direction for the letters so he can feel encouraged and good about developing the skill. Making out a whole alphabet for him to trace with his writing-hand pointer finger would be great. That way he can learn to feel his letters, not just try to reproduce their image. I have a kinesthetic learner, and this helps them tremendously. Be sure to choose a font that resembles what he us to be using in class. For instance, you want to be sure his "a" isn't shaped like the one I typed. :)

Print out the letters large enough that they are exaggerated in size. You want him to "feel" what way his finger should go when he starts the letter, and all the changes that happen. And have him use more than just his finger; move the whole hand. Like I say, print them out big. 2" width at least. I had my daughter use her whole arm. Actually, we draw in flour in a jellyroll pan. Some people use pudding. Cricut is more portable, less messy, lol.

And if you laminate the letters, after he practices with his finger for a while, he can use overhead markers (I think, or dry erase?...) and practice with using a writing instrument.

Patience, practice, and time. Don't forget time. He has lots of time to make those connections and you want this to be an esteem builder, not breaker.

kgomez05eb910bf6 Offline
#3 Posted : Sunday, October 07, 2012 7:15:23 AM(UTC)

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Thank you Tonya!
You are right, my son is definitely a kinesthetic learner. I did talk to his K teacher last year, and I know he''s not alone. Personally, I think it''s amazing that he can now recognize all his numbers and letters! He can add, subtract, multiply and is trying to understand negative numbers. This is not the curriculum, just his interests. So, it makes me want to tear my hair out when his papers come back with all the numbers backwards. He gets very upset when I try to work with him on this, which is why I am thinking some kind of artistic/ story picture with the numbers in designs, it's a bit more passive, he'll be able to recall the story, and then hopefully be able to picture each of the numbers.
The pudding would work with my 4 yr old, but my first grader would get too interested in what else he could with the pudding, and it would wind up all over the house. Just different kids!
Thanks again!
Larmabee Offline
#4 Posted : Sunday, October 07, 2012 9:07:00 AM(UTC)

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Good for you for taking such an interest in your son's education! The world needs more parents that care that much!
Crossties had some wonderful suggestions!
Remember it is often developmental. He is just learning and may grow out of it. So you don't want to make him self consious about it. So anything you do needs to be FUN!
Here is a link to an iPad app 2.99 I think, that is good. ipad reversals
Here's another link with general ideas article
This last link shows the number poem I use with my students. You will need to scroll down the list. Model the poem as you recite/read it. Use your whole arm and exaggerate it! number poem

Enjoy your son when he is young. In a few years you will yearn for this problem rather than what is to come!
keysdeb Offline
#5 Posted : Sunday, October 07, 2012 9:40:58 AM(UTC)

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Try the fun, tactile approach. I am a Head Start teacher and I use shaving cream a lot. The kids draw shapes, write numbers, and letters. Make it fun. Add food coloring i.e. red and yellow make orange. I like to play "I make a picture and you make the same". PS shaving cream is not as messy as it sounds. It dries up and brushes off clothing. Wiki sticks are good too. The kids use them by tracing a shape, or number, etc. on a piece of cardboard.

My best advice is to make it fun and use teachable moments. BigGrin

asharoonie Offline
#6 Posted : Sunday, October 07, 2012 12:44:46 PM(UTC)

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Often b and d are the most common reversals. If he writes with his right hand, have him use his left to make a thumbs up and he will know that that is always a b. Reverse for lefties and the right handed thumbs up always makes a d.

Sometimes just letter formation practice sheets can help with muscle memory. Do a google search for 'free printing practice printables' and lots should come up.

Other tactile approaches could be letters cut out on sand paper or other textured paper that he traces with his finger. You can put sand in a bag and he can make letters that way. Use pipe cleaners or play-doh/plasticine/clay to roll out letters too.
Carlislemom Offline
#7 Posted : Sunday, February 03, 2013 4:14:14 PM(UTC)

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If he likes music, search youtube for: Dr. Jean numeral song.

I work as an aide in K and this is what the teacher uses when teaching how to write the numbers. It's surprising how many kids say the word when printing.

As for the B's and D's: look up handwriting without tears : it's all on how they learn how to print.
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