Many students, especially those with dyslexia, struggle with reversing letters. While problems with letter reversals will never completely end for a truly dyslexic student, there are strategies that may lessen the frequency of reversals. One technique that has been beneficial for students is visualizing lowercase b and d on the back of the hand.
To form the lowercase letter b, the student should look at the b-finger (For the right-handed student, this is the ring finger of the left hand), visualize a line straight down the finger, and then visualize a circle on the back of the hand. There is only one place for the circle to fit, thereby correctly forming the letter b.
To form a lowercase d, the student uses the same technique, this time visualizing the line coming down the d-finger (for the right-handed student, the index or pointer finger). Again, the circle must fit onto the back of the hand; there is only room for the circle to go one direction.
For left-handed students, we simply begin labeling the fingers of the right hand with the thumb.
To form a lowercase b, visualize a line going down the b-finger (for the left-handed student, this is the index finger), and a circle on the back of the hand. As with the right-handed student, there is only one place for the circle to fit.
Unlike many other techniques, this technique can be done without disrupting the flow of writing. The student does not have to look around the room to find an alphabet strip or poster, nor does the student have to move his or her hands to form the letters or use hand motions. All of my students have experienced great success with this technique.
Tammi Brandon, M.Ed., CDP
Tammi Brandon is a Master Instructor and Education Consultant with Brainspring Educator Academy.