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How long to review b and d

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    How long to review b and d

    I am so pleased at how well my little guy is doing in MPK with SC1 Phonics. He's confusing b and d about 20% of the time though, almost exclusively with words he doesn't know, made-up words, or some words out of context in lists. We just finished week 16, and I'm debating holding back a week to review, but then I don't know if all kids continue some kind of confusion for a couple of months and it gets cleared up with constant review. We have had the "bed" poster under the glass of his desk since the beginning, but he's only had to really use it recently (since b and d were just introduced). He also has a chip on his shoulder about using the b and d finger technique. When I ask him to use the fingers before decoding a word, he's even less likely to get it right than if he just looks at it and uhh....guesses? He will say the wrong sound for the wrong hand. The weirdest thing is that he writes his FSR dictation words pretty much perfectly. He knows how to write a lowercase b from the top and lowercase d from below the midline.

    Yesterday and today I dictated 3 sentences each with b's and d's.
    Dan has a bad dog.
    I hid the lid.
    That pig is hot and sad!
    Is Dad sad?
    The man has a rag. (from the lesson plans)

    He forgot to capitalize Dan. He struggled with bad, but he got it eventually. He needed help remembering to put the finger space between words, but he got it spelled correctly...and a few times he remembered the whole sentence without a repeat (all good signs to me). He also got 100% correct for all dictations in FSR A & B. I don't know if I should move on to Book C or hang back, and at this point, he's so used to the routine, the "letter of the week," the coloring, the mystery bag, the treasure hunt around the house for items that begin with the letter, and his favorite: the Core Skills Phonics sheets, that he's asking why we don't have a new one. I also don't want to throw the Enrichment off, so that's in limbo as well. What would a week's worth of good review of b and d look like? Does that Phonics from A to Z book that came with SC1 offer some solutions?
    Mama to 2

    MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
    SY 20/21

    It sounds as if he is doing well!
    Some tips:
    - Continue to point him to the "bed" graphic before he encounters a "b" or "d" and set aside the finger technique for now.
    - Look on p. 35 of Phonics from A to Z (p. 26 of the previous edition) for a "spotlight" on teaching b vs. d and other letter combinations commonly reversed or confused.
    - Focus on B first, isolated, rather than always presenting them side-by-side.
    - Write an uppercase B on an index card. In another color trace the embedded b hidden within the B. Keep this visible for reference.
    - I would move on to Book C. Conduct a brief daily review of B and its embedded b, state a word that starts with b, and press on. Keep your Enrichment aligned.
    - When he encounters "d," reference his "bed" chart again.
    - If you want to add one more visual aid, consider an alphabet chart with a steady review left-to-right before beginning each lesson. This daily reminder may assist with p/q and other pairs.


      Good ideas all. Today I had him highlight (using those Frixion erasable highlighters) all the lowercase letter b's in b-b-blue on the Mastery review word lists in the back of FSR B. This seemed to help a lot, but I know it's a crutch. He still liked it. I just flipped to week 17 and saw another review week, so I guess it's pretty common for K-ers to need the extra time. Great tip on the hidden b in the B!

      I am so thankful he does not confuse p/q/g.
      Mama to 2

      MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
      SY 20/21


        Highlighting is a great idea, especially because he enjoys it. As for the hidden b in B, that tip is directly from those pages of Phonics from A to Z. That book is a gem!


          He does sound like he’s doing well! And sometimes we forget that little kids eyes need to mature, too. We go to a pediatric developmental eye dr, and she keeps reminding me to not stress and that kids’ eyes can ‘grow’ unequally with their other development. It’s also natural to confuse b, p, d, and even q at that age.

          at home:
          boy - 3rd grade
          boy - 2nd grade
          boy - k/1st
          girl - toddler


            One tip that has helped my son who has several problems with written language was this. We were given a list of descriptions to say to remind children the correct way to make their letters. My son found the b and d very helpful.

            (going left to right)
            We start up high and let go of the b b ball and it b b bounces
            Whereas with a d,
            We pay the d d dog's head and THEN it wags its tail.


              Sounds like your guy has it! He just needs occasional review. All K-ers struggle with b and d — NT or SN.
              Another helpful visual for us was to make the shapes of the letters with our fingers.
              ”b” is the left hand
              “d” is the right
              (If you put them over your eyes you can make up your own superhero name, too!)
              Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
              The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II


                Another trick I use is to teach:

                Bat-Ball-B (First I pick up the BAT, then I hit the BALL). This helps when you teach the letter formation to match the stroke in the little saying.

                Doorknob-Door-D (First I grab the DOORKNOB, the I open the DOOR.). So you would want to form the circle first when writing a lowercase d. That helps reinforce writing.

                Just a thought. I have a son who still struggles with them as well and sometimes he will mention the bed and other times I ask him “Are you picking up your bat or grabbing the doorknob?”