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How to Help Students with Letter Reversals

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Letter reversals can be a struggle for some children. Though it can be troubling for parents and teachers, it’s not necessarily cause for alarm. Letter reversals aren’t uncommon in children 7 years old and younger.

How to Help Students with Letter Reversals

Why do kids reverse letters?

One of the first things that come to mind with letter reversals is dyslexia. It’s important to know what a letter reversal actually is. These occur when a letter is written backwards or upside down. This is also known as “mirror writing.” The most common letter reversals during a child’s developmental years are with the letters b, d, p, and q. 

It’s important to remember that lots of children who reverse letters before age 7 don’t ultimately have dyslexia. Some other reasons for letter reversals past the age of 7 can be visual processing or phonetic awareness issues. If your child reaches the end of second grade and is still reversing letters pretty often, you might want to consider seeking out advice from their teacher.

How to Help Students with Letter Reversals

HOW CAN I HELP My child with letter reversals?

Letter reversals sometimes occur in younger children because the letters b, d, p, and q are all the exact same letter. They’re simply turned and flipped in different directions. As children become more experienced readers they begin to remember to use these letters correctly. Lots of times children show improvement with reversals simply by practicing writing them correctly.

Here are some fun letter reversal activities to try to help your students or children practice writing commonly reversed letters correctly.

Letter Reversal Worksheets

Download and print letter reversal worksheets. Children should practice writing one letter at a time. For example, start by focusing only on the letter b. Make it fun by placing a sticker or stamp at the end of each row completed correctly or let them write with their favorite color or marker.

You can grab a free copy of letter reversal worksheets under the Language Arts section of the Freebies Library. Not a member yet? Sign up below!

FREE LETTER REVERSAL PRACTICE WORKSHEETS

Use a Multi-sensory approach to letter reversals

A multi-sensory approach is a great way to really help solidify writing letters correctly. Squirt shaving cream onto a paper plate or an inexpensive tray from your local dollar store. Have children write letters with their fingers in the shaving cream. Monitor them to be sure they are writing them correctly each time!   

Gather some items of different textures like sandpaper, felt, or carpet squares. Children can trace letters on the different textures. Another great idea is having them write letters with chalk on a small chalkboard.

Use Boom Cards as a way to have children practice letter reversals. Kids will love this fun and engaging way to practice without even realizing they’re learning!

Letter Reversals Practice Games Bundle

USING BOOM CARDS FOR LETTER REVERSALS

Boom Cards are fantastic resources for helping children practice many skills including letter reversals. Kids won’t even realize they’re learning while they consistently and accurately identify letters on the self-checking cards in the Boom Decks. The cards are randomized, which keeps things interesting and prevents predicatibitly.

These are great for:

  • Struggling readers
  • Dyslexic students
  • Children who simply need more practice to overcome letter reversals

Check out these decks I’ve created for b and d reversals here and for p and q here.

The Final Word on Letter Reversals

Above all, don’t panic if your child is reversing letters. It’s not something that is destined to continue forever. Just keep an eye on them and if they continue into second grade and are coupled with other learning challenges, it may be time to have a preliminary evaluation just to make sure there are not underlying issues that your child might have.

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