Letter Reversals

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by rileycamden, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. rileycamden

    rileycamden New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2009

    When you give a spelling test do you mark words incorrect if the student used a letter reversal, such as a d instead of a b? (If the student can orally spell the word correctly) This is a developmental stage that is common among first graders and it is related to their spatial awareness of letters. Is it appropriate to mark words incorrect if they really CAN spell them correctly and just are not developmentally there yet with letter formation/reversals?
     
  2.  
  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    204

    Mar 14, 2009

    I do not consider it a misspelled word, if spelling is all that I'm assessing. But I would correct and remediate it.

    I'd say it's semi-developmental, especially at the beginning of first grade.
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2009

    When do you start holding the child accountable for forming letters correctly? Do you continue to allow the child to form b's instead of d's the whole year? When is it developmentally appropriate? I am just curious because we count reversed letters wrong. I am reconsidering this for next year but need more information, lol.
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2009

    I've started really getting on kids about their letter reversals. I felt like they would go away, but I have a number of them who are still doing it. Numbers as well. How long should this last? I swear it's half my class, especially the boys.
     
  6. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2009

    I would mark them wrong. Students need to learn to correct those mistakes, especially on spelling tests. It's not like the letter b just becomes a reversed b, it actually becomes a completely different letter that makes a completely different sound.
     
  7. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    Mar 14, 2009

    It depends.
    In the beginning of the year I tell them that by January they will be marked wrong in a spelling test.. when the word is bone and they spell done--it's a completely different word. Sometimes though a reverssal doesn't spell a different word like a reversed d'nealian i.

    I give them a dead line. Like in March (now) I say, 'if a letter is backwards, then the word is wrong--so double check now!!"


    I'm interested in what others have to say.
     
  8. Historygeek

    Historygeek Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2009

    Miss Froggy I found your statement interesting about the boys being the main ones reversing. I have a daughter, a son, and three nephews. My daughter never did it but all of the boys did for awhile.

    Even though first grade is early, I would mark them wrong because bad and dad are not the same word.
     
  9. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    Mar 14, 2009

    Mine is pretty much just the girls.... hmm
     
  10. MissR

    MissR Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2009

    2 semester I count it wrong. But I have individualized spelling tests, so if they get it wrong, they do it again for next week, which gives them more practice writing the letter the correct way. Most of them do it fine the 2nd week after they got it wrong for just one backwards letter!

    I only have 2 of my 22 kids do this regularly; one boy, one girl.
     
  11. TeachingFellow

    TeachingFellow Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2009

    I'm actually quite curious about how common spelling tests are in 1st grade classroom. I'm a new teacher in a 1st grade classroom this year. We use a mix of old school phonics and a bit of Wilson (I use Wilson more than other teachers). My school is considered academic and highly structured in orientation. It's a traditional private school in the truest sense of the word. Spelling tests are not given until the 2nd grade and I've heard teachers saying they'd like to wait until the 3rd. The 1st grade team (4 of us, 2 boys and 2 girls classrooms) do give bimonthly dictations (word wall words, words related to recent rules studied, and 2-3 sentence with word wall words). The students use dividers and it's administered like a test but not called such. Additionally, we do not "mark wrong" in 1st grade because the idea of being marked wrong is too abstract and often misunderstood at that age. We absolutely hold the children responsible for sloppy work and "wrong" answers but they are circled or simply returned to the child to rework on.

    I will be moving to a public school in an urban setting next year. I'd like to do more regular spelling assessments (tests) especially because I will be accountable for improving standardized tests scores. I am, wondering, though how common spelling tests are.

    **By the way, I have 20 boys. I've been told reversals are far more common in boys but I don't have a study at my finger tips to prove this. I have 4 boys who regularly reverse (2 are very high achievers, 1 is an average student, and 1 is a low). I have them write letters in sand with their fingers tips and trace the letters on paper with their finger tips. This sensory-driven method works well with my boys and 3 are making marked improvement! 1 boy is not making improvement and my hunch is that he is probably dyslexic and in his case the reversals are not just developmentally normal behavior but part of a larger issue.
     
  12. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 15, 2009

    Typically, I don't, but I do call the kid over and ask them what's wrong with their "D", etc. They usually see the mistake.
     
  13. TeachingFellow

    TeachingFellow Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2009

    Yes, I do exactly the same. A boy in my class wrote "Bib" instead of "did" on Friday. I called him over and said, "bib"? In a conversation and non demeaning tone. He said, "Oh yeah, *big giggle* I meant did" and he took his story to fix at his table. I do about the same in most cases with a reversal and as I said above, I try to provide time for letter tracing, sand writing, for those who frequently display reversals.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Mar 15, 2009

    In grade 2 I'll count a d/b reversal as wrong on a spelling test. If an 'a' is backwards or a 's', I won't count it wrong as it doesn't affect the 'spelling' of the word... b/d reversals do... bad versus dad...
     
  15. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2009

    Just wondering why it is "okay" to make an "s" backwards even though it doesn't affect the meaning of the word. They are still forming a letter incorrectly. What about a backwards capital "P"...is it wrong because it is no longer a letter or do you allow them to get credit? Couldn't an "s" be mistaken for "z" though? Just curious!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Mar 15, 2009

    If a backwards 's' looks like a 'z', I'll mark it wrong. My kids generally don't use capitals in their spelling test. I provide many activities during the week in which my kids are sorting their words, writing their words, engaged in word work with the spelling patterns of the week, plus nightly spelling homework choices and sorting activities. There really is no reason for not getting all the words correct on the test so yeah, I mark reversals that result in 'misspellings' incorrect. A reversal that doesn't 'become' another letter isn't an error in spelling for me, it's a handwriting/visual-spatial issue. I'm not going to get into it with a second grader over whether they meant 'b' or 'd' or just spelled it wrong...I mark it wrong.
     
  17. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 17, 2009

    I don't count the whole word wrong, but I do circle it and take off a point just to draw attention to the problem.
     
  18. silver rain

    silver rain Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 17, 2009

    I started marking reversals as incorrect in Jan. I remind the students before, during and after the assessment to go back and proof their paper.
     
  19. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 22, 2009

    I don't count off unless it creates a new word. I'll correct it, but not take off for it unless I ask the student and he/she says the incorrect letter.
     
  20. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 22, 2009

    I do not do it at the beginning of the year, but by now I do.
     
  21. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 22, 2009

    I wouldn't mark it wrong. Those reversals are so developmental.
     
  22. apple1

    apple1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2009

    Up until Christmas I don't mark backward letters incorrect. I warn them and the parents a month prior to C-mas that when we come back from break backward letters will be marked wrong. They have an alphabet strip on their desk that they can look at to make sure they are writing the letters facing the correct direction. At the beginning of the year I think some of them will never get it but as soon as I start marking those spelling tests wrong in January it's amazing how fast they learn to look at the alphabet strip to figure out which direction the letter should be facing. I haven't had any backward letters this year since the end of January! NOT ONE!!!
     
  23. TeachingFellow

    TeachingFellow Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 28, 2009

    Reversals are developmentally appropriate. If it's happening very frequently and not responding to simple interventions, then perhaps an evaluation for lD is appropriate. If it happens semi frequently, and often with numbers, then I note it in my mind but rest assured that it's probably just developmental. I do tell parents, of course.

    I don't understand marking things "wrong" in first great. I want my students to all think they have the potential to be successful students. I hold all my students to a very high standard but have never thought of taking off points or marking things up as wrong. I would have no issue marking wrong in 2nd and above. Again, I work in a very academic and structured school but I don't know anyone who marks things wrong in first grade.

    Do I send home messy homework for correction? All the time (when I know the student was rushing and it capable of more).
    Do I keep students in for recess who are not getting their work done? Yes, for five or ten minutes to fix things.
    Do I tell students that something is wrong? Yes and we fix it together.
    Do I write notes home, call, and follow up with a conference if students consistently hand in poor quality work? All the time.

    Reverals are not evidence of sloppiness, poor quality, or rushing. They are just a "spatial" issue that many 5,6, and 7 year olds have.

    I am very surprised to hear that so many first grade teachers are marking things wrong and holding 1st graders accountable for something that is developmentally appropriate. It kind of reminds me of making left handers write with their right hand OR expecting 1st grade to write stories that make sense (they don't usually make much sense, In my experience).
     
  24. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 28, 2009

    Do you feel it is developmentally appropriate to provide alphabet strips and have a couple minutes after each word (or the test) specifically for "letter formation check" time?

    What do you do when they spell bog instead of dog? How do you inform the child that the printed letter is wrong?

    I would just like some input as I consider things for next year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  25. TeachingFellow

    TeachingFellow Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 29, 2009

    I really LOVE the idea of using the alphabet strip during a "check time." In fact, I'm convinced enough to try it out as an experiment. My school's curriculum calls for a weekly dictation that tests on word wall words (5 per week) and several words with like sounds. Typically, if they make a mistake like "bog" instead of "dog," I can call them over and ask them to read the word to me. 9/10 they read it as "dog." For me, this is a clear developmental reversal. And, yes, I do immediately correct the reversal of the child and make a mental note to provide some "shaving cream" letter writing time for extra practice.

    Since I don't track individual "grades" and instead keep a portfolio of student work (including assessments marked with correct/incorrect), I'm not concerned with adding and subtracting points.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 172 (members: 2, guests: 139, robots: 31)
test