Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Letter/Number Reversal Activity! Update

I have a student that has major difficulties with letter and number reversals.  I am talking MAJOR here!  The student sees the mirror image of most numbers and consistently with the numerals in the teens and those mirror images (21, 31, 41, etc).  She has also difficulty with the most common letter reversals of b, d, p, and q.

I sought advice from a math interventionist to see if she had an prior experience with this level of difficulty with number reversals.  She had not, but she did lead me to Good Sensory Learning by Dr. Erica Warren.  The books Reversing Reversals and Reversing Reversals 2 have helped to address the issues my students have with reversing letters, numbers, and text.  I have recommended this book to my fellow special ed. teachers and occupational therapists, because I have seen the success with it.  Links are connected to the pictures below to help you find these amazingly helpful books.

The books offer activities that help a child visually process what they are seeing on paper and allows their brain to practice the cognitive skills they need to learn to read.  

My experience with using the activities in this book has led to my students having fewer b/d reversals and their tracking of text has improved.  Students I use these activities with are tracking from left to right to read.  They use these skills when they come to words they do not know to break down the word from left to right, instead of starting at the last sound (which is common for a few of my friends) and segmenting the phonemes to read the word correctly.


I have used the books several times now, but at the time of this lesson, I needed something to work for today.  My student had expressed to me that she always sees the one first in the numbers I mentioned above (12, 21, 17, 71, and so on).  My idea (I'm sure this is not original, but it did work on the fly :) ) was to highlight the one in the number so she can see the placement of it compared to the other digit.  To my delight...this worked!!!

On numeral cards, I had my student highlight (with highlighter tape) the ones in the numerals.  The student then read the number aloud to me.  She read the numbers correctly 100% of the time this time (as compared to 50% the first time-without tape).  Secondly, I spread the cards out across the table and gave her a sticky frog.  This is where the fun starts!!!  I would call a number and she would fling the sticky frog and aim for the card I was calling out.  We had a lot of fun and most importantly, out of the 10 trials, she correctly identified 80% of the numbers.  She consistently had difficulty with 18 and 81.  I call this success!!! Not tooting my own horn here (well, maybe a little),  but I LOVE when something so simple works!  Check out our pics below!

Highlighting the number one!

And again...

Time for sticky frog action!

So fun!

 What do you do to help this issue???  I would love to hear your ideas.



  1. I totally could have used this last year!! I had a girl who has super duper dyslexia and she would have loved this activity!! I'll have save it for next time!

    The Lower Elementary Cottage


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