Friday, October 10, 2014

Ps and Qs

Ps and Qs. Bs and Ds. My struggling readers can't seem to get them right. I've tried every trick I can find on Pinterest, but nothing seems to work. I tried the thumb trick, the bed trick, sticky note reminders on desks, and the baseball & bat visual.  I asked some Special Education teacher friends for some advice, and they both told me that the reversals can be fixed with letter formation practice. So I watched my students write bs, ds, ps, and qs. I watched where they started the formation, and guess what? Their formations were totally incorrect.

I thought of a different way to teach these reversals. Since the letter q is usually associated with the word queen, I tell my students that q stands for queen. I say, "Q is a queen. She likes to put on her make up and lipstick first. So we must write her face first, then make the line for her hair." P stands for prince. I say, "The prince likes to have his body done first, then his face". 

I added a star to each letter to show where you should start when writing the letter. Here's the correct formation for Ps and Qs:

So far, these visuals seem to be helping my students improve their reversals. The key is to keep practicing writing and recognizing them until they stick for good. It's taken my students 2 years (K and 1st grades) to make these mistakes. It's going to take a while to undo these mistakes. Patience and repetition are the keys.

I also have a trick for B and D that I'll post soon.
Have you found any strategies that work for your students? Please share!